Katy Guest: Sorry about the naff gift, Dad, but it's all your own fault

What you like is jokes, a sit down, and sausages for tea

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The Independent Online

I'd like to apologise to dads everywhere for the really rubbish Father's Day presents they're receiving today.

I'm sorry for the personalised golf tees, the amusing signs and pictures relating to sheds, and I'm really sorry for the hastily put-together calendars made out of photos of your snotty children that you will now have to look at for the rest of the year. I know, I know, that words cannot make up for an ugly coffee mug with "world's best dad" on it. Let's face it, you're not a New Labour prime minister and you will never have to show the world your cuddly side by publicly and daily using a load of old tat that your kids got you. And I don't know how to explain how anyone would think you'd like a comedy "gone fishing" sign when the only time you ever caught a fish it was the family goldfish out of the mouth of the family cat. Sorry.

At the same time, though, dads, you do have to take some responsibility for all the rubbish that people feel compelled to buy you. There are certain times of year when buying is obligatory, and somehow today has become one of them. You may be a dad, and therefore a superhero, but even you can't change this fact.

But what do you buy the man who wants nothing? I don't mean wants for nothing. You just really don't want anything, do you? Mothers appreciate Stuff such as glassware, matching handwash and fancy types of gin; but you think that all Stuff is basically cushions, and serves no purpose except to get in the way. Like Rumpole of the Bailey, you don't see the need for all this Vim.

Essentially, what you like is jokes, a sit down, and sausage and beans every day for tea. But these things are not special Father's Day things, so instead you'll get a self-stirring coffee mug, a giant wall poster reading, "Keep Calm and ... something", or a biscuit in the shape of a beer mug, with a picture of beer iced on it along with the legend: "Thanks to a great dad".

I know that you don't eat biscuits, and that you'd prefer a real beer, but if we tried to buy you a pint you'd only feel emasculated and sneak a fiver back into our pocket later. That's because, in your heads, we are still only six, and you don't give us enough pocket money to get rounds in. Admit it, dads, this is the truth.

Dads in the IoS office say that what they really want for Father's Day is just for a little while to be left alone. But giving you the gift of time without us does seem a little like we don't want to see you.

Essentially, you leave us with no alternative: naff gifts are the only way we have of showing you we love you. So, sorry, dads – and enjoy wearing this "Best BBQer!" baseball cap for the rest of the summer.