Published Monthly



From the Editor (December 2006)
by Michael Haislip

I'm a terrible gift giver. Although this is not news to those of you who have been my victims in the past, I feel that I should warn any future acquaintences of my shortcomings in the gift-giving realm. Previous indiscretions include subscriptions to Accounting World Magazine, memberships to Weight Watchers, and the fiasco that is known locally as "the marmot incident." We shan't speak of that anymore.

While I'm confessing my past failures, though, allow me to confess something else. Some have suspected me of purposely being terrible at gift-giving for some nefarious purpose they don't understand. Those people are correct, I must admit. I am one of the growing number of Americans who feel that the best gifts are the ones not given. Let me explain.

The traditional process of gift-giving has existed for eons almost unchanged from its origins in pre-historic solstice rituals. For example, Oogah of the Stinky Cave Clan may have wished to appease the Sun God by sacrificing crops or virgins. The Sun God would sweep down from the heavens in his flaming chariot and claim his gift. Sometimes Oogah would thoughtfully leave the receipt with the offerings, in case the Sun God wanted to exchange the virgins for another size. If the Sun God wasn't pleased, he would often give back the same items next time. This was the earliest form of re-gifting. This model of gift-giving has continued unabated through modern times, although I haven't received crops or virgins since that one office party.

My anti-gift philosophy takes the old model and smashes it open like a hooker's dirty, lying face. Damn hookers with their police wires.

You see, it's sort of a reverse Pavlovian response. By establishing a pattern of crappy gifts, people will actually feel better if they know you won't be getting them anything. They will sleep easier at night without the worry of receiving a Spam sampler pack under the tree. They will no longer live in fear of receiving coupons for free LASIK eye surgery. They will have peace of mind, and isn't that the greatest gift of all?

So, in conclusion, none of you are getting a damn thing this year. Don't you feel better already?


Michael Haislip is the editor of AntiMuse. For 6 years, he published the cult favorite American Assassin magazine, churning out almost 1000 pages of commentary and humor in that span. In lieu of flowers, he asks that you send alcohol.

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