When Father’s Day rolls around I usually wind up wishing I were five years old again. That’s because as a five year old I ALWAYS knew what Dad wanted for Father’s Day: a macaroni-covered picture of a house, decorated with red yarn.

I don’t know exactly when I stopped being so sure of that, but that was the point at which Father’s Day got a lot harder. My dad’s a very direct kinda guy–if he wants something, he buys it. And if he refrains from buying it so you can buy it for him, well, that kinda eliminates the surprise and turns the giver into an order fulfillment center.

I (and my sisters) fall back on prior successes quite a bit, which means Dad probably has every DVD and book on WWII and the Korean War in the known world, having already reached capacity for ties, socks, tie pins and Big Band-era CDs.

As I often do, I turned to the Web for answers. There’s eHow’s “How to buy a Father’s Day gift,” which suggests that you should figure out if he has a hobby and buy whatever he doesn’t have. Failing that, get him a gadget, candy or golf balls.

Not much help. On Buzzle.com (Intelligent Life on the Web) they list the top 10 Father’s Day gifts. The winners? Hobby stuff, gadgets, food or…a tie.

This is not helping.

Make Magazine suggests you MAKE him hobby stuff, gadgets, food…or a tie. (Or a subscription to Make Magazine, of course)

OK. So this is possibly something that the Web can’t solve. I’m going to do some navel-diving and figure this one out on my own.