Are men stupid? They are when they become dads, if the amount of fatherly tat in stores in a town near you is anything to go by.
Receiving a pair of pants bearing the legend “Proud to be a Minion” might be cute if they have been bought with pocket money by your earnest seven-year-old. Getting a pair of pants with a picture of Homer Simpson and the word “Clueless” writ large over the crotch isn’t half so appealing if your adult son hands them over.
If this is the first you’ve heard that Father’s Day looms, then Dunnes Stores will sell you the pants for €7 a pair.
But fathers aren’t stupid. Are they?
Eason has thought this through and has everything you need to nourish a paternal intellect lined up in the shop window.
Dads read books and everything, but their taste appears to be limited.
Sport? How about Brian O'Driscoll's autobiography The Test? Give him Roy Keane's The Second Half if you think he's hard enough.
If he won't tackle sport, try horror (Finders Keepers by Stephen King) or war (Anthony Beevor's Ardennes 1944).
He probably still likes toys. Try a wind-up Dancing Dad and laugh at his every expense. Give him a “Fan-tastic” windmill. LOL.
How about a box of "Man Plasters" to patch the man back together after you have torn him asunder with your stereotypes?
Penneys have outdone themselves with their rather badly thought-out Father’s Day poster boy. “I am your Father’s Day” proclaims dad of the millennium Darth Vader.
To be fair Vader (“Father” in double Dutch) is watching over a rail of quite nice T-shirts. The garments are actually youthful. Unlike some stores, Penneys are not banking on your dad lapping up Beatles’ memorabilia.
Unfortunately, the T-shirts also bear the names of far-flung, exotic geographical locations that fatherhood has put out of the equation. The ones bearing the words “Honduras, Thailand, Maldives” will just rub salt in his wounds. As for “Acapulco” and “Santa Monica” – just don’t.
Over in HMV, they seem to be hedging their demographics. Ryan Adams sits next to Paolo Nutini, Bob Dylan and Noel Gallagher in their Father's Day selection. Buy him the compilation Silence is Golden – it might be the one album he actually wants.
Dad is a grown-up
If you are cobbling together last-minute ideas for the big day, aftershave is getting reduced all over the shop. Just don't buy him Lynx. He is a grown-up.
Debenhams has a whole stand of wooden toys that no dad should be without. Skittles, a kite, a ring toss. No doubt he will have plenty of time to mow the lawn to within an inch of its life in preparation for a nice game of croquet this Father’s Day.
Or maybe you can just give him a lie in. Silence is golden after all.