Here at The Annual we understand the struggle of gift shopping. It’s nearly Christmas eve and you just remembered that second cousin you never bought a gift for. To make matters worse, this is the one year they’re actually flying in from Minnesota in time for Christmas. Luckily, we have comprised the following list of last minute gift ideas for the cousin, great-grandma, or the racist uncle you might have forgotten.
That disappointing book you’ve had on your shelf for 2+ years.
While books can be a kind and thoughtful gift, they’re a lot less so when it’s less about which authors would pique your sister’s interests and more about the fact that you have to have something to hand her on Christmas Eve. Go ahead and grab that dust-coated, crease-ridden copy of Twilight and toss it in a bag! Lisa may not be much of an avid reader but who gives a shit! One down, five to go!
Rare dinosaur fossils
Okay, not a real dinosaur fossil. Look around your parents house or your grandpa’s toolshed, you’re bound to find a large rock. Take the rock and a good chisel (surely your relatives have a half-decent one somewhere) and carve a footprint onto the rock. Once you are satisfied with your homemade dinosaur print, google “Dinosaur Fossil Certificate of Authenticity” and print out the first image that shows up. Done and done.
That unwatched copy of
Rudolf The Rednosed Reindeer
This DVD sits on your shelf for 11 months out of the year and even when Christmas time rolls around, you only watch it on ABC family. There’s technically no reason for you to own the movie, so why not gift it? It’s a great way to say “I’m keenly aware of the holiday we are about to celebrate.”
A new pair of leggings
Well, not new-new. Okay, okay, they’re the ones you bought for $10 on Black Friday. But you only wore them once; they were a little tight in the thighs and while I respect your bold attempt to try something new, plum really isn’t your color. Instead of returning them (will Macy’s take these back if the the tags have been ripped off?), just gift them! Your sister can probably pull them off and if not, she can return them. I’m sure they’ll take them back without a problem or whatever!
Sunglasses seem like such a summer thing, but the sun still comes out in the winter. If it ain’t snowing you’re still getting blinded as sun sets during your mid-afternoon drive home from work. Could you be any more thoughtful?
If you’re buying a gift now you probably don’t care too much for this person so let’s be upfront and say, you don’t need to purchase an actual hamster. Hamsters and mice are very similar and every pet store is bound to have a surplus of cheap mice listed as “feeder mice.” These mice are meant to be sold as snake food, but trust a former pet store employee, aside from the $3 price increase, there’s no difference between that and a pet mouse. Pick a nice fat feeder mouse and no one will doubt it’s a hamster.
Offer to pay for lunch
You’re only in town for a few days, people want to spend time with you but you’ve also got a group of high school pals to catch up with and Jessica is only available on Saturday. Pick a nice restaurant, a nice chain restaurant (most likely Olive Garden), and offer to take a select group of relatives with you. It’s pricier than most gifts but it’ll save the stress that compelled you to google “Last Minute Gifts” in the first place. You can even save a few bucks by filling up on breadsticks before it’s time to order.
A framed family photo
If you’re in a real pinch, pull up your Aunt’s facebook and find the most recent family photo shared on her page. Download that noise, make it black & white, download a 30-day free trial of Photoshop, add a nice brush filter to it and send that shit over to Walgreens. Make sure you get a glossy finish. Then head to Michaels for their perpetual 40% off picture frame sale for the ultimate Holiday Gift mic-drop.
A gift card
If books, pants, and pets are not at your immediate, last-minute disposal, then fret not. For god’s sakes, get them a gift card. Yeah, sure, it’s a cop-out. It’s cutting corners. But everybody likes things. And gift cards buy things!!!
Just remember the golden rule of gift-giving: The receiver is generally required to smile and act appreciative of your gift whether they sincerely liked it or not.
Well, another Halloween has come and gone, which means it is time to start planning those other upcoming holidays. You guessed it: I’m talking April Fools’ Day, 2016!
April Fools’ day is the one day of the year that brings friends and families together. You don’t want to leave them disappointed!
