Thoughts from the Ammo Line

Ammo Grrrll returns with reflections on GIFTING AND REGIFTING. She writes:

Tuesday night put Ammo Grrrll in an unusually festive mood. And that is why God invented Excedrin. God Bless America and the observation attributed to Lincoln that you can’t fool all the people all the time. I was beginning to think Abe had it wrong. The election feels like a gift and hence our topic today.

With the holiday season just around the corner, and Christmas accoutrements up in stores since August, “Gifts” is a good topic, election or not. Giving and receiving gifts is a lot more complicated than it would seem at first blush. In several cultures, gift-giving involves subtle protocols the unwary could easily violate to mutual misunderstanding and disaster.

Hillary’s idiotic Red Restart Button springs to mind. Or The Lightbringer’s jaw-dropping gift to the Queen of England of his own droning speeches. In a format that doesn’t work in the UK.

Luckily, he made up for the crappy gift by returning the Churchill bust. Maybe he’ll give the Statue of Liberty back to France, too. He’s more of a fan of “redistribution” (def: n.. looting) than liberty. That torch could leave a carbon footprint, and Lady Liberty should probably be wearing a nice polyester pants suit instead of a hetero-normative dress. (“Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses with a low-grade fever, willing to self-quarantine part-time except for bowling…”)

My sister is a kind, lovely person with elegant, particular taste in all things. When designing and furnishing her house, she took days to select the unseen slides for the kitchen drawers. My sister’s husband jokes that for her birthday he gives her a “ceremonial” gift and the receipt, because, inevitably, it is going back.

Far less elegant or particular, I had my Mexican handyman pick out the paint for my walls. The house is very bright and gay in the original meaning of the word. I would include a picture, but The Paranoid Texan Next Door claims the colors sometimes frighten the unprepared. Think Sunshine Yellow, Green Tea Green, and Periwinkle! Yes, witty Top Commenter Arnold T., it’s a real color – kind of a lavender blue.

If you want a quick lesson in humility, try writing a little humor book and finding not one, not three, but FIVE personally-autographed copies on your synagogue’s used book sale table. Several somebodies had given them as gifts to people who had been underwhelmed.

Since the names were in the books, I was sorely tempted to buy them up and surprise the owners by wrapping them beautifully and returning them. With yet another autograph. (“P.S. Resistance is futile. This book will find you wherever you go.”) Then I remembered my favorite t-shirt: “The cops never think it’s as funny as you do.”

And then there are greeting cards. What a racket! They were a quarter when I was growing up, fifty cents for a big, fancy one for your Mom. Now, they can cost dang near as much as the gift. My thrifty friend, Randy, hates cards and just requests the extra $3.50 in cash.

My favorite-ever greeting card story comes by way of my friend, Linda. Linda worked with a woman whose unemployed middle-aged son still lived at home. The mother waited on him hand and foot and he was not even nice to her. Talk about Failure to Launch!!

On Mother’s Day when she opened the card he had tossed at her, she realized that he had run into the convenience store when he got up at noon, grabbed the first card he had seen without reading it, and signed it with just his name.

She figured this out because the card read: “You’ve been like a mother to me.”

Oh God. If you don’t think that’s funny, there is truly no help for you.

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