Toney just sent me a text message that said: I’m expecting packages from Amazon, Dick’s, and CafePress. If they arrive while you’re there, put them in our room.
But, utilizing my self-taught speed-reading technique, I only saw: expecting package… amazon dicks… our room… And for a moment I was plunged into confusion, not to mention despair. Whew!
If I can make it through one more night of work, without developing a case of black vomit or falling sickness, I’ll have two days off in a row. And tomorrow will be dedicated to getting my freaking life in order.
My hair is so goddamn tall (it’s of the Jiffy-Pop variety), I’m afraid to walk near ceiling fans. And I owe millions if not hundreds of people DVDs from my Warner Bros. basement stash. Also, all my in-rotation clothes are dirty, and I’m going to have to dig deep in my closet to find something to wear to work. I’ll very likely be rockin’ a 1997 shirt that hugs my torso and accentuates my love handles.
But, by tomorrow evening I will have returned order to the House of Jeff. It’s a longtime comin’.
I’ve been on a serious Izzy Stradlin jag lately. I only have two of his solo albums — the ones on Geffen — but he’s released a bunch of others through iTunes and on foreign labels. I want to have them all.
Yeah, I know: Izzy Stradlin?? Hey, I can’t explain these things, I’ve just got to ride them out. He’s always been my favorite Guns ‘n’ Roses dude, and his records are a lot of fun. It’s all Stones/Faces-style rock, all the time. They sound nothing like GnR, and I get the impression he doesn’t give a crap if anyone hears them, or not. Good stuff.
Our younger boy was in Spanish class recently, and the teacher asked what the word “gaucho” means. He told her it’s a Steely Dan album, and she said, “That’s true, but it’s not really what I had in mind.”
At the parent/teacher conference she told Toney that he knows a lot of unusual stuff the other kids do not, and he’s very interesting and never fails to surprise her. However, he doesn’t put forth enough effort.
Yep. He’ll be the one who someday takes over the Surf Report, after I succumb to grocer’s itch or puking fever. It’s all developing right before our eyes, and so far we’ve been unable to slow its progress…
Finally, I’d like to know about the most memorable Christmas presents you’ve ever received. I’m talking mostly about when we were kids, but there’s no reason to limit it. So, let’s just say the most memorable of all time.
It’s funny, but the three that stick out in my mind were all pretty inexpensive. My parents always hooked us up at Christmas, often with high ticket items like a pool table or expensive stereo equipment. But the most memorable ones cost less than thirty bucks each.
The first came when I was thirteen or fourteen, when I was at the height of my baseball card mania. I always asked them for cards, and they resisted. They said they didn’t know enough about it, and it was all kinda… weird. But on this year the mailman brought a package — on Christmas day — from the Trading Card Company in Dearborn, MI.
Inside was two complete sets of 1971 Topps baseball cards (one each for my brother and me), in perfect mint condition. I about shit the credenza. This was before the price of cards went through the roof, and I think the sets only cost $24 a piece (amazing!), but it was just about the coolest thing ever.
1971, in case you give a crap, is very difficult to find in mint (or even excellent) condition, because of the black borders. They show every flaw, but I’ve got one that is fully pristine. Awesome.
And it was even cooler that it was delivered on Christmas day, in the afternoon. It was a bonus, almost like Ralphie’s BB gun.
Another really memorable gift was a book my parents gave me, called The Rolling Stone Record Guide. It was a big honkin’ reference book, in which the editors of Rolling Stone magazine reviewed almost every rock album ever released in history. Each was assigned a number of stars, from 1 to 5, and I became obsessed with that thing.
Over the years I’ve bought every edition of the book, as well as a similar one written by the editors of Trouser Press mag, and they’re incredibly addictive. I remember the first edition of the RS guide gave the early AC/DC albums one star each. The review was snotty and pretty much said the band was complete shit, and not worthy of anyone’s time. So, you see, I disagreed with a lot of their assessments. And that somehow made it even more fun.
And just so you know, they changed their opinion of AC/DC in subsequent editions. Eventually they realized what the rest of us knew all along.
The other super-memorable gift came from my parents just a few years ago. They gave me a reissue of the old Mattel hand-held football game. And that kind of coolness was so… unexpected. I had the game as a kid and loved it, and it’s still kick-ass. I keep it in my nightstand drawer upstairs, and bust it out every few weeks.
It’ll never stop being fun, and I’ll probably be playing it all the way to the end, right before I go down with bladder in throat, or whatever.
