They said it couldn’t be done.
“You can’t do all your Christmas shopping in one day,” they whined.
I scoffed at them.
Never underestimate the power of a man with a list.
I had that shit done in less than 5.5 hours. And two of that was driving. Heh.
I went to Wal-Mart (mostly for things for myself) and the Mall. Man, the madness was palpable. It was delicious.
I always strive to be very calm and extremely polite to everyone I come in contact with. They’re so freaked out and tense and losing it. My being kind is so foreign to their current mindset that it’s more effective than punching them in a kidney.
Now, I realize that I should have posted this Thursday night when I got finished. Or, maybe Friday. Maybe even this morning, but I was busy. I had to make 3 gallons of BBQ sauce and 40 pounds of ribs for the NA holiday party earlier tonight. Then, I had to get my Santa on for the kiddies and there were presents to wrap and all that shit.
Still, There Will Be Time. For, there is still Christmas Eve and YOU, too, can strive for greatness.
This is what works for me. And, if your sorry ass hasn’t started shopping yet, you’d best take some notes, dickface.
First, a list is paramount. You don’t necessarily need to know what you are getting for each person, but a list of people is imperative. I suggest a legal pad or notebook - something with some substance - so you can scribble on it and make notations while you are walking. Take a good pen. If you’re apt to lose things, take two.
At this time I suggest a couple of Excedrin Tension and a grande coffee of the day in a venti cup with four add shots and room for cream. If you’re more the drinking sort, a flask of bourbon and a couple of Vivarin. Or a fist-full of Percodan. Whatever works for you, gives you a little backbone. “Something to pep you up, make you wanna wash the garage.”
Go to the nearest mall. Park near a Sears, or a Macy’s, or some big department store. Take your list and enter the store.
Walk through the store and look for things that might make suitable presents - but don’t buy anything yet. Don’t even pick anything up. If you see something that might make a present, make a note of it, who it is for and what department of the store that it is in.
You can take your time with this first store, because it is here that the genesis of ideas happens for me. Before I leave this store I like to have an idea of what I am getting for everyone on the list.
After you’ve picked out a few select items and made some notes on your list - and don’t even give a thought to people looking at you scribbling on a pad and talking to yourself but not touching anything. Fuck them. They’re the enemy.
Okay, you’re now ready to venture out into the Mall proper. Gird up thy loins and dive the fuck in.
Stay to the right wall. Always. Do not deviate from this. Never look at the stores on the left, only the right. Those transient kiosks in the middle of the Mall? Don’t even sneer at them. They’re a waste of your time. The right, only look at the stores on the right.
You are going to walk the entire Mall. The whole circuit. If you stay to the right wall, you’ll ultimately end up back where you started.
Now, this is the important part:
Walk briskly. With purpose.
Try to smile every once in a while.
Try not to trample any children or run down a geriatric. I realize that this isn’t always possible (and a shoutout of “My bad” to that dude with the walker in American Outfitters. I was totally in the wrong on that one). Sometimes there are casulties of war, it’s inevitable. The goal here is to limit the damage.
It’s okay to wink and smile at the pretty girls, but, that is not what you are here for today. You’re out of time, fuckhead. A quick flirt? Okay. An ass grab? Cool. (And, again, sorry dude with the walker). But,
NEVER STOP MOVING
If you do, you’ll die.
The only time that you should stop moving is when you are at a cash register. Period. This is not negotiable.
If you see a store that has, or may have, something on your list, go in.
Walk to the nearest store employee. Ask that person if the store has what you are looking for and where it is. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, pivot and walk out of the store.
Never look back.
And, if you’re one of those people that can’t ask store employees for directions, you’re fucked. There’s no time left for pride, you fuck. “Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.” Take your life now.
The ideal goal is to buy the smallest things first (which, incidentally, is why you leave that department store where you entered for last). However, this isn’t always possible, so suck it up. Your lazy ass probably needs some exercise anyway so schlep those bags around. You’re now an integral cog in the flow of COMMERCE.
Begin buying things and consolidate bags, always putting the smaller bags into the bigger ones. You’ll have time to sort it all out when you come up for air and get out of the Mall.
While you’re chainsmoking three packs of Parliaments and crying about the amount of money you just spent.
Now, a few suggestions:
Never underestimate the power of the gift card.
Hot Topic also works for angst filled teenage boys.
(Just as an aside here, I was in Hot Topic and they didn’t have ANY NOFX cds. Not one. I was looking for a present for myself here, you see. Because this was for ME, I had to break the “don’t stop moving” rule for a minute and talk to the clerk about this obvious breach of angry white dude etiquette. She assured me, after a couple of winks and an ass grab, that they were merely sold out. I satisfied myself with the Against Me! live CD and the phone number of a girl that is probably way too young for me. What? I’d already stopped and I had a pen and paper in my hand. I’m not one to pass up an opportunity.)
(Another aside here, let me just say what a great thing that the Jeans Warehouse is and how I love it. You see, they sell absolutely nothing in there for dudes. Not. One. Thing. That means that there are generally only women in the store. And because I live in Hawaii, they’re mostly little brown women, and we all know how my Viking ass likes the the little brown women. I’m getting moist just thinking about it. I had to resist a really strong urge to just set up a tent and live there for the rest of my days.)
But COMMERCE was calling.
So, I’ll go back Tuesday.
If you are shopping for children, of nearly any age, I ask you to merely think back to your youth. Remember opening a gift and finding the full-on 64 pack of Crayola crayons with the little sharpener on there? And a couple of fresh, unsullied, coloring books?
Especially the ones with Batman? Sorry, I digress.
Man, the feeling of that pristine 64 pack in your hands is almost impossible to describe.
It is the feeling of infinite promise.
So, if you happen to be buying gifts for children of addicted parents who are struggling to get their lives back on track, who have nothing, and who are only going to get one or two presents for Christmas, give them infinite promise.
You won’t regret it.
Okay, that’s it. What are you reading blogs for, biatch? You don’t have time for this. It’s Christmas Eve morning. Get to the closest Starbucks, or liquor store, or pharmacy, and get this party started.
Oh, I almost forgot: If you happen to see a couple of guys, stoned as martyrs, one who looks like Jim Morrison (you know, the bloated one from the L.A. Woman album cover) and one who looks like the Jesus Yow Christ (with more hair than he has now), who may or may not be sporting mullets, with pupils the size of the twin suns of Tatooine, don’t fret.
That’s just the ghost of Christmas past.