Sam and I searched everywhere, I continue. We scoured bookstores, perused frame shops, explored clothing outlets. We must have searched for easily - and I am not exaggerating here - a good half-hour.

Naturally, we grew hungry and weary. As luck would have it, at this particular strip mall there was a Hooters. Not only that, there was a game on. A Hooters right there in the strip mall with a game on - what are the odds?

As fate would have it, the game was an NBA playoff contest involving the team I cheer for, the Philadelphia 76ers. And this is the really amazing part: The game was just about to begin. Somehow, don't ask me how, just when a game I really wanted to watch was about to begin, we ended up at Hooters doorstep. How's that for coincidence?

Sam, by now, had to be starving. "Hungry?" I asked Sam. "Could you do with some wings?"

"Sure," he said.

Like any good father, I thought it best to feed the boy.

So, there we were at Hooters enjoying - well, enjoying isn't exactly the word; suffering would be more like it, as we would really have preferred to be out shopping - some wings, a tall drink, and the game on the big screen at Hooters, which, needless to say, has waitresses who, let me add, I didn't notice because I was shopping for Mother's Day, after all, and it wouldn't be right.

Well, the game was close and Sam still seemed a little hungry. "Potato skins?" "Sure." What could I do but stay for the second half? As the game wound down, I had a brainstorm: "You know how your mom really likes coffee?" I asked Sam.

"Yeah?" he said.

"I bet she'd love her own personal coffee mug."

He looked at me, I remember, with the skepticism of a person ­unsure if he is being conned.