Now it’s your turn… In the comments section below, please tell us about the most memorable Christmas gifts of your life. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, just go with your Christmas equivalent, or birthdays, or what have you.
And I’ll be back soon, my friends. I now need to get one more eleven-hour shift under my extremely long belt, so I can tend to the House of Jeff. Come on 2 a.m.!
See ya next time.
Now playing in the bunker
Do your holiday shopping at Amazon: US and Canada
Joe T. says
The Qweezy Mark says
Shouldn’t you be out shovelin’? On second thought, the kids are old enough.
Joe T. says
My best gifts probably were my bikes, first the spyder bike, then the ten speed. Man, we went everywhere on those things.
Mine was my bike when I was 6. I think it was the last bike I didn’t pay for.
SC Scott says
If you’re not first you’re last. 🙁
Oral Roberts says
Most memorable gift was an interlock device.
Not enough effort. That sounds like crap. It;s clear the youngin already has a solid grasp on what is necessary and important in the world, how much more succesful could he be at his young age. His teacher is clearly threatened by his mind.
Eugene B. Sims says
Hey Jeff K!
Give this podcast a spin! The Less Desirables
It’s free on iTunes!
I’m the Official 3rd Wheel and TV Guru!
The second year of my marriage, my now ex-husband bought me a sewing machine. I was very excited and preceded to go on a wild crafting spree. It’s funny… i still have the Singer…he is long gone.
Is that really the best picture of Brooks Robinson that they could come up with?
Fuck Brooks Robinison
A shortwave radio. I used to listen to the propaganda from Radio Moscow.
Coleco tabletop hockey game.
ErectorSet with working electric motor!
T. Farty McAppleass says
Most memorable has to go to the replica Asian vagina my wife got me a few years ago when she found out I had the yellow fever.
Rock ‘Em Sock “Em robots. Everyone thought I’d want Barbies or the “Mystery Date” game but no dagnammit, I wanted – AND GOT – the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Ems.
Toodle Loop Radio was also a mind blowing gift.
On the other end of the sepctrum, you could imagine my feigned “delight” when. at the office grab bag Christmas party I opened up a spool of Duct tape and a Home Depot gift card. I tried to be polite about it but sonovabitch I was pissed.
Lucky! I had a Toodle Loop Radio too, but I couldn’t convince my parents to get me my own Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, or an Evel Knievel playset (another toy I really wanted). Thank goodness they stopped buying Barbies for me, though. I started getting Matchbox cars instead.
My most memorable Christmas gift was the entire Hot Wheels track with the loopty-loops, curves, the red connectors….the works! I already had some of the cars so I was set. It was awesome. I was such a tomboy. To this day, I have no idea what happened to that set.
I loved those Hot Wheels sets! The tracks made good swords too!
I had the same set. I think it is still in a box in my parent’s basement. Reminder: When I go “home” for Christmas, I must search the basement for:
Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots
Hot Wheels cars and loopy loop track
Lionel train set
Marx Fort Apache
Crossman BB Gun
Couple of misplaced ounces of weed in plastic bags
Naked pictures of Lisa Walden (high school weekender)
More shit I can’t remember.
YES! Hotwheels set with loops and ramps! Best toy ever!!
Bill in WV says
I loved the Hot Wheels sets too…..until my Dad figured out that the pieces of track made good belts to whip the crap out of us with when we f’d up.
My sister and I figured that out on our own. After seeing all the red welts on us, I think my mom threw some of the tracks right into the trash.
hot fuzz says
I actually would be ok with duct tape – you can never have too many rolls. I can always find a use for a gift card at home depot although I for some reason now prefer Lowes.
Jerry in WV says
An am radio that you had to build. Yep, just AM, but it was totally cool and I loved it. Probably what got me started on my career path.
My brother got something like that – they called it a “crystal radio”. Maybe not the same thing?
Good Afternoon Surf Reporters…
the first, most awesome Christmas gift that came to mind was a set of Ping Eye 2 golf clubs when I was 20. (in 1986). They were(and kind of still are) top quality clubs and I still play them to this day.
I will never forget my first bike. It was a huffy with a banana seat and it was green.
NO TRAINING WHEELS ever.
OH YEAH – a bike! I got one and hadn’t even asked for it. Imagine the “credenza” I took when I saw that under the tree!
My Huffy bike was a sparkly blue with a white banana seat AND a white basket with plastic flowers on the front that hung from the handlebars. It was the shit!
