A Mad Christmas

The holiday season has come and gone, passing us by like it does every year while leaving our homes wrecked with enough shredded wrapping paper and gift bags to fill five dump trucks.  Our bodies become overwhelmed with the intense and abusive caloric intake of deviled eggs, egg nogg, cookies, apple pies, overcooked turkey, booze, Taco Bell, 7-layer dips, cheesy potatoes, donuts, chicken tortilla soup, ninja turtle soup, meatloaf, booze, cheeseburger pizza, 25 gallons of mulled wine, and half a cupcake.

And a Caesar salad.  Because we must think of our health.

There’s another gift-giving tradition that I also enjoy.  I’m talking about gag gifts.  Although when it comes to gag gifts, I do have some simple rules that I personally go by.  If any of you reading this desire to give the gift of gag, I recommend these same rules.

  1. You must give the recipient a real, serious gift too.  It would be a rather shitty thing if your close friend or family member only received a wrapped roll of paper towels or a cinder block from you and nothing else.  Dick.
  2. Your gag gift cannot be cruel and insensitive.  You know the person to whom you’re giving it to.  Don’t get them something you know they will be upset about and/or find seriously offensive or mean.   
  3. It needs to be funny with extra helpings of silly.  Like a shower curtain with Jeff Goldblum holding a sloth.  Yes, it’s a real item and you can order it on Amazon.

In the past I’ve gotten people pillowcases with Nicolas Cage’s face on them, the VHS box set of Titanic for a friend who said he hated that Celine Dion song, and Legos that were inside an empty, gift-wrapped Lucky Charms box.  I also once got my friend, The Greg, a workout DVD called, “Turbo Tae Bo 2”.  The Greg responded to his present while shaking his fist at me, “I haven’t even seen Turbo Tae Bo 1, but you got me the sequel? Damn you!”

As a quick aside, I once got The Greg a custom cake for his 40th birthday.  The people at the supermarket bakery will write anything you ask, without question, on a birthday cake you buy from them.  Take a peek at the cake below to see what I mean.

This year I realized it had been a few years since I had got anyone gag gifts.  So I decided it was the right time to bring back this tradition (that tradition being practiced by just me), and got gag gifts for my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.

My favorite gag gift I gave this year is a framed picture of that scene from Ace Ventura where the Pet Detective is climbing out the butthole of a mechanical rhino (featured at the beginning of this story).  You can either order them or just take the digital picture on a thumb drive to Fedex Kinkos, and they’ll turn into a poster for you.  I got that masterpiece for my brother and laughed my ass off when he opened it.

My nephew and niece also both agreed that this framed work of art was, indeed, a masterpiece.  They told my brother that it’s imperative it be hung in their living room.

Speaking of my nephew.  When he was much younger, I got him a set of Legos for Christmas.  He’s always loved Legos and still does.  Everyone loves Legos.  That is until you think that just because you’re in your own home, you’re free to safely walk barefoot to the kitchen for a midnight snack of Doritos and an entire block of Velveeta cheese.  That’s when your precious and supple plantar fascia trods upon one of those evil, brightly colored caltrops.

I wonder if Legos are more suited as booby traps on a medieval battlefield.  Those things will stop a cavalry charge.

Anyway, I placed my nephew’s Lego present inside an empty box of Lucky Charms and wrapped it as if it was his regular present.  Being 8 years old at the time, he was a little upset thinking I’d only gotten him cereal.  At least until my brother reminded him to open the box and discover those little hellish torture bricks inside.

My nephew was elated with his little hellish torture bricks.  But he was a little less thrilled with the regular block of wood I got him this year.  Yep!  I took a small block of rectangular 4×4 wood and wrapped it.  After my nephew ripped off the Paw Patrol wrapping paper, he just looked at me with an exasperated look on his face as I laughed and said, “Really?” To round out my amusement at my family’s expense this year, the last gift was bestowed to my sister-in-law.  I gave her a book for Christmas.  You might be thinking, “Well, that’s not so bad.  And not funny.”  Au contraire.  I didn’t get her just any book.  I got her a little paperback novel from a subgenre known as dinosaur erotica.  These little novels tell the classic, charming story of farmgirl-meets-Jurassic-predator and falls in love.  The book I gifted is called “Wet Hot Allosaurus Summer,” by Lola Faust.

If you didn’t know that dinosaur romance novels exist, you do now.  You’re welcome.

If you’re wondering if this was all I gave them, the answer is no.  Remember my personal rule #1 from above?  I got each of them serious gifts as well.  In fact, I got all three of them presents I acquired from Scotland and England during my recent travels there.  As you can see, my gag gifts were not cruel and mean.  And in my opinion, they were funny and silly.

After reading this and you’ve been inspired to get your loved ones or friends some gag gifts next year, just remember my personal rules for it.  In addition to those rules, I will add an addendum to the giving of gag presents.  This new addendum can be used in all manners of how we should live our lives.  And that is called “Wheaton’s Law.”

“Wheaton’s Law” is simple.  It’s only four words, and the world can be a much better place if more of us adhered to it.  It is: Don’t be a dick.

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