I am not sure just how reliable statistics are, but politicians and pollsters seem to take stats seriously. A recent statistic about Father’s Day got national attention a week ago and, quite frankly, I would hope most fathers could have cared less.
National news media reported more money is spent on Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. My memory may be a little rusty on those recently published figures, but the “attention-getting” stats revealed Mother’s Day gifting averaged about $160-plus for mom while a gift for poor ol’ dad totaled “just” $140-plus.
I must be part of the old world because I never gave much thought if more money was spent on a mom’s gift over a gift for dad. In fact, since when did a price of a gift become a factor... unless it caused an overdraft of the bank account? It has become pretty “cheap” thinking when people are sizing up gifting by the dollar signs instead of the personal thoughts behind a gift.
As I look back over the years at my string of much appreciated Father’s Day gifts, many of those gifts are invaluable and I wouldn’t part with them for any amount of cash.
In my desk drawer are some tucked away cards, drawings and messages from when the boys were just learning how to print their names. We can even take a scan across our polished wood desktop and find a couple of highly valued gifts from Father’s Day past.
There’s a small, bright yellow, painted rock with the word “PaPERWaitE” etched across it in blue. On the right hand corner of the desk is a one pound Folgers coffee can wrapped in brown and gold string yarn. I must admit the yarn has become unraveled and now reveals a part of the Folgers brand name, but who cares. That Father’s Day gift will always grace that spot.
I would hope most fathers have cherished gifts such as those in their households or offices. I would also hope many mothers, too, have precious gifts given to them over the years by their offspring. Few, if any, of those moms and dads will ever part with those treasures. And I would also be willing to bet those same moms and dads are not going to consider whose gift cost more. * * *
I made a comment recently to one of the sons that, at one time, I thought it might be nice to retire in Florida. He smiled and then said, “Oh, you want to be one of the many ‘Q-tips’ who live in Florida?”
I asked what he meant by a “Florida Q-tip.”
He then explained, “Old guys with white hair and wearing white shoes are referred to as ‘Q-tips.’”
I guess I made the right decision and can handle being ribbed as a “Cornhusker” instead of a “Q-tip.”
So, toothpaste doesn't protect me from UV rays?
I guess you could call it a brain breakdown. I would rather lay the blame simply on a long, cold, and not too sunny spring that saw me needing to be covered with sun screen lotion only once or twice. The other morning I prepared to head outdoors to do some weed trimming and hurriedly applied lotion to my face. As I covered my face with the white stuff I thought the texture was a little thick, but reasoned it must be last year’s lotion. Upon examination, I discovered I had covered my face with toothpaste! Well, at least the lotion tasted good... and gave me cavity protection for my nonworking brain. * * * It’s no news to us there’s evidence that those politicians back in Washington have a good play on words. Over the Memorial Day break, which covered a period from May 24 to June 3, Congressional leaders called the time away a “work period.” Wall Street Journal columnist Corey Mitchell reported they already have accumulated 41 days of recess or, in our terms, “time off.” A House member justified the recess time saying they were working by directly communicating with the home folks, noting constituent wishes, giving speeches, doing fundraising, and other tasks needed on the local level. Mitchell summed it up in our terms when he said they were basically trying to drum up political support for the next election. That means there’s plenty of work to be done since a recent survey revealed only 10 percent of Americans feel the folks back in DC are doing a good job. * * * The playing field has become tilted when it comes to wealthy high school districts, compared to many rural districts. While there might be a few districts in Nebraska reflecting strong booster club financial balances, it is nothing compared to what is causing concerns in Minnesota, and particularly the metro area of Minneapolis-St Paul. A large Minneapolis suburban school booster club last year alone raised more than $372,000 for its high school sports program while a competing metro school resorted to buying “used uniforms” from still another district that had strong booster club cash flow. Now there’s evidence of a trickle-down effect. The booster club for a youth hockey club had more than $402,000 in revenue. It’s apparent many youth and high school programs have the potential to follow the financial practices of their collegiate peers. * * * The betterhalf reported that she always looked for her dream man. But, in the meantime, she married me.
Body not big enough for a walking billboard
Have you ever wondered how many people who wear tattoos wish they never had them? Judging by the number of people sporting tattoos, and particularly those individuals who have the name of their one-time girlfriend etched on the arm or chest, there’s got to be many searching for a tattoo removal parlor.
Once it was cool to have just a tattoo placed on an arm or chest. In fact, decades ago one tattoo was enough for anybody.
Now one tattoo placed on the arm or chest appears not enough for the majority of those who prefer to use their bodies for “art” studios. Tattoos seem to be plastered over all the exposed parts of the human body. It doesn’t take much of a vivid imagination to guess the placement of the tattoos on the remaining unexposed body parts.
Personally, I never had much desire to turn my body into a walking billboard and be the owner of a tattoo. When my cousin joined the Navy, he came home on his first shore leave sporting an anchor and the name of his aircraft carrier embedded on his bicep. My interest at that time for a tattoo was tempered by the fact I weighed 120 pounds and didn’t have a bicep large enough to be the drawing board of an anchor and the words, “USS Bennington.” I also carried enough scars and warts on my body that left no room for such a tattoo. In addition, I still get a smile today when I think of possibly coming home, showing my mom my new tattoo, and hearing the sin I committed by having my body marked for a lifetime. I could only guess what mom would say today (before she fainted) of me coming to see her with an earring, lip or nose piercing.
Speaking of today, when the demand for tattoos appears to be high, I would guess there is also a strong demand for tattoo removals. The tattoo parlors have the best of both worlds and as some say, “They get you coming and going.” That could mean if you are looking for a good investment for now and in the future, you may want to purchase stock in a tattoo shop. While it could cost you an arm and a leg, at least you’ll have something to show for it! * * *
The power of pictures is illustrated by the effectiveness of seed catalogs.
Father croaks over son’s special birthday request
A young father was discussing plans for a birthday celebration for his 7-year-old son and, after clearing several hurdles of compromises, came up with one that proved a toughie. The son had a special gift request. He wanted a frog for his birthday. More specifically, the boy wanted a “pet frog.”
The request even got a little more detailed. The birthday boy son asked to have a few tadpoles so he could watch his frog “being born” and then have the pick of the litter. The youngster’s request apparently had stemmed from an environmental classroom project underway at his grade school.
Attempting to sidetrack the birthday wish, the father later that evening went online via his computer only to discover frogs can live up to 10-14 years. Dad brought that information back to his son the next day hoping to talk the son into opting for something else for his birthday gift desire.
The son stood firm. After much debate, dad finally asked the boy, “When you go off to college who’s going to keep the frog?” Naturally the son had expected mom and dad to keep the frog at home while he was away to school.
“Well, I guess we could,” the frustrated father said. “But, you realize, when I go fishing I might have to use your pet frog for bait.”
After much thought, dad won out and the 7-year-old opted for his second choice. The elated father was not specific about that choice, but did say the boy liked cash. We hope for dad and mom’s sake, the son doesn’t take the cash and buy his own frog! * * * A publisher of a small circulation magazine was taken to task by an anonymous letter writer after the publisher refused to print the unsigned letter. The publisher replied in words that would delight any newspaper publisher. His reply:
“I do not publish anonymous letters and think that peer pressure actually corrects bad behavior in some cases. In my old age, I have decided to choose not to be offended very often, because I think that if I am offended it is my problem rather than the one who supposedly offended me.”
RL Furse is publisher emeritus of the News-Register