I think I had the same bike! Rode that thing to death!
I have the baseball version of that game.
Izzy has played some shows with Axl over the past few years. I guess they actually get along.
LOL! “Jeffy-Pop” hairdo!
A complete snap-on metric box end wrench set when I was around 13. I don’t even want to know what that set would cost today.
Jeff, I think you should crusade for your kids’ highschool to have a St. Vitas Dance this year instead of an ordinary old prom.
awesome comment. +1
Thank you, Tiff!
I’m sorry I can’t think of any memorable gifts right now–I’m just trying to stay alive. Two old, semi-drunk highly perfumed ladies came into my office an hour or so ago and I’ve just now gotten my normal breathing back and I can see out of both eyes again.
It was touch and go for a while there. My face is still quite red, though. My coworker saw me a few minutes ago and asked if I was sure I was okay. Maybe–left eye twitching like Chief Inspector Dreyfus’. Still can barely talk.
What the hell kind of perfume does that?
Old Lady Piss Water circa 1947. Especially if these 2 broads decided to marinate in it.
If you gotta lay it on that heavy, chances are it’s to masquerade another stank.
Usually with the word “Chanel” on the label.
Probably Tijuana Hooker #5
hot fuzz says
ugh I got trapped in a perfume wake at the mall today…couldn’t breathe…couldn’t escape…it was like a cloud of death
My favorite gift was back in about 1969. It was called a Strange Change Toy it had plastic blocks that you heated in a chamber and they become various dinosaurs. You reheated them and used the cranking device to smash them into blocks again. The smell of heating plastic and the sting of 2nd degree burns always brings back the memories
I BEGGED for one of those, and got….a doll. >:|
i remember one christmas, getting the barbie hook up! i got the dream house, motor home, yacht. it was the best! i mean those were pretty major barbie items.
Gordion Knott says
I remember the classic football game with the funky 70s computer lettering, but–jesus, $139? That’s almost the price of an Xbox 360 or PS3. It’s the equivalent of two Skyrim DVDs, and then some. Think I’ll stick with the modern equivalents.
That’s what the new ones cost. You can get an old one on Ebay for 10 bucks.
Phantom Railfan says
Best xmas gifts:
TYCO HO-scale train set, with Union Pacific steam engine and a host of freight cars when I was around 8. I never built more than a basic figure-eight track with a few sloppily-put-together model buildings, but I had a lot of fun with the thing…
Police scanner, book of radio frequencies, and a ton of maps when I was around 12. I would to keep records of where all the crime was in my area, and used to delight in hearing assorted neighbors, friends, co-workers and teachers getting pulled over for traffic violations. In the pre-digital days I could also pick up baby monitors and in-home intercom systems without even teying hard; over the years I heard so much stuff I could have blackmailed the entire neigborhood!
Phantom Railfan says
should say “trying” not “teying…”
Re: kids knowing Steely Dan album titles.
Last week, my daughter, who has just turned 3, was listening to Christmas music in the car and on came some cheesy Wings Christmas song.
“This sounds like the Beatles”, she said.
I nearly cried with pride 🙂
A Demolition Derby toy set. Some bright and colorful chrome finished cars that had panels that would crumple and doors and wheels that would fly off when they hit each other. Man I loved that thing! I ended up smashing it to pieces because each smash had to be more spectacular than the last, right?
Also a GI Joe that was badder than Rambo ever was. He was always destroying my sisters Barbie stuff. I think he secretly had a crush on Barbie.
A friend of mine had one of those sets, “Smash up Derby”.
Smash! Bang! Crash ’em up, Smash up Derby is funnnnnnnnnnnnnnn…
I remember Christmas at our house as being generally a big disappointment. I’m sure I got some good gifts over the years, but the *memorable* ones – that is, the ones that stick in my mind – tended to be things like underwear and colored pencils. Also: it’s 1968, not 1768! An orange is NOT a special treat! Especially when it obviously came from the bowl on the coffee table!
Maybe I was influenced by the wonders depicted on TV.
Humbug, ‘n’ shit.
My mom and dad went all out for Christmas. I can’t imagine how much time and money they burned making Santa the greatest.
Plus, we had relatives with money. Uncle Joe,Uncle John, Uncle Mike, Aunt Erma, Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Jesse, Grandpa, and several others would stop in for cookies and alcohol and pass out crisp new Twenty Dollar Bills. Picture a little kid in the late sixties/early seventies with hundreds in cash on December 26. They owned a strip mine and bought brand new Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals every year and would argue over which was the best car for hours.
