The Science behind gift giving - For MEN (or those shopping for a man) An analytical approach for blending perfect & Easy.


To those with a logical sense the obvious may not need to be stated, but for those who screw this one up time-and-time again, the perfect gift is never easy, and the easy gift far from perfect. Having said that there are sure-fire ways to get something that is both easy and perfect enough. Below in my graph I've hand picked several traditional gifts ranging from the easiest, to the most perfect for any real man.


Here you will clearly see both easy on the left and hard to the right of the horizontal scale. This Easy - Hard scale is based upon acquirability (how difficult it is to get said item, how much effort that would take) coolness of said item is subjective to the gift recipeint, which also makes it harder, because you must know said recipents particular taste. Price is also a huge factor - because let's be honest here, all cool stuff cost money, and the cooler the item, the more cash you are going to have to shell out. It should be noted, that insight, and thoughtfulness are calculated on a dollar scale because that requires knowledge of the recipients interests and individual nuances. This takes time, and here in America, your TIME = MONEY.

On the far left a vertical scale ranging bad thru good gifts. A bad gift being bad (this is not subjective, a bad gift is a bad gift) and a good gift being something that the recipient would thoroughly enjoy. An excellent gift ranking towards the upper 3/4's of the scale would be an unforgettable gift, making that gift one of the best the receiver has ever, or will ever get. A gift in the upper 3/4's would also have to remain in the top 10 gifts the recipent will ever receive in normal lifetime.

Combining the two scales you will see that an easy gift is usually a bad gift. With little to no effort, you can't expect that your gift will be considered meaningful or good. A hard gift (requiring more effort to come by) usually tends to be a good gift, but you will notice that there is a certain point on the graph where a medium amount of effort can get you a substantial better gift, and you will notice that as each gift reaches closer and closer to the 'Perfect Gift' mark that it becomes exponentially harder to acquire, whether it be general market availability, build time, or cost.

Here is a break down of each gift and why:

  1. Nothing - You can't really screw up getting someone nothing. Excuses are a dime a dozen these days and everyone knows you're busy, so that usually works. Nothing requires less effort than "doing nothing", so this ranks off the chart on the easy side of things, and it's actually better than getting somebody excrement, which brings me to my next gift.

  2. Excrement - Whether it be human or of animal origins - excrement is a horrible gift. Funny for the gift giver, rarely funny for the recipient. You're either going to have to create this yourself, or go pick some up, which isn't that hard, but does take a slight amount of effort, and that's a good thing - because if it were truly effortless, I think we'd all have gotten a lot more of it by now.

  3. Gift Cards - Low and behold, the worst 'real' gift ever. Nothing shows you didn't try like the ol' cop out of a gift card. It shows that you you don't really care about the persons interests, and or couldn't be bothered to seek out an actual gift. YAWN! Enjoy your $25 SIZZLER Gift Certif. - SIKE! You're better off getting them nothing. Seriously.

  4. Something useless - You thought it was useful. Well guess what? It's not. Here I've placed a calculator on the graph, because I don't need one anymore and I can only type 55378008 in it once for a laugh. Something useless is not only a waste of your time and money, but you make the gift recipient feel bad for throwing it away or re-gifting it. If they don't chuck it, they are holding onto garbage and you are enabling their hoarding condition. Shame on you.

  5. Article of clothing - "Oh god please, I hope granny doesn't get me another bottom of the rack knitted sweater from Ross" said every man ever. The clothing gift only ranks slightly higher than something useless, because it is useful if the gift recipient loses all of their other clothing. Unless a particular article of clothing is specifically asked for, this is a bad gift because it will not get worn.

  6. Anything from Harbor Freight - A man could always use some new tools - You're right, but I've ranked bonafide perishables above the life span the 'tools' sold at HF. From one tool owner to another, or someone shopping for one; Take this sound advice, avoid Harbor Freight.

  7. Ice Cream - Not a single person ever said they didn't like Ice Cream. You do have to know the recipients favorite flavor to make this work, so gaining insight into this would require said knowledge of the individual. The only hard part about this one is getting it to baby Jesus in time before it melts.

  8. Beer(s) - Nothing says HEY BRO like a case of beer - I prefer some domestic macrobrews over some snooty crafty sludge that's going to fill me up and turn me into a freshly tapped oil well when it decides to come back up. Plus it's cheaper. It's perishable and will be shortly forgotten about, but... Wait, what were we talking about again??

  9. Sunglasses - Oh that's right - The perfect gift. One might say the true perfect gift is something that lies in the middle ground. A well rounded item that didn't break the backs of those who gave it, and one that was received with a smile. Something that could be used day in and day out. That item my friends, is sunglasses. Just about everyone could use a pair, or even an extra pair. A pair for the car, a pair for the boat. A pair for the other car, a pair that I don't care about. A pair that I do. The list goes on. Whether you are getting someone Party Shades Co. sunglasses, or another brand - Sunglasses will go down in the books as one of THE most well rounded gifts in the history of man-kind. There are sunglasses in literally every price range, styles are easy to pick out and if you're in doubt over color, you can never go wrong with a solid set of black shades. Plus name me an item that has everyday use like sunglasses? Last time I checked, the earth was still rotating around the sun, which means we see our fare share of it during the year. (for most of us it makes it's presence known 365 days a year) and whether it's beaming directly onto you, or being diffused by some cumulus white blobs in the sky, it's sometimes just a little too dang bright to be rocking the naked eye. BOOM - Sunglasses. Behold, the art of gift giving, now perfectly easy.

