A Letter to My Dog, Half Pint

This last year may have been the worst one of my life, but at least I've got the world's two greatest dogs by my side to help me stagger into 2018. Today's post features a letter to Half Pint. Benjamin will be getting a letter later this week--he'd never let me hear the end of it, otherwise.

Also, this posts features a lot of short video clips of Half Pint being silly. Since I apparently can't do anything right these days, they are exclusively shot in vertical mode. Please accept my apologies (and cut me some friggin' slack).

Top 10 Christmas Gifts Definitely Getting Returned This Holiday Season



You know the feeling. That bizarre mix of guilt and crushing disappointment that occurs after you open a terrible gift.

On one hand, you don't want to seem ungrateful. On the other, how could someone who cared about you enough to get you something pick out a gift that you would undoubtedly hate?

You could always pretend to like it, but that will bring about the inevitable moment weeks and/or months later when they ask how you're enjoying the gift so far (or worse, question why they haven't seen you utilizing/enjoying it). That would require another lie, which may very well require another, and another, and so on. Doing this with multiple gift givers, especially if they're family or friends you see everyday, requires a level of deception and subterfuge that would put a Russian spy to shame.  Before you know it, you're running for office in a gerrymandered district and offering "thoughts and prayers" for every disaster instead of actually fixing anything and wondering where your soul went.

So yeah...your best bet is to ask politely as possible if they have a gift receipt and return that junk. If it makes you feel better, you can go stand in line at Walmart or Target to pay your penance for being such a terrible friend/family member.

In the meantime, here's a list of the Top 10 most returnable gifts for this holiday season you can read while you wait--unless you actually got one of these items, of course. Then you're likely in hiding and trying to start a new life away from the people suck this badly at giving gifts.


10. Alexia Meditation Seat Zen Yoga Chair for Home or Office



I may not be a regular yoga practicer, but I've just about achieved the same pose as the one pictured above--without the aid of arm/knee rests--by making sure my butt stayed clear of the seat on a gas station toilet.

Also, it's worth noting that this product costs $346.99, although it does come with free shipping, which seems like the least the company could do for ripping you off so badly. If you can afford to drop that much money on a yoga chair, however, then finding your zen seems like something you checked off the list several commodity sales ago.

9. Hidrate Spark 2.0



You may have seen commercials for this handy little device while waiting for a Youtube video to start. Since you probably clicked to skip the ad as fast as humanly possible, here's all you need to know: Every time you haven't had a sip of water in a while, the bottle gets your attention by flashing a bright light and causing anyone nearby with epilepsy to have a seizure.

Look, I get what the intent of this thing is. I'll even cop to being one of those people who constantly carries a water bottle around with them despite all the studies saying we drink too much water these days. But a blinking light to tell you when to drink? It's bad enough people have watches that tell them when to stand up. Pretty soon we'll all be wearing shock collars that tell us when we need to take a piss.

For now, though, I'll stick with my body's reliable method of "feeling thirsty" to let me know when it's time to rehydrate.


8. CO1369 Toothpick Holder by Andrea Branzi



For only $189.96, you can have a toothpick holder that also dispenses the pick via a little ballerina who picks it up, turns, and hands it to you.

I don't care if it was designed by Andrea Branzi, who I definitely had to look up for this entry and is apparently a very big deal. Unless it involves an actual ballerina handing me a toothpick, then I'm not paying anywhere north of $5 for a toothpick holder.


7. Atlanta Falcons Superbowl LI Hoodie



I haven't watched the NFL at all this year. And no, it's not because I'm one of those people who never cared or even payed attention to the National Anthem being performed at football games until Sean Hannity told me to. 

It's because I'm an Atlanta Falcons fan.

After decades of being a league-wide laughing stock, we'd finally reached the mountain top. By the third quarter of the 2018 Super Bowl, we were ahead of the New England Patriots, a team endorsed by both Donald Trump and America's #1 Nazi, by a whopping score of 28-3.


You know what stings even worse than the loss? It's the fact that the Patriots pulled off the impossible without the NFL's help. They won the game fair and square. At least if they'd had help from the refs, then we could have joined the already packed fraternity of NFL franchises that have been robbed of wins by dubious pro-Pats calls. But no, it was our team and our team alone that self destructed in such spectacular fashion.

