Tag Archives: christmas

I wonder if the toys are better at the North Pole Harris Teeter

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I won’t hold anything against you if you buy a toy for someone at a grocery or convenience store as long as you admit that something in your life isn’t going right that Giant Food is your first option. You might be broke like I am or you get a burning sensation whenever you enter a Toys R’ Us that can only be cooled with off-brand frozen peas.

Whatever reason it is, if you’re going to go this route make sure to avoid the ones I saw this past week:

The toy enjoyed best with a bottle of pills

One of the harshest criticisms of Barbie is that she leads a life of distorted reality.  Barbie can SCUBA dive, compete in the Summer Olympics and go to space, but we can’t possibly pose her in front of a scaled-to-size laptop while she cries looking at TheKnot.com pages for couples she doesn’t even know.

This toy might unintentionally change that:


If you take a closer look you’ll realize that Ken is only painted on the inside of the box.

And there’s no food on her plate.

She’s dressed up with nowhere to go

She’s by herself.

They need to package this with this.

The toy that makes you question copyright issues


This looks familiar. Real familiar. Stolen familiar.



Damn. You guys didn’t even try on this one.


The toy that sets you up for life failure


Five dollars says management gives these to the kids of checkout cashiers


My local Giant Food just spent the past month installing six new self-checkout machines so I was a bit confused when they decided to sell a toy version of the one thing they’re slowly eliminating. The job of a checkout cashier might be obsolete by the time this child even reaches high school. Start this kid out early on a self-checkout machine toy so I don’t have to stand behind him in 10 years filled with murderous rage while he tries to scan a 36-roll pack of toilet paper.

The toy that needs to die in a fire

This duck was all the way at the top of the shelf.


I’m pretty short so I had to get a wrapping paper tube to knock it down. Then I pressed the button and I quickly realized why it was up so high:







Things I learned from my 9-year-old cousin

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I just got back from spending the holidays with my family who make their permanent digs in the suburbs of Las Vegas. This family includes my 9-year-old cousin. Here are some takeaways from the visit that I’ll carry with me into 2012:

Balloon animals = harder to make than you would think

I’ll give those magicians and scary clowns credit–making balloon animals is a difficult task.

My brother and I got our cousin a balloon animal making kit for Christmas. It even came with a pump. Many of the animals require you to twist and lock certain parts of the balloon to make legs. Sometimes the twists simply wouldn’t stay. Here was our first attempt at a giraffe:

She called it a "giraffehorse" the cross between a seahorse and a giraffe. I called it "close enough."

Sidenote: When playing balloon swordfighting–a game you resort to when you can no longer make balloon animals–curve your balloon sword so you can maximize your reach.

Eat Raisin Bran within five seconds of pouring milk

Seriously. Eat it right now.


Everyone should treat eating a bowl of Raisin Bran like it’s a bomb you have 60 seconds to diffuse or everyone dies. That is unless you want a side of cold and wet despair with your roughage.

My mom gave me a warning when she saw me reach for the box and I heeded it. My cousin however fell victim to the soupiness on one of those days and she struggled to consume it all. We pardoned her for not finishing.

Don’t open the door for strangers

I should revise this one to say, “Don’t pretend like you’re not home after you’ve already cracked open the door for people in suits trying to hand you religious reading material” instead.

One morning there was a knock on the door and as I was looking through the crystal to decipher if it was a visiting relative my cousin had already proceeded to turn the doorknob. It was only then I could get out a weak “Who is it?” during a back and forth in the house about why the door was open in the first place. Two men dressed like the Men In Black told us they had reading materials to share. We politely declined.

My cousin claimed she knew who the men were since people had come to the house trying to sell things before but since she truly didn’t know their names my mom gave her a lesson on opening the door for strangers. I guess that’s more respectable than what my immediate family did when I was growing up which was turning the TV down and acting like no one was home…

12 x 11 = 132

Yeah. I forgot it. But hey you learn something new every day.

Also I’m an idiot.

When your gingerbread man won’t stand up, improvise

My aunt got us a gingerbread house kit the night before I flew back home. There were slots for individual gingerbread men to stand in with the help of frosting as an adhesive. Unfortunately, one of the gingerbread men refused to stand.

“I think it’s best that he lay down,” she said.

So lie down he did…in a pile of “snow.”

He was making snow angels.  Way to work around the problem!

Now if we could just make it look like he’s not coming down off of a meth high that would be even better.

The Kikkoman Holiday Phantom: A post three months in the making

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This post is about my slightly misguided imagination. It’s about having a steel trap memory. Most important, it’s about not wanting to end up in my local police department’s weekly crime report.



