Friday 02 Dec 2016

Father's Day
Jennifer Flaten

It's late Friday and we are charging into Target. Once inside we make a beeline for the greeting card aisle.

Like usual, we waited until the last minute to go out shopping for a special occasion.

We run behind on all holidays, birthdays and special events.

I blame this on the kids, before kids I sent out holiday cards weeks before the holiday (Christmas cards out December 2nd). I remembered birthdays, anniversaries and I acknowledged all births, new homes and graduations.

After kids, I am lucky if I get the kids a birthday card/gift let alone some far flung relative.

This time our last-minute shopping trip is for Father's Day.

Now, I know Target won't have a fantastic selection of cards, but going to a "card" store would require an extra stop and I am all about one stop shopping.

Besides, cards are a little pricey these days.

I mean come on $3.00, for a paper card?

I am as sentimental as all hell, but even I can't see spending that much on something that stands a good chance of ending up in the ashcan after reading. Well, I don't throw them out; in fact, I have a whole drawer full of cards, but that is beside the point.

Anyway, because I am cheap, when the kids need a card for birthday party, I make them buy from the .99-cent rack. Come on, who doesn't do that? It's for a kid!

Needless to say, the first thing I check on a card is the price then I read the sentiment.

I began looking over the cards, my attention fractured as usual.

You try selecting the perfectly funny card; because I always get funny cards, the only cards I get that are even vaguely sentimental are condolence cards, with three kids rampaging through the card display.

During card, selection the kids bombarded me with "read this one, read this one".

Let me just say, most kids choose a card based solely on how cute the animal on the cover is; occasionally they choose one because it has a beloved cartoon character on the front.

Usually, I only have to worry about the kids ripping the card as they snatch it from their sibling in their haste to share it with me.

Although, now that they can read, I worry that they will inadvertently pick a risqué card and quiz me about what it means right there in Target.

Falling victim to the cute animal syndrome, I select one with a cute little dog on the cover. I open it and find a fart joke.

Uh, I am not sure how cute dog = fart joke, but whatever.

Okay on to the next card. Fart joke there too. How about another one, one with a sweet faced kid on the cover....Yep, you guessed it fart joke.

I heave a big sigh.

I know Dad's and men in general don't wear their hearts on their sleeves, and I know being overly mushy and gushy isn't manly, but enough with the fart jokes already.

Okay, see this whole topic has me writing the word f-a-r-t too many times.

It goes without saying these particular cards are a hit with the kids. At one point the kids were giggling so loud, I feared permanent banishment was imminent.

Seriously, I don't think the greeting card companies give men enough credit; conversely, perhaps I am willing to give them too much credit.

However, really, I think they might appreciate humour that isn't gas related.

Now I know that kids are giving a majority of the cards, and we all know what kind of humour kids like (see previous paragraphs).

Still, could we throw a few other jokes or puns into the mix? Personally, I love a good pun-yes; I realize that is an oxymoron.

I guess I should be happy that since this is a holiday dedicated to children and families precious few of the cards had women with large breasts on them.

Think I am exaggerating? Then you haven't cruised the guy's birthday card aisle in awhile. Trust me; it is one-hooter card after another.

I know the men out there are thinking-and this is a bad thing? Nope, it was just an observation.

Just like the observation that Father's Day gets precious little advertising attention.

Compare the run up to Father's Day, close your eyes and you miss it, against the run up to Mother's Day, which goes on forever.

Jewelry, flowers, handbags, perfume and cell phones, you name it their selling it to mom.

Poor men their advertising is crammed into a corner on the back page of the circular.

For Father's day, you see a couple ads for cell phones, and maybe a couple restaurants advertising their steaks. Yep, meat and phones sums up the potential gift list for Father's day.

Apparently, presents for dad aren't a real big deal. Ehh, makes sense, who needs a present for dad when you have a great fart joke card?

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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