German Christmas for the Isolated

Last year I bought some boxes of Lindt chocolate to put on the doorsteps of neighbours for Christmas. I just realized that I’m exaggerating and I actually only bought 2 boxes. Only 1 box made it to a neighbour next door because I was sick on Christmas. I could have delivered the last box after Christmas but I was afraid it would look like some cheap schmuck waited for clearance chocolate for a Christmas gift. On non-special days I have no problems buying $1 snacks at the dollar store, removing the price tag and passing them off to people as a thoughtful regular priced gift.

This year I bought 5 boxes of chocolates. I almost opted for the Lindt again until I came across the Merci brand for cheaper as well as 50 grams more a box. I’m confident people will appreciate a German brand. How long did it take for people to embrace German brands after the demise of Hitler? I surmise some time in the 1970s based on the popularity of Volkswagen vehicles. If not then the 1980s based on the popularity of German shepherds. Today, young men are sporting Hitler haircuts which have made good pandemic self-haircuts due to its simplicity. A blitzkrieg with a #1 clip to the sides and back of the head and you’re ready for war.

These Merci chocolates were packaged in a thin square shaped box. As a person with no gift wrapping skills, I went on YouTube and searched, “how to wrap a CD.” After wrapping all of them I had to brainstorm who to give them to. The lucky recipients were:

  1. Old lady in a care home who I take grocery orders for. This was an obligation exchange since she told me ahead of time that she would be giving me a gift.
  2. Neighbour across the street for no other reason than I don’t hate them.
  3. Next door neighbour because I believe his wife recently passed away. He also has an appearance which garners sympathy. The truth is he should be buying me a gift. I have repaired our dividing fence a handful of times at no cost to him. When I say ,”I,” I really mean my obese carpenter cousin but I supervised.
  4. An old guy I shop and deliver groceries for who didn’t even know it was Christmas yesterday. I gave him a $4 box of chocolates and he gave me $30.
  5. A neighbour a block down from me in his 50s. He’s kind of like me; he’s one of those guys other guys hope they will never become. Every day you’ll see him standing outside of his door, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes with his male roommate around the same age. We’ve never spoken.

The Asian family that recently moved across the street dropped off a mini box of Lindt and a photograph of them. Now if I don’t acknowledge them at least once the next few times I see them, what are they going to think? I didn’t consider them as a recipient for my German chocolates because they seem to like life or at least try to.

A woman in the neighbourhood who I know from walking our dogs gifted me 2 mini Lindt chocolate bars and a magnet. I chose not to return the favour with my superior gift because I don’t feel sorry for her. She’s very comfortable with money and people generally like her. Santa Claus rewards the nice kids, I reward people who no one seems to care much for. Is there a reason no one cares about them? Maybe they’re assholes and don’t deserve Merci chocolates. Maybe my next door neighbour’s wife past away because he killed her. Aside from #4, all the gift chocolates were left on doorsteps and labeled from “Santa.” I’m making you aware of this because it makes me look like an altruistic human being who is better than you.

Happy Holidays,


Obsolete Sunday

While trying to figure out how to get 5.1 surround sound through Netflix I discovered that Samsung chose to discontinue Netflix service with its older home theatre systems. It was their way of saying, ‘There’s not enough of you for us to care so go F yourself and buy a new one you cheapskate. With products so great and inexpensive, what kind of person doesn’t upgrade their system after almost 10 years.’ That’s what I got out of it anyway. It took me over an hour before I figured this all out. My Playstation 3 though still offers Netflix service with 5.1 surround but I’ll be too unmotivated to mess around with the cables every time. With Playstation 5 now out, Sony will probably tell me to go F myself in the near future.

The circular fluorescent tube industry also told me to go F myself today. It appears as though these tubes with pins located in the center are discontinued. For a bulb they look complicated. I opted to go to Ikea to pick up a new cheap floor lamp. Ikea is like the dollar store to me; I always end up buying more than I intend. This time it was a shoe horn.

Without the internet I would have went to the hardware store and the teenage clerk who is supposed to be the someone who knows something about every item in the store would tell me that they don’t carry it but maybe Dick’s Lighting will. I would then drive to Dick’s Lighting and Dick would tell me that they don’t make them anymore. Pre-internet people will never know how much of life was spent driving around just to have another human being tell you bad news.

Just an hour ago, walking home from buying something that they will never discontinue, plain potato chips, I spotted what appeared to be an owl hanging out where the humans usually cross over. The first thought that entered my head was that it was one of those decoy owls, probably because I didn’t want to believe it was a real one. It was dark, owls have sharp talons and I’m a chicken. You can check out the video at the link below. The owl was not scared of the chicken!

Cheap Gratitude

My intention was to pick up a $10 seat cushion from IKEA for my desk chair but while walking around their maze I stumbled upon desk chairs. When you sit or lay down on any type of furniture it will seem comfortable because you’re comparing it to being on your feet. You don’t know for certain until you take it home and hang out on it for a night. When you move a new bed or sofa in your home but are not very satisfied with its comfort level, you will lie to yourself to make yourself believe it’s sufficient. It’s more convenient to dispose of an obese human corpse than it is to return a sofa.

I like the desk chair that I bought. I give it a 7 out of 10. Guys like me will never bring home a 10 out of 10 because we’re too cheap. While at IKEA I also saw another chair that I liked. Craigslist had many advertised so I held off in search for a deal, and I found one. Years ago I received an offer for my DVDs listed on CL but didn’t take it because it was the first reply. I never received another reply for quite awhile and ended up selling it for that same offer price. There’s a proverb that applies to that situation.

In search for my used IKEA chair on CL there was an ad listed 5 hours from the time of viewing for a price of $35 including the matching footstool. It appeared to be a bargain but how lucky could I be? It was also located near me as well. I fought off my normal human behaviour of inaction and sent a reply. He contacted me soon after and we set up a time for the next day. Being stupid/optimistic, I showed up in an economy sized car. We had to take apart the chair to be able to fit it in. The only concern with buying this type of chair used is that you wonder what the cushion has experienced. Has this guy pissed himself while on this chair? Did he wipe his boogers on the side of it? At the very least there’s likely butt sweat on it. I can replace the cushion but it’s $70-100. The reality is that objects in public settings have been much more abused than our imagination would like to believe. A chair in a waiting room has likely been sat on by some guy with dirty pants who doesn’t wear underwear. Clothes that you have bought brand new may have been previously tried on by some sweaty, hairy person.

The lesson of this story is that when we get lucky too soon and easily we foolishly become overly optimistic and under-appreciative. Sometimes it doesn’t get any better than it already it is. Off topic: one of my Black Friday purchases was a hoodie for my dog. It’s really more for me than it is for her.