Saturday night, my brother and his girlfriend threw their annual Christmas party. It's a little dressier than the usual night out, food and wine are served along with the usual beer, and it's always a great time. This year, coldblackncold, htothem, bobwhite, and fabledreality came along with the usual gang of my brother’s friends.
The highlight of said party is the Roto-Santa game. Every attendee brings a gift of approximately $15-$20 in value that is suitable for either a male or a female. The presents go into a pile and numbers are drawn to determine opening order. Number one chooses an unwrapped present from the pile, number two can either steal number one's present or take a new present, number three can take either number one or number two's present, stolen or not. If a present is stolen from a player, that player chooses an unwrapped present before the next player's turn, and a present can only have three owners: the second person to steal an item keeps it permanently, therefore the higher number you draw, the better off you are. Got the rules? Okay.
Oh, and one more thing, inevitably, there’s a “Whammy Gift” thrown in there by somebody. I have attended this party for three years. Some of the Whammy Gifts I’ve seen have been “The Year in Kelly and John” photo calendar handmade by one of the couples, candy bars, and a red silk-esque scarf. This year’s Whammy has got to be the best yet though.
Common gifts for the exchange are bottles of liquor, movies, CDs, housewares (one year three George Foreman Grills were floating around) and then such oddities as tabletop air hockey games and dancing gophers. Ken had the tough luck of drawing #1. He chooses a large brightly-wrapped box and opens it to reveal a Sushi set. A few gifters later, I reminded him that if he doesn’t like his present to keep it in plain view so people remember that he has it and might steal it from him. He winces and slides the Sushi set further underneath his chair. Oops.
Method of wrapping can also be deceiving. Some will wrap a gift certificate in a huge box with rocks and padding. Others will put a fine bottle of liquor in a brown paper bag with a bow drawn on it. Some items, like the $20 Gap Gift Certificate are stolen from person to person at a machine-gun pace. Couples have also been known to work together; example: this year, someone brought 2 tickets to a Caps game. Husband of Couple A steals the tickets from their opener (who happened to be Bob), then a turn later, Wife of Couple A steals the tickets from her husband, making her the third and final owner of the tickets, but still keeping them within their unit.
Bob’s losing the hockey tickets is an important part of the story. Bob is now giftless late in the game. He cannot steal a present after a present has been stolen from him, he must take a new one. There are four gifts left: two larger boxes in two different designs of snowman wrapping paper, the brown paper bag with a bottle of liquor in it that Bob himself brought, and an oddly shaped package wrapped in a newspaper. The other package that had been wrapped in a newspaper turned out to be a pretty nice martini set. Bob goes for the second newspaper present.
Two of our doctor friends came to the party that night. One, having to work a shift earlier that day, asked the other to pick up a present for him to put into the mix. The one who bought the presents, who even before this we knew as Dr. Cock, got the martini set for himself and figured while he was picking up a gift for the other Doctor, he’d provide a whammy gift, so for the second gift he brought “Clit Whacker”, a gigantic dildo with base tentacles, lifelike veins and vibrating action. Apparently, when he brought the dildo to the counter of the sex shop, the clerk looked at him funny. Dr. Cock smirked nervously and said “heh…gag gift.” The clerk blinked back at him lifelessly and replied “No returns on the novelty items, sir.”
Bob brought a bottle of Grand Marnier. Bob got a plastic dick. Jokes flew: Leave it to Bob to always get dicked in the end; he really got dicked on that one; what is that, some kind of massager?
And after all that rigmarole, after an hour of being hidden under his chair, Ken lost the Sushi set to the last person.