We don't usually think about it, though, until the holidays roll around and people start buying gifts for people other than themselves--sometimes for people who aren't actually geeks. Like grandmothers. Who are afraid of awesomeness.
I was trying to figure out what to give my elderly mom for Christmas this year. My father, who passed away a few years ago, was a police officer; and Mom gets a pension; but she is on a fixed income and is quite frugal. She hates to run the air conditioner in summer and keeps the house freezing in winter. So I thought I'd get her a Slanket for Christmas. I just love the one my husband got me last year. I slip into that thing on the couch, and I'm out like a light in ten minutes.
It could have been worse.
I did some comparison shopping and found the best bargain at thinkgeek.com. No, I did not buy her the skull and crossbones pattern, LOL. I placed the order this weekend, and I mentioned to her on the phone Sunday evening that she should expect to get a box from you guys soon and not to open it till Christmas.
Fast forward to last night. I'm in the kitchen, getting dinner ready, when the phone rings. I see it's my mom, and I feel a slight tinge of worry because she doesn't usually call me unless it's important.
"Hi, Susan. It's Mom."
"Oh, hi, Mom. Listen, dinner's about ready. Can I talk to you later? Are you okay?"
"Well, I'm okay, but... I'm afraid of this box."
"It says 'Warning' on it."
"And something else. Extreme? Yeah, extreme."
"Extreme Awe...some...ness. Extreme Awesomeness Inside. I'm worried about this."
"Oh, Mom! That's just them being funny! It means you're really going to like what's in the box."
"But it says 'Warning!' I don't understand that."
"It's just how young people talk these days."
"Well, why did you get something like that for me? I'm not a young person. I'm scared."
Torn between exasperation and hysterics, I shouted to my husband upstairs, "Honey, Mom got that package from thinkgeek.com, and the box says 'Warning, extreme awesomeness inside', and she's afraid of it."
"Tell her it's just slang. It's what people say."
I relay that to her, and she says, "Well, I don't know. I don't know what to do."
I think I finally managed to calm her down by the time I had to get off the phone and take dinner out of the oven. Still, I can't rule out that she spent yesterday evening on the phone calling up all of Dad's old retired police friends, just to make sure it's okay.
"John, I got this box from Susan, and I just don't know about it. Can you come over and look at it? I think it might be dangerous."
I think I'll have to call her tonight and ask her to open it now. Otherwise, she's going to worry about it from now until Christmas.
I really should have bought her the Slanket with the skull and crossbones pattern. Heh heh. "It's evil! It's evil!"
Happy holidays, and I hope that the Christmas presents that you give are received with less drama!
Thanks for sending us your story, Susan, and we hope we didn't ship the Slanket with monkey breath air pillows! Your mom might call the CDC.