One of the funniest editorial cartoons I saw this year shows a dad wearing only a skirt, headpiece and vest piece all made of ties!

One kid standing behind him tells his sister, "I think dad's hinted that he doesn't want another tie for father's day."

It's a good line. Growing up, cookie-cutter gifts like that were standard fare for a dopey kid like myself, trying hard to grapple with adolescence. If you were fortunate to have a dad like mine, though, there was never a complaint.

Apparently my dad was not alone among fathers who grin and bear it in the face of all those goofy gifts. A recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Western Union, showed that nearly half of fathers recently surveyed said they have pretended to like a Father's Day gift they received.

About a third of the fathers who responded said that tools are the most predictable gift. That would be a practical choice, as long as the dad knows how to use them. If you see a guy with his thumb taped up, there's a good chance that special tool or equipment gift was a bit too much for dad to handle.

About 20 percent in the survey said they were expecting the traditional tie this year while another 20 percent expected cologne. Other things that made the favorites list were books and golf balls.

When giving dad a monetary gift, a nice advisory might be to tell him to use the money to splurge on something for himself and not use it to pay down the electric bill.

For those children whose dads are entering their golden years, the most personal of presents for him is the gift of time. Once the parent is no longer around, one comes to realize just how precious a gift it was to share some special moments with him.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com [1]