1. Incorporate other holiday lights to make everyone forget that it’s April. Look for Halloween items on clearance—you can even pick up a few decorations for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Heck, you can just leave all your decorations up the whole year, and never worry about putting them back in the attic!
2. Everyone absolutely loves loud, unexpected, annoying noises, so stock up on those air horns! Someone in the shower? AIRHORN! Putting away fine china? AIRHORN! Trying to get a good night’s sleep for work the next morning? DOUBLE AIRHORN! Haha, what a good prank!
3. Really ruin someone’s day at little to no expense for yourself. Wake up in the middle of the night, lift the toilet seat, then cover the bowl-hole with plastic wrap. Play the waiting game, until the prank-ee awakens and goes to relieve himself. Laugh uncontrollably as you hear his cries of anguish when he gets urine and/or other bodily fluids all over himself and the floor, then snicker quietly as you listen to your victim search for cleaning products.
4. Humans love a good mystery. This year, surprise any guests by hiding a dead body in the backyard for everyone to find! They will spend hours (or maybe years!) going over what happened and may even get the police involved! This is a prank that will go on and on, maybe for generations.
5. While everyone is still fresh from murder, make a spot of coffee or tea. Be sure to warn them that it is very, very hot. Then when they go to have a sip? A spring-loaded snake pops out! Got ’em!
If someone tells you they don’t like your jokes or gets mad at you, kindly remind them that “it was only a prank” and they need to “calm down.” This will clear things right up.
No one wants to hear “All I Want for Christmas is You” as the clock chimes midnight on November 1. Thanksgiving, Christmas…planning for these is so passé, and your pent-up holiday cheer is leeching my own reserves. Let’s look forward to the highlight of the year, together: April 1, 2016.
The Last Hurrah returns to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre this Sunday at 7pm for some free Christmas Comedy in the heart of Frederick Maryland. This week, The Last Hurrah takes to the MET’s mainstage to present a Survivalist’s Guide To The Holidays. Everything you could ever hope to know about celebrating the season while living off the grid. Please refrain from bringing any government tracked devices to this week’s show as we kick off the holiday season!
Special Guests include:
Christine McQuaid, Giovanni DeVal Kavota and the long awaited return of Karli Cole
Listen to past episodes of The Last Hurrah here:
I decided it was time to teach my youngest son, Crispin Glover, a valuable lesson regarding the holiday season. Not only was he grounded for failing his middle school algebra exam, he had vandalized the neighborhood. Crispin crept into our neighbors’ yards, one by one, and removed every single carrot from every single snowman’s head, then stuck them down lower, to resemble a phallus. In layman’s terms: Crispin displaced the traditional nose from the smallest, top ball of snow and placed it on the lowest, largest ball of snow, imitating human male genitalia. He had to be punished for this crude trick.
First, I filled up a long stocking with coal and beat him over the head with it. Afterwards, I made Crispin shovel the entire neighborhood sidewalk while his older brothers ate warm gingerbread cookies and laughed as I regaled them with fantastic tales of holidays past. When I was their age, I would collect road kill and chop it up to use as decorations. There is something timeless about warm cat brains and tinsel oozing from a tree.
Crispin came inside, frozen nearly half to death from exposure to the unrelenting elements. He was not allowed near the fireplace where his brothers were having a sword fight using oversized candy canes. I instructed Crispin to march right back outside and fetch our own snowman, which the children had created a few days ago when it first snowed. Crispin Glover carried our cliché-looking snowman inside the house. Crispin’s brothers were then sent into the kitchen to drink steaming cocoa while there mother coddled them.
I told Crispin to put the snowman right beside the fireplace. I ate the snowman’s penis in anger (I don’t even like carrots). Then I made Crispin throw more wood on and stoke the flames until the room grew uncomfortably hot. I told Crispin I knew how much he loved our snowman, but it was his own fault for behaving incorrectly. Crispin was crying as he watched the snowman melt into a pitiful puddle. I handed him a bendy straw. He was not allowed to eat dinner until every drop of lukewarm water had been sucked up.
