I actually did more over spring break than refrain from being a pedophile. I also spent some time taking a joke too far—my specialty.
Two weeks before break, I was at dinner with my ginger friend when he mentioned his birthday was March 21st. But it was only later that night, after I’d returned to my dorm, that I realized what a golden opportunity this was. Over my lifetime, I haven’t met or befriended many redheads, let alone ones to whom I’m close enough to celebrate birthdays, so it was a momentous occasion that had to be commemorated with a gift appropriately to scale.
“I need to make him a ginger gift basket,” I exclaimed into the void of my dorm room. Someone sighed in the hall, presumably the couple who regularly grope each other right outside my door at 1AM, which I took as affirmation.
I then wrote down a list of everything I could associate with gingers that I could translate into gag gifts and let it sit until spring break, when I got to the real work. By which I mean I tagged along on Mom’s grocery trip and ran the ginger gift basket items by her.
Me: What do you think?
Mom: Do you value his friendship?
Me: Uh… yeah.
Mom: Then don’t give it to him.
Given that up until this point my mom has been right about 90% of everything in my life (people, decisions, you name it), she probably thought I’d listen to her advice. I think, though, she really underestimated to what lengths I would go for a dumb joke. I also think we both learned a lot about me that day, namely that I don’t really have standards.
She continued reminding me that you’re supposed to be nice to your friends until she realized that I was still serious about the gift basket, at which point she gave up trying to get through to me and helped me choose between bottles of sunscreen.
Mom: You don’t know his SPF, do you?
Me: Easy. The highest one available.
Mom: That’s SPF 100+ and costs $20.
Me: … He’s SPF 50.
Once we picked up the obvious gifts like a knob of ginger, one single carrot, etc—and refrained from a couple items I frankly should’ve gotten credit for not including—we searched for the next item, a Red Lobster gift card.
I’d been picturing the standard card with the Red Lobster logo against plain black for the full impact, but apparently, that one only ran $25 and up. The other design, one of a lighthouse, was nice and ran $10 and up, but the logo was smaller in the corner and just wasn’t the same.
I rocked back onto my heels, looked toward the ceiling, and really questioned my life choices.
Mom: You could always just give him an empty gift card.
Me: Mom, who do you think I am?
Me: Also, do we have any old shoes we’re about to throw away? For the next item, I’m gonna give him part of one.
At home, Mom dug out a pair of ratty black combat boots (a pair she “borrowed” from me for dance) and peeled off the bottom. It looked about as disgusting as it sounds, so she dunked it into a tub of water, from which Cat immediately started drinking (if you’re a close reader, you might recall the overlap).
Ginger Friend’s Birthday, 10:30 PM
GF: … I’ve always wanted Flaming Hot Cheetos.
Me: Keep going.
Confused, he pulled out a long package of insoles decorated with tacky American flags, with the words “Fashion Print” circled for emphasis and “In” crossed out. Even more confused, he proceeded onto the other items.
Girl: I get the other jokes but I don’t understand the soles.
Me: *holds them next to my face and waits*
Me, to GF: For your soul. Happy birthday.
Gift Basket Contents
- Flaming Hot Cheetos
- SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
- Red Lobster Gift Card (I did find a $10 one)
- “Soles” (because “gingers have no souls”–apparently the saying originated from South Park)
- Offensive Ginger Jokes (more here)
- Q: What’s the most unbelievably amazing magical power seen in Harry Potter? A: A ginger boy having two friends.
- Q: What’s the difference between a ginger and a styrofoam cup? A: Burning styrofoam is bad for the environment.
- The ultimate video, Tim Minchin’s “Prejudice”
Unrelated pictures of the week are of Cat with a gift for my cat-loving friend. The full title is How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety: And Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives.
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