Valentine’s Gift Ideas For The Terminally Cheap

It's that time of year again, gentlemen.  You'd better get going on the gifts, or that plaque in the cononal arteries is going to be the least of your problems.  (Image from wikipedia dot org)
It’s that time of year again, gentlemen. You’d better get going on the gifts, or that plaque in the coronary arteries is going to be the least of your problems. (Image from wikipedia dot org)

As I sit down to write this, it’s already the 9th of February.  There are only 5 days left before we dudes need to bestow gifts upon our sweethearts (4 days if you want to watch the Olympic mixed-doubles curling quarter-finals tomorrow).  Sadly, it’s also the time of year when we guys must face certain financial realities, such as:

A) The credit card bills are in and once again we’ve over-spent for Christmas/Chanukah/Pagan Winter-Solstice Goat Roast.

B) We are not getting near the tax return we had anticipated this year, largely due to our not having really made any money in the first place.

C) Our sure-thing Super Bowl bet taking the “over” on how many times Peyton Manning would call “Omaha” didn’t work out so well.

Fear not, loyal readers – Romeo One Point is here to give you lots of ideas for inexpensive gift options.  These gems will have your special lady feeling like a million bucks, without your having to lift any cash from her secret sock-drawer stash to subsidize them.

Be careful using the quill and ink mister, or you'll get ink all over your lacy sleeve!(Image from lazytechguys dot com)
Be careful using the quill mister, or you’ll get ink all over your fancy lace sleeve!  (Image from lazytechguys dot com)

Poems : The ladies love poetry.  The good news is that hard-core literary types assure me they don’t even have to rhyme.  Romeo One Point Helpful Hint – Avoid poems with references to Nantucket, Dallas or Dundee, even if you and your special lady have some special connection to these locales.

You could download something online, but I prefer a more personal touch that only an assorted box of crayons can bring.(Image from homemadegiftguru dot com)
You could download something like this online, but I prefer the more personal touch that only an assorted box of crayons can bring.  (Image from homemadegiftguru dot com)

Gift Card for Sensual Massage: – These are great!  Put it on a piece of card-stock and try to make the printing legible.  Romeo One Point Helpful Hint – Avoid using expiration dates – there’s a good chance she’ll lose the card or write a grocery list on the back of it before she’ll ever redeem it.  Bonus Hint – Avoid the phrase “Nudity Required” – It sends the wrong message.

Just flip it over to the blank side, and let your creative freak flag fly! (Image from Etsy dot com)
Just flip it over to the blank side, and let that creative freak flag fly! (Image from Etsy dot com)

Homemade Cards: These worked great back in grade school.  If you don’t have any lacy paper doilies laying around the house, a few coasters from the local diner will work great.  Fold them in half, then cut them in sort of a comma shape.  Unfold it and voila; a heart!  Now do the same thing a little bigger with a piece of red construction paper.  If you don’t have any red construction paper, try using the envelope from the last Netflix delivery.  Glue the small heart onto the red one, making sure to cover the Netflix logo.  For a special touch, use a crayon and worse spelling than usual to scribble your sentiments on it.

I'd advaise you to cover the entirew pretzel with chocolate otherwise she'll know they're those oat bran ones.  (Image from sallysbakingaddiction dot com)
I’d advise you to cover the entire pretzel with chocolate otherwise she’ll know that you used those oat bran ones. (Image from sallysbakingaddiction dot com)

Chocolate Covered Pretzels (without a trip to the grocery store):  Most of us have some chocolate laying around.  I myself uncovered several Hershey’s Kisses in the cushions of the sofa just yesterday and most of them still had the outer foil intact.  You’ll also need some pretzels.  Pretzels are a little harder to come by in most male domains, but there may be a bag of those nasty “healthy” ones in the back of the cabinet.  In an ironic twist, they were originally bought for you by none other than your valentine herself, back when she was trying to get you to go on that gluten-free diet.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler (whatever that is), then carefully dip each pretzel in until it’s covered.  Arrange them on a clean plate and serve with plenty of beverages.  Talk about your poetic justice!

As if it isn't enough to dedicate a blog to her, imagine how excited she'd be if the post got Freshly Pegged! (Image from the incredible Peg-O-Leg's Ramblings)
As if it isn’t enough to dedicate a blog to her, imagine how excited she’d be if the post got Freshly Pegged! (Image from the incredible Peg-O-Leg’s Ramblings)

Dedicating A Blog Post:  This one is a slam dunk.  Proclaiming your true loving feelings by dedicating a blog post is the modern equivalent to shouting it from the mountaintops, without all that difficult climbing.  Romeo One Point Helpful Hint – If your blog posts are usually about video game strategies or debating the validity of whether a real pizza can have pineapple on it, you might want to consider a different topic for this one post.  Your readers will understand, they’ll probably wish they had thought to write a cool blog post and dedicate it to their special someone (assuming they’re not a bunch of single losers who live in their parents’ basements and don’t have special someones).

