Father’s Day. It’s that time of the year when people think it would be great to get their dad a nice gift or, better yet, set aside some time and give him a day to spend with his family. (Side note: almost universally, what the man really wants is to just be left alone.)
Speaking on behalf of children, I honestly believe it’s not our collective fault. I blame the calendar makers or whichever U.S. president decreed that there must be a national day to recognize fathers. Since there is a celebration, there inevitably have to be gifts. How else is one to put a smile on the old man’s face?
How does a person celebrate that man in their life who always seems aggravated? The one who’s constantly telling you you’re doing it wrong and proceeds to instruct you how you should be going about it, ultimately offering just another wrong way of doing it?
Well, there are 2 ways to approach this: you could either read up on dad gift ideas he’ll really want or revel in the mishaps of others who shot for the moon but ended up hitting the closest raccoon. If you prefer the former, I say Godspeed on your quest. If the latter, read on.
Great! You stayed. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. As I always say, the happiest one can be is based on the misery of others. I present to you a spate of Father’s Day gifts gone wrong. Enjoy!
My worst Father’s Day
I’ll start. The worst Father’s Day gift I ever got was a trip to Yosemite National Park. The trip itself was amazing. We stayed at a great hotel, took the bus to the park, and had an incredible time hiking around with some friends. It was a fantastic gift for Father’s Day.
Until, that is, the moment our rust bucket of a bus broke down about 40 minutes from the exit of the park and 50 minutes from our hotel (about 13 miles away). Even worse, this was the last bus out for the day, and according to our remarkably uncivil bus driver, it was going to take 3 or 4 hours for another bus to come and get us.
Not only was this terrible from a “bears live in these woods” perspective, but my kid and his buddy had endured a long day of physical activity so they could spend the evening frolicking in the pool, eating s’mores, and playing in the game room. Now both father and son were hugely disappointed. I should probably mention that when given the choice earlier that morning of driving into the park ourselves or taking the bus, I said, “Let’s take the bus. 100%!” So I also felt like a dumbass.
After much deliberation, the wives and the kids hopped off the bus and got a ride from a stranger. That’s right, they hitchhiked out of Yosemite. They left us, dads, the honorees of the weekend, to fend off bears and stress over our families’ safety, lack of cell service adding to the agony of picturing all sorts of murder scenarios. It seems we weren’t being totally ridiculous because the bus driver turned to us and asked as the car drove away, “You wrote down that license plate number, right?” (We didn’t.)
In the end, they made it to the hotel safe, and the kids were only 57 minutes late for their date with the pool. As for us dads, we met some nice German people and let them ride in our hotel shuttle.
This was my worst Father’s Day fail. No one’s fault, really (ahem). Not a bad dad gift, just a terrible couple of hours that will be part of the family Father’s Day lore for many years to come. It goes to show you that fate can spoil Father’s Day just as much as, say, bad gifts.
Bad dad gifts
Speaking about bad gifts, let’s dig into some really bad dad gifts. They’re out there, and if you’re not careful, you might find yourself buying your dad something like a chest hair toupee – a gift that’s not only embarrassing but also a waste of money.
Here are a few things to avoid when considering gifts for the dads in your life. These are just a handful of the worst Father’s Day gifts of all time. Enjoy (or cringe)!
- Giant cement block kits-Like this garden craft kit. It’s not an inherently bad idea to have the kid’s handprints or footprints preserved in cement forever. However, this kit says, “Here’s something that will sit in the garage until you put forth the annoying effort that we clearly didn’t want to put forth ahead of time!”
- Toilet golf-For a dad who loves golf, why not get him this novelty gift that allows him to play golf…while on the toilet? Because it’s gross! This might seem like a funny Father’s Day gift, but he’ll never use it. What true golf lover would?
- Beer hat-The classic “my dad might be an alcoholic” gift. Hilarious.
- Power tools-This one seems like a great idea, but it’s really not. First of all, he probably already has whatever power tool you get him. If you poked around to make sure he didn’t already have one and came up empty, that’s probably because the neighbor borrowed your dad’s power saw 6 months ago. On the off chance you get him a tool he doesn’t already have, all your gift says is, “Hey, get off your lazy ass and fix the screen door already!”
- This hair thing-Not only will it rub your dad’s hair loss in his face, but it’ll make him look like Guy Fieri. Which, without the fun food, might not be the best look.
- Mugs–Be they toilet mugs, the world’s best farter mugs, or a mug with sexually inappropriate content, best to leave them be and just let the man drink his coffee out of his favorite Spiderman mug.
- A coupon book for hugs-Nothing screams “I forgot to get you something” like a homemade coupon book. Cute in theory, lame in practice. Also, if your dad needs to present a coupon in order to get a hug, it points to a whole lot of childhood neglect issues. No one wants to be reminded of that on Father’s Day.
- Tickets to a concert by your favorite bands-“Oh wow! We’re going to see the Backstreet Boys with special guest BTS? Uh…Why?!”
- Something stupid for his desk–A tiny little punching bag? He’ll never use it. As we all know, one lame desk novelty gift will beget more lame desk novelty gifts. It will all end in clutter. However, there are actually cool things to get him for his workspace, like this amazing pen holder. Do some digging!
- Make-your-own-beer kits–Ugh! Yes, I get why this seems like a great gift, but unless your dad wants to dedicate his life to brewing craft beer, whatever he produces with one of these kits will take way too long and taste way too disgusting. Give him a six-pack of beer that was brewed by experts. He’ll appreciate it more.
Father’s Day card fails
What’s better than a homemade card from a kid? Probably nothing, but for the love of God, proofread them first and redo if necessary.
These are a few of the greatest examples I could find of Father’s Day cards fail.
Here’s a card made by a kid that uses some, uh, creative stickering as its base.
Here’s one that reveals a little too much about daddy’s habits.
And here’s a really great one that reveals a little too much of…daddy.
Father’s Day is right around the corner. How you choose to celebrate your old man is up to you. I hope I was at least able to provide enough cautionary tales to give you pause when you’re about to hit the “submit order” button.
Remember, dads are people, too. They just seem bothered and annoyed by everything all the time but deep down, they’re really just big teddy bears who are so proud of their kids. Also know that it only takes one bottle of bacon cologne for him to chuck that pride out of the window.