Sunday, December 13, 2009

There Is More Joy In Giving (Gag Gifts) Than Receiving

Christmas is fast approaching, but so far, I've only bought one present. One good thing about all my blood siblings being Jehovah's Witnesses is that I needn't worry about getting them anything. Same goes for my old man, bless his heart. I've only five people to purchase things for: my mom, her newly-minted husband, my twin half-sisters, and my SexyGirl.

My mom likes getting gift cards, but I can't abide giving them. So unoriginal. Jerry Seinfeld once commented it's like saying, "I put absolutely no thought into this whatsoever!" So I'll go to a number of unique stores later this week and see if I can't find something more memorable.

Last year, I bought one of my sisters a page-a-day calendar called, "Why Do Men Have Nipples? and Other Mysteries". I gave my stepdad, a serious Baptist, a Jehovah's Witness Bible (When my mom talked about potentially rejoining the Witnesses, he said he would not support her on this, even dangling the possibility that he might break up with her). I have a Witness songbook that I may give him this time out.

I remember going to a meeting in college with a group called Christians In Action. After a prayer session, one of the leaders asked me if I had a Bible. I said I did. He asked what kind. I replied that it was the New World Translation. He was knowledgeable enough to realize that this was the one published by the Witnesses and asked if I knew that they were a cult.

One year, I wrapped a sample size package of Viagra and gave them to a friend. He thought it was just an empty box, but was rather shocked when he found tablets inside; don't worry, the meds weren't prescribed to me. On a similar note, I recently found a prescription bottle in the basement from 2002. It was Hydrocodone, a pain reliever I was prescribed while experiencing the excruciating pain of kidney stones. What should I do with them now, all these years later? Throw the bottle out? Flush the tabs down the toilet? Keep them in case Sarah Palin becomes President?


Timothy Smith said...

You passed some stones? Whoa...some serious pain no doubt!

I keep pain meds and when my back gets crazy from heavy labor I might take a half a hydrocodone for pain.

I dont mind having to get a new prescrip for every event its the extra cost of a doctors visit when I dont need one.

Thomas said...

Yeah, my stone experience was killer. You can read all the details here:

Though I believe all change is for the better, I'm glad I haven't experienced it since then; one of my brothers has had multiple attacks (God must really hate him).

What would happen if you took, say, three hydrocodones?

Dawn said...

Throw them away?

Randy said...

I had forgotten that you mentioned before that you were a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. But how does this corelate with your post last week about reincarnation?

There's a time for gag gifts, we go to a party every year where we give them out and exchange with others. Lot's of fun. But there's also a time for seriousness. Hopefully, you have the discernment to know the difference.

I share your disdain for gift cards, even though I've received them from my kids. I'd rather they spent time saying "I think dad will like this" or "I know dad wants this.".

Rocketstar said...

A cult, lol, they all are.

Hydrocodone, down them with a couple of beers and relax.

Thomas said...

Dawn, I'll take it under consideration. Keep in mind, however, that I'm quite a pack rat.

Randy, there's really no connection between me being raised as a Witness and now being an adherent of reincarnation.

I was able to escape the faith at the age of 14 and didn't even look closely into the possibility of reincarnation until I was 22.

For more on my experiences with the Witnesses, check out these three links:

I probably won't give my stepdad the Witness songbook and I also enjoy receiving gift cards.

Rocket, I'm with you on at least one of your comments.

Timothy Smith said...

Those pills have two different drugs. One, the hydrocodone provides the "high" the other drug is just tylonol (pain killer).

It should have a number on it like:



First number is the hydrocodone, Second is te tylonol.

Three high strength pills (15/500) might not kill but you will REALLY feel it. I had lortab (a drinkable version) and misdosed the first time taking about 50mg.

The real danger is not the hydrocodone but the tylonol. Most addicts drink with Vicodin but that means taking thousands of mg of tylonol while drinking.

Its like taking a sledgehammer to your liver. The by-products from the liver dealing with booze and tylonol are toxic.

