A mate of mine has been looking after his four year old son while his wife has gone back to part time work on weekends. An Eastern suburbs larrikin and mad punter, he keeps young Billy entertained on Saturday afternoons by taking him to see the horses at the “Randwick Zoo.”
My mate is continuing the long Australian tradition of subverting parenting to suit his own needs. Dressing up “Dad time” as a family excursion.
Most of us have been unknowing victims of this at some stage. The most common featured the old man passing off a trip to the pub to drink with his mate as an opportunity to spoil junior with raspberry lemonade and a packet of chips.
Little do they know that those little salt and vinegar tainted fingers file these experiences away and revenge comes in the form of Father’s Day.
This is the reason Father’s Day is rubbish, an annual tribute where paternal sins are repaid with ambivalence, disinterest and cheap cologne.
Initially a pagan festival to thanks the Gods for the seed of man, Father’s Day got off to a wonky start when a disgruntled young Saxon druid gave his Pa a pair of early model Crocs made out of a petrified badger.
If Mother’s Day is the Olympics of family celebrations, Father’s Day doesn’t even qualify as the Commonwealth Games. It’s more like a pre tournament qualifier with Tonga, a complete non-event. On that second Sunday in May our major arterials are littered with roadside stalls selling crappy Chrysanthemums for Mums.
There is no such equivalent for Dad’s. We don’t even warrant some insane bloke from Bilpin flogging discount twin blade razors and novelty golf hats from the boot of his Holden Camira.
The reason? Grown up kids don’t really care. Let’s face it have you ever avoided a hangover out of respect for the old man? ‘I know it’s 3am and I should go home but seriously, when I was 10 he tried to fix my sprained ankle with WD40”
Local restaurants and pub bistros never have signs saying “Book now for Father’s Day lunch” There is such a lack of regard for the day that I bet you could get a last minute table Tetsuya’s on September 4 with two for one meals, kids eating for free and a complimentary shuttle from Central.
When I was in primary school a week before Mother’s Day they’d hold a stall where for the princely sum of 50 cents you could buy Mum a dried flower arrangement, handcrafted by a Tonia Toddman wannabe, high on Aquadere fumes. Come September, there was never a stall for Dads
Maybe Dad’s deep down don’t really care about being fussed about or have simply worked out an uneasy détente. Allow me to watch the Dragons in peace and don’t take money from my wallet and we’ll call it quits.
Happy Father’s Day.