It’s damn difficult to shop for a birthday gift for Giver McGiverson.
Seriously. It really is.
The guy just gives and gives and gives, doling out real smiles and unabashed hugs. In the afternoon, we might grab some lunch together at the little quaint cafe down at the end of our kitchen, and I swear, this buddy of mine: he’s laughing at every joke I tell him.
Yeah, he might chew with his mouth open and maybe he gets super-spazzy when he sees the NASCAR start up on the tube, but I’m telling you what, you want to feel like a real comedian, like a home run hitter with the jokes, you get your self a pal like this Giver McGiverson fella.
You ought to see him pointing at me when I waltz into a room where he’s hanging out.
I stroll in, casually say my “Hey whassup dog”, and as soon as he spots me he drops whatever it is he’s working on, and I swear he starts hollering out You-da-Man! with his big brown eyes.
Oh, and it’s truly awesome. No one else ever says that to me, you know?
I’ve spent a lifetime up in my head, walking through doorways, pretending I was Norm strolling into Cheers on a Friday evening. Yet it never shakes out like that, does it? But now, this guy comes along, this new friend of mine and suddenly: what’s all this?
I’m feeling like a million bucks six or eight times a day?
You gotta be kidding me. Pinch me, I tell ya.
So, I’m a mess.
What do you get the Big Givers? What can you putz around in Wal-Mart looking for that is big enough and bad enough to say gracias to these once-in-a-lifetime amigos who you never saw coming, and now that they are around, you could never go without?
Oh, McGiverson, you old coot. Darn you. How do I ever find the perfect gift for a sidekick like you? You don’t care about money or fancy clothes. One look at the finer things and you turn the other cheek for muddier pastures, don’t ya? You’re not a jewelry guy or a cologne sponge. There isn’t a day that swings by when you wish you had anything out of the LL Bean book or even the Sky Mall one.
You’re one of those salt-of-the-earth hombres, so wonderfully unimpressed with the material world.
Even your hobbies are simple and plain: all no frills and tragically cheap.
You collect pieces of bark and twig and leaf you find on the kitchen floor.
And you eat them.
You enjoy pounding things you can hold in your fist onto surfaces that you cannot. You are a connoisseur of dirt, a true patron of the filths.
You’re a fan, a big one. Lord only knows what kind of dead ladybug ghost town you’ve been building up down in your belly-guts.
It’s all too much for a dummy like me to figure out, my man.
You are a friend that eclipses any sort of thank-you gift I am going to pick up at this store or that one.
And, frankly, it’s becoming plain to see that I could spend a thousand years roaming the endless jungles of Amazon and I’d never come across the perfect gift, the perfect way for me to say thank you. There just doesn’t seem to be anything shiny enough or huge enough or yummy enough to say we love you this much…
…to say Happy First Birthday, Giver McGiverson.
Happy Birthday, Hank The Tank.
Happy Birthday, Baby Rhino.
Happy Birthday, son.
Happy First Birthday Henry.