If any of you send me this shirt, it's getting returned to you as packaging for a load of dog turds.


6. FSU vs. Southern Miss  2017 Independence Bowl Long Sleeve T-Shirt



There are a lot of reasons you probably shouldn't wear FSU football gear these days, not least of which is their embarrassing history of having crimes covered up by the Tallahassee Police Department.

But from a pure football standpoint, you really shouldn't feel good about wearing merchandise for a bowl that the NCAA maybe shouldn't even be letting the school participate in. 

After starting off the year in the Top 10, FSU had what most would consider a disastrous season. Thankfully for them, they won their last three games to get to six wins, effectively keeping their historic 36-year bowl game streak alive.

Then a Reddit user discovered that their win over FCS (i.e. cupcake) school Delaware State maybe shouldn't have counted. Turns out the school hadn't used the number of athletic scholarships required to make themselves a bowl eligible lamb to the slaughter. 

A few days ago, FSU responded to the findings by saying "Nu-uh, they did too," and the matter was closed.

Either way, your record is 6-6 and you're playing in a bowl game sponsored by a restaurant called 'Walk-On.' From a football standpoint, the irony is so delicious it hurts. 

And yes, I realize I'm a Kentucky fan making fun of FSU football. It's 2017 and nothing is right in the world. Deal with it.


5. Funko Pop! TV Silicon Valley Erlich Vinyl Figure



Silicon Valley is a good show. T.J. Miller, who plays character Erlich Blachman, is a funny actor. Unfortunately, he's also recently joined the growing ranks of men in Hollywood who have been credibly accused of sexual assault.

Even if you're holding out hope that the accusations are not true, having this guy sitting on your desk at the office might not be the best look.


4. The Emoji Movie Poseable Light Up Poop 8-Inch Figure



First off, if really you want an 8-inch poop with a bowtie, then I'm one McRib and a trip to the fabric store away from hooking you up for free.

Also, I don't care what type of positive, jokey spin he tries to put on it. There is no way Sir Patrick Stewart agreed to voice a talking poop nugget in the Emoji Movie without one of the three scenarios in play:

1. He needed money
2. Sony offered him millions more under the table
3. He sold his soul to the devil, who has a much darker/twisted sense of humor than we can possibly imagine.

Anyway, please don't get this for you kid. I don't care if the bowtie lights up. This gift is literally shit.

3. Cra-Z-Art Nickelodeon Neon and Glow Slime Making Kit



I'm sure we'll all make fun of the upcoming generation for plenty of things as they grow into adulthood. After all, it's a grand tradition to mock ones after you so that you can feel better about your generations own awful multitude of mistakes.

You'd figure the whole slime craze would definitely be included in the list, but I disagree. Sure, it may look pointless, but so were Beanie Babies and the pet rock. And besides, this has kids actually making something on their own that is relatively inexpensive.

Still, you gotta question any slime making kit in which numerous reviews complain that it's "not sticky enough." There really can't be too many items for sale where that's considered a negative.


2. Trump Make America Great Again Red Cap Collectible Ornament




Okay, let's put aside politics for a minute. Whether you love Trump or hate him, can we all at least agree that getting a Christmas ornament as a Christmas gift sucks? 

That seems like the type of thing someone should get you before the holiday, not after. It's not like you can put it on your tree on December 26. I mean, I guess you can, but I don't. It's just one more thing that might fall on the floor and end up in my dog Half Pint's poop the next day.

Circling back to politics, the lowest price I can find for this ornament is $120.00, which DOES NOT include free shipping. I'm also hardly the first person to point out/ridicule this item's ridiculously high price...or the fact that it was made in China. And unless you're the type of person who can afford a $347 yoga chair, then buying this garish dingleberry for your tree is likely to wipe out your entire GOP-structured tax savings next year.


1. USA American Flag Pants



From Title 4 of United States Code: Respect for the flag
"The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general."

Maybe you agree with that. Maybe you don't.

Either way, unless it's for the sake of irony, you just know someone who'd actually put their butt down on a couch, seat, or even the ground while wearing these is the same type of person who gets the angriest about athletes not standing for the national anthem.

And I don't care how patriotic you are--George Washington himself couldn't make those hideous pants look good.

***

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