By Larry Schiro
In today’s mail arrived a 12-page color advertisement from a local home center and my morning paper included their rival store to kick off the Father’s Day sales frenzy. Others are soon to follow.
This week brings the flurry of ads to coax children and spouses to run out and get those gifts for America's dads. I immediately began reading through the 12 pages to see what treasures are being offered at those whopping low prices. I felt like the Sears Catalog arrived again before Christmas in my youth. I began to salivate over what my children and wife will surprise me with on Father’s Day. Page 1 caught my attention with those incredible must-have items for us fathers.
Who could resist receiving a shiny red air compressor, or a new shop vac. Drills and weed whackers also grace Page 1. My challenge is how do I subliminally plant the image in my daughters’ minds to “surprise” me with an air compressor? I really don’t want one or know what I would do with it anyhow.
There are gifts under $99: shelving, drills and a 227-part tool kit. I don’t think I have ever owned 227 tools at once. The opportunity to own that many tools makes my mind swirl.
In my house, my wife and children have always hidden the 10 tools that I do own. When I start a home repair, my wife secretly calls the professional repair man to arrive just in time to bail me out of some repair that I am totally unprepared to complete. Imagine if I had 227 tools to start fixing things. No need for that repairman, right honey?
That air compressor? I haven’t figured out what I would use that one for. Maybe the 227 tools connect to the compressor, after all they are next to each other on Page 1. There must be a connection here.
The ad continues with these gifts every man must have. Who can resist owning a red 42-inch-cut riding lawn mower? That hot baby would make me the envy of the neighborhood, and there are six models to choose from.
I think I’ll leave a picture of the turbo-charged model I would like to have on the kitchen table. Someone in my family might get the hint, right? I don’t think so, my rather modest yard would make this mower impractical, but it sure would look nice in my garage and red would match my car’s color.
The rest of the ad continues with those other items every father has always wanted. Garden hoses, leaf blowers, more tools and saws of every kind. Sanders, tape measures and miter saws. Oh my, what kind of damage can I do with a reciprocating saw?
This ad is chock full of all those things that every father wants: ladders, storage sheds and roofing shingles. Imagine the horrified look on my wife if I got a ladder and roofing shingles. Call the roofer, “hubby is way over his head.”
Yes, Father’s Day is a marketer’s dream, not like the old days when we would all get a necktie and a card. Children and wives now buy things that every father and husband has wanted or not.
I am so excited anticipating what will be given to me on Father’s Day. Likely it will be a bag of charcoal as grilling is in my wheelhouse, not roofing.
Now my advice to those celebrating their first Father’s Day: You can still leave Page 1 open, circled with those must-haves. You might get that 227-tool kit.
Larry Schiro is a retired chemistry teacher from the Williamsville Central School District.