The season of wrong gifting

The only thing a gift card does, is force me to buy something I don’t want from a shop I don’t ever visit.

Of all the things in the universe I do not understand, two stand out: why anybody would want a CB radio; and why anybody would consider a gift card a gift.

For those who don’t know, a CB (Citizen Band) radio was a glorified walkie-talkie.

It was a big thing in the seventies and early eighties. Every cool 20-something-year-old had one in his car and would talk to random strangers within a range of a few kilometres.

Back then it was considered the ultimate “chick magnet”, with every Frikkie, Fanie and Fikile with a Ford fantasising about being either Smokey or the Bandit. I can never remember who was the cool one.

They used codes like “ten-four” and “over and out” – phrases we only heard in the movies – and according to legend it really was a panty dropper.

Me? Whenever I got an urge to talk to a total stranger, I’d just pick up the landline, dial a random number and ask whoever answered if they wanted to chat. The result was very often way beyond smoking.

As for gift cards? Perhaps it dates from the same era as the CB, when “paying with plastic” became all the rage.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a great believer in, user of, and slave to credit cards. But gift cards?

