Every time I see a story about Luis Gonzalez's gum or Jeff Nelson's bone chips going up for sale on eBay, I thank God that John Wayne Bobbit hasn't discovered the Internet. (I realize that's a potentially dated reference, but it never gets old for me. People remember where they were during historically significant moments. I remember exactly where I was standing the first time I heard a news anchor use the word "lopped" in reference to Bobbit. I'm surprised the word "bobbitized" never entered our vernacular -- suitable for any man who's especially whipped).
I realize that the gum-and-body-parts phenomena are intended to raise money for charities, but the fact Lugo's gum would go for more or less than Lugo's half-eaten sandwich -- or more or less than Jeff Nelson's toenail clippings -- suggests it's not simply a charitable enterprise for the person buying it. The "consumers" do get to feel good about a donation, but they are buying a conversation piece. That conversation might go something like this:
|"Gee, Dad, is that a lump on your head or do you need to blow your nose?"|
"You paid how much for the peeled-off skin of a sunburnt superstar?"
"It wasn't that expensive, and our son is very happy attending a state college, instead of Harvard."
"Let me make sure I get this. You chose a jar of skin over Harvard?"
"Well, it came with a certificate of authenticity."
"I don't think we can be friends anymore."
But here we are. Father's Day just around the corner. And the question makes its annual return like the swallows to Capestrano: What do you get for the man who has everything? Here are a few suggestions:
The Quasimodo growth on Hasim Rahman's head. If mom gets frisky during a playoff game, dad can use this wonderful gift and say, "Not tonight, dear, I have a headache this big!"
The coin that Venus and Serena Williams flip to see who's going to win their next Grand Slam encounter.
Bob Baffert's jaw -- which friends were able to pick up off the ground after his horse finished eighth in the Belmont Stakes.
A year's subscription to ESPN the Magazine, beginning with the one with Elin Nordegren on the cover. Believe me, Dad will thank you.
Jose Canseco's steroid needle, and Barry Bonds' lie detector -- not sold separately.
The stools from both corners of the Butterbean-Larry Holmes fight. Uh, those would be two "wobbly" stools.
|Give your dad the inspirational "Success Is a Choice" by Rick Pitino.|
Barry Melrose's "How to create the world's most dangerous mullet" kit -- complete with hair gel, blow dryer, mousse, spray and assortment of combs and brushes.
The Roger Clemens Butt Expander, endorsed by Bartolo Colon.
Donald Fehr's smug expression ... though Dad may never be able to leave the house again without getting smacked.
The choke collar worn around Chris Webber's neck during the playoffs (assuming Tyra Banks is through with it).
Jayson Williams book of lame alibis, forward by O.J. Simpson.
Mike Piazza's "It's Not Me" T-shirt.
Allen Iverson's baggage.
Michael Jordan's jock strap -- the one that Kobe Bryant's been carrying, despite all the people who think he can't.
Mike Tyson's gold tooth. This one will undoubtedly be available, because it's only a matter of time before he sells it for lawyer fees.
A pooka bead necklace made from the teeth of the Eastern Conference NHL All-Star team.
Ally Landry's car. When she calls to get it back, sparks could fly. Sorry, mom.
The ESPN pronouncer for all the names in the World Cup. Dad will really impress them at the office when he opines about: Sebastian Cimirotic (pronounced She-bah-stee-an Tsee-me-rot-itch) or Bixente Lizarazu (pronounced Bee-shen-tay Leet-are-aht-soo).
A video that teaches Dad how to do that kiss-the-peace-sign-chest-touchy thing that Sammy Sosa does ad nauseum.
|How about a Lucious Harris mask so Dad can shoot like a reall pro?|
An instant replay machine, so he can play back every ill-advised thing he ever says that gets him in trouble with "the Mrs." Time to start using the telestrator to see where everything went wrong.
A copy of A-Rod's two-week pay check, so that your dad has a number to shoot for over the next 20 years.
Rick Pitino's book, "Success Is a Choice." I'm sure you can get it for next to nothing nowadays.
Lucious Harris' protective mask. Then your dad can go out in the backyard, shoot 2-for-19 and feel like a real NBA player.
HBO a day early, so he can watch the Tyson-Lewis fight, because if your dad has any self-respect at all, he didn't buy the fight. You could also get him a Mike Tyson bobblehead doll and then crush it with a sledge hammer, and say: "That's what you missed."
Anna Kournikova's trophy case. Never been used.
Ken Griffey Jr.'s hamstrings. They're not doing him any good anyway.
The NHL's President's Trophy. It means nothing to anyone, but maybe it would look good in Dad's office.
One of those giant ice wraps that pitchers wear on the shoulders after a game. Dad can put beer in it.
And finally, the gift that keeps on giving ...
A U.S. Open "Quiet Please" sign to be used until the kids move out of the house.
Happy Father's Day!
Bob Halloran is an anchorman for ESPNEWS.