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Richard Glover: Time to learn some Fatherlish

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"Have you checked the oil in the car?" my father used to say to me, his version of "hello, hope you are well." Sometimes our phone calls would begin with an inquiry about the oil, and end with an inquiry about the oil, with not a lot in between.

Fathers have a lot of love to give, but that love is often supplied through the medium of practical advice. In my experience: it's mostly about your motor vehicle.

"How's the car running?" "Did you get it serviced?" "How did you get that scrape on the side?" My bomb of a student car – a battered, green Toyota Corona, bought from my friend David for $500, was the parchment upon which my father inscribed his paternal affections.

Father's share a special kind of love with their children.Credit:iStock

I bet it's always been so. Back in ancient Rome the father would quiz the son on the state of his chariot. "Are you keeping the oats up to the horses?" "Have you checked the spokes on the wheels?" "How did you get that scrape on the side?"

The father might then offer some helpful advice about the state of his son's toga. "The trick is to buy high-quality gear, and then look after it. That, my son, is true of clothing, chisels, tridents…"

Contemplating Father's Day, I can hear the murmur of a million male voices, over thousands of........

© The Sydney Morning Herald