My father is 75 today!
My arithmetic-loving son wants permission to get out of class to call his arithmetic-loving grandfather to wish him a happy birthday at 12:12 PM today. You know, because he is missing out right now on account of having to go to sleep.
“Stuff like this only happens to certain people!” Tech reminded me. “You have to recognize it!”
Turns out TechSupport is right.
December, 12, 2012 or 12-12-12 will be the last date of its kind – when all three numericals in a date are the same – until January, 1, 2101. That’s 88 years from now.
However, there is a bit of a dark cloud looming over my father’s big celebration. You know, the thing about the world ending in 9 days — on December 21, 2012? We have all heard this prediction by now, yes?
It occurred to me that the usual gift I give my dad might not be the best choice this year. See, I usually make my father a calendar each December featuring photographs of family members. But if my dad only has 9 days to enjoy his present, I figured, what’s the point?
I started brainstorming
cheap gifts other options that might be good to give my father, assuming the world is going to end in a little over a week.
Here’s what I have come up with:
1. Fruit From Harry & David. Because nothing says “I love you” like Royal Riviera Pears. I’m pretty sure my father could polish off a box of 9 pears in 9 days. On second thought, maybe I’ll just spring for the box of 6. Dad isn’t big on wasting things.
2. Tickets to a Show. Gotta tell ya. There isn’t much going on in Syracuse in the way of entertainment right now. But I think my dad would enjoy getting jiggy to some Gaelic music. He might love Enter the Haggis, scheduled to perform at the Westcott Theater a few days before things get ugly.
3. A Gift Card to A Local Deli & Ice Cream Shoppe. My father stopped eating red meat and dairy over 20 years ago when he learned he had high cholesterol. Knowing he has just 9 days left, I’d bring my dad to a great deli and make start with a toasted sesame bagel loaded with twice the cream cheese. I’d encourage him to stick around for a hot corned beef sandwich with mustard for lunch. If he is a good boy and polishes off his hot pastrami & brisket and his knish, I’d send him to Carvel for a brownie sundae. Surely, this is not the time to be heart smart. Or kosher.
4. Sex Toys. With only a few days left to live, why hold back? I’m thinking it’s time for my dad to pull out the silk scarves and try at least five of the Fifty Shades with my mother. You know, if they aren’t already doing that.
5. Drugs. My father has never inhaled. With only a few days left on the planet, I would get him a baggy filled with green sticky bud, rustle up some magic mushrooms, maybe haul out that betel nut I’ve been saving for a rainy day, and give it to my father to share with my mother. What’s to lose? Those two crazy kids can stare at their hands for hours. They can ride unicorns down the rainbow or chat with imaginary parrots. Hell, they can take naked pictures of themselves rubbing food onto the green velvet wallpaper that’s been hanging in the hall since 1963. If they ration carefully, they can enjoy themselves for 9 days straight and never come down.
Of course, I don’t really believe the world is going to end on December 21st.
That’s why it is now necessary to smother my father in a some genuine daughter-love.
- Thanks for coming to all my gymnastics meets and dance recitals, Dad. I felt your love radiating from the stands.
- Thanks him for poking your pointer finger into the middle of my back. You definitely trained me to stand up straight.
- Thanks for yelling at me that time I threw away the pennies. You were right. It was an ungrateful thing to do, and small change really does add up.
- Remember the time that you sat me on a raft in the Atlantic Ocean, and I was scared, and you promised you wouldn’t let go… and you didn’t. Thanks for teaching me about trust. I know you do not make idle promises.
- I need you to know that I could listen to you talk about anything for hours. That you set the standard against which I measure every man. That you taught me about learning from doing. About finishing what I start, whether the outcome is good or bad.
- About standing by one’s partner, when everything is blue skies and cotton candy – but also when the toilet is over-flowing and there is poop everywhere you turn.
Oh, I also need to tell my dad that when I saw him on Saturday, I removed a particular object from his desk. The desk that he is careful to keep just so. Unfortunately, I cannot tell him which item I took or where I put it.
At first, he will freak out, but eventually he will realize that I am joking.
Like I’m joking about these crappy gifts.
We got my dad something cool, and – G-d willing — he will be able to enjoy it as he watches the next Syracuse basketball game, scheduled for December 27th.
Happy birthday, Dad.
And congratulations on making it to ¾ of a century.
Whatever you are doing, please keep doing it.
PS: By the way, that thing we got you? That’s your Hanukkah present, too. No calendar this year. You know, just in case. So don’t hold your breath.
What gift would you recommend giving to someone whose special day falls between now and Armageddon?
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