The Second Stupidest Thing In The World
There’s so much stupid shit in the world that at times it’s hard to categorize it all. Even most bloggers, chronic cataloguers of the asinine, seem unable or unwilling to accurately pin down the stupidest things in the world. I won’t attempt it either, but I will say that my vote for the stupidest thing in the world goes to laugh tracks. Don’t get me wrong, some great sitcoms have employed laugh tracks (and by “some great sitcoms, I mean Seinfeld). But they are generally a cynically calculated move by television producers to say “Hey! This is funny! Laugh at this!”
Laugh tracks aren’t the point of this blog entry, though. This one is about the second stupidest thing in the world, which I discovered yesterday. It was Father’s Day, so I instinctually went to CVS to buy something for my dad. My dad has no use for anything anyone gives him as a present; I bought him a DVD of Caddyshack three years ago for Christmas, which he brought upstairs at the end of the day and put in his book shelf. It is still there now. I’ve gotten into the habit of buying him a card on all non-Christmas gift-giving situations.
So anyway, I got to CVS fairly late in the day and the Father’s Day card part of the aisle was a ghost town. There was nary a decent card in sight as I browsed in vain for something, anything that would supposedly express my gratitude for my dad’s role in raising me. As I looked at one bad pun after another, it hit me: buying a card for someone is probably the least creative, least grateful thing that one human can do for another.
When you get someone a card (Hallmark or otherwise) you’re essentially acknowledging the existence of a situation where you are obligated to make some kind of gesture towards a person. Rather than put some thought into it, though, card-buyers spend five minutes browsing Stop and Shop and then use words that someone else has thought up combined with a picture in lieu of actually expressing their feelings.” Seriously, when did Hallmark cards become so ubiquitous in modern society? What ever happened to hand-made cards? Or even using the good old Print Shop Deluxe? I get that in some situations, getting a card isn’t a bad option. Maybe if you’re giving a card to a boss or somebody you hardly know from work it’s ok. But giving a close friend or relative one is ridiculous, if you really stop to think about it.
Getting back to my Father’s Day excursion, I’d like to say that once this realization, this epiphany, about the stupidity of holiday cards hit me, I’d like to say that I walked out of the store and made my own damn card. I didn’t though. I bought a platitude-laden card, gave it to my dad, and called it a day.