Small Wonders: Dreaming Father's Day dreams

It's an age-old question with as many answers as there are muffin-topped men afraid to talk about their feelings wandering the barbecue aisle at Home Depot on Saturday:

What to do for Father's Day?

So here to aid, abet and entertain you is "The Perfect Father's Day" as imagined by yours truly (if time, money and gastro capacity had no limits, of course).

Awake from a predawn dream of being in my wife's arms to find myself in her arms.

She grumbles, disappointed, as I leave for the bathroom. In the mirror I see that my crow's feet, yellowing teeth and misshapen nostrils have all disappeared. Intrigued, I step on the scale to find I slept so soundly I burned 15 pounds overnight. Upon further evaluation, I bear a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt.

Go back to bed. Hello, wife.

While the family slumbers, I make myself the perfect café latte from beans harvested by well-compensated, fair-trade farmers in Guatemala. The satisfaction of contributing to their sustainable lifestyle brings me deep inner peace.

Read in the sports page that not only did the Dodgers win, but Clayton Kershaw threw the minimum 27 pitches in each game of a quadruple-header against the San Francisco Giants to take the NL West Division lead.

Turn on the computer to find I've received no junk email. In fact, the only email is an e-card from my kids with those two goofy animated characters in the talking greetings cards that crack me up so much. Honestly, they kill me.

In one hour of pure, focused writing, I create "The Greatest Column Ever Written"; it's the kind of creative experience that's more transcendental meditation than writing, filled with the knowledge that these 800 words are the most articulate, poignant, entertaining and insightful ever put to print. The angel of Jack Smith weeps as I click "save" and send it to my editor.

When the Hummer limo arrives, I kiss the family goodbye and head for the airport with the adolescent man-boys who are my lifelong friends. On the private jet, our personal chef, Nigella Lawson, serves up eggs Benedict. We land in Monterey on a cloudless morn and Phil Mickelson caddies us through 18 holes at Pebble Beach. I shoot three over par.

After a quick lunch of oyster shooters, clam chowder and Anchor Steam at the wharf, I meet my father on a chartered boat. On our way home, I catch a yellowfin tuna, a bonito and a marlin. A crewman fillets the yellowfin for sashimi, I take the bonito home for tomorrow's dinner and release the marlin after taking a picture with it and my dad.

At noon, we go on a family bike ride — and no one complains! Then a picnic in the park consisting of Mario's house combo subs, Pringles and glass-bottled Coke from Mexico, before our private triple-feature screening of "Thor 2," "Captain America 2" and "The Avengers 2" at Steven Spielberg's private theater.

On the way home, I get a call from my boss letting me know the entire executive team thinks I've been doing such a great job I should take the next few days off in order to spend my "You're a Swell Guy" bonus.

Friends arrive at our house for a barbecue that turns into an impromptu TED talk. After Robin Williams, Maya Angelou and Bill Gates give the most hilarious, lyrical and profitable speeches I've ever heard, Richard Branson coaxes me onstage to say a few words about Zen and the art of bellybutton lint. I nail it. The Dalai Lama, putting down his buffalo wings, sobs uncontrollably.

The Most Interesting Man in the World pours me a shot of Porfidio Anejo tequila — the good stuff they made 15 years ago, not the characterless stuff they put out today — and we enjoy a dinner of Kobe beef porterhouse steaks on a bed of organic arugula with shaved imported Parmesan and caponata made by Mario Batali's grandmother. The wine? Endless bottles of 2007 Ceretto Barolo.

After a stop at the beach to watch the sunset with my wife while the kids dance through the surf hand in hand, the four of us attend a gala event where Dave Barry presents me with the award for "Greatest Column Ever Written."

We stop for ice cream at Fosselman's, then head home where the kids brush their teeth and go to bed without being told. It's 9 p.m.

I know. That part's a stretch. But a guy can dream.

The wife and I fall asleep watching "Modern Family" as kindly gnomes with stubby fingers massage away the stress in our weary bodies.

Hey, it could happen.

Happy Father's Day to you and yours.


PATRICK CANEDAY is a dreamer. Reach him at Read more at

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