“I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the gift wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping.” – Steven Wright

It’s almost time to get the Christmas shopping underway, so we thought we’d better weigh in with our regular catalog of gift-giving tips for smart shoppers.

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But then we thought about how crazy everyone has become lately. Almost anything you got for certain people could be construed as offensive or insulting or politically incorrect. You get your daughter a cute set of barrettes and she announces she’s transitioning to male and joining the Marines. You get your son a couple shares of Exxon stock and then find out he’s signing on with Greenpeace.

And it’s not just family; you need to be careful not to offend anyone on your list, no matter the relationship. Which is why  it occurred to us that it might be easier and more helpful – but mostly easier – to tip you off on what not to give:

Dre Kirkpatrick & C. J. Mosely – For the Bengals’ defensive back and the Ravens’ linebacker, respectively, refrain from giving any recordings of the “Carol of the Bells” or “Silver Bells” as it will only serve to remind them of how ignominiously their heads were bounced off the turf by a certain galloping Steeler running back. Even a stiff drink might be unwelcome to the extent it summons up memories of certain stiff-arms they found themselves at the business end of. On the other hand, a couple of pops might dull the pain.

President Trump – If the president is on your list, the first thing you’d probably think of is a whoopee cushion so that he could have a few laughs at the expense of Democrats visiting the Oval Office. This might be a bad idea, however, since anything that causes unexpected noises might make the Secret Service jittery and you don’t want them paying you any Christmas Eve visits. We recommend a bottle of scotch whisky instead because, even though he says he never drinks, he does own a golf course in Scotland. Also, should he look out the window and spy Mueller is poking around in the Rose garden, he might just need a stiff jolt. McDonald’s gift certificates are always good as a stocking stuffer.

Al Franken – Resist the urge to get him a DVD collection of.”Candid Camera” episodes. Also, any political memoirs having to do with “pressing the flesh” are a no-no. Tickets to a seminar detailing all the things that are no longer funny might help him transition back into his career in the private sector as a comedian, along with a bottle of whiskey to ease the associated trauma.

Roy Moore – No matter how much you liked “The Sound of Music”, do not opt for any sound track featuring the song, “You Are 16, Going on 17” as it might be considered in bad taste. Also, any oldies collection containing the song “Teen Angel” might backfire. Since we don’t know the result of the election at this writing, go with a bottle of bourbon, which will come in handy either for celebration or mourning.

Tom Brady – As much as you might like to forward a double dose of cyanide, you must resist this urge in the interest of sportsmanship and not getting arrested. We’d go with travel brochures illustrating how nice it is in his wife’s native Brazil this time of year, and by contrast, how horrible the weather is here in January and February. Additionally, include a botle of Irish whisky with a note urging him to have a few generous helpings immediately before Sunday’s game.

Planned Parenthood – Avoid the temptation to send them the Hasbro game, “Operation” as it will only encourage them to retail other body parts. Instead, go with a few boxes of wine to help them relax when the Justice Department comes calling.

*                                               *                                               *

Sadly, there is only one entry in our series of penpal correspondence with jailed former Congressman, Anthony Weiner: The answer certainly is, er, cryptic, though.

Hey Weiner:   What’s on your Christmas list, buddy? I don’t suppose you’d have any use for new golf clubs or a bowling ball. Ha-ha, sorry, i guess that was cruel.

 Weiner:           Yes, it was. But you can make it up to me. Listen carefully. Bake a cake, one of those fruit cakes would be perfect, the heavier the better. Everyone inside loves them. Put in all the ingredients from the recipe you have on a file card. Or, if you can’t get your file cabinet open, use a hacksaw blade. Someday, I’ll make it up to you.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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