As the recipient of many a Father’s Day present over the years, I can testify to the three stages of gift-giving that highlight the summer Sunday set aside to honor dear old dad.
(However … wouldn’t Father’s Day be better celebrated during the NFL playoffs? I mean, I enjoy relaxing on the deck on a June afternoon as much as the next guy — although staring at all the yard work that needs attention tends to taint the experience — but nothing fosters family togetherness like sharing seven or eight straight hours of football on TV).
Anyway, when kids are little, a crayoned message on a piece of legal paper is all it takes to make one’s day. Later on during the middle school years, heartfelt but ultimately impractical gifts, like a personalized tie clip or a bottle of off-brand cologne, underscore the old saying: It’s the thought that counts.
Then, as one’s offspring progress into adulthood, Father’s Day gift-giving becomes more age-specific. For example: an easy chair pad that (supposedly) provides a heated massage, presumably so dad can soak up some therapy while soaking up an entire Sunday’s worth of football games. Or one of those tilt tables that flips you upside down, allegedly to cure the backaches, poor posture and overall creakiness that arrives — uninvited — when you’re south of the big five-oh.
But what most fathers really want on their special day isn’t anything that requires an impressive price tag, but rather, some ingenuity. And on that score, a new line of products formerly engineered almost exclusively for women has been reimagined for the man of the house.
And they’re awesome.
The whole-house effect
We’re talking scented candles — but not the sickly-sweet aromas that literally induce a gag reflex upon (accidentally) wandering into a Bath and Body Works store at the mall. And forget about so-called “manly” scents, like Midsummer Night, described by its manufacturer, Yankee Candle, as “a masculine blend of musk, patchouli, sage and mahogany.”
Now, if the company introduced a “Yankees Candle” that smelled of pine tar, stadium mustard and warm beer, then maybe I’m interested.
But here’s an even better alternative. From the marketers of A.1. steak sauce comes a new line of meat-scented candles that will fill not just the kitchen, but every room in the house with the smell of grilled meat.
Understandably, most scented candles are designed to mask the odors resulting from frying up burgers or simmering a pan of taco meat. Forget that: now you can envelope yourself in that heady aroma. Your whole house can recreate the experience of standing under an exhaust fan outside your local steakhouse.
These candles even look cool (see photo), and certainly surpass other novelty candles, like one that purports to “capture the scent of New York City streets,” an odor described in a review on Thrillist.com as “the soothing bouquet of rotting trash in the middle of August.”
The A.1. candles, retailing at $15 apiece, are available online (click here) in three flavors: Original Meat, Backyard BBQ and Classic Burger. According to the company, the 9-ounce candles are hand-poured, made in the USA and will burn for 70 hours, which, coincidentally, is almost exactly the same length of time the average fan devotes to watching football on the weekends.
Should you decide to make dad’s day with a gift pack of A.1.’s meat-scented candles, here’s a suggestion to take it over the top: Include an actual steak, or at least a gift card to a white-tablecloth steakhouse.
Because the smell of steak in the morning really is the smell of victory. □
The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator