John Joy’s Terrible Advice Volume 3: Gift Giving

Taken by the Author John Joy

Taken by the Author John Joy

Skylar Boggs

By John Joy ’18, Contributor

The days leading up whatever holiday you choose to celebrate are almost always the most stressful “vacation” of the year.  There’s nothing quite like the cocktail of annoying cousins who always seem to be “on the verge of making it big,” overcrowded buildings that nobody really wants to be in and poorly planned family dinners where one side of the family needs the entire kitchen to make the salad. Obviously these family members deserve to be rewarded for making your winter break such a mess, but how on earth could anybody find the right gift for all of them? You’re probably left with questions like: “What gift do I need to give to that one nerd, who hangs around my family, to make him go away?” or “What if I’ve given almost all of my gift money to a Nigerian prince, and he hasn’t given me my reward yet?” and most importantly “What do I need to do win over the trust of a family member?”  Do not worry, John Joy has all the answers you will ever need.

The Techie:

The fact that you want to give a techie a gift immediately makes me question this so called “computer nerd’s” credit as a techie. For example, if they own a pair of Beats, then they are NOT a techie and should be shunned for their sins because they couldn’t be bothered to check head-fi and realize you could get better headphones for 20 dollars than Beats that cost more than twenty times the price *mic drop*. Nerds tend to be the sort of people you just want to lock in the basement with a shovel and instructions to “find your way out and leave my address at the end of the hole.”   Thanks to all of our annoying idiosyncrasies as a species, we are also very fickle about the gifts we receive.  Nerds have these weird religious attachments to brands, and any gift that is from their brand of anything ranging from phones to socks.  If you can find out if they belong to that church of Android or Apple, just get them anything from either of those two categories.  It could literally be anything from a sticker to a new computer, it makes the nerd feel like their product is superior and gives you a lot to work with.   But there are always those few nerds who seem to go against every stereotype we’ve ever been awarded and have alliances to multiple products.   Trying to figure out what to buy them in that case is the equivalent of flying an ISIS flag in Texas–odds are you will be shot, beaten, hung and put to trial with a biased jury where you’re sentenced to life in jail, in that order.  If you encounter a nerd like this, just buy them a pair of headphones that are not Beats since every nerd loves headphones that do not have Dr. Dre in the name. In fact, forget this whole paragraph and just buy them headphones.

The Annoying Little Sister:

Odds are you either have a younger or older sibling in your family, and odds are you want to kill them.  But your family’s pressuring you to get them something for the holidays for the sake of “family bonding” or your parents found out how much money in legal fees they’d have to pay if you were to act upon instincts next time your younger sister steals your headphones.  It doesn’t take much thinking before we encounter our first problem: What on earth do they even like? It’s clearly cheating if you just ask them what they want and then the gift police will do unthinkable thing to your gift, involving a tube of hummus, a traffic cone and sodium pentothal.  Now you could just ask your parents to ask your evil sibling, but that seems like it involves too many people and could go wrong. That means it’s time for some espionage. If you can’t ask for information you might as well steal.  Tap into their cellphone, put a key logger on their computer and hire a medium sized nation’s central intelligence agency, and within a month you should find out exactly what they want. That is until you realize it is impossible to shop for siblings because they do not like anything, including you.

The John Joy:

Since exams have accelerated my aging process and I’ve been told I only have three weeks to live, I’ll keep this one short.  The only gift that 100% of people enjoy, requires little to no effort, and even an amoeba can understand: cash.  Money literally works in every situation.  Do you not want to interact with that weird nerd who released his tortoise upon your 9th birthday party and thinks he’s your brother? Throw money at him and run.  He gets money and a dramatic plot to follow to see who ended up giving him the massive sum of twelve dollars in ones and you get to retreat back to your room and never deal with him again.  Do you want to subject your sibling to an emotional rollercoaster and leave them with a massive inconvenience?  Go to your local bank, grab twenty dollars in pennies, and then buy an old Rolex box (or any other desired luxury brand) on eBay. Fill the box with pennies, and watch sheer happiness morph into the five phases of grief. Not that I’ve ever done that.