Give it to me once and give it to me twice

30 07 2013

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: “It’s hard — I suppose the force of circumstances — for instance, not to accept gifts. Now, the broader gifts, of maybe letting someone use your house at a lake, private travel, I think those are things that are of fair discussion.”

Ah, Guv, no, it’s really not that hard.

Just say no.





Have yourself a merry little Christmas

24 12 2010

It’s a trifecta—no, a hat trick!—of blog thefts, this time, from the NYTimes.

“Worst Christmas Gift Ever“:

*A Harrah’s Casino coffee mug full of quarters given to me by my grandparents. The mug read, “Life begins at 21!” I was 9.

*One year my elderly great-aunt game me a box of straws and my sister received a tube of mustard. This remains a longstanding family joke nearly 60 years later.

*We received a can of haggis (yes, I guess haggis comes in a can) and a copy of the book “The Road.” It was quite the depressing Christmas.

*The worst as in destructive: My brothers sometime in the 1950s received an air gun and shot the ornaments off the revolving aluminum Christmas tree.

*When my sister was newly divorced for the second time and completely miserable, our mother gave her a cookbook called “Cooking for One” and some sort of individual crockpot to go with it.

*Dawn dish soap. I was 14. I guess somebody forgot to get me a gift, so they raided the cupboards. It was in a Happy Birthday bag.

*When I was 12, my mother gave me a wastebasket.

My Christmases tended to be pretty good, actually. There was always a little disappointment (where’s my pony?!), but my folks did what they could. One Christmas they bought my brother, sister, and I a combined gift: a t.v.!

We damned near hyperventilated as we unwrapped that gift.

And my mom’s side of the family has gotten into the habit of trading intentionally-crappy gifts with one another at their annual round-robin. Given this group’s wicked humor and delight in drink, well, it tends to be a very merry party.

So. Happy merry peaceful, to all and everyone.