My poor children. For the last month, they’ve been bombarded with commercials telling them what I want for Father’s Day. They’ve offered me the following ideas – a day on a race track, aftershave, an electric razor, a hot air balloon ride, a remote controlled helicopter, some whisky, because Manly Matters.
None of these ideas came from me – they are not my fantasies. They are the fantasies that the marketing industry has managed to persuade my children that I have. So they offer them to me, obediently.
It has almost got the point that I think I ought to want something like this – just to keep them happy. But that would be insane.
So I’m suspicious of the gifts I get. Are they really what my children think I want, or have they been influenced by adverts? Father’s Day, after all, is a concocted ‘Hallmark Holiday’ devised to sell more stuff.
So I’m determined to resist. I’ve asked for what I really want, and I think it is what they really want too. And I’ve got the evidence that it is the right thing to ask for: UNICEF in their recent report on child happiness found that what I’m asking for makes children most happy. I’m not just doing it to please them, of course – I love it too.
I want to spend the day with them outdoors. It will probably rain, but if it does, we’ll play their new game. They stand under a smallish tree, and I shake it, sending a torrent of drops down onto them*.
It is fun, free, and good for you. Nature – the perfect Father’s Day Gift.
Oh, and some whisky too, please.
*We learned the game from the wonderful film Totoro
PROJECT WILD THING will be coming to a PICTUREHOUSE CINEMA near you soon.
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