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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Crippled Presents

Or, to put it another way, Lame Gits. (Well, Gifts, actually. Not Gits. But I stand by my previously-expressed opinion that some typos are a gift from the gods, and ought not to be corrected. Not to mention the fact that I think I have just serendipitously happened upon the ideal gang name for self, Dude, Marmite, et al, should we ever fancy joining forces and getting together on street corners to terrorise normies. Er, always assuming there's sufficient wall available for all of us to prop ourselves up against, you understand. What with standing for any length of time being something of a challenge to us Lame Gits. Despite which, we are scary. Oh yes.)

But I digress.

Yes, those endearing people over at Rare Bird Finds have launched an exceedingly cunning competition, snappily-entitled, "The what's-the-lamest-gift-you-ever-got contest". The winner gets to choose his or her favourite item from the Holiday Gift Guide.

My hopes of winning with the three jars of supermarket own-brand decaffeinated coffee (wrapped up to look like a Christmas cracker) with which my mother presented me one year very shortly after I had explained that only Kenco will do, have been dashed by the fact that I no longer have said jars so cannot photograph them.

For the sake of continuing amicable relations between the UK and the US, it is possibly just as well that Lady has found a grateful recipient for the last of those dear little pots of Marmite which the Dude so generously bestowed upon her.

Despite the British enthusiasm for passing unwelcome gifts to the nearest charity shop with great rapidity, I am quietly confident that at least one of this blog's readers must have something hidden away which could be dusted off and photographed. And, even if that's not the case, I shall be looking forward to the competition results being published.

Who knows? Said results might even make me feel that I got off rather lightly with my three jars of coffee.

The Editor


Blogger Jess said...

I dunno about gifts, I did just "inherit" a fantastically ugly curio cabinet. Weighs a thousand tons, and doesn't fit anywhere. You know I've got to keep it, too, as my grandmother's bound to ask at some point where I put it, and if it looks nice. Argh.

5:48 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

I have received some lame gifts in my time, but I do have a particular fetching purse I shall fish out, which is a purse in the British sense and is

(a) covered in sparkly sequins
(b) bright pink
(c) the face of a pig.

It wasn't any sort of joke and it certainly wasn't meant nastily; the friend actually thought it charming.

The same friend bought me a calendar the next year of pictures depicting scenes from Shakespeare performed by cats (illustrations of; not real cats in Tudor costume or anything quite so perverse). Because when you think of me, you think of cats and when you think of cats, you think of Shakespeare...

She is still a close and valued friend, but it's like the gift-giving version of tone-deafness.

9:11 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Yeah, some people just don't have the gene for it, I'm afraid.

My mother being a case in point, unfortunately.

My younger brother has, on various occasions, been presented with:

- Y-fronts (he wears boxers)
- shaving foam (he uses an electric shaver)
- two separate copies of "Vanity Fair", neither of which he has read


- pot pourri (which went into a bin on Euston station).

I have had

- a teeny, tiny, telescopic umbrella (given in the days when I could just about still use umbrellas, but only if they were of the same length and strength as a walking stick)

- a truly hideous (and larger than my handbag) plastic container with the days of the week marked on it, in which I could - if I so desired - store my meds

- a ceramic spoon-rest in the shape of a leek. About which, the less said, the better.

It may have been immediately after the pot pourri year that an agreement was reached that we buy the olds a paperback novel each, and my mother buys us one in return.

9:25 pm  
Anonymous Diddums said...

I'm very easy to please (and would probably find a use for both the calendar and the 'silk purse') but... and I know this is ungrateful... I did feel a little cheesed off one Christmas when I asked for a juicer/smoothie-maker and got a hand-blender. It's not a BAD present as such, though I never did use it!

1:03 am  
Blogger Mary said...

I started dating Steve in December nearly two years ago, which meant that by last December his parents felt that they should give me gifts as well (because I'd been with him almost a year and we were starting to make noises about living together) but didn't have a clue what to give me (because they'd seen me about twice each in that time).

So they both, independently of each other, broke out the stash of Unwanted Gifts to wrap up and give to me. Each gift, under the wrapping, included the thin layer of dusty fudge and the carefully-taped-back-shut packaging. The items themselves were varied, but included a Burberry scarf, a kiwi-fruit-sized china trinket box, some soap, and some out of date sun cream.

There is no shame in a book token.

11:03 am  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I never keep unwanted presents, they go straight to various charity shops in Skipton, or in extreme cases on the midden.

I'm more interested in the 'Lame Gits' gang, we could trip the normies with our sticks and shout things like 'Lookit da numpty Normie' accompanied by sniggering.

2:35 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Oh, no.

No, recycling one's unwanted gifts into gifts which will be equally unwanted by their new recipient is pretty low.

You'd have to be very short of money indeed to have any chance of getting away with that without it being remarked upon.

4:50 pm  
Blogger laughingattheslut said...

So I am wondering if in England there is not the mobs of people standing in line the day after Christmas trying to exchange gifts that are the wrong size or wrong color or whatever. Maybe stores don't allow you to do that over there?

Target and some other places now just assume that so many of the items are going to be returned that if you buy something in the two months before Christmas you are given a special gift return receipt. That way you can give the gift with a receipt that makes the gift easier to return to the store, but the purchase price isn't actually on the ticket, just a bar-code that the store can read.

I was once given some champagne as a Christmas gift, but it was in a gift basket from my employer that was almost identical to the gift baskets given to every other employee. It wasn't like a special gift to me, it was just sort of part of the Christmas party.

But then a few years later I was given yet another bottle by someone in my family. And everyone knows that I do not drink alcohol. In fact, most years someone in the family gives me a gift basket with cheese and such and specifically NON-alcoholic wine or champagne. So that was quite odd.

6:51 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Can't stop. I'm heading straight off to Skipton to comb the charity shops in order to buy Honoria's Christmas present!

Unless she wants the bottle opener I got in last year's "Secret Santa" at work. It is a very unpleasant shade of pink and requires at least three hands to operate it. Obviously a recycled gift by the time it reached me (and, as I organised the event, I know who kindly dumped it on me), you can imagine my pleasure and delight (as a tragically handicapped teetotaller) on recieving this carefully chosen knick-knack.

11:02 am  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

See if you can find me a bright pink sparkly-sequinned pig-purse. I've always wanted one of those.

1:12 pm  
Blogger Lady said...

Once, with nothing but excellent intentions, I gave my sister a rock and a packet of stickers for her birthday.

She was fifteen. I was seventeen.

It was a very cool rock with some nice fossils in it, and I'd spent some time picking out the matrix around some of them. And Blondo has always loved stickers. She still loves them.

But still. It was a rock and some stickers. I still feel bad about being such a little twit.

...this year, I'm giving her a rubber ducky. I've already had it confirmed by my mother that she'll love this gift.

4:50 pm  
Blogger Purple Ambush said...

For years I have been given bubble bath or bath salts.

Whats wrong with that you may ask... Everything when you live in a flat or bungalow that has a wet floor shower room and no bath!

3:11 am  

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