7 Reasons That This Is The Worst Present Ever
Okay, 7 Reasons readers. It’s September, so there’s only one thing we can possibly write about today. That’s right, Christmas. Because – strange as it may seem – there are people out there that are actually planning their Christmas and buying presents right now. I, of course, will be leaving my shopping until the last possible moment, as usual, but I feel I should issue a cautionary tale to those of you that may be contemplating buying presents. For, if it prevents anyone else having an experience quite like this one, I feel I will have done the world a great service. This may make me appear to be an ungrateful man and a bad brother but that’s okay, because I’m an ungrateful man and a bad brother. So, present-buyers: Don’t buy this! Here are seven reasons that it’s the worst present ever. I have obscured the name of the sender to protect her identity.
1. It Created Expectation. It was Christmas morning. My wife and I had finished the croissants and were sipping our second glasses of bucks fizz while, in the background, Frank Sinatra gently exhorted us to have ourselves a merry little Christmas. It was time to open the presents. My wife pulled the many gifts out from under the tree and divided them into four piles: presents for her; presents for me; presents for us and presents for the cat (the largest pile). We took it in turns to unwrap them (and to help the cat) and fairly soon the floor was a gaudy collage of discarded paper. Then it was my turn again. It was a small, rectangular present. It was tastefully wrapped and surprisingly weighty. A glance at the tag revealed that it was a gift from my s*ster. “Who’s it from?” my wife asked. “It’s from my only s*ster.” I replied. Expectantly, I tore the paper away, to reveal a narrow blue gift box about six inches long. Wow! This looks great, I thought as I unwrapped the box. Then I opened it.
2. My Eyes! My life prior to opening the box had been a poor preparation for that moment. My life had been one of carefully and tastefully matched colours and textures. Of aesthetical sobriety and decorousness. I was fundamentally ill-equipped for the spectre that cruelly and aggressively assaulted my retinas. What greeted me was the sight of a glass object consisting of a conical frosted glass stem tapering up toward a rounded top that was made up of most of the colours in the world – minus all of the nice ones and the ones that go together – encased in glass that was partially frosted and liberally spattered with gold leaf. It was the single most hideous thing that I have ever seen. And I’ve seen the Lidl in Scunthorpe.
3. It Caused Bafflement. What is it? What is this glassy-horror? Why has my s*ster sent me this? Why is it covered in gold leaf? Is the glass frosted to obscure the thing, like a toilet window? Why does it have a stem? Why does it have a bulb? Why does it have a rim? What the buggery-bollocks is this thing?! “What is it, darling?” My wife enquired.
4. It Caused Speculation. Putting all aesthetic squeamishness aside, I coolly regarded the gaudy object in as objective a manner as I could. It had a tapering stem. It had a bulb at the end. It was simultaneously shiny and frosted. It was a myriad of lurid colours and was festooned with gold leaf. “It’s…it’s…(got it!)…Liberace’s butt-plug!”
5. It Caused…The Pause. “Don’t be silly,” my wife said, snatching Liberace’s butt-plug from me to regard it more closely. “It’s…(there then followed a long pause. A pregnant pause so long it seemed that an elephant could have been brought from conception to gestation during it. In fact, it was merely a pause of several minutes)…a wine-stopper!” “A what?” I enquired. “It’s a wine-stopper. It stops wine.”
6. It Caused Incredulity. It does what?! Of all the things one could conceivably want to stop why in the hell would anyone pick wine?! I like wine. Why not send a gift that stops something more objectionable, like fascism or tennis? Wine is fun! Sending something that stops it is like giving the gift of abstinence. For Christmas!
7. It Caused Me To Lie On The Telephone. “Thanks for the…um…thing.”
“We got it in South Africa.”
“It’s…come a long way.”
“It took us ages to choose that one.”
“Yes. There were so many different coloured ones. Have you used it yet?”
“No, but I will.”
And that was a lie. Until now! Because now – five years later – I’ve finally found a use for it, even if it is as a cautionary tale. A gentle reminder for 7 Reasons readers to choose their Christmas presents carefully. And, even if you don’t, you could at least get it in a colour that matches the recipient’s loft because that’s where it is. Or rather, where it was, because earlier today when I went up there to relive the horror and to photograph it in all its sickening hideousness for you, the reader, I discovered that it had disappeared. My investigations have revealed that it may have been placed in a charity bag by my w*fe during some sort of cull-of-the-horrid. With some irony, it may well have been a bag from the RNIB. I can only offer our apologies to them.
*For fans of gifts like this, this is the place to find them.