Mr. Pollack who owned the Western Auto probably creamed his jeans when I went in there at age 10 or 12. I could have bought the entire store including all the lawnmowers and all the bicycles, shot guns, and ammo he had on hand.
Talk about good times, I have good stories for another time when I feel like typing for an hour.
Uncle Mike, huh? Where was he November 24 and does he have any enemies?
hot fuzz says
Funny!! And clever!!!
Big Bear in OH says
Best Christmas presents I’ve gotten over the years–At around 8 or 9, I got an AT-AT walker from the Empire Strikes Back…still have it put away somewhere. At 18 got my actual *first* owned shotgun, and at 21 got my first handgun for christmas. Still have both of those, and shoot them pretty regularly. Other memorable presents: Tony Llama boots and a 1986 Jeep Wagoneer. I miss that Jeep.
How come tetter is not on that list?
Most memorable wasn’t even a gift. Most memorable Christmas was when m wife and I were church mouse poor, living in this great, but cheap apartment in Ohio. We had a spiral staircase up to a loft on top. My wife who is allergic to trees, decorated our spiral staircase with lights and ornaments. Best Christmas ever!
That sounds fantastic! Sometimes the most simple things give us the best memories.
Phil Jett says
In the late 60’s my parents got me the GI Joe remote control tank that actually fired projectiles. This was for the old 12 in. Joes and it was huge. They got my brother the Jeep with trailer. Mine was definately the cooler of the two.
a mattel “stallion” bike..like 1968..all chrome..looked like a motorcycle with pipes and a seat with suspension that could easily accomodate me and one of the “blossoming” young ladies of my hood..(my back thanks you)..i kick myself in the ass to this day for ever getting rid of it..does anybody remember these?
Those were sort of an early BMX bike.
I am on a quest to buy a Schwinn Stingray. They go for big money on Ebay though – as in, thousands of dollars.
remembers the pea picker..orange krate…what were the others?..i think there was a red one and a white one.
I was too old for it, but man, I jonsed for a “Marvel the Mustang” toy – it was a ride on maybe battery powered horse. Loved that thing.
I remember Marvel… I was too old for it :^)
I’m told that when I was a tot I wanted a Tony the Pony in the worst way, then visited a friend who had one, and Tony was broken; changed my tune pretty fast. I have zero recollection of these events.
Tony is the same concept as Marvel: battery powered horse you can ride.
WB in OH says
When I was six or seven I got a pedal tractor, it was pretty cool until I left it parked behind Mom’s car. She backed over it and destroyed it. Dad fixed it up like new and regifted it to me the following year. Next best was electronic battleship and then probably my Crosman 860 pellet/BB gun.
Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Christmas eve Sara Conner gave me the clap.
I got a bb gun when I was about 8. I used it to kill countless birds and squirrels in our neighborhood. I kept all the bodies in a box in the garage. It started to stink and I got in trouble for that.
Two years ago my wife got me an itouch and had wireless Internet put in the house. Great gift. I’m using it right now.
The Qweezy Mark says
Did the animals you killed appear on your shirt?
Bill in WV says
My fave was a thing called “Super Toe” from the 70’s. It was a plastic field goal kicker dude and you smacked down on the top of his head and his leg would swing out and kick a small football. The thing had a goal post and a field you could lay out on the floor to see how long of a field goal you kicked. Christmas morning, my Dad attempted a 60 yard field goal on Super Toe. He slammed down on the guy’s head and the ball and his LEG went through the goal post. Broke!!! I think I cried all day.
WB in OH says
Damn, I remember Super Toe, I think my older brother got one for Christmas one year.
You’re not the only one who had Lubchenko moment, scroll down a couple of posts on the link…
Holy crap – three of the first four commenters are named Mike or Michael! What does this portend?
In conclusion, I must say that a football toy was not the first thing that came to mind when I saw the phrase “super toe”.
Portable 8-track player and a copy of Jesus Christ Super Star sound track. I didn’t say it was the *best* gift ever, just the most memorable.
And if your laundry and your hair are your big problems, you need to start beating your wife more often.
Miss Q says
You know, everyone is talking about these great gifts, but here’s the thing: my most memorable gifts have been ones that sucked. When I was 6, my grandmother gave me my youngest aunt’s old Barbie airplane. It had spilled Coke and pen marks on it. Thanks, Grammy!
