Without further ado, here's what we all got crappiest friends this year.
10. Coffee Table Book of Controversial Art, $40 Used
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: Art is a subjective medium, and and it's become more subjective over the 100 or so years of its “modernity.” One thing that nearly everyone can agree on, though, regardless of tastes, is that being given a massive book of modern art is annoying because a.) It can't fit in a bookcase, and b.) That's really it.
Gift someone a book of shitty art, and you're forcing someone to keep this thing out, front and center, forever. For-ev-er.
The pitch: “Your coffee table was looking bare, and I thought this could help out. I'll be bummed if I don't see this out the next time I come over! [laughs]“
The unspoken pitch: “Your coffee table was looking bare, and I thought this could freak out your guests. I'll be bummed if I don't see this book of urine-soaked crucifixes out the next time I come over! [laughs maniacally]“
9. A Star, $14.95
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: Because not only is there no intrinsic value, it's debatable how websites even gain the authority to sell stars' naming rights. Are they negotiating the prices of certain stars with NASA? Or are they, gasp, possibly bullshitting you?
Great gift for a girl you've never liked.
The pitch: “I could have gotten you a normal gift—but then, I thought, you know what? Your name belongs in the sky. I'm going to make sure you've got a star named after you.”
The unspoken pitch: “I could have gotten you something useful—but then, I thought, you know what? Your name belongs on something pointless. I'm going to make sure you've got a great ball of gas named after you, because that's all you are to me: A great ball of gas.”
8. Chicken Soup for the Soul, $10-$20
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series looks like it'd be a decent gift. It's a collection of inspirational stories about overcoming life's challenges—and, as a bonus, it's very specifically tailored to the interests of the person you're buying for. But when someone actually starts reading the stories and the eyes involuntarily start to roll to the back of the head, then they'll know they've been gifted something truly deplorable.
The pitch: “You ever read these before? No? Oh, they're great! I know you like hockey so I got you a hockey version. The gist of it is that they got a bunch of ex-NHL'ers and other people to write inspirational stories that are about hockey. Everyone loves these books. Hugely best-selling.”
The unspoken pitch: “You ever read these before? No? Oh, you lucky son of a bitch. I know you like hockey, so I got you something that will make you hate the sport forever. The gist of it is that they picked out all the ex-NHL'ers who had at least 15 documented concussions and other people who literally just submitted stories to their website, and commissioned them to write cloying stories that all follow the exact same format and which are vaguely about hockey. No one loves these books. Somehow, they're hugely best-selling.”
7. Bathroom Scale, $54.95
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: Wrapped in a guise of a house-warming present, this is perfect for that just-out-of-college guy who's putting on the extra pounds, is self-conscious about it, and, most importantly, is your mortal enemy. Guaranteed to ruin his day right when it's just starting.
The pitch: “I know you're moving into a new apartment. And no one wants to buy stuff like this on their own, right? This scale is pretty sweet. It measures weight, body mass percentage AND even body water! Body water! The future, right!?”
The unspoken pitch: “In a modern miracle, you've managed to physically shift your incredible mass from your old Doritos-encrusted couch and into a new apartment. And no one, especially a self-hating person like you, wants to buy stuff like this on their own, right, Fatty? This scale is pretty sweet. It measures weight (for you, the scale will read “Too Much”), body mass percentage (it will say “Get off”), AND even body water (it will just start screaming)! Body water! The future, right!?
“A future, by the way, that will be short for you.”
6. Holiday-Themed Stuff, $8.70
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: Like the bathroom scale, this can be played off as an attempt to help fill out that new apartment, house, or even dorm room. What the giftee may not know, though, is that you bought it at a Wal-Mart on December 23 when it had accumulated about 15 “Rollback” stickers.
The pitch: “Your apartment could use some more Christmas decorations, so I got you these sweet themed ornaments. I know the snow men dressed as mariachi singers theme might be a little “out there,” but trust me, people are going to find them hilarious.”
The reality: “Your apartment could use some more Christmas decorations for at least two more days before everything is taken down, so I got you these sweet themed ornaments. I know the snow men dressed as mariachi singers might be a little “out there,” but trust me, it's tough to pass up something that's an incredible 95% off. No one is going to find them hilarious.”
5. Circuit City Gift Card, $20
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: Circuit City has been defunct for three years, yet you can still buy a gift card to spend in their non-existent stores. Will your order actually process if you buy this? I have no idea. I like to think that there is some sort of “Twilight Zone”-esque Circuit City still existing, staffed by red-vested ghosts that will take your credit card info and deliver your orders from consumer goods purgatory. But I also think that even the ghosts might have been laid off by the recession by now.
Anyway, this is a great gift for that friend/family member who doesn't keep up with the news and may actually try to spend an unredeemable gift card. Feign ignorance if they do know that Circuit City is bankrupt.
The pitch: “I know you love electronics, but I didn't what you wanted exactly. So here's a gift card where you can go and pick out something nice.”
The reality: “I know you love electronics, but I didn't know which “Twilight” special-edition Blu-Ray you wanted exactly, you mouthbreather. So here's a gift card where you can go and pick out something nice at the flea market that's replaced the Circuit City.”
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: It causes a conversation that will either cause everyone to hate the giftee (if it's for a vegan), or one that will cause major discomfort and ruin the giftee's day (if it's for an alcoholic). Meanwhile, all you have to do is profusely apologize for the mistake, say it unfortunately can't be returned, and sit back and watch the fireworks.
The pitch: “Hey, you like food/booze, so I thought, why not deliver you food/booze?”
The unspoken pitch: “Hey, you hate thinking about all the food/booze you can't have, so I thought, why not deliver you a box of sadness?”
3. Gerbil, $10.79
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: It's cheap, it requires nothing from you other than to make sure it survives until Tuesday, and it's an awful, awful animal. Gerbils require constant upkeep, they make a ton of noise, and they smell. No one, save small children who don't know better, actually wants a gerbil in the house. The giftee will not want to get rid of the gerbil, though, because they're cute and he'll feel awful for abandoning it.
The pitch: “Look at this little fella. Name's Scooter. I thought he'd be great for your place—oh, look! He's really taking a liking to you!”
The unspoken pitch: “Look at this little dependent. I already named him. I thought he'd be great for your place, provided you go right now and buy $100 worth of supplies and caging—oh, look! He's really shitting in your hand!”
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: It's an innocent mistake that really isn't innocent at all. A towel is a terrible gift anyway, but a towel with a wrong middle initial—well, that's a special brand of evil that would really confuses and depresses someone.
The pitch: “Here ya go, hope you like… Oh, your middle name is 'Geoffrey' with a 'G?' Not a 'J?' You're absolutely sure? Ah. My bad.”
The unspoken pitch: “Here ya go, hope you like… Oh, your middle name is 'Geoffrey' with a 'G?' Yes, I've known that for years.”
1. Pitbull's “Global Warming,” $13.99
Why this is a great gift for someone you hate: C'mon.
The pitch: “I hate you.”
The unspoken pitch: “I hate you.
/puts on sunglasses, walks out of room