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Fathers' Day
by Jan Sand
2006-11-13 10:09:42
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The designation of a day to honor something or another has odd implications. As a generality it might indicate that the object was valued for only one day among the hundreds in a year to be worthy of contemplation. On that basis, it does not seem much of an honor. But, what the hell, that’s better than no thought at all.

Most special days, like Christmas or Easter or Independence Day or Pig’s Ear Day, have a basket of specifics to stimulate action and thought. At Christmas we honor commerce and tart up evergreen trees and Christ and boxes of chocolates and, above all, Santa Claus and reindeers.

Easter is concerned with jellybeans and artistic eggs and rabbits. Perhaps Christ is in there too, but it’s mostly rabbits – especially chocolate ones. I’ve never seen a chocolate Christ and I have no idea what biting off his head might imply.

Independence Day deals mostly with flags here in Helsinki, but July 4 in Brooklyn was a bit livelier. Back in New York in the early-30s, fireworks were illegal so we kids had to know certain stores where the gangster owners sold us red devils and cherry bombs and firecrackers and rockets in a back room in a kind of gunpowder version of a speakeasy.

Thus equipped, we kids (I was about four or five) blew tin cans sky high (the sky was lower in those bygone days) and practiced holding the firecracker until the fuse burnt way down before tossing it. I still have all my fingers so I presume I was competent. At night, it was all roman candles and rockets and sparklers - nothing better for kids if you survived.

Evolutionary survival of the fittest was very busy in those days. Unlike today, Christ had nothing to do with patriotism then. But, of course, patriotism had little to do with that fabulous day either. It was mostly noise and exploding bright lights, which was quite sufficient.

On Pig’s Ear Day, we all try to turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse. We never quite manage it, but we never stop trying. Formally, of course, it’s know as Election Day and the torrents of pigs' ears attempting to enter Congress or Parliament (or whatever your version of democracy calls its official debating society) attempting to become silk purses never ceases. Very occasionally, one manages that magic transformation, so perhaps it’s worth the effort.

But then, of course, to simmer down the men who feel neglected by Mothers' Day, we have invented Fathers' Day. My father assured me that Mothers' Day was invented by the florists, but betrayed no secrets about the lobby that created Fathers' Day - logically, it was the pharmaceutical firm that created Viagra. Fathers' Day preceded the invention of Viagra by many decades, so its inception must remain a secret. Perhaps the information is buried deep in CIA files. Still in this area, it’s surprising there is no Non-Mothers' Day and no Non-Fathers' Day sponsored by the very wealthy contraception industry. In contrast to Fathers' Day, the gifts would be obvious.

But seriously, Fathers' Day gifts present a problem. Flowers are out of the question. If the kids are young and howling and destructive and the wife is distraught, a permanent prescription for tranquilizers might do the trick. As the children mature into revolting teenagers and the wife becomes more demanding and perhaps casting an unfaithful eye towards younger and more potent males something stronger is obviously demanded.

Perhaps a strait jacket would do.

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Asa2006-11-12 10:28:37
Fathers' Day and Mothers' Day should be combined into Parents' Day because it takes two to tango.

Thanos2006-11-12 14:01:04
I definitely like this: " Perhaps a strait jacket would do" It works with every father!!! :)

susan2006-11-14 00:18:01
I like it - Parents' Day!!!!

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