Fitting Father's Day Present

Jun 9, 2006 at 6:09 PM
Dad, if you're subscribing (and you better be!), then don't read this one.

I got my dad a box of winchester 22 bullets for Father's day.

After an endless parade of neckties and gift certificates, I've begun to have a mission to get him presents he can actually use. He loves his little 22 revolvers. They barely feel like they're even doing anything when you shoot them (tiny little pop and an itsy bitsy bullet hole) but he likes them. Go figure. I love my S&W specifically because it is really loud and never misfires. I want a gun that scares the crap out of anything I point it at and goes bang. I really hate the sight (which is adjustable, therefore slips) and I'm really trying to find a used Glock, but I digress...

Bullets seemed a good present, since he goes through a bajillion whenever he goes shooting.

What I really wanted to get will take some work. There was a UDT knife that was salvaged from the ocean bottom. The salvaged knife cost less than a brand new USMC-quality knife. THat makes NO sense. THe history of an item is half of what makes it great. Where was it lost and why? What mission was our daring frogman on when he dropped his knife? Was he endangered by the loss? Did get disciplined for that lost knife? These things crossed my mind, and then I realized that since it was salvaged, it was most likely lost in a training ground - and the guy probably just went and got a new one.

I don't get to have that train of thought with a NEW knife. It was simply manufactured, placed in a box and shipped. BORING. Who wants that? The items I've always wanted most, anything I've ever stared into a glass case and coveted - had some historical significance. Someone loved it, hated it, wore it somewhere important, DID something with it.

This obsession with having some significance to the items I own is probably why most of the furniture I've ever bought was ancient. Some people looked at it as junk - but to me that chez lounge from Louisiana had a story.

Probably the same reason I collect old money. I love the train of thought, the voyages of memory that each crumpled, yellowed slip of cloth (money is actually printed on thin cloth, usually) takes me on. I take it in my hands, and rub smooth the edges because I enjoy holding money from foreign lands. I rub my coins (even though I know it's bad to get my finger-oils on them) because I love the idea that I am holding something that was held in 1860 by some long-dead person who bought something with it. What did they buy? Possibly they got a whole dinner for my one coin worth of money. Or maybe a bit of snuff. Goodness knows people bought different goods back then. I love it. You can't ask for a better mystery than the history of a common object like money.

I really wanted to get him the UDT knife, still gleaming after years underwater. The handle had rotted away and been replaced with a new strange aluminum one. I am going to search out what a replacement handle would cost, and maybe get it for him for his birthday. I can take a whole new voyage of memory to find out how to get an era-appropriate handle on it. Presumably a leather one, but I don't know what the Teams used then. See? What fun. Then I'll buy it when I can actually do it justice. Probably give it to my Dad as a B-day present later this year. That handle is a joke, and is probably why no one else has snapped up this gem.

In case you don't know this already, UDT stands for Underwater Demolitions Teams - and they were part of the whole "frogmen" thing that came before the SEALs. Now everyone's heard of SEALs. But back then not very many people knew about these boys. They did a thankless, unrecognized, difficult job with tools that would never be used today for fear of hypothermia or breakdown at the critical moment, and they were great at it. I have an extreme admiration for anyone that competent and that capable.

Anyway, that's all for today. (one note - Libby comes to visit in 31 days!)