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Year 2 Day 77- The Gift That Keeps On Giving

by admin on December 15th, 2004

The gift exchange is over. I can honestly say it didn’t turn out how I expected. My wife and mother chastised me constantly in the hours prior to the party about “How could you give that as a gift”. It got to the point where I was actually pretty nervous about the gift.

I still decided to give it though.

We got to the party, and my gift was instantly given the red warning flag.
I tried to lessen the blow by letting people know, they iDID NOT want my gift.i
I let them know it was offensive, and that they iReally did NOT want this gift.i

I was hoping the gift exchange would be AFTER dinner, just because the gift might kill someone’s appetite. They started it as soon as everyone had ordered their dinner.

The gift exchange works like this,

There were 12 gifts in the pile. Participants draw a number 1-12. That is the picking order. The first person selects and opens a gift. The second person may take his/her gift, or pick a new one from the pile. If gift #1 is taken, then person #1 may select another gift from the pile. A gift may change hands 3 times, before it is considered edead’ and not allowed to be taken. The process continues until all gifts are off the table, then person #1 may select take a gift from someone else if he chooses, since he didn’t have the option to steal from anyone. I had #6 in the picking order.

Gifts 1-5 were selected. The worst thing selected was by the man who got my painting last year. He got a make-up kit. He seemed very proud of it, so much so that he spent part of every turn trying to pawn it off on someone.

When it was my turn. I picked a harmless looking package. I opened it to find an old fashion nutcracker. It was actually kind of nice. Too nice to be in a ewhite elephant’ gift exchange.

White elephant gift exchanges are supposed to have odd gifts, found gifts, re-gifted gifts, things nobody really wants gifts, not nice things.
The nutcracker, while odd, was too nice.

It stayed in my possession for one go around, and then someone stole it from me. I picked another gift. I selected one that looked very much like the shape of a car jack. I tried to find a ibadi gift, so that someone wouldn’t feel so bad when they opened a giant Bigfoot wiener. The gift I selected actually turned out to be a Pier 1 candle set. Again, too nice for the gift exchange. It was nice smelling, and I waited for it to be taken from me.

Only it never was.

The gifts got down to two remaining, one of which was mine. I made the following offer.

iI’ll give the person who gets my gift, these candles… just so you don’t have to take my present home.i

With gift #11 someone selected a book my principal had been holding on to, which was a very nice art book. He had the choice to steal from someone else, or take one of the two remaining gifts. He chose mine.


There were 12 people in our exchange 4 of which I felt pretty comfortable with getting my gift, and not going totally nuts. I honestly didn’t think HE would get it. I guess the disclaimer on the front intrigued him.


1) You have a good sense of humor
2) You can take a joke
3) You like eccentric things
4) You’re a bit of a science buff.
5) You’ve ever wondered what’s really out there.
6) You want a little piece of history
7) You like the outdoors


1) You are easily offended
2) You have a bad sense of humor
3) You’re happy leaving things unexplained
4) You’re a skeptic
5) You want that little teapot or box of candy as a gift
6) You want a gift someone else would want
7) You cry easily
8) You don’t have a mantle

He picked it though, and in order to help deaden the impact the gift would cause when opened, I wrote a quick little story to go with it earlier that day, which had to be read out loud.

For centuries people have been fascinated with the unexplained. Scientists and independent researchers devote hundreds of hours, even lifetimes, trying to make sense of that which is unexplainable. Certain phenomenon has fascinated mankind for centuries, becoming that of which legends are based. Most legends, however, remain unproven. Witnesses claim to have seen, but can never produce evidence that supports these legends actually exist.

That is until now.

May 27th, 1987, Dr. Chalmers Bert, renowned researcher of the unexplained stumbled across something remarkable while conducting research in a mountainous region of Washington.

Chalmers found the body of a large, unknown animal lying dead in the middle of the wilderness. Excited by his find, he radioed for help to remove the body from the forest floor, and have it returned to his lab in Oregon for further study.

Help arrived shortly, the body was safely removed, and sent to Oregon for research. Once in his lab, Chalmers began to dissect the creature, and place its body parts in jars, as he completed his testing. Things were looking great. In a matter of time the world would come to know his discovery, and the public would finally have the evidence it needed to believe some of that which had always been eunexplained’

The evening of June 14th, 1987 as Chalmers lay sleeping he heard thunderous sounds, animalistic sounds, coming from his downstairs lab. Scared that he was being broken into he called the police, and remained hidden under his bed until they arrived. Upon their arrival, they discovered the lab had indeed been broken into. The creature Dr. Bert had painstakingly dissected and researched was gone.

Or so he thought.

After the police had written their reports and left his house, he discovered that whatever had broken into his house had left one jar remaining. Sadly, the piece of evidence that remained would only be cause for further ridicule and skepticism. Saddened by his loss, Chlamers Bert went into seclusion. The piece remained with him, the entire time, chemically preserved.

In November 2004 Chalmers finally decided to emerge from hiding, and face the world again. In the time he’d been away a popular development–The Internet had come into wide use.

It wasn’t long before Dr. Bert discovered ebay. In ebay, he finally had a place where the piece of scientific evidence he had stored all those years could be sold, for profit, and thus bring some good to the misfortune he had suffered nearly 20 years prior.

The item was placed in auction, where it commanded a selling price well over 6 figures, to a man in ——-, California. Elated Chalmers mounted the piece, boxed it in an old VCR box, and shipped it first class to California.

Unfortunately, on the way south, late at night, the delivery truck crashed into the river near ——, California. The prized cargo was thrown from the vehicle where it landed safely in a nearby bush. Strangely, at the same time, a man in ——– was having A heart attack–which ended his life. There would be no trace of the package ever not reaching its final destination.

On the way here tonight, this package was discovered in a bush, unopened. For lack of a gift, the discoverer, wrapped it, and put it in the gift exchangeototally unaware of what was inside.

Now you must show the world…

The story was a little long, and hard to hear due to the amount of noise in the restaurant, but it helped deaden the blow. After the story was read, it was time to open the box.

When he unveiled what was in the box, I’d say he was more than a little shocked. He was speechless. “What is it?” people asked. The piece never left the box, to be shown to the world, but it was passed around, and everyone thought it was funny.

What surprised me most was that people were more impressed with the story, than they were offended by the Bigfoot penis.

iWow that was a great story. How long did it take you to write?i

Uhm, hello, Bigfoot penis!

iDid you take a lot of creative writing in college?i

Did you NOT see the 2 foot long Bigfoot wiener?

“That’s great, you can teach some creative writing classes next session.”

I immediately offered up my candles to my principal so I could get the present back, and he wouldn’t have to take it home.

iNo, NO NO NO, I have plans for this!i He said. iThis is going under our tree, to be used on Christmas morning.i

??? OK.

Then one of the other art teacher said.

iThat reminds me of a display I made when I was still in LA… only I made one 6 feet long with a zipper you undid, so that it just fell out.i

6 feet long? Wow.

Then that turned into a conversation about the actual Bigfoot creature, which was interesting. A lady here saw one running across the road once a few years ago on a trip to the coast.

The evening ended after dinner was finished. I went home with the candles. The Bigfoot wiener went home with my principal, who was thrilled to be able to use it again. I didn’t quite expect someone would WANT that as a gift. I feel sorry for whomever opens that on Chirstmas morning.

“What did Santa bring YOU?”
“A Bigfoot penis.”

Some day somewhere I have the feeling I’ll get it back… I just don’t know when.

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