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YES! Weekly’s top ten Father’s Day gifts

by Brian Clarey

A ballgame

Trust us, your dad wants to go to a baseball game on Father’s Day. It’s a time-honored tradition, entwining our national pastime with our daddy complex. And tickets are still available. Slugger Gaby Sanchez may be sidelined with a broken hand, but the Greensboro Grasshoppers host a 5 p.m. game at First Horizon Park on Father’s Day against the Lexington Legends. There’ll be a pre-game catch for parents and children on the field before the game and they can run the bases afterward. During the game it’ll be peanuts, Cracker Jack, the whole bit.

A necktie

When all else fails, your dad will still appreciate a good necktie, even if he believes neckties to be a symbol of corporate enslavement, just a ridiculously expensive, ornamental silk noose that The Man forces him to cinch tight around his throat each day. Like a dog. If you’re going the tie route, avoid ‘“big lunch’” styles, anything thin and leather with piano keys on it or, as Esquire magazine put it, ‘“the paintings of dead rock stars.’” Bolos, presumably, are still okay.

Cologne

Cologne is the kind of thing that most men (especially the ones not named Vinnie) do not buy for themselves. And usually with good reason: most men are not qualified to buy fragrances ‘— that’s why the Sex Panther bit from Anchorman (‘“made from real bits of panther, so you know it’s good!’”) was so funny. Again we defer to Esquire and recommend Gucci por Homme, about $45 for 1.7 ounces, which has notes of white pepper, papyrus and leather and ‘“smells like the cologne you stole from your grandfather and then started buying.’”

A gadget

Sure, nobody needs funky electronic gadgets, but everybody with even trace amounts of testosterone yearns to get his hands on a cutting-edge piece of technology. The coolest gear we uncovered were the Razrwire Bluetooth sunglasses by Oakley (about $300), very badass shades that have a headset in one of the arms and will make dad look like a Matrix-era Keanu Reeves without the fly-catching slackjaw. These go great with leather pants. But then, what doesn’t?

A grill

Not all dads like to char meat in their backyards, but we think everybody would like to take a spin behind the Fire Magic Elite 50 (about $7,000) the most expensive gas grill we could find in less than 10 minutes on the internet. This stainless steel baby’s got 1,056 square inches of cooking space, eight burners, twin backburner rotisseries and it generates enough BTUs to cremate Pavarotti.

Lawn equipment

Even dads who live in condos dream of big, angry power mowers that can cut a lawn down to size like Stephen Colbert at the Washington Press Corps dinner. And because nothing’s too good for your dad, we suggest the Ariens Zoom 2560XL 992063 zero-turning-radius mower (about ($7,600), the Cadillac of the breed. With a 25-horsepower engine, this sucker can go about 10 mph and handle 5.4 acres of lawn an hour. It eats push mowers for breakfast.

Power tools

A tip: Never, ever buy your mother or wife cleaning products for Mother’s Day. But power tools for Father’s Day are okay. Nobody knows why. This year get him something that can take down a refrigerator: the Makita SC190DWDE 18-Volt Cordless Rebar Cutter ($1,911.49 on amazon.com, marked down from $4,161). To be honest, we are not sure of the practical applications for this thing. We only know that we need one desperately.

Down time

It’s not that we dads don’t want to be ensconced in the bosom of our families on Father’s Day. We do. But maybe, just maybe, some of us would like to sneak off for a couple of hours and have a little ‘“alone time.’” You know, to contemplate the whole ‘“Dad’” thing. Or maybe just sack out in front of the TV. Let’s hope my own wife, who finds Sunday afternoon couch naps to be deeply offensive, gets the hint.

Theater

Why not trot your old man out on the town for a night of live-action drama? At the Broach (520 S. Elm St.; 336.378.9300) they’re showing Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Triad Stage has a pay-what-you-can showing of The Matchmaker at 7:30 and a 10:30 performance of Morticians in Love. And if he falls asleep with his mouth hanging open, just let him be. It’s Father’s Day, after all.

Hugs and kisses, and

maybe a homemade card

Seriously, though I certainly don’t speak for all dads, I can say with relative certainty that all most of us want this June 18 is to love and be loved by our families, and perhaps see a modicum of thanks for all the things we do ‘— the good things, like drive carpools, fix leaks, change diapers, load car trunks and kill spiders and not the bad things like leave smelly socks by the sofa or forget to take out the garbage.

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