Happy Father’s Day! (Sorry you’re such an idiot.)

So there’s Target in Canada now, which means I finally understand what my American friends have been going on about for years:

“I swear, I only went there to buy Band-Aids and sunscreen … why did I just drop $134 on a new mirror, a Lego set, a pair of flip-flops, frozen cheesecake, a 16GB memory card, four sets of pyjamas and a mini wrench set?”

We finally went to the one nearest my house on an urgent late-afternoon caffeine quest (because the one near my parents’ place has a Starbucks in it, as does our local one, though I didn’t find it on that first visit). I got distracted, and instead of two tall dirty chais I walked out with a tiny pink watering can and a beach pail. For less than the cost of one of those drinks, so suck on that, Corporate (North) America.

But I saw enough in that short trip to suck me back the next day, at which point I spent $91 on a laundry hamper (arguably needed), a new shower curtain (wholly unnecessary and 24 hours after its installation no one but me has noticed the change), a dish rack/pad thingy, a colouring book for my daughter, an organizing drawer for socks and underwear (kids’) and some other random stuff I’m forgetting.

I also wanted to pick up a Father’s Day card, because there aren’t really any places in our immediate neighbourhood where one can be purchased last-minute. And I was all proud of myself for being so plan-aheady … until I actually looked at the cards.

Best I can tell, Father’s Day cards — and presumably, fathers — fall into roughly six categories:

Fathers Day Icons and CardsSports Enthusiasts
Golf, fishing and baseball figure heavily in Father’s Day cards, which makes sense as those are the manliest of sports. Tennis and Nascar get a passing nod, but only if televised.

Inept Emasculateds
Sample: “For the man who wears the pants in the family … just make sure mom picks them out first!” Ha ha ha! You’re 45 and you still can’t dress yourself! Ha ha ha! Good thing you know how to start the BBQ.

Anal Incontinents
Apparently dads like to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and are prone to farting at inopportune moments. Probably has something to do with the steady diet of nachos, burgers and beer, Father’s Day cards’ three main food groups.

Domestic Tyrants
Apparently dads have their own chairs now? And some sort of inalienable right to the remote control? Not since Archie Bunker has paternal prerogative over living room seating and channel selection been so celebrated.

“Cheers to you, Dad!” “Wishing you a day of good beer!” “Grin and beer it!” “You’re a true brew friend!” Yeah, I’m not making (most of) this up.

Old-Timey Saloon Keepers
Judging by cards, 90% of dads wear ties and 72% have mustaches. Although not obvious from the cards for sale at Target, I would surmise that 41% have a player piano in the attic (figure rises to 60% if your mother is a retired dancing girl).

There’s no card, I guess, for the dad who spends an entire afternoon playing with his daughter in the backyard, never tiring of the apparently hilarious game in which she shoves a denuded dandelion stem up his nose to elicit a fake sneeze, so that she can proudly jab a chubby finger in his eye while yelling “BLESS YOU!” at the top of her lungs.

Until there is, I guess we’re stuck with “You’ve taught me all I need to know … about stealth farting!”

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