It’s Fathers Day again and no doubt as you read this I will be getting spoilt rotten by the Jam-Eater, much like the rest of the Dads in the world. When I was growing up, Fathers Day meant that I would pop to the shops and choose a card with my Mam (yup, Mam – I’m northern after all) and then later on rummage around my Dad’s toolbox and steal a hammer or screwdriver. This would then be wrapped up and given back to my Dad on Fathers Day. Surprise!
I’m so glad that I’m a Dad in the modern day as the range of gifts and cards are infinitely so much better than back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Fathers Day back then was all about the shit cards and the Argos catalogue.
Cards back then were properly shit. Like, really shit. They were only half effective if your Dad liked Darts, Tennis, Football, Beer or Formula One. Typically, my Dad liked Lawn Green Bowls and do you know how many cards featured Bowls on the front of them for Fathers Day? Fuck all. None. Not one.
The result of this was that due to the limited range of cards for Fathers Day this meant he couldn’t have a card with a hobby he didn’t like or partake in on them, so he got a plain generic Fathers Day card instead. More recently however, he did decide to take an interest in Fishing. Cheers Dad, only 20 years too late! If you don’t know what I am talking about see below for the generic ‘hobby’ greeting cards.
Of course move forward to more modern times and any card design you want is yours. Thanks to Moonpig.com (you sang that didn’t you) and the like, any type of card is at your disposal. Emma and I use these websites every Valentines’ Day and we have an ongoing competition to see who can get the filthiest card. I think I have won for the last few years. I really recommend a website called www.scribbler.com if you ever need a decent/smutty/filthy card as they have changed the game for Fathers Day along with several other websites. See below for example:
Now the gift part, this was a different ball game all together, but it was so much easier when you had pocket money and the 1992 Argos Catalogue at your disposal. Now until you look at this catalogue nearly 25 years later, you will notice how shit everything was back then. There are pages dedicated to carriage clocks and lighters and every kitchen ‘gadget’ would be beige or…beige. It looked like the Fathers Days of yesteryear were sponsored by Brut and Old Spice and the must have gifts were Darts, Parker Pens and Wallets.
Below is the gift section for Men in the 1992 catalogue.
For some reason Music Cassette and Video tape storage warranted a good three pages in and around the gift sections for Dads. I always thought that my Dad asked for Everton Mints and Black Bullets to make life easier, turns out in hindsight, he just wanted something he could enjoy and not have to feign happiness over a Remington Nasal Trimmer direct from page 251 of the Argos Catalogue.
As you can see, if you owned a time machine and went back to Fathers Day 1992 you would see that this day would be awash with Tankards, Brut, Wallets and Passport Holders. Sometimes if you wanted to tread away from the beaten gift path you could maybe treat the paternal figure in your life to a Parker Pen or a gent’s travel set (above)
Luckily thanks to the internet shit presents are now a thing of the past and presents are much easier to shop for and you can actually buy something for Fathers Day which he might actually enjoy. Also, if you have a spare ten minutes you may wish to view a copy of the 1986 Argos Catalogue which can be found at the link below, a post regarding the Toy section will be up in the coming weeks.
Happy Fathers Day to all you guys out there! Eat lots, watch the football, have a beer and be thankful you haven’t woken up to a Brut Gift Set.