For me, nothing spells the holidays more than buying people crap
that they don't need. That story about the green guy who finds
the true meaning of Christmas is pure bull plop: You get the
right gift, and you're the beloved friend/son/father/whatever.
You get the wrong one, and everyone you know looks you upon with
shame, and the Ghost of Christmas Presents comes and kicks you
in the stomach. I decided to play this yuletide game of Russian
Roulette just the other day.
I had been given $50 with which to purchase presents for the
rest of my family. Sure, it seems like a meager sum, but I don't
have a job, so fifty bucks is small fortune to me. Originally, I
planned on just using a small amount of the money to purchase
presents and then put the rest in my secret Swiss bank account
(IE, the jar of money I hide in my room.), but I ultimately felt
that in the spirit of things, and because I would have to deal
with these people for at least another year, they should all get
something, no matter how hard-to-shop-for or undeserving they
Now, shopping has never been one of my favorite hobbies.
Whenever I do so, I go in with a clear picture of what it is
that I want, and barely enough money to cover it. When shopping
for others, though, I have to mill around
in a store, searching for which item looks, smells, and sounds
like it was destined to be wrapped in festive paper, placed
under a rotting pine tree, and used briefly before being
discarded by a "grateful" family member or friend. Oh well, 'tis
It was a lovely day for shopping. The rain was pouring, the
streets were crowded, and the mall parking lot was filled higher
than a frothing cup of eggnog. I chose a spot that was pretty
damn far from the entrance because I didn't feel like cruising
up and down the lanes, dodging people as they walk to their cars
to flee the scene so that I could get that one perfect spot near
the entrance. Well, that or I just like the freezing rain and
howling wind working together to bring me down. Whatever the
cause, I crossed the wind-swept lot, dodging cars as they were
cruising for said sweet spot, and around old people who were
angry that their day for mall walking was taken up by all these
damn young people.
Later on that day, Dr. Boogie realized that
there was no chance in hell he was going to
remember exactly where he parked his car.
The inside of the mall wasn't a whole lot different from the
outside, except that it was a little warmer and it had that
distinct smell of panic brought on by last-minute shoppers
scrambling from store to store. I just
started walking, as I had no agenda and no idea as to what I
would get for everyone. Along the way, I saw a Bath and Body
Works. I remembered that my sister had said something about
wanting a bottle of moisturizer with the scent of many combined,
synthetic fruits, which I had simply dubbed "Man Repellent". I
wasn't about to go in there, as the smell was already making my
Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a
refreshing tube of Man Repellent.
Further along the way, I began to notice the large number of
strollers being pushed around. I noticed them mainly because
they were being pushed slowly, and in front of me. How
irritating, I thought to myself. I hadn't seen nuthin' yet, for
just moments later, the man in front of me pushing a large,
bobsled-shaped stroller slowed down, turned the thing so that it
was perpendicular to the walkway, and then sat there as though
there were no one else around. I asked myself why he would want
to establish a roadblock like this, but it didn't matter a whole
lot. I just stepped over it, not around mind you, and continued
my search. I wondered if I had scared the kids that I had
stepped over, but that was only a fleeting concern.
Thankfully, I found that there was a Spencer Gifts close to
another exit from the mall. For those of you who are unfamiliar
with it, it is a store that sells pointless novelties for people
of all ages, from 50 all the way down to 33.
For my whiny, immature, irresponsible sister, I got a couple of
key chains with sayings that accurately stated how I felt about
her. I got my brother one that used one of those playful
expressions about how the foot and the
posterior of two different people should be combined for
For my parents, I got a Beatles poster and a device that emits
crude noises at the push of a button. It's not that I'm cheap;
it's just that the mall itself was out of most things, and the
rest of the crap was expensive.
Expensive relative to my budget of $50, but still…
With gifts in hand, and five dollars that I would be keeping as
a tip, I departed. I could still hear the cries of all the
children who were tired of sitting around while their parents
shopped, and the groans of men as they searched stores like
Claire's for something that their teenybopper daughters might
like as I walked. The number of strollers increased, and the
lanes seemed to grow more and more narrow, as though the mall
itself were saying that it would not be beaten by the likes of
me. I just spat in its fat face, and spat on its dirty floor as
I strode confidently out the door and to my car, which was
practically a dot on the horizon.
The only mall worth going to is a fake one,
such as the one in The Sims, where you can see
the various mall Santa get their freak on.
The moral of this story is that malls are for suckers. Also,
Christmas is about getting good stuff, and returning the rest.
No matter what any parents, or TV networks, or clergymen tell
you, that is the best part of the holidays.