Anonymous Salutation in the Rants and Raves Section of Craigslist: Let’s face it, not all guys are good enough writers to write their own written blogs writing, like I can write!  No problem, fellas – Just go to Craigslist and tell the local region how great your lady is!  Romeo One Point Helpful Hint – Be sure NOT to put your special gal’s name or picture in the post.  I know you’re crazy about her and want to tell the world, but trust me on this one.  Besides, by keeping it anonymous you can always take credit for a better salutation if the opportunity arises.

I hope I’ve given you guys some great ideas.  I’ve got a bunch more, but I’m running out of time in the gift-creation department myself.  After a pretty thorough scavenger hunt, I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t a single pretzel left in this damn house – I’ve looked everywhere.

I dedicate this blog post to my lovely, long suffering special lady.  Without her unconditional love, support and guidance, I’d be lost in this world.  Happy Valentine’s Day, Baby!  You’re the greatest! (The homemade gift card is in the mail – No nudity required).

Holiday Inn – You Trippin’ !

Holiday Inn is currently running an ad.  It’s innocuous enough, and pretty much what you’d expect of a commercial from them.  One line of the narration caught my ear though, and it’s making me look at advertising media with even more scrutiny then usual.

Did you catch it?  At about 17 seconds in the narrator says “..we ended up bringing the world together”

I’m okay with the promise of clean comfortable rooms and a pool or fitness center.  I’ll accept an ad agency making a typically sad breakfast buffet look like an elimination challenge on Top Chef Masters.

But bringing the world together?  Seriously?

The most powerful, enigmatic people of modern history would have a tough time saying that they brought the world together.

Holiday Inn has a history of building hotels.  They’ve long employed people to change sheets and hand out keys.  For a fee, they supplied travellers with a place to stay when they were tired and still 150 miles outside of Cleveland.  To take those accomplishments and say they brought the world together has to fall on the exaggeration/fabrication end of the spectrum.

The commercial itself doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the fact that I probably saw that it a dozen times before noticing that outrageous boast.  I’m a fairly discriminating viewer of mediocre TV.  Most people don’t watch it with my near-anal preoccupation to detail.  That’s what scares me.

Holiday Inn is far from the only company making outlandish, yet impossible to disprove claims in their ads.

Subaru tells viewers that love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.  Love – the single most mercurial and precious of all human conditions; that which has inspired the greatest works of art and literature over the history of mankind.  People have killed themselves and one another over love.  Can anyone truly believe that love actually has anything to do with making a Subaru a Subaru?

I don’t have a Subaru.  I do like my car very much, and the day it stops working well, I’ll hate it.  I’m not without faults, but tossing my love around all willy nilly is not one of them.  I reserve my that sweet gift for other human beings and McKenzie Brewing’s delicious Twisted Meniscus India Pale Ale.

People are being fed wildly presumptuous lies and they don’t even realize it.  They pass the Holiday Inn on Route 206 and a warm feeling passes through them, because on a subconscious level, they believe they’re in the presence of a Nobel prize worthy entity.  They’re not.  They’re driving past a hotel.  If by chance they’re in a Subaru the warm feeling they’re mistaking for love is likely just the heated driver’s seat.

Stupid Questions Answered – I Tried To Be A Good Guest

The mad-witty diva at Blogdramedy posted an interesting piece the other day which posed some supposedly stupid questions.  Ever eager to prove that I’m not stupid, I started answering each of the questions in the comment section of her blog.  I quickly realized several key points.  One was, there was a good chance that only a handful of people would ever see my answers, since a great many readers had already seen the piece and weren’t likely to re-read it just in case there were new comments made.  I also had a small lightbulb flicker on in my head signifying my realization that I didn’t have crap to write about unless the Dallas Cowboys had some new embarrassment pop up (A fella can always hope).  Finally, I recalled Blogdramedy’s offer to host a guest-post by yours truly.  We had collaborated previously on a blog involving the names which paint manufacturers pick for their colors.  The piece was well received, the New York Times simply RAVED about it (or maybe not).  In any case, the whole prospect of answering stupid questions seemed like a good idea.  The planets had aligned themselves for a perfect storm of self-indulgent, quasi-creative writing.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that after seeing my post on Blogdramedy’s site, I found a couple of things which I had to change, so the following has been edited slightly.  I know I couldn’t possibly find pics to illustrate this as well as she did – so I’m thinking I’ll serve it dry, without gravy)

Here then, are her questions and my answers.

1.  Why do people say that life is like baseball?

Life can be compared to baseball for many reasons.  For one thing, both life and baseball are incredibly boring.  Cynics will tell you that in baseball, as in life, young people participate in it while the old shits just watch it while complaining how it used to be better.  In addition, both baseball and life have been over-analyzed to the n’th degree.  Speaking of over-analysis, there are those who may choose to compare the dugout to the grave, the pitcher’s mound to Mt. Ararat and the ball to earth itself.  In reality, life and baseball are not alike because, as I learned from a riddle in 3rd grade, “How can a man with 4 balls walk?”