Then there was the year my EX-husband bought me a stand-up cardboard cut-out of Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn (or whatever the hell his name was). Seriously?? I was 34.
I recieved a Columbia Flyer bicycle when I was about 8! Loved it! My Mom got me a horse statue from Germany that had real fur and mane and tail and an authentic english saddle. This was before the flocked plastic horses became commonplace and cheap. I adored it. I loved getting anything Liddle Kiddles, and Petite Princess furniture from Ideal. Last year my husband got me a Bose Wave CD player/radio. BEST GIFT EVER!
I remember almost all my gifts from Santa. Around age 3 I got cool stuff that was apparently sutible for shoving up my nose. At about 9 (I’m guessing) I got a chemestry set and a microscope. I guess my folks had figured out my inner nerd by then and told Santa I would put the gear to good use. They were right as I spent several young adult years gathering pond scum, dog shit and engaged in various forms of blood letting just to see what was going on in there. I’m convinced the shit I made with my chemestry set altered my DNA….and…. why those things are no longer considered a “toy”.
At age 3, *everything on the planet* is suitable for shoving up one’s nose. Including the rhinoceros.
My parents, I think, wanted me to be a literature/art geek like them, and didn’t know what to do when I turned out to be a technology geek instead. It’s OK; the money is better in technology :^)
hot fuzz says
I misread “Around age 3 I got cool stuff that was apparently sutible for shoving up my nose” as “around age (thirty one) got stuff that was apparently suitable for shoving up your nose” and thought you were saying your memorable Christmas gift was cocaine
10-4 on the 31. Your misreading reads true too. Actually it made gift giving easy back in the day. Herbal remedies as well were a welcomed stocking stuffer.
Most memorable gifts from way back:
Green John Deere pedal tractor made out of actual steel, it lasted for ever.
Marx Big Wheel. The beginnings of plastic toys, we wore the wheels off of these and had to be replaced about annually.
Crossman 760 BB gun. That thing could shoot holes through metal garbage cans. I believe I killed every pigeon in town. The president of the Wellsburg bank actually invited me to shoot pigeons off of their roosting spots on a ledge about 30 feet off the ground on Sunday mornings. I believe I bagged about 50 of them over a 3 or 4 week period, then a local cop told me I had to stop it.
Vertibird battery operated helicopter. Check out ebay if you have never seen one. Very cool toy for a young boy. They could not sell these today because the blades spin really fast and could almost take off a finger.
Phil Jett says
I still have my Vertibird and all the accessories including the box it came in.
My son loved that thing when he was younger. It still works like a champ.
WB in OH says
After looking at the Vertibird on ebay, the ten year old in me took over. I went to amazon (through the link) and bought a $27 remote control helicopter. Can’t wait to see what $27 gets you.
hot fuzz says
Billy Blast-off. I almost bought one from e-bay last year.
I always wanted GI-Joe but it never happened… but I always got something cool – to me anyways. My parents tried so hard with what they had.
One year my parents bought me a trumpet. I was just learning how to play and it was so cool to have your own rather than sharing one from school.
The one gift that made me cry was a copy of “It’s a Wonderful Life” from my wife. I love the movie but it was more about the message she was trying to give me….friends ..family…laugh….the important things.
My favorite Christmas was Christmas eve dinner and time with the in-laws and then a three hour drive in my little red Mazda pickup to my mom’s place to spend the night and Christmas day with my side of the family…way before we had kids and a house and careers…My wife was asleep as the clock struck 12 so I quietly said to myself “Merry Christmas Ray”…and continued singing along to the carols on the radio. My sure footed little red truck plodded along through the blizzard, all alone on the snow padded roads,,,,for miles in either direction we were the sole set of headlights punching through the storm,
shuffling through my ipod while reading this update….”almost cut my hair” by CSNY came on. which i cant remember ever hearing before but highly recommend it as an accompaniment to this update…with the jiffy pop hair and X-mas(also mentioned in the song) shout outs. its damn good song too.
Here’s a nice version, done by the original guys. Forty years later, David Crosby can still flat sing and Stephen Stills hasn’t lost much on the guitar. Maybe you had to be there, in those paranoid years, to still get the chills when Crosby hits the notes, maybe not.
hahaa…the song also mentions getting “the flu” that makes you paranoid? sounds like a case of black vomit to me.
How about other than the amazon link. For Jeffmas we get him a smoking fish pic from every state on NYE?
Love it or hate it I’ll coordinate it.