Webster’s Dictionary defines a white elephant as “something that requires a lot of care and money and that gives little profit or enjoyment.” More familiarly, it is a present that’s meant to be unusual, useless, or inconvenient, i.e. a “gag gift.” Unfortunately, it can also be a gift that is given with good intent but is in reality, just plain awful.
To give my own “Greatest White Elephant Gift Story of All Time” some context, my neighbor (Ted) and I have been engaged in a good-natured feud for the past few years that began with him losing the hedge-clippers that he’d borrowed from me.
He claims that he never did in fact borrow them, but he did, so that in fact makes him a liar. But whatever – pretend to forgive and pretend to forget.
We occasionally play practical jokes upon one another and at Xmas time, we naturally exchange white elephant gifts, trying to give each other something that we hope will genuinely annoy the other person. For instance, he once moved my mother-in-law in with us. Nah, just kidding, but that would have been a good one, huh?
Two Xmas’s ago, I had a used, broken down washing machine with a big red bow on it delivered and set up on his anally-retentive, perfect lawn. I laughed, he laughed, but I could tell it really bothered him. Success!
But I have to admit that last Xmas, Ted one-upped me. Here’s what I saw in my driveway when I woke up Xmas morning:
The ultimate in white elephant gifts - a giant, inflatable white elephant. This thing had to be twenty-feet tall. I later found out he rented it from Creatable Inflatables – for an entire week. If I wanted it moved sooner, I’d have to pay for it. Plus, if I deflated it, I’d be liable for any damages. So, it was there to see in the New Year with us. Kudos, Ted – you got me.
As I was contemplating my revenge, I mean, considering what gift I could bestow upon a much deserving Ted this year, I ran across a few interesting items on the web. Maybe they could be of use to you.
They make your feet look like you’re wearing sandals, but you’re not! You’re just wearing socks! Hilarious! Actually, wear them with sandals and you’ll not only increase the hilarity, you will blow minds.
My God, look at that. How could anyone ever go to sleep? Talk about a cure for narcolepsy – there it is.
Using a vacuum cleaner to power a hair-cutting tool? Brilliant! Come on, classics are classics for a reason. I wish I could post a Flowbee video here, but I can’t. But you can check a bunch of them out on The Flowbee Channel on YouTube. They are priceless! And informative, of course. Buy one from Sears using a coupon code and save some cash on the perfect white elephant gift for a man or woman with a shaved head.
So, what did I give Ted this year? I splurged and got him some sock sandals, a Nick Cage pillow case, and a Flowbee. Merry Christmas, Ted. Merry Christmas.