In short hydrocodone is dangerous because those that abuse it are unaware they are taking huge amounts of tylonol.

If you dont need a pain killer and just want a decent buzz I would just smoke a joint. Much safer.

Thomas said...

Thanks for the info, Tim. I think I'll just bury the bottle next to our sump pump. There it will stay until the end of days (2012).

I kid. I may believe in some cockamamie shit, but I don't believe the world will be ending anytime soon.

Timothy Smith said...

If you are looking for safe disposal just take them back to the pharmacy.

Narkissos said...

shouldn't it expire by now?
throw it away.....
"one of my brothers has had multiple attacks (God must really hate him)"........look who's talking!!

Matthew said...

I am the guilty party that has had multiple stone attacks! Hydrocodone has become my friend because of those darn things! The worst pain imaginable.

As one of the "blood siblings" of Thomas I am one of the Witnesses he speaks of. A cult they are not! They just abide by what the Bible states which seems to be very unusual these days.

And as far as reincarnation, I always took you as someone pretty smart and logical but to believe in reincarnation sends me into complete shock. There is no basis, proof, or sense to belive in such a thing as most of your readers would probably agree.

Thomas said...

Matt, I feel bad that you've experienced multiple attacks. I'm assuming that you get enough water. I can send the hydrocodone to you if you're running low.

That pain was crazy though not quite as bad to me as constantly feeling like I had to go to the bathroom which I experienced a few days before the stone passed.

There's nothing inherently wrong with following the Bible. I just fear that it leads to too much of a us vs. them mentality.

I also don't like that one is not generally allowed to question various aspects of the religion for fear of being labeled "weak of faith" (after one has been baptized, that is).

In addition, the Watchtower has shown itself to be fallible in changing the time of Armageddon from "the generation of 1914 will have not passed away" to "it will happen sometime soon".

I remember as a child sitting with Dad and a couple other Witnesses and Dad saying that it could come anyday.

I can't say that I had any negative experiences while a Witness and I'm thankful for that, but it is run by men and they are not perfect.

The problem with religion, in general, is that you're encouraged to stop thinking for yourself, to just go by what someone else is telling you abot how things are.

One's own experiences are looked at as suspect if they differ from what the elders of your organization are saying.

Jesus preached love. Is it loving not to associate with certain people because they don't believe the exact same thing as you?

Is your faith that weak that'll it'll all come crashing down if you were to have an open discussion with these apostates (such a loaded word and what I'm referring to when I say an us vs. them mentality)?

Jesus loved all and that's what I aim for myself. Everyone's doing the best they can based on the information they have.

I sometimes wonder how my life would've gone had I stayed with Dad and in the fold; I also believe in alternate universes so it's quite likely that an aspect of me actually experienced this.

I'm sure I made many great friends, married someone proper, and went to the meetings thrice a week. And I was probably happy with that (as you guys have been).

But what if, one day, I started having doubts? I'd have to stifle them knowing that if I continued down the road I was on, it would only lead to being disfellowshipped and all my "friends" and "family" would disappear because I was no longer a carbon copy of them, because I could no longer live a lie.

I choose to live a life of freedom. Freedom is simply another word for love. If my kids don't come to the same conclusions as I, who am I to judge them? I believe God is the same way.

My belief in reincarnation stems from the experiences people have described on various near-death experience sites.

Just last night on Survivor, Russell (the black one) mentioned the incredible bliss he felt as he lay on the edge of death.

People who have gone deeper into the experience have not only said that reincarnation is a reality, if we wish to experience it, that is, but also that we existed, as spirit before being born, that we came to Earth with a plan as it were.

I don't subscribe to the Hindu belief that we die and are then immediately born again, but that we die, go to the other side and after a time if we wish, go back to Earth and experience physical life.

I wonder what Witnesses think of these experiences since they believe that once one dies, that's it until the resurrection.

I put preferencial treatment on what people are experiencing over words written centuries ago.

In conclusion, I really appreciate you airing your opinions. I haven't had much to blog about lately and have enjoyed expressing my views this evening as the snow falls.