On the patio out back, I sat with my arm around my wife’s shoulder, gazing at my oldest boys smiling as they opened their early gifts. We’d gotten them exactly what they’d wished for. Crispin Glover, meanwhile, stood in the white, desolate backyard. I yelled for him to go ahead so we all could see. I’d even invited the neighbors out to watch from their own backyards. It was a regular block party. Crispin pulled out his own carrot-shaped phallus. He wrote in urine on the snow, “SORRY NEIGHBORS FOR MAKING YOUR SNOWMAN NOSES INTO PENISES HAPPY NEW YEAR.” I’d like to say Crispin Glover learned his lesson, but that was the fifth time this year.
Artwork: Parker Benbow
Bathtub Party Day (December 5th)
Grab your bubbles and rubber ducky! It’s Bathtub Party Day! This infamous day in history marks the first time someone had the idea to toss his clothes aside and soak in a tub of water. His name: Sir Bathacus Tubman.
While paddling in his canoe along the shores of Lake Erie, Sir Tubman was preparing to cleanse himself after a hard day’s work. After finding a decent area, he stripped off his clothes and began soaking in the lake. Sir Tubman enjoyed the family of ducks that surrounded him, but dreaded the slimy weeds and mud sliding around his feet. As he climbed back into the canoe, Sir Tubman noticed the clear water that collected on the canoe’s wooden floor. At that moment, he knew what he had to do.
With the help of his brother, Rub Tubman, Sir Tubman built the first prototype of his invention: the bathtub. News of this revolutionary cleansing contraption spread throughout the town and, soon, the country. December 5th marks the anniversary of the completion of Sir Tubman’s first bathtub. So, in the final words of Sir Tubman, “Rub-a-dub-dub, have celebration in my tub.”
*Fun Fact: In the following years, Sir Bathacus Tubman named his new invention, the rubber duck, after his brother, Rub Tubman.
Put on Your Own Shoes Day (December 6th)
A day treasured by parents, a day despised by children. The following excerpt, titled “Satan’s Shoe Monger,” is from the continuing series, A History of Hellish Teachers.
Billy Tuckerson, age 10, Aces Elementary School
Journal entry #6, Monday, December 5th, 1804
“Ms. Elworth sent us home with a bizarre homework assignment. ‘Tomorrow morning, as the sun rises from the depths of the sky, you must all put on your own shoes. Anyone who receives assistance from a parent or guardian will be mocked and criticized for their inferiority.’ I knew she was a blasphemous whore, but I never thought she would steep to this level. We will have to see what happens in the morrow. Until then, journal, goodnight.”
Journal entry #7, Tuesday, December 6th, 1804
“At least I did well. Last night, I spent hours learning how to tie my shoes. Once I managed to get them somewhat tied, I slipped them off, making it easier for myself to put them on in the morning. So, today at school, I realized that I was one of five who came in with a successfully completed homework assignment while the other six in the class did not. Needless to say, it was an amazing class. The five of us shoe-tiers spent the whole day whipping the others with their untied shoelaces and stepping on their uncovered toes. As my mother says, ‘It suckeths to sucketh.’ What a great day!”
If you’re a parent and you actually love your child, do us all a favor and buy him Velcro shoes.
Take it in the Ear Day (December 8th)
Take it in the Ear Day originated in Lithuania and has slowly made its way to the United States. On this beloved and/or despised national holiday, people of all ages shove unexpected items into others’ ears followed by yelling the phrase, “You just took it in the ear!”
Here are the most common items that have been ear bound:
Pencil erasers: Sometimes accompanied by the words, “Let me erase that earwax for you.”
Licked finger tips: Often utilized by the homeless since they do not have many belongings.
Q-Tips: Done by the one guy who thought it would be absolutely hilarious because, in his words, “No one will see it coming.”
The male sex organ: Followed by the witty one-liner, “Oops, wrong hole.”
For those who do not like to partake in the day’s festivities, be sure to purchase earmuffs. Otherwise, Happy Taking, everyone!