Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: What Dad Deserves (Besides Love)

An interactive bed? An underwater video camera for fishing? Great ideas for your Father’s Day gift.

BY June 6, 2016


There’s an old joke that when you ask a guy if he has any children, the guy says, “None that I know of,” before elbowing you in the ribs and everyone having a good chuckle.

And as I thought about this month’s column—a nod to Father’s Day (Sunday, June 19)—I thought back on the chances of me having a child floating around out there somewhere. It’s a fascinating deliberation, because single men tend to romanticize the idea of a 20-year-old person knocking on their door and saying, “Hi. You’re my dad.”

It’s true. In a world of instant gratification, skipping the diaper changing, late-night homework and teenage angst and going straight to emotional connection and dinners out sounds pretty good. And it happens more often than you might think. Just ask John Stamos. His television show Grandfathered finds him not only discovering a son he never knew existed, but a grandchild he never knew existed! If it could happen to him, it could happen to any of us.

Of course, this only applies to men. Women almost always know if they have kids. 

In any case, it’s time we celebrate fathers. They’re unappreciated and underserved (that’s from an informal poll on Reddit). And while most of them would prefer quality time with their loved ones, it’s a lot easier to just buy them a gift and ship it. (Assuming, of course, you’re too lazy to make him an ashtray out of your handprint. Tip: Fat hands work best for cigar smokers.)


For the dad who loves to fish

The Water Wolf Underwater Inline Video Camera captures all the action taking place near the hook or lure in lovely 720 HD. You read that right—a camera that videos the fish you are about to catch (or not). It can go as deep as 300 feet and can record for up to four hours. The reviews are actually pretty good for this thing, so dad will have no excuses for the one that got away. $159.99; basspro.com 


For the dad who needs to get away

The World’s Best Dad Retreat at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. For a mere $1,348 per night (and only available June 18-20), dad gets a Gulf-front room, craft beer welcome amenity, complimentary breakfast for two, private poolside cabana (including lunch in the cabana and a cabana butler), two 25-minute Target massages in The Spa, a fully stocked mini bar menu based on personal preferences, $50 daily dining credits and much more. ritzcarlton.com/resortsofnaples


For the new dad

The book Experimenting with Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid. Though it was released in 2013, it’s still noteworthy because author Shaun Gallagher shows you how to recreate landmark scientific studies on cognitive, motor, language and behavioral development on the child recently brought into the world. All dad needs is a lab coat, a clipboard and this book to create a world-class performance-based child. amazon.com


For the dad who doesn’t have a lot of time

A 1981 DeLorean DMC Coupe (available at press time from Gulf Coast Motorworks in Bonita Springs), aka the Back to the Future car. Though this dealership specializes in some amazing replicas (you should check out their Cobras and GT40s), this is the real deal. With gullwing doors and gleaming stainless steel, it’s everything my refrigerator isn’t. $39,995; gulfcoastmotorworks.com


For the dad who loves to cook

You’ll want to get him the Foodini. It’s a 3-D printer that prints with food products instead of plastics to create state-of-the-art dishes that look as good as they taste (probably). Though it’s not yet available to be shipped to the buying public, it’s got all the signs of a genius tech startup: amazing technology; slick design; and passionate employees who think people will save time by pureeing various ingredients, pouring those ingredients into little ink-jet cartridges, then programming the machine to print out a pizza that you still need to add toppings to. Dad needs this. naturalmachines.com


For the dad who still has game

Six words: The Official Red Sox Fantasy Camp. From Jan. 14-22, 2017, your dad can live out his childhood dream of being a Major League Baseball player at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. He gets official Red Sox gear, a commemorative bat, a shortened game against the pro team, various social events and more. Coaching dad through the week will be past Red Sox greats such as Luis Tiant, Mike Timlin, Trot Nixon, Butch Hobson, Rich Gedman and others. Wow, fatherhood suddenly seems worthwhile. Prices start at $5,199 and include accommodations at the Crowne Plaza, Fort Myers. boston.redsox.mlb.com (By the way, the Twins are tentatively scheduled to have their camp Jan. 7-14, 2017, at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers with such greats at Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew and others. $4,495, yuratwin.com).


For the paranoid dad

Let’s see, he’s already got a bomb shelter and a panic room, but when your dad realizes it’s time to take things on the road he’ll need Outtagear’s 4-Person Premium Family Bug Out Bag/Survival Kit. It has enough equipment and food for four people to last three or more days depending on how you ration the food. It comes with a 1 million-gallon water filter, an Eton solar and hand-crank emergency radio, firestarters, flashlights, gloves, ponchos, knives, signal mirrors, waterproof notebooks (for documenting your siege), medical supplies, MREs, compact toilet paper rolls and entrenching folding shovel, and so much more. It even comes in an attractive rolling case that says, “This could be hockey gear.” $879.97, outtagear.com


For the dad who needs some rest

We recommend you order him a Balluga Smart Interactive Bed, which uses patented layers of air spring cells and manages your “sleep experience” via real-time monitoring of your body’s vital statistics. The air pressure is constantly monitored to ensure your spine is correctly supported and that air is climate-controlled so that both sides get to enjoy their perfect sleep temperature! But wait, there’s more. It has anti-snoring technology that senses snoring and automatically lifts the head of the guilty party until the snoring stops. (Maybe mom and dad will stay together after all!) It even has a motion sensor that illuminates built-in LED night-time lighting when someone gets out of bed in the middle of the night, keeping sleepers safe during trips to the bathroom. It surpassed its Kickstarter goal and should be shipping mattresses in October. balluga.com


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