When I was like 10 I got a Thomas the Tank Engine connect-the-dots book from my great aunt. Not only was it a connect-the-dots, but each puzzle was like a 10-dot circle in the sky that turned out to be the moon or something. Shit like this:

Dirty Job

This year I got:

  • Clothes that don't fit me!
  • Unironic Family Guy pajamas (because apparently I love Family Guy!)
  • An ugly scarf I'll never wear.

Oh hey, cheap cologne that broke in the packaging! Thanks Mom! Please enjoy the exact gift you wanted that I painstakingly searched the bowels of Manhattan for.

I'm starting to realize that my sister is the only person in my family who "gets" me, because I can't even imagine the universe in which my 5'6" 127-pound skinny ass fits into a size large anything.

Wood Thrush

So I see all my cousins are here with their new wives/husbands. Pretty cool that on the jolliest day of the year I have to be reminded of how lonely I am. "How do you like still living at home? Can't blame you though, what with the economy." Hey Uncle Smalltalk: wherever I'm living is my home. Look it up in the motherfucking dictionary, you ignorant piece of shit. And, I could fill several dictionary-sized tomes with the shit you don't know about the fucking economy.

It's bad enough listening to my vapid cousin talk about how she's planning out her wedding. Why do they have to talk about children? "Hopefully next year we'll have a kid to bring." "Kira gave birth last night. Ha ha ha, I'm a grandfather now." And finally I have something concrete to add to the conversation. I point out that the world is filled with continuous indelible suffering and that no one asks to be born, and then I speculate that the best Christmas gift would be a gift to a child that could be born but isn't - the gift of celibacy and the pledge to never reproduce. Judging by the way they all stare at me, apparently I'm the only one in this family willing to explore ethics and examine the established beliefs. The resulting silence, while momentary, would have been a positive respite if it weren't for how much I hate being looked at. How hard is it to understand that I just want to be left alone? You're my family. You're supposed to "get" me. Fuck.

Ms Happy Wednesday

My father is one of those parents that likes to compare your living conditions to those of starving Ethiopian kids all the time to justify the fact that you are not getting that $5 Ninja Turtle you asked for your birthday or any festive occasion.

This one time, dad went out to a small very rural village and saw a kid playing with a device of his own handmaking. It was a forked stick with a wheel he had found attached to it. He bought it from this kid for twenty dollars, and gave it to my brother for his birthday.

My mother was so upset she hurled that stick at my father's car and broke one of those side mirrors off it.

All good for the kid and all, but none of us got anything for our birthdays except for what little my mother could afford, because my dad was a cheap shallow hippy who thought we were capitalist little brats.


I remember asking my mom for Mouser from Ninja Turtles. So along comes Christmas and there's a present under the tree just big enough to be an action figure box. I hurry into the living room and nearly dive head first at that box. Ripping it open I find a wooden box. Confused, I open it up only to hear a screeching siren-like noise coming from inside. I look around terrified, seeing all my friends from school standing around me.

"UH OH! SOMEONE SET OFF THE HOMO ALARM!" my mom yells as they all point and laugh. I run, crying and urinating, out of the room, the sound of laughter and the homo alarm in the background.


One time when I was around 10, there was a "gift auction" at my family's Christmas party. The maximum bid was one dollar and kids were given coins by their parents. There were adult gifts and kid gifts. I kept getting outbid and saw my cousins get cool stuff like fancy chocolates, toy guns, etc. Cheap gifts that kids always loved. So I finally understood and as soon as one of the last biddings came out I went "ONE DOLLAR!!" and got a gift.

What was inside? A piece of paper saying "Haha better luck next time".

That's like the shittiest fucking thing you can do. I threw that shitty empty box on the ground and started crying. Asshole aunt didn't understand why I wasn't laughing at her "gift."


My sister got one of these when she was a little kid. She left it outside while we were playing once and when she went to play with it in her bedroom later, a giant cockroach climbed out of its mouth. It's the earliest memory that either of us has.

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