The gift

On Monday I posted a piece concerning fashion tips for elderly men, which last time I looked had generated 127 comments.

Turns out women had a lot of advice for men…who knew?

Because I seemed to have struck a nerve, I’m working on a sequel describing the fashion faux pas I missed the first time around, but until that’s ready I’m going to try and do a favor for a friend and maybe some of you readers as well.

But let’s start at the beginning…

For whatever reason, Life has allowed me to be friends with some rich people.

If you can’t be rich yourself, I can highly recommend hanging out with those who are. I have vacationed in mountain cabins I didn’t rent, piloted speed boats I didn’t own, eaten meals I couldn’t afford and driven luxury cars registered to someone else.

Financial experts refer to this as “Kato Kaelin Syndrome” or in layman’s terms, “being a sponge” which sounds bad, but as long as you have no self-respect – which I lost years ago – is actually fucking awesome.

Right up until you have to buy those rich friends something for their birthday, anniversary or Christmas – then you’re screwed. If those friends let you stay in their mansion for a week, swim in their pool and drink their liquor, a $5 gift card to Starbucks doesn’t cut it.

Which brings me to my friend, Kristin Griffin.

Kristin and I worked together at the Kansas City Star and she’s one of those people who are so nice it pisses you off.

For example:

If you’re walking down the street trying to avoid eye contact with a bum, she’ll go over to him and not only make eye contact, but ask how he’s doing and wind up becoming Facebook friends with him, which is a thing that has actually happened and made me wonder why I couldn’t be that nice and why a bum needed a Facebook account.

Kristin and I have a mutual friend, Wendy Gimmarro, and she feels exactly the same way: we look like selfish assholes compared to Kristin of Sunnybrook Farm and we wish she’d dial back the niceness so we don’t look bad by comparison, but she’s clearly addicted:

Kristin Griffin is a nice-aholic.

Let’s get Kristin to do it

Despite the fact that I drew cartoons for a living and Kristin worked in sales, she developed the reputation for being the “creative one” while I developed the reputation of being a dick.

So whenever it came time to decorate someone’s cubicle to celebrate their birthday or organize a going away party for Bob so Bob didn’t feel like he was getting a swift kick in the nuts as he went out the door, people would call on Kristin.

“You’re so creative, Kristin, why don’t you plan the party, decorate the office, come up with a cute gift and build a parade float Bob can ride out to the parking lot?”

Kristin would then go to work like she was planning the invasion of Normandy and show up with streamers, balloons and something she’d made out of popsicle sticks, super glue and glitter.

The picture at the top of this column is what she created for my birthday. At my age I can no longer drink nine beers in one sitting, so I tend to supercharge my beer intake with a shot of whiskey. It works like those Fast and Furious cars when they hit the nitrous oxide and if you don’t know what I’m referring to, here you go:

Kristin thoughtfully tied shots of Crown Royal to a six pack of beer so I could engage in some one-stop alcoholism.

After decades of doing stuff like this for free, Kristin Griffin is now going pro.

The gift you’d give if you actually gave a fuck

If it feels like you’ve been married since the discovery of electricity you’ve probably given your spouse dozens of sweaters he or she won’t ever wear and a library full of books that will never be read.

And nothing says I’m fresh out of give-a-fuck like a gift card.

So friends of Kristin who had their emotional tread worn slick by waking up next to the same overweight slob for 20 years straight began asking her for gift ideas. They were paying her to supply the creativity and thoughtfulness they no longer possessed and maybe never did.

Here’s what Kristin did for a baby shower:

And an engagement party:

The aforementioned Wendy Gimmarro loves Coca-Cola and here’s what a six-pack of that looks like after Kristin gets done with it:

And here’s what Wendy looked like when she received her gift basket:

Kristin is obviously good at girly stuff, but I had a well-to-do friend who needed a birthday gift and I said it had to incorporate beer, tobacco and a heaping helping of machismo. It sounded like suggestions for an improv comedy sketch.

Try puttin’ a bow on that, Nancy Nice!

So Kristin created the world’s most Badass Six-Pack:

After I saw the above gift I was so impressed I promised her I’d write something about how she’s turning a hobby into a business and this is it.

So if you have someone hard to buy for or can’t think of anything new to give or just don’t give a rat’s ass and want to seem like you do, Kristin Griffin can help you out.

Get on Facebook and search for Basket Case KC and send Kristin a message.

She has the knack for coming up with something cool and creative and making you seem more thoughtful than you really are.

And that’s a gift.