You know that you have reached All-Star Dad status when your very appearance in public is enough to humiliate your children.
My father, a.k.a. Les of the Woods, was an ad man who wore suits to the office Monday through Friday. But come Saturday, he'd break out his sky-blue jumpsuit, which he wore with pride to Sears, the local A&P and, of course, my high school soccer games.
I guess, after nine kids, he didn't care much about what people thought. He just did what he pleased, fashion faux pas and all.
So with that in mind, this Father's Day I plan to follow my dream and become a treasure hunter. I'm headed to the nearest big box store to get new Bermuda shorts, a white T-shirt, black socks and a pair of those $6.99 gel sandals. Then I'm heading to the beach to join those courageous souls looking for lost coins and engagement rings.
All I need is a metal detector. So kids, if you're reading this, please buy your dad the ultimate Florida Outdoors Father's Day Gift. (And if the price is too steep, I've thrown in a few more things that won't break your piggy banks.)
Minelab Xterra 305 metal detector
Wondering how I'm going to pay for college? All I need is one good storm and a handful of Spanish doubloons. This lightweight, easy-to-use coin and treasure hunting detector could be my ticket to financial independence. A family-friendly unit, this machine comes with a short shaft so kids can earn their keep, too. Price: $399
Yeti 35 L Tundra Cooler
No more warm root beer on camping trips. This high-end ice chest is a sportsman's dream. The Yeti is rugged and will keep things cold for days at a time. Available in white and desert tan (sorry, no camo), this cooler will last a lifetime. Price: $259
Costa del Mar Double Haul Sunglasses
Every angler knows that the key to success is being able to see fish on the flats. And if you still can't catch them, you might as well look cool. Costa's new Double Haul model (named after a fly-fishing technique that still eludes me) have patented vents on the side to make sure that, when things heat up, your lenses stay crystal clear. Price: $200
Tilley LTM3 Airflo Hat
After I make my fortune collecting quarters in the sand, I hope to move to Africa and open a photo safari business. I'll need a good hat, preferably with a leopard-skin band. But if not, this one will do. Guaranteed to keep you cool under the hot Florida or Kenyan sun, this hat comes with a brim snap so you can pretend you are from the Outback. Price: $69 to $89
Lodge Sportsman's Grill
What better way to end a day on the savannah than with a few antelope steaks on the grill. This charcoal hibachi-style grill is also perfect for picnics and tailgating. Draft door regulates the heat and coals are accessible behind a flip-down door. Price: $99.95
ExOfficio Reef Runner Lite Long Sleeve Shirt
This ultralight shirt has mesh vents that run along the side seams from the wrist to the arm pits and down to the hem, which will keep you from breaking a sweat. The ultraviolet protection factor Sun Guard 30-plus rating will keep you from getting burned. Price: $45 to $70
Bison Designs Viper 30mm Gunmetal Belt
This industrial fashion statement will come in handy if you have to rappel off a cliff. Gunmetal V-Ring buckle. Do we need to say more? Price: $18
Products courtesy of Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park, go to billjacksons.com for more information.