Father's Day 2010: Unexpected gift ideas

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John Daly wears outrageous golf pantsThis year, why not surprise Dad on Father's Day with something a bit more imaginative that a bottle of hooch or a singing fish? There are many other ways to show that that you, er, you know, um, love him. We've compiled 10 ideas that will outshine those perfunctory gifts your siblings buy at the drug store on the way to the celebration.

1. Guy flicks: Top 10
We're all familiar with the meaning of chick flick (chick flick = Sex In the City, Mama Mia, et al). But there are guy flicks, too, and not just ones that feature uninterrupted explosions and bouncy bosoms. Why not buy your old man a really good guy flick for Father's Day? Here are ten great guy-movie suggestions. Add your favorites in the comments section at the end of this post.

  1. The Great Escape
  2. This is Spinal Tap
  3. Fight Club
  4. Cat Ballou
  5. Seven
  6. Blazing Saddles
  7. Airplane
  8. Braveheart
  9. Pulp Fiction
  10. Bullit
2. Crazy golf pants
Human beings love colorful garb, but the workplace frowns on overt displays by men, preferring us to dress in shades of boring gray. This is why men who golf lunge at the opportunity to dress like peacocks while hacking through 18 holes. For those men who enjoy showing their fashion side, no place offers the stunning array of outlandish fashion like Outstanding Golf Pants. Shagadelic prints, tiger stripes, houndstooth, the colors and designs are too mind-boggling to describe while sober.

3. Prostate exam coupon
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 200,000 men developed prostate cancer in 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available. 28,372 men died of the disease. Yet millions of American dads go without an exam, many because the procedure is a fraction as uncomfortable as that a woman experiences in the office of her OB-GYN.

If you love your dad, encourage him to have the checkup. Perhaps this certificate could help you open a dialogue with your father about its importance. Don't let him become a statistic too.

Click on the coupon to bring up a larger version to print. Then make arrangements with the doctor of your choice to pay the tab when you father takes you up on the offer.4. Car detailing
Many dads are car guys, and car guys appreciate a clean, shiny ride. They may not, however, appreciate the time and spine contortions necessary to keep their car up to these standards. An excellent gift would be to detail his car for him. This includes a wash and wax, applying a dressing to rubber tires and trim, sweeping and (if necessary) shampooing the interior, and cleaning the inside plastic and windows.

Looking for more of a "write a check" idea? A gift certificate for a car detailing will be most welcome. Don't, however, let them put a scent in the car; many dudes (like me) can't stand to get into a car that smells like pina colada.

5. Steak and the accessories to cook it right
For dads who are meat-eaters, the grill is their place to shine. A cold beer, a slab of meat and a summer afternoon can lead to a great time (or a drunk dropping burned meat into the pool, but let's not dwell on that picture.) Perhaps your pop would like to take on the ultimate grilling challenge; the legendary Japanese Kobe beef steak.

The cuts from the most mollycoddled cows in the world are said to be the most succulent, and certainly are priced accordingly. Two six-ounce filet mignons from Allen Brothers (ordered over the Internet) will set you back $115.95, or about a buck a chew. I'd suggest grilling these dead sober.

To cook them properly, your dad needs the best grilling equipment. Brookstone sells a lovely complete set of professional BBQ tools, including temperature probe, in a handsome case for $100.

6. Take him out to the ball game
All of these items are fine, but what most dads would really appreciate on Father's Day is the gift of your time. However, many guys have trouble sitting at home trying to carry on a face-to-face conversation. Take them to a baseball game, though, and you'll find you've struck a seam of memories that will have you both smiling. Stadiums now sell special "all you can eat" seats, which might be worth it if your dad is a devotee of ball park food.

And make sure to take your mitt along; I don't care how old you dad is, he'll still get a secret thrill out of receiving a real major league foul ball as a present.

7. Ergonomic lounger
Sometimes all Dad wants after a long work week is some horizontal time in the tranquility of his back yard or pool. However, the usual options such as a hammock (can one get in and out of one without looking uncoordinated?) or typical lounger are as likely to kink one's back as provide restful sleep. The Ergonomic Beach Lounger from Hammacher Schlemmer is made to caress his weary body, and lighten your wallet by $169.95. Nothing says "Dad" like those Sunday afternoon snoring sessions in the comfort of a good piece of lawn furniture.

8. Wallet-sized family picture
Many guys don't care to fill the top of their desks or work benches with family photos. I suppose it's a vestige of the warrior instinct, not revealing your soft spot to potential enemies. Men do, however, carry photos of loved ones in their wallet (or, nowadays, their cell phone). Take a nicely-composed group photo of the wife, kids, and other loved ones and make a nice print in the size that fits his wallet. If his wallet is due for replacement, you could even buy him a new one with the photo already in place.

9. Model cars
The thing about model cars and guys is that they received their first model car kit when they were too young and clumsy to walk and chew gum at the same time, and the model they built showed it. Now that they're older and have learned to work carefully, though, they could likely do a bang-up job with a model car kit. Everything depends, however, on finding the right kit for him. Find out what cars he's enjoyed owning, and which ones he's dreamed about buying. Kits of those cars might give him great enjoyment on those long winter evenings.

10. Magazine from the day/week of his birth

This is a gift that will grow in interest as your father ages. If he's a boomer, look on eBay for a Look or Life magazine from the week of his birth. It will be full of post-war news, advertisements for products that he grew up with, and stories about figures important to the world at that time but now forgotten. For younger dads, Time or Newsweek will serve the same purpose. The world continues to change at an astonishing rate, and a magazine can help him remember where the journey of life began and appreciate those who are traveling along with him.
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