    Now that we've well crossed the midway point, you will notice that gifts become exponentially more expensive and harder to get. These gifts require special attention to both the recipient and the buyer should be fairly well educated going forward. Purchasing such items as a mistake, will surely be a costly one.

  10. A Motorcycle - Find me a man who wouldn't be happy with a new motorcycle. I SAID A MAN!!!!!!!!!!! For this one I have picked out a Harley-Davidson FXDB, in the color black. You can always bet on black, but it best be customized to the recipients liking, as nobody desires to own a stock bike. That or get them all the parts they need to make it the way they want it.

  11. A Sweet Car - Again taking another huge leap in the price category, not to mention these aren't all that easy to come by, unless you are really willing to drop an arm and leg. For this particular one I have hand selected a 1987 Buick GNX (Grand National) a classic bad-guy car only made in one color, and I'll bet you can't guess which one... BLACK! I know it's not a V8, but these things are bad to the bone and shoulda been sold with their matching counter-part sitting on the passenger seat; The Mac-10.

  12. M134D Mini Gun - At this point we've upped just about everything substantially. Price, availability, and now we've gotten extremely specific. If you're gonna be getting your best bro, or your sweet-sweet beax a gun for X-mas, why not make it the titanium 6 barreled, 4,000 round per minute electronically controlled gatling gun; Bullets being fired in rapid succession, nose to ass. A proverbial stick of armor piercing, super sonic projectiles. The sound alone will churn stomachs of the weak, all the while rendering anything that dare stand on the business-end into nothing more than pink mist. Easy you say, but wait! You can't cheap out on this one. If you're going to get someone a mini-gun, it has to be from Dillon Aero, the premiere manufacture for M134, and that's gonna cost you about $10-20k. In ammo. A day. The gun itself? If you can find one, it's gonna be $100,000+

  13. Trophy Truck - Is this the perfect gift? Nearing the top of the spectrum at the hard / perfect gift scale you will see we have the Voss Racing trophy truck. With enough power and suspension travel to make a grown man weep, these bad-ass desert racing dirt pounders are the rulers of the roost. Find me a man on this planet who wouldn't want one of these and I'll show you their vagina. With a Trophy truck you're taking yet another leap in price, and availability this one is going to take some careful planning. Odds are you are going to have to have one custom built for you, but that's okay because Jimco can turn one out for you in about 2,000 hours, for just a little under $500,000 - You're still going to need a semi-truck and an entire dedicated race team to help you make it to any race though.

  14. 4th gen Fighter Jet - If you want to see a man's jaw drop in awe, show him sheer air-superiority. For this I've chosen the McDonell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Strike Eagle as it has been regarded to be one of the best tactical air-to-air fighter jets of it's generation, with a proven track record of over 100 victories, with 0 combat losses. Raw power, speed and exhilaration with the gift of flight blended perfectly. With an F-15, you'll be riding on the fine line of death and destruction where you can get yourself to 30,000 feet in just under 60 seconds with the help of two Pratt & Whitney F-100's after-burning turbo fans boasting 25,000 pounds of force at WOT. I'm going to say boldly, that nothing beats a fighter jet on the gift scale. NOTHING. In terms of 'perfect' it's off the scale. In terms of hard, it's all-the-way hard, and now I bet you're saying "HEY! I can't own a military grade fighter jet!" Close, but all hope is not lost. While few 4th gen fighter jets are ever allowed to be sold on the civilian market, if you have a large pocket book and a clean record, a handshake with some Department of Defense goons will substantially increase your odds. If you decide that one of these beauties is for you, it's time to start shopping now for NEXT YEAR, because it's not going to be easy to find one. (you will probably even have to settle for a salvaged F/A-18, or a SU27, as I have never seen an actual F-15 for sale) but like many things, you know what they say; With enough determination anything can be yours. And for the low-low price of $16-$20 million you just may be able to own one. Oh, if you do get one, just be sure to set a small chunk aside, as maintenance fees alone for one of these bad birds will cost you a cool $45,000... A month. Not to mention this thing can burn through 10 gallons of fuel per second at full afterburn. CHA-CHING!

As you can clearly see, the easy gift was bad - even if you thought it was good. The perfect gift, as it climbs the scale gets exponentially harder. But there is a middle ground where the two scales meet, albeit for a brief second; And in that cosmic parallel you will find the gift known as SUNGLASSES. So whether it's someones birthday, or it's time for Kwanza again; A fresh pair of shades are appreciated by 19/20 dudes, and they are easy enough to give. Listen, you can't deny science! time and time again, it's proven. Facts are Facts. So make this holiday a banger, and get everyone you know a set of sunglasses - Then kick off your shoes, crack a cold one, smile and cheers yourself. Because, damn... You did good.

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