Editors’ Note: This holiday-inspired post comes to you from friend of the blog Cody Badaracca, who we’ve been pestering for months to write something for us. You can often find him at the Springwater, with a mad glint in his eye and an offensive comment crossing his brain. He’s been told that he looks like an actor from the hit movie Secret Window. That’s right, you guessed it: Vlasta Vrano.
You ever get a present that you can’t use? A “white elephant” gift? Like poor Ralphie from A Christmas Story, we all have that well-meaning elderly relative who doesn’t quite understand that we’re not into Power Rangers any more and – as much as we’d like to – can’t fit into Batman pajamas clearly designed for a 12-year-old girl. Nothing quite compares to that moment of disappointment when you unwrap a gift on Christmas to reveal a pair of socks or a Smash Mouth album that you loved… in the 7th grade.
Of course, you have to cover your chagrin with feigned excitement because it’ll ruin the festive mood and you’re not going to do that are you? I thought not. Thank your grandparents profusely when they call and throw it into your closet.
And why? Because it’s Christmas and that’s how we do it in America. If you don’t like it, you can just git out!
That said, times are tough and one has to use the resources at hand to make the most of this holiday season. You got some old crap lying around? Some old CDs from middle school? Re-gift that shit! I’m sure someone you know is still into Eiffel 65. We all have junk we either bought on an impulse or somehow found its way into our possession. Compared to your average hoarder or elderly mid-westerner, my collection of random bric-a-brac isn’t too impressive, but by my own personal minimalist standard, it’s a lot. That’s why this holiday season, I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone and foist my junk off on my unsuspecting friends under the thin guise of “gifts.” Here’s a beginner’s guide to the subtle art of making a white elephant. Or “re-gifting,” if you want to be PC about it.
Caveat: This isn’t true re-gifting per se, as defined by merriam-webster.com, if only for the fact that most of this stuff I inherited from my parents’ junk drawer or bought at Hot Topic when I was 15. However, the mentality is on par with that of re-gifting. (i.e. getting rid of crap you don’t want any more without feeling guilty about throwing it away. Who knows? Someone might actually want it.)
WHAT: Some spiked arm bracers that pale in comparison to Kerry King’s, a Rob Zombie concert tee, Metallica button and a bull-whip.
WHO FOR: That special head-banger in your life. We all have one. Someone who’s devoted to the majestic and powerful form of music known as MEEETTTAAAAALLLLLL! and still believes in keeping it brutal. They are forces to be reckoned with, and with this gift, they can bulk up their image and create a potential problem for Airport Security. METAL!
OR: This gift can also double as a dominatrix starter kit if you toss in a roll of duct tape, a few alligator clips, and some candles for wax play. Like the metal head, we all have a kinky friend. Hell, they may be one in the same.
Pretentious Professor Pipe
WHAT: An old tobacco pipe you got back when you thought lung cancer was cool, rolling papers, and some really old pipe tobacco from Uptown Smoke Shop in Green Hills.
WHO FOR: Any jackass hipster acquaintance you know. They all like smoking pipes, wearing skinny jeans, fedoras, and judging other people off of appearances, right? Pretentious jerk-offs. Any possible way you can expedite their demise, the better. They won’t even notice that the tobacco is, literally, over a year old. While you’re at it, give ‘em a punch in the gut too. It’s the Christmas spirit with a stocking full of PAIN!
OR: just give the pipe back to your Kentuckian Grandpa for him to gum to death. In that case, the tobacco isn’t necessary – he probably has his own fresh crop drying out in the barn.
WHAT: An old hacky-sack, a Bob Marley shirt, a bunch of musty incense, and some crazy-ass tribal necklace that may or may not have been used in a sacrificial rite.
WHO FOR: That groovy hippie chick you know who wants to make love, not war. While she doesn’t believe in Christmas – it being nothing more than the establishment’s way of keeping us down, man – you figure this is a way to maybe get in good with her. Who knows? A few glasses of homemade berry wine, some Janis Joplin on the stereo; if you can stand the overwhelming odor of patchouli and sweat, you might just get lucky.
WHAT: Some old cough drops you’ve had for who knows how long and a few herbal tea packs left over from the last time you came down with a cold.
WHO FOR: Your damn roommate who’s sick and coughing on every available surface. Give this gift to him and tell him to stay the hell away from you. You might also want to invest in some Lysol wipes.
WHAT: An excessive amount of blank cassette tapes you didn’t need after all.
WHO FOR: Some jackass blogger you know so he can make his stupid holiday mixtapes.
OR: Give it to your little cousins, let them pull out all the tape and watch them run around the house, stewing it everywhere as your aunt gives you a dirty look while cleaning it up. Ah, the holidays.
// Photos by Cody Badaracca. We really liked Fush Yu Mang when we were young and didn’t know any better. They were like ska punk for idiot kids! Uh, bigger idiot kids.