Ok, so like I wussed out. There I was all prepared to get that amazingly funny gift that was befitting each and everyone of you and your warped senses of humor and one that would generate that profound group chuckle as it was unwrapped and whoever was hanging around would nod approvingly saying: “Good one Fromage, good one.” But I got a tad lost, you know, caught up or bogged down one could say, and that gift giving urge dissipated until it was too late and I was reaching a point of desperation to finish what has never been a task that I was overly fond of in the first place.
After trodding miles through aisles of “Funny Animal” photos with numerous Siberian Wolfhounds and wide eyed Pekinese all cutely dressed as people doing the darndest things and then finding myself tragically mislaid amongst acres of deranged books loudly proclaiming anything outlandish or absurd in order for someone to be impressed and, least I forget, my big store endeavor foiled by that bleached blonde in the leopard-skin leotards wrestling me down in my attempts to purchase the last remaining “Bad Mouth Talk’n Trailer Trash Barbie©” that was left in its dented box at Toys-R-Us. She obviously needed it more than me, that and a shave—but anyway.
So here I was still at work Friday night and my relief was a few minutes late and I was stressing and my pathetic Honda was riding the big E and precariously almost out of fuel. So I headed down the hill all the while projecting my usual image—world pain suffering but slightly demented existentialist dressed in black. And whilst pumping gas I realized that I indeed had the most raging of headaches, the truly medieval equinox of migraines and what I had to have before I could go any further on my quest for another god damn yuletide gift was the reprieve that only a few aspirins could bring.
A veritable trifecta of Bayer™ would do just nicely was the thought that came to mind as I swerved around the cement divider and erratically U-Turned across El Camino Real taunting the oncoming traffic and into Walgreen’s parking lot narrowly missing the mumbling panhandler with his tattered misspelled cardboard sign proclaiming everyone to have a hapy holiday. He, of course, was standing in the handicapped parking spot which along with a couple of other regular spots I had just taken up by sliding in sideways at a very wide angle and he just stood there blinking as I then tried to shoo him away from my car door so that I could get out. Like being in the way is anyway to get a holiday handout and all.
Even at this time of night there was an abundance of holiday shoppers and I was only too glad to get around the obviously inbred or at least too closely related couple with the immense hoard of bulging shopping bags filed with wrapping paper and toys who were busy blocking the front door while deeply engaged in discussing the merits of dried turkey jerky as a substitute for Nicorette™ chewing gum. Clearing this obstacle I then hurriedly B-lined it over to the “Pain Relief” section, which—as it happen to be all the way to the back of the store—I was forced to wade through screaming Ritalin® infused children knee deep in half destroyed Sponge Bob© regalia while nearby their pharmaceutically medicated moms were absentmindedly dragging down plastic cartons of Christmas tree lights all the while complaining to no one in particular about the state of this year’s ornaments and of course going unnoticed or at least unheeded by all the future deadbeat dads in whatever mode of sedated ignorance they were indulging as they perused the periodicals rack for muscle car magazines.
Thankfully the object of my desire, my holy grail, so to speak was there displayed against the back wall all gleaming smugly in their very own “tamper proof/child proof” containers. There the generic Walgreen’s aspirin sat awaiting me and it was all I could do not to bellow in triumph as I ripped open the large economy super saver size bottle picked out the useless wad of cotton and downed a quick few dozen before turning around and heading to the checkout counter to pay for my sins of needing immediate medication. There, of course, in front of me was a line of shoppers waiting to do the same—pay and then move along with one’s life. But unfortunately tonight was not the night to be doing this in a timely manner.
No it was a veritable human gridlock and the main hold up was one lady with a whole shopping cart full of rather large packages that appeared to be labeled as Foot Spas® and she was talking up a storm to anyone who even seemed to be listening and just as an idea, you know, for a gifty, I sorta looked over her Foot Spas®, because she obviously thought she had a real deal going on here. Or maybe just a whole hell of a lot of friends with terminal cases of corns and all, but as I was eyeing her purchases and mentally comparison price shopping the rest of the assorted goods assembled in that long checkout line I spied a huge pile of pre-paid gift cards for every imaginable thing under the sun. There were some good for going to the movies and redemption at book stores and even a few for facials and hair cuts and lube jobs with your oil change. But what stuck me as weird at first all of a sudden became that little answer that I needed in order to gain a wee bit of salvation. I know, I know, maybe it was the aspirin talk’n and all but I just closed my eyes and reached in and that’s how I came to buy everyone a prepaid rechargeable Walgreens Gift Card® for Christmas this year!