Father’s Day Gifts for My Favorite TV Dads
Like a lot of people, next Sunday I’ll be honoring my dear ol’ dad – perhaps in the form of a Home Depot gift card. Because nothing says “thank you for life, love and shelter” like new electrical outlet covers.
But being that I was partially raised by a 1981 television set, I can’t forget to pay tribute to the other dads in my life — my TV dads. So the question is, what do you get for the men who have everything? Boisterous laugh tracks? Top Nielsen ratings? A chance to appear on Hollywood Squares? Here are a few more tangible items:
1) Fred Sanford, Sandord & Sons – a storage shed. You need to face your illness, Dad. You’re a hoarder. And you’re a cantankerous old fart who’s managed to survive 2,384 heart attacks. Your health is obviously fragile so let’s pack away some of this rat-infested junk before the rotavirus strikes.
2) Andy Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show – a pocket knife. Whether whittling a stick or gutting a fish, a slaw-jawed Mayberry man would never go far without one. And you never know when you’ll need it to defend yourself against a deranged, trigger-happy Deputy.
3) Dr. Huxtable, The Cosby Show – a sweater. I immensely enjoyed your fatherly advice, Dad, but if you really loved me you’d bring back Jell-O pudding pops. Can you do that? Can you? Please? Pudding pops aside, I’m sure you’ll never bring back those sweaters. Your personal version of a stamp collection, those rainbow monstrosities will only ever deplete in value.
4) Tony Micelli, Who’s the Boss – a Roomba. You showed me that dads could be hands-on and sensitive while looking manly in an apron. Now sit down, kick off your shoes and kick back with a beer. Angela will never find out because we’ll just keep this secret between you, me and the autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner.
5) Fred Flinstone, The Flintstones – a gift card to The Hard Rock Cafe. Only the purest form of fatherly love could turn a belligerent loud-mouth into a big-hearted mushhead — remarkable when considering most Neanderthal fathers tried to eat their young. Now let’s stop-up that big mouth of yours with a big tasty bronto burger.
6) Ward Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver – a necktie. In most ways, you embodied the stereotypical 1950s dad. But despite Beaver’s worries that you’d give him the business, the business never went further than a calm, firm talking-to. Amazing composure for a Cold War parent! A new tie will have you looking sharp as you head to the office, leaving June to do whatever it is she does with her day.
7) Charles Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie – a Tetanus shot. It must’ve been hard doing all that tough pioneering stuff while Lockjaw lurked around every corner. For you I offer just a poke of the skin and some healthy peace of mind. The gift of life is on me this time, Pa.
8) Dr. Seaver, Growing Pains – a free psychoanalytic session. Dad, you’re in your head too much. You over-analyze everything. Why, right now you’re probably worrying about your son hanging out with a kid named Boner. And you should. But let’s probe further. Relax, settle back on the couch, and let’s take this from the beginning. It’s your turn now.
9) Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch – a man cave. Seriously, you’re caring for six kids! Six kids, an obnoxious nephew, a dog with fleas and a cat in hiding since episode one. And then there’s all the madness of class president campaigns, celebrity pop-ins, vacations from hell, pilgrim film reenactments, exploding volcano science projects. Need I continue? You need a place to hole up, away from the crazies. Alice has a man cave. Now you’ll have yours too.
10) Steven Keaton, Family Ties – a vacation to Colorado. You frolicked with the flower children at Woodstock — and then you went and procreated yourself a Nixon-worshiping Republican. I don’t know how you cope with the irony. You deserve a special excursion, a medicinal one. While away, tell a doctor about your “back injury” (wink, wink). Remember that the rest and relaxation must end when you reach airport security.