Friday, December 02, 2011

An Adult Gift Guide For Boomers

When we were young, Christmas started somewhere after December 7th and we had a pretty fast and intense run up to the morning of the 25th when we'd bounce out of bed at 4.30 and make noise that we hoped sounded like sunrise.

Then with our parents passed out on the couch we'd tear into what had been left for us under the tree. It was wonderful for the most part but like every grape has a seed and every Hershey's bar with almonds has Arthur McWhinnie mention the word "Rat Boogers" during your last bite, every sack full of presents has its potential "Gotcha!" demerits.

You could always tell the obvious ones. Soft, squishy packages were socks or underwear. Open last. But even the star of the show gifts came with two distinctive pitfalls:

-Batteries not included.

-Some assembly required.

The former had you running around the house, tossing every flashlight you could find for seven seconds of flashing laser robot action.

The latter was even more dangerous. Fathers fell into two categories here and your toys were put together accordingly.

The abjectly incompetent dad never knew what end of a screwdriver was right to use. As a result, your Marx three level garage usually just spread out on one dimension like a Wal-Mart parking lot. A lot of duct tape was involved too.

Then there was the over-achiever, the dad who had to customize everything. The toy tow truck not only has flashing lights, sirens, a working boom, independent front suspension, it also played Sinatra's "Come Fly with Me" and served beer.

Thankfully we're adults now and beyond that except for when you give yourself a home theater large screen plasma TV that needs hooked into cable, wired into the stereo and DVD system and programmed to pick up all the Tivo channels. Now you just hand the remote to the closest fourteen year old and tell them to call you when its ready.

In other words, we're screwed on both generational levels, never being able to do anything for ourselves.

So I'd suggest, for those of us that fall into this unfortunate generation, the following:

If you're going to gift this year, make it pass a two tiered test: Kids can't use it and the old man can't figure it out. Or vice versa.

Not really that complicated: Cars, power tools, liquor, small caliber firearms, R rated movies, sports accessories that involve rope, spikes, alpenstocks or hefty membership fees all fall into this category. There's a lot to choose from.

Send out a clear message in two generational directions: No you can't program "Angry Birds" as my company laptop homepage and yes, I could have done without the "properties of electricity" demonstration while you were setting up my toy trains.

Bunny on.


Blogger Johnny C. said...

For some reason "sports accessories that involve rope" made me truly laugh out loud.

I've never been able to figure out anything involving rope. I'd be a horrible sailor.

9:07 PM  

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