#IWOOTDADS

   Dads. We've all seen them haven't we, those Dads?  The proud patriarchs. The big poppas. They're always Dadding around, aren't they, with their Sudoku books, their pork chops, their slippers and hubris?

   We all love Dads don't we? We love how they give us life itself and, with equal gusto and aplomb, offer mildly xenophobic, poorly researched opinions on the EU. And the dancing - oh the dancing! True, we may sometimes prefer it if they didn't blow the family's hard earned savings on red sports cars, a cliched cry of anguish in a hyper-capitalist world, but they're good other than that aren't they those Dads with their Dire Straits' record collections, their gadgets and their laughter which masks their languorous ennui?


   As you may note, I'm probably the world's biggest fan of fathers, a profound proponent of paterfamilias, an ardent admirer of antecedents. I'm so enthused, I even invented a portmanteau (or should that be "portmanteau"?)  to describe the arrested developmental state experienced by male progenitors: "Dadulthood". I sometimes also wonder why Michael McIntyre hasn't invited me onto his large team of inevitably underpaid writers.

   How happy I was, then, to be invited to IWOOT's celebration of all things "Rad Dad" over at Pie & Ale in Manchester - a smorgasbord event packed full of decor, games and gadgets aimed at fulfilling a fathers' innate love for manly fun. Fittingly, I made the journey to the other side of the Pennines with Dad-to-be Everyday Dan and Dad-of-two A Bloke's Eye View.



   IWOOT, for those not in the know, stands for I Want One Of Those - a more than suitable title for a store which stocks a multitude of mirthful merchandise. For those struggling for ideas on what to buy their Pappas on Father's Day, I'd suggest you could do much worse than checking out the brand's "Gifts For Dad" list. From beer containers to baseball oven gloves, key finders to Spaghetti Western spaghetti measurers, the collection features an unimaginable cavalcade of goods tailor-made to enrich your old man's life with whimsy.

   At the event itself, I was delighted to be greeted by an array of pleasing sights: a selection of cheeses, a charismatic dog, a menagerie of bloggers, beer pong, a controllable BB-8 figure, a display from the good folk at Mankind (of whom I'm an admirer) and, of course, a bar.



   Whilst I surprised myself with both my aptitude for, and competitiveness about, beer pong, what wasn't unexpected was how at home I felt in a Dad-friendly environment of toys and ale. It was almost like the 19th of June had come early for me. Alas, like all good Patriarchs, as the night went on I decided the most important thing to do would be to hit the bar with gusto - like a Dad at Christmas, I drank.

   Alas, like Christmas Day, the night ended all too soon with me high on spirits and also drunk on spirits too. A Rad Dad time was had by all and, thankfully, I need not experience year-round melancholy for another festivity of Fatherhood. With just two weeks to go until Father's Day, I'm looking forward to another similar celebration. I'd be delighted if my wee ones were kind enough to conspire to get me something from IWOOT but, failing that, I'll more than likely by myself a gift. Because I'm a Dad. And that's what Dads do.

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