A few months ago I heard my co-worker lament about not having any soy sauce to complement her lunch. Without telling her I took a quick look in my office drawer but was doubtful I would have any. I’m not a big soy sauce fan unless it’s mixed with wasabi and I’m dipping a piece of sushi in it.

Later that day I was in the grocery holy grail known as Wegmans and noticed a condiment shelf filled with packets of duck and soy sauce in the checkout line. As I blankly stared at the soy sauce wondering why it was important to me I remembered my soy sauce-less co-worker. I grabbed a bunch of packets on my way out the door to give to her later.

I basically never leave the office so my co-worker was out the door well before I could deliver her soy sauce. I opted to leave them on her desk but failed to leave any type of post-it note indicating I was the provider. I didn’t think she needed to know it came from me as long as she had soy sauce at the end of the day.

Well it turns out she had no idea who left her the soy sauce. The next day I heard her talk out loud that she had no clue who gave her the bounty. I could have lifted my hand and said “Hey it was me,” but I chose not to.  A few weeks later a third co-worker who remembered she asked for soy sauce went to hand her some directly. His generosity reminded me that she never identified the first provider.

So I decided to see how far I could keep the gift giving going without her knowing.

I came up with the idea to give her soy sauce on every single holiday as the Kikkoman Holiday Phantom. I figured Kikkoman is a pretty big soy sauce distributor and phantoms are pretty stealthy–a quality I would need if I was going to successfully pull this off.

The First Drop

The first drop was at my co-worker’s apartment complex which up until that point I had only been to once for a housewarming party. I obviously couldn’t ask her roommates for the number so I decided to look in past Facebook events for an address. Since this was around the Christmas holiday I wanted something to reflect holiday cheer:


I tailgated into the complex while she was at a happy hour and mounted a poster on her unit’s door with mounds of magic tape so it wouldn’t fall off. In the process of taping the neighbor across from them saw me in the act. As if what I was doing wasn’t creepy looking enough I said to her, “You never saw me here.”

Hours later this popped up on my co-worker’s Plixi page (otherwise known as a Twitter picture album):


The Second Drop

Since Valentine’s Day was approaching I knew I had to plot the second drop soon. I knew two places were out of the question: our office and her apartment complex. This time it needed to be her car.
Finding soy sauce packets wasn’t as easy as it was the first time around but I managed to get my hands on some after a work assignment.

On a sidenote: F*ck this place for making me PAY for said packets…


Like some soy sauce crack addict I gave up and forked over the 70 cents for 10 packets. The guy standing next to me at the carryout restaurant window asked why I needed that many. Without elaboration, I replied, “It’s for a project.”

“Must be some project,” he said.

Flash forward to a few hours later back in the office: My opportunity presented itself when she asked if I wanted to play skee ball downtown. I seriously contemplated the offer but realized her being in D.C. gave me time to make a poster and find her car. Knowing her parking garage of choice, I trekked there during one of the most obnoxious, windiest days EVER and found her car easier than I found her apartment number for the first drop.


I placed it under her windshield then went to Whole Foods and called it a night. I was waiting for some type of Plixi post like the last time but was kind of disappointed not to see anything.

The next day at work I emerged from a backroom to find my co-worker calling out to me from across the office asking if I was the stalker leaving soy sauce messages wherever she went. I struggled to restrain every muscle in my mouth from curving into a smile when she asked me this. Somehow I managed to play it off like I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about.

“Wait…what is this?” I asked.

She then proceeds to tell me what I already knew and went through a laundry list of possible people who could have done it which–thanks to my amateurish acting skills–I was crossed off of. I even helped her in a process of elimination of who it could and couldn’t be.

I spent the rest of the work day finding the strength to not laugh out loud. Unfortunately, the suppressed laughter ceased when I overheard our co-workers suggesting she file a police report.

Oh shit.

The Third Drop

I knew I was going to have to reveal myself if she was getting legitimately freaked out which was evidenced by her last Facebook post:


Very quickly I came up with the idea for a fake third drop. I told her that someone had left a poster for me too, except this time it had less to do with soy sauce and more to do with Sriracha Chili Sauce (which until an office bottle ran out played a prominent role in my bloodstream during the lunch hour).

I said to hold on so I could e-mail her the photo as an attachment, which ended up being a poster I whipped up fast that said the following:


She already said she’s plotting revenge so if you’re reading this….I like SRIRACHA CHILI SAUCE. Damn really wish I had some SRIRACHA CHILI SAUCE.

The end (and kudos to you if you made it this far).