TINY TOOLS: But handy for pop.
Sure, sure, I’m cutting it a little close. But I have no doubt there are plenty of wives and children out there who still haven’t figured out what to get the dads in their lives for Father’s Day. Or, horrors, who might even have forgotten about it altogether.
So I’ve stolen a page from Cargo, the men’s shopping magazine, and gathered a few gift ideas for an array of Dad types, all available at local stores and most under $30. It was hard work, I’ll tell you. So hard that I bought three things for myself along the way.
Without further ado:
Golfing Dad: I stopped in at Golf Headquarters and was almost blinded by the boxes of Nike “Mojo” golf balls ($19/dozen). I have no clue how they perform, but the swirly metallic packaging certainly catches the eye. For the golfer you wish spent more time in the kitchen, there’s a golf-design apron ($15) and oven mitt ($6). And the coup de grace, the Golfer’s Crotch Hook, a contraption meant to instill that keep-your-head-down lesson through the use of extreme physical unpleasantness.
Workaholic Dad: Monogrammed leather paperweights ($22) at Open House or a small hand-carved stone desk clock ($22) from Ten Thousand Villages.
Cocktail Dad: The Design Center’s the place to go. My favorites: The padded, insulated BYOBag ($16-$20), made to safely transport one or two bottles of wine or a six-pack; and, if he’s got a slightly goofy sense of humor, a brightly-colored ghostly/demon-shaped bottle opener ($18). It’s both cute and slightly disturbing.
New and/or Nervous Dad: Wordsworth Books’ parenting section has a few choice offerings. Try “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Being an Expectant Father” ($10) or “Catch a Fish, Throw a Ball, Fly a Kite: 21 Timeless Skills Every Child Should Know” ($13). This one also has instructions for baking an apple pie, playing with a blade of grass and building a sandcastle.
Forgetful Dad: A wall-mounted paper-roll memo pad ($20) at the Design Center. Write your list, pulling paper from the roll as needed, then rip it off when it’s time to go to the store.
Yard-rat Dad: The coolest wind chime I’ve ever seen. It’s a Prairie design — think Frank Lloyd Wright — with square copper-colored chimes and a clapper with a piece of glass on the end painted like a Prairie-school stained glass window. It’s $38, but it’s a worthy budget-buster.
GQ and/or Smelly Dad: Caswell-Massey toiletries, including a sampler set of five tiny cologne bottles ($22) and other assorted soaps and potions. Or try a sandalwood-scented bar of handmade vegetable soap from Ten Thousand Villages ($4).
Gourmet Dad: Boxed-set pepper mill, pepper and basting brush from Williams Bounds, ($32) from Open House.
Mr. Mom Dad: “How to Be a Domestic Goddess,” by Nigella Lawson ($35), at the Design Center.
Tool-time Dad: Handymen never have enough hand tools, because no matter what they need at any given time, the odds of them being able to find it are slim to none. I witness this phenomenon weekly at my own house. A quick run through Fuller & Sons hardware store turned up an 11-piece wrench set ($25), a 25-foot tape measure ($9) and vise grips ($13 and $17). Or plan ahead and get him a Dremel multipurpose power tool — buy the basic model ($38 at Fuller) and give him attachments for every Father’s Day, birthday and Christmas for the next 40 years.
Gadget Dad: Mini-toolkit, $20. Screwdriver bits, a square/level, socket set, tape measure and X-acto-type knife, all packed into a tiny metal suitcase, or a hammer-shaped multipurpose tool hammer ($19), both at Open House. I also saw a cool-looking swivel-head flashlight at Fuller ($23). It’s got a base, so it doesn’t need holding — very nice for jobs where both hands are needed.
Bookworm Dad: Try “1776,” the latest accessibly written history book by Pulitzer-winner David McCullough ($32) or “Saturday,” Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan’s new novel ($26).
No, Dad, I didn’t get you any of these.