In a one-word answer: poorly.
My blogger buddy, Kathy, who is the Martha Stewart of Tennessee, has been egging me on to reveal my gift-wrapping style. She anticipates a good chuckle at the expense of my incompetence in this department. I hope I deliver.
On Tuesday, my unwrapped gifts and I exited my comfort zone, the soot coated Apple, to head out to the San Francisco Bay Area to spend Christmas with my family. As I do every year, I am spreading my special brand of sour to my sister, Dovima, niece, Sweet Pea, and brother-in-law, Herb (pronounced with a silent h).
Since my finances have been in freefall for the third year in a row and showing zero sign of reversing, thanks to having a get rich slow job at Cheapskates R Us, it has been years since I have given anyone of either my nearest (my East Coast posse) or farthest (my family and best friend from college, BatPat) a gift they rate. Fortunately, I am the intrepid-type, so I do try to at least give everyone that matters a gift that reflects some degree of thought. Yet, I arrived suffering a mini-crisis for I completely forgot about getting anything for Thurber, the family dog!
"How could you forget me?"
This is the first year I’ve ever forgotten the hound. I felt terribly turdish. On Wednesday, I raced out to Target with Sweet Pea and Dovima to get him something he can chew on. I was leaning toward a squeaky chicken but Sweet Pea thought this purple mallard went better with Thurber’s fur color.
I was drawn to the duck’s soulful expression, the same sultry look I’ve been known to give my special someone, Yakking Gadfly. The clerk at Target, a guy about my own age – over 40, under death – eyed me and eyed Thurber’s duck.
Me (screaming inside my head): What?!
I withheld my inner irate New Yorker and silently shelled out five clams for the duck.
Target Clerk (snarky): Happy Holidays to you and your duck.
Then, he quacked. I bring out the best in everyone …
Onto my wrap-style, but not with Thurber’s duck, but with my brother, Axel’s, original gift I literally spent hours researching.
Danny Shanahan New Yorker Magazine tee shirt.
This New Yorker tee shirt happens to now be a collector’s item!
Lame Adventures Readership (en masse; all three of you): Why?
Apparently, The New Yorker is no longer producing mugs or tee shirts with any cartoon of a reader’s choice. I’m outraged! Had I known this, I also would have pounced on getting a few Michael Maslin cartoons on tee shirts. Check out his wonderful web site here. Now that these tee shirts are such rarities, I am sure I will score even more points with my brother, not that I think this will ever top the toaster-radio that scored such a hit with Axel ten years ago.
How to wrap a New Yorker tee shirt without a box:
Swipe a roll of your sister's gridded wrapping paper.
Cut gridded wrap with your pen lying on top so you do not misplace your pen again.
Place tee shirt on gridded wrap.
Fold tee shirt.
Fold wrap left.
Fold wrap right.
Accidentally photograph dart board on wall.
Accidentally photograph stars on wall above dart board.
While holding camera strap in teeth trim wrap.
Yes, that is drool on wrap from holding camera strap in teeth.
Wrapping finally cut to correct size.
Spend ten minutes looking for tape.
Tape sitting atop tags where it had been all along.
Select blue ribbon in recognition of many Jewish friends that loathe this time of year.
Spend fifteen minutes struggling to unpeel backing from bow.
Take a two hour nap.
Qaulification to enter Recycling Hall of Shame.