The Gift That Keeps On Giving...Disappointment

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

I don’t know why but I seem to have a slew of friends with birthdays in July. I always used to get excited at the thought of going to birthdays. It was a chance to chug down litres of beer and cheap vodka and impress friends with a cool gift. This has changed over the years. Too many beers lead to hangovers, I’d sooner sniff paint thinners than drink vodka and gift-giving has become a chore.

While doing a bit of online shopping I found what must be the most useless gift ideas I have ever in my life encountered. But I don’t know what’s worse; the items below or the fact that various online shopping portals and search engines have listed them as “gift ideas”.

Mailbox Sentry: don’t you just hate it when you have to take a pesky 10 metre walk to your post box only to find that you have no mail due to a postal strike? A sensor picks up any letters that are placed in your mailbox and then the Sentry sends you a notification. Who wouldn’t want one?

Cat Pyjamas: I’m actually tempted to buy a few of these. But I won’t give them to people I consider friends, but rather, people who irritate me (such as our new neighbour who honks his car horn at 6am every morning). If you have ever tried to give a sick cat medicine, put a cat in a basket or put a collar on, you’ll know that those are activities that lead to tears of extreme frustration and blood loss from being scratched by an angry feline. Trying put a feral beast in pyjamas is just desserts for bad neighbours.

Air-Conditioned Beekeeper Suit: don’t be fooled by the product name. It’s not just for beekeepers, but anyone who wants to work in the garden without being stung by bees. Now you can mow the lawn safe in the knowledge that you’re impervious to bee stings and the sun’s rays. Why more of these are not given as gifts is beyond me.

Plush Microbes: I never know what to get for kids but do believe in giving gifts that encourage learning. And what better way to learn about flesh-eating bacteria, e.coli and herpes than by playing with soft toys that resemble various microbes? Give one of these as a gift and I’m willing to bet it’s the last children’s birthday you will ever be invited to.

Human Tooth Stud Earrings: if you stop to think about it, there are probably very few gifts that you’ve received that you can truly recall their origins. You forget who gave you some bottles of wine or CDs. You will NEVER forget who gave you earrings made of human teeth.

Belly Button Brush: I shudder to think what kind or person actually needs a specific implement to clean their belly button. Worse, what kind of person considers it a gift?

Weight Watchers Cookbook: while the recipes herein may be tasty and healthy, giving this book to someone is a not-so-subtle-way of saying, “I think you’re too fat.” Unless someone hints that this is the book they want, steer clear.

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