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Opposite sex

Wonder what men really want for Christmas?
Here’s one guy’s opinion

Look, you’ve got a lot on your mind, so I don’t want you to spend endless hours agonizing over what to get me for Christmas. Chances are, if I leave it up to you, you’ll blow it anyway. I’ll pretend I really love whatever dog-headed present you’ve painstakingly selected for me and chuck it the first chance I get. Sometimes — if a woman buys me exceptionally dorky gifts that I have to wear a lot or feature prominently in my apartment for my minions to scorn and ridicule — Ill actually find a reason to ditch her, just so I can deep-six her presents.

It never ceases to amaze me how perfectly intelligent women who’ve known me for years will suddenly go soft in the head at Christmas time and buy me stuff I not only wouldn’t ever buy for myself, but actually select some irritating little cultural icon I have openly and publicly detested since I was seven. It makes me wonder: Does she secretly hate me? Did she mix up the boxes and accidently give me this chunk of kitsch intended for a 16-year-old Greek busboy she dates when she gets tired of listening to me talk? What is the story?

Most irritating of all, I’m sure I do the same thing, year after year, birthday after birthday, Christmas after Christmas. I wince when I think of every time I went off the board and tried to give a woman an “imaginative” present, which is to say, anything she didn’t specifically request in writing. I do it every year. I’ll spot some silly little knick-knack at an antique store, which to my crude boy aesthetics will look like just the sort of cute girl thing she’d love. It’s perfect — it’s her.

So I give it to her, stacked between all the “safe” presents (the dress she picked out herself, the annual refill of her favorite perfume, and so on), and she smiles that same stiff smile I give when I’ve received something so hideously strange I’m almost certain it’s a gag gift. In fact, later, when she unwraps the real gag gift, she has to think a painfully long time before she laughs, just to make sure.

Well, this year you won’t have any excuse for buying me a stupid present, because I’m going to give you some clear guidelines on what to get me. But remember, no matter what you get me, I’ll pretend I like it. Then, as soon as you leave, I’ll call my friends and make fun of it behind your back. After all, I know you’ll do the same for me.


I belong to the old school when it comes to men’s cologne. I think guys who wear a lot of cologne are… suspect. It’s perfume for guys, all right? Men who wear a lot of the stuff are no different from women who wear too much perfume — I’m convinced it’s just a cheap excuse to avoid showering. Speaking of showering, if you really want me to have soap on a rope, bear me a child. This child will beget a grandchild, who will, inevitably, get me soap on a rope every year until I die.


I need a blender. I can never work up the energy to go out and buy a decent one and no one will give me one because they think it’s too impersonal, so I’ll probably go to my grave before I blend again. Someone get me a blender for Christmas! I understand why you hesitate — I would feel retarded buying a woman a blender, too. But when it comes to “practical” gifts, you just have to use your imagination.

If I knew a woman needed a blender, I’d also bring ingredients for some potent but obscure blended tropical drink, get her drunk, and then give her the romantic part of her present. I’m very receptive to this sort of thing, girls, so just make sure you get me one powerful enough to grind huge amounts of ice. I need an ultrasonic humidifier, too, but you’ll have to figure out a way to make that kinky.


In case anyone is interested, under the new tax laws, this is the last year you can buy an Italian sports car, offer it to me as a gift to a sex God, and write it off as a religious contribution. (Just remember, technically I have to use it as a utility vehicle, so be sure to itemize it as a Ferrari van or station wagon. If you get nailed for tax fraud Ill visit you in the Big House.)


I’m a humor writer, for Pete’s sake! Why do people feel like they have to remind me that I’m not making any money at it? While languish, pursuing the craft of offending women everywhere, unscrupulous humor hucksters sell T-shirts and bumper stickers covered with recycled jokes by the billions. And they all end up under my Christmas tree. If you must toss in a gag gift, think of something yourself. I promise I won’t laugh.


Gold, silver, platinum, copper, pig iron, ozmium — anything that can be melted down and sold as bullion.


I don’t read ’em myself, of course, but it’s your patriotic duty to fight Ed Meese’s threat to free speech everywhere by buying me subscriptions to all the erotic literature you can think of. Remember, you’re not buying that Penthouse Forum for me, you’re buying it for Thomas Jefferson, God bless him!


Plants, cats, turtles, sea monkeys, maid service — you name it. I touch them, and three days later they’re dead. You’ll hate me forever.

— Terry Runté