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Daddy issues

Happy Father’s Day   | Photo Credit: Illustration: Mihir Balantrapu

Father’s Day will befall us soon and I know no normal adult man who has ever felt the irrepressible need to tell his dad how much he means to him. For this would involve one male adult talking to another male adult about feelings and, as a male adult myself, I can tell you from experience and with authority that it never goes well. Mother’s Day? Sure, go all out, buy flowers, order in fancy meals, do the dishes for a change, plaster all this activity on your social media and hashtag it with something quasi-corny like “I got it from my mamma”. But Father’s Day, at least for the guys, is a euphemism for “You’ll never be enough” Day, or more abbreviated-ly, Inadequate Day.

So here are a few gifts you can buy your dad which will be totally appreciated, either for their humour or your chutzpah. They border on the funny yet sentimental without risking you being written out of his will, but I make no promises so let that be my fine print.

DNA test: A lot of parental fighting can be put to rest by assuring your father that, contrary to what the IQ difference dismally indicates to him, he did in fact spawn you. By Aesop-ian corollary, this would also go on to highlight that sometimes the only skill a sperm has is to swim faster than the rest.

Joke book: Dad jokes are an inherent contradiction because dads aren’t considered funny. Well, consider this, the one joke he certainly cracked was when he dropped you on your head. Buying him a solid compilation of some classic stand-up quips and retorts might just give him a social standing that makes you almost want to introduce him to your friends.

Dad-bod: Another classic, you can swing this either way — buy him a membership to build a six-pack, or, easier yet, buy him a six-pack. In fact, buy him a whole slab for the perfect dad-bod. That’s 24 cans, which is 12 apiece if he shares them with you. Twelve pints, as my research last weekend showed me, is just the right amount to make you spit out all that pent up angst you have been holding in and yet he won’t remember a thing next morning. So you get to have a psychological release without risking your inheritance.

Flowers: Gift these only if you helped your dad fix the lawnmower and build a barn all of yesterday and will set him up a solid slab of barbecued tenderloin and Bourbon later in the evening. If not, the flowers will be interpreted as a rudely facetious condemnation of his entire existence, rather aptly represented in this festering bundle of putrefying vegetation that has been nipped and robbed of its ability to spread its pollen. Why, you’d sooner gift him a vasectomy! The only reason he won’t tell you that however is because, male adults and feelings.

Good life accoutrements: Besides what my rummage through the complaint box at Durex headquarters have highlighted, the only other reason many a chap becomes a father is to be able to sit and truly relish a drink at the end of a day. So get him that XO Cognac. Even if he doesn’t know what to do with it, it’s classy and brings him closer to looking like the dad you never had.

In case you disagree with anything I have written here, know that as the self-proclaimed big daddy of wry commentary, I will simply refuse to bother to listen, or care.

This column is for anyone who gives an existential toss.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 11:03:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/daddy-issues/article34847311.ece

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