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27 November 2007

Stupid is in the Eye of the Holder, er, Beholder

Today the clever folks over at stupid.com revealed their vote for the stupidest gifts of 2007.

We can surely agree that deciding what is stupid is relative right? And no, I am not calling your relatives stupid. For example, some of the high browed among us might find the Hillary Clinton Nut Cracker blasphemous but some GOP friends of mine - and Dem friends with a sense of humor - would buy a case load to give out as party favors. And the Flying Screaming Monkey that you shoot from a slingshot? Fuggetaboutit. That is funny stuff...at least until the dog eats it.

Spencer's Gifts at the mall was the destination for gag gifts when I was young(er). It was where you went to buy hand buzzers, sour gum, steaming poo and faux vomit. I mean really, what is a more festive gift than a fake pile of puke laid on the couch next to Uncle Remy while he nurses an egg nog hangover?

When my brother and I were kids, my mother taught us the value of such a gift giving technique at an early age by giving us each a box of Potty Pot Shots. What a classic contest of prepubescent urinary skill versus the small floating paper battleships. If you hit the center of the floating battleship, the ends would curl up and it would sink to the bottom. It was awesome. And, the game came with a score sheet and an adjustable sight. Yes, you read that correctly...an adjustable sight.

The sight as I remember it ranged from Pea Shooter (dang!) all the way up to I.C.B.M. (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) and a few notable artillery sizes in between. I pined away (no pun intended) for the day I could fit the ICBM setting, but alas, it was not to be. That didn't stop me from leaving my sighting cuff out on the bathroom counter set to ICBM though. Mental warfare counts too, folks, especially against your older brother.

As a teen, I gave everyone on my list a Chia Pet. (sing along now...cha-cha-cha-CHIA!) Deep down under their sighs of disappointment and rumblings about my misspent youth, I just know that they remember the fun. As will the people they probably re-gifted them to the next chance they had!

Still feeling spry as a young (and single adult) I tried a similar approach to gift giving at a friend's wedding. What fun it would be to give the newlywed's a Hermit Crab! How doubly fun for them to be able tell their grand kids that Mike gave them both CRABS for their nuptials? I could not contain my excitement. You read the part about me being single - as in, without female supervision - at the time, right? Even though it took years for them to talk to me again (who knew?), their sense of humor grew along with their perspective and I eventually became known as the guy that gave them crabs for their wedding. He scores!

So let the pundits take aim at 'stupid' gifts. The real sports among us will embrace the true spirit of the holiday season: making memories and making laughs.

Important Safety Note: make sure to run your memorable and funny gift by your significant other first - I am not responsible for bruises, real or emotional!

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