Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gift Cards, Decorative Soaps, and Other Observations

Before my treadmill to nowhere pins the needle, I like gift cards. I like cash. I like a new tie. I like little baby ducks, centipedes that eat bats, and shoe goo. But am I wrong when I say that gift cards are simply cash with a limitation? For instance, two people exchange gift cards. I receive Home Depot and give a Borders. What have we done? We've taken over each other's budgets. I'll trade you my Target for your Walmart. How about we act like we gave cash and don't? How about we act like we gave gift cards and we don't? Were we going to spend $25 dollars at Home Depot anyway? Now we've done it by way of a Borders gift card and both of us have salved that gland deep in our brain and we don't do that guilt thing. Must be prudent. What can a man get at Home Depot for $25, while I'm thinking about it? I know. Lots. Especially screw drivers made in Southeast Asia. Do you want a screwdriver anywhere you can reach? Philips or flathead? Enough of these exchanges and you can tape them on the bottom of your kitchen counter like you're Bob Villa in the witness protection program.

There is, isn't there, always something to get at Home Depot? Gorilla Glue. Wide masking tape. A new utility knife. One of those new toilet tank kits. Imagine wrapping one of those up for Christmas. Men do that to their wives. Well, maybe we don't anymore, since someone wrote that it could cool your marriage. What were they talking about? What can warm the deep corners of the heart like a new non-stick-fry-spatula. I'm going to close this thread with the one gift card that works: Starbucks. The Starbucks card takes away the guilt of purchasing a $4 coffee product in a new-age paper cup. It is a pass to spend time in the French embassy that is Starbucks with the normally Euro-looking pierced Goth girl who asks if you want yours with whipped cream (or is it creme?). You can spend time drinking that cup on a table the size of a manhole cover on a little chair with enough room for one bun (and I'm not talking about a biscotti bun). Some could do a McDonalds-hot-beverage-like-lawsuit for tipping in one of the weany leg chairs. Whiplash and luke warm Cafe Mocha softened by a bed of whipped cream. I have to admit, as I think about it: How can I retain manhood and remain in a Starbucks?

At least one more thing as I digress. Decorative Soaps. Why soap? Have you ever tried to lather up with a soap decoration? Sculptured soap should come with a warning for carpel tunnel. They defy the physics of efficient soap use. And then the thought of wearing down the actual decorative quality of the soap to get real usage from it. You know, to get clean, the thing soap is to be, well, for. But some people squeal with delight upon unwrapping, yes, soap on a....rope. Sorry. Give me a bar with some sort of thermodynamics---one that will go round and round in my hand without impersonating a greased pig.

I just imagined giving a psychiatrist a Christmas gift of a soap pocket watch to practice hypnosis. Of course, I don't know any psychiatrists. Some people wish I did, but it would be the perfect gag gift from someone with a hand-washing addiction. "Thank you for this gift and I think it means we are really seeing some progress." I've been in other people's homes, asked to use their bathroom, and looked at their decorative soap displays, usually going with the theme of the bathroom. I wondered what they would think if I took one of them off the little decorative (yes, decorative) platter and used it to wash up afterwards. More than a few times, I've noticed dust on decorative soap. Most people don't think you have to clean soap. It seems redundant. Soap cleans; it must not need to be cleaned. Just an observation, but I think people who dust their soap need a psychiatrist. Can you get a gift card for that?



Terry McGovern said...

Very Funny!

Jeff Voegtlin said...

Ha, ha, ha.

That is almost as funny as your defense of nursery rhymes.

Sometime you need to post that. I'll bet Linscott would link to it in the filings of SI!

Anonymous said...

This post is so funny. You are so right on the point about Christmas shopping. We need to start a rally and buy soap on a roap for you in bulk. That would be beautiful!

Dave Mallinak said...

I prefer to give Thomas Kinkaid puzzles to my friends.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks folks. I want to thank the Prophets of our church who provided me with some very nice decorative soap for Christmas this morning. They are much more aerodynamic than soap on a rope, however. Thank you!!!

I want to thank Pastor Mallinack for the Kincaid puzzle, which I just heard I had received. Someone saw it at the church building, delivered, and I had not seen it, but I am looking forward to laying it out for hours of enlightenment and thought provocation, at least a mood. My immediate reaction, however, was laughter.

Anonymous said...

Bwahahaha! Brother, you've out done yourself in the sense of humor department! :-)

Throwback 13 said...

* Maybe one should give a gift card from Spatula City (an early Rush Limbaugh spoof).
* (New story)
* The V.A. sent me to a psychologist. The pulmonary Dr. had been on active duty in Viet Nam and he was sure from what he learned there that I had a serious disorder.
* I asked the psychologist if she had ever seen the manufacturer's manual for people.
* "No, I have never heard of one," she said. "I'll give you one," I said.
* For my next visit I wrapped up a Bible and handed it to her. She looked at the package for a few minutes and then said, "Is this a Bible?" I am not sure what made her think I would give her a Bible.
* She took the Bible. I passed the exam with flying colors. I didn't tell her I was KJV Only.
* Talking through my hat.
* ... Joel

Anonymous said...


Well, so much for your gifts!! Personally I am cashing in my gift cards to Home Depot, Costco, Bath and Body, Barnes and Noble,even my Victorias Secret but, I refuse to part with my Starbucks. I am paying my part for the "shrink" visits.


CindyMae said...

Too funny!!! What a halarious post!!

Kent Brandenburg said...

I will use all gift cards at their appropriate location. I will enjoy them. I will especially enjoy my Starbucks cards, if any.

DaCatster said...

There is suppose to be a decorative soap theme? Oh Man I am missing something here.