2.  When did Kim Kardashian decide that hooker chic was a good look for her?

Kim Kardashian in fact, has not embraced hooker chic.  Despite being the world’s oldest profession, hookers have long wished for a style they could call their own.  With the advent of reality TV, people were exposed to many new faces of frequently vacuous personalities.  The appearance of the Kardashian tribe, including Kim, did not go unnoticed.  A woman-of-the-night named Kitty Fontana, who was working in Nevada at the Chicken Ranch, was the first to propose to her fellow flesh-workers that they might increase business by dressing like Kim K.  The ploy worked, and sales jumped.  The hookers also noticed an increase in customers making kinky requests, like telling them in the middle of the Siamese Basket Trick things like “Kim you idiot!  Shut the hell up!” So there you have it: Kim doesn’t dress like a hooker; Hookers dress like Kim!

3.  Do you think that Mitt Romney is more concerned that Jesus was married or gay?

This is a tricky one, and it’s meant to be.  It’s an interesting premise.  After all, Jesus could well have been either…OR BOTH!  I’ve taken a few art history courses, and I have to admit, in some of those paintings, he looked like maybe he was a little light in the sandals, if you know what I mean.  By the same token, he was known to hang out with Mary Magdalene (who sadly walked the earth long before prostitutes had Kim Kardashian for a fashion role model).  It’s a scary proposition that the candidate for the presidency would spend any time worrying about such nonsense when there are turkeys to pardon and ribbons to cut.  The true answer is that Mitt doesn’t give a rat’s heinie about what the Son of God did behind closed doors.  Mitt’s campaign handlers, eager to keep him from putting another loafer-clad foot in his pie hole, cooked up the question to bamboozle the general public and paint Mitt as a deep-thinking intellectual.  Point Handlers.  MSNBC to volley for serve on the next point.

4. Why do people at fast food joints ask  “you want fries with that?” 

Asking people if they want fries with that is a left-over tradition from the very early days of fast food.  Fast food originated, like damn near everything else, in China.  The industrious Chinese of the Maac Dynasty first sold their version of fast food in the year 957 BC.  The Chinese are known for eating all sorts of things which we fickle Americans would turn our noses up at, such as insects and vegetables.  One of the most popular items was the Maac-raap (Pronounced Ma Crap), which was a wonton pancake wrapped around a variety of ingredients.  The dish was easy to eat on-the-go, whether you were invading Mongolia or building a wall.  One of the optional fillings was actually house flies, which when stir fried, add a zesty, protein-filled crunch to each bite.  Due to western misinterpretation of the the Asian dialects, “flies” became “fries”.  This worked to the benefit of everyone invloved as fast food workers were often too pressed for time to ask patrons if they wanted “shoe-string potatoes cooked in lard with that?”

5. Does your zodiac sign really explain everything about you?

This question is open to individual opinion.  Personally, I was born under the sign of Capricorn the Goat.  While I do not have a scraggly beard hanging off of my chin, I’m tempted to grow one.  I must admit to enjoying the occasional tin can for a snack and it’s no treat finding shoes to fit my cloven hooves.  Despite those goat-like attributes, try to explain my fascination with Norwegian fetish porn or the early music of Tommy James and the Shondels.  There’s just no zodiac symbol for that crap.

6. Is love really all you need?

Love is a many splendored thing (That’s not my line).  It won’t keep you warm in the winter or fill your belly during a famine.  While love may be one of the things you really need, it won’t get you to work on time, you’re gonna need a car for that.  On a related question, why has no one compared love to baseball?  I’ll tell you why, because baseball is a game and love is a battlefield (Pat Benatar, that was for you – it still hurts).

7.  Do you think Elmer Fudd ever got over his speech impediment?

“Speech impediment” is a modern concept.  Elmer Fudd lived in a time when people didn’t concern themselves with “labels”.  They got up, wooked the swing shift at the Boeing pwant, dwank a couple of dwafts with the boys down at the wocal tapwoom and on the weekend, they hunted wabbits.  They wived theah wives wiffout wegahd to how they pwonounced the wuhds they spoke.  They wuh the gweatest genewation.

8.  Do you think the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” left “Water” out on purpose?

Absolutely, they left water out on purpose!  Contray to popular belief, it wasn’t a matter of snubbing water or favoring the other elements.  In truth, they had expected fans to actually identify the individual elements with certain band members.  Jimmy “Earth” Monroe was known for his funky bass playing and keeping things grounded with his licks.  Perry “Fire” Winslow played a blistering tenor sax.  Freddy “Beans” Wallace was known for his fondness of Mexican cuisine and his frequent flatulance emptied more than a few tour busses.  Sadly, fans didn’t go along with the bands’ plan, preferring to just enjoy the music without bothering to learn who the actual musicians were.  As an example of this fact, I made up the three names listed above, and I’m guessing that no more than 7 of you even noticed.  A bonus bit of trivia: The original name the of the band was “Rock, Paper and Scissors”.  I made that up too.

So concludes my answers to B-Dramedy’s supposedly stupid questions.  If you’re reading these words, you’ve likely just wasted several valuable minutes of your life hoping to find a chuckle.  So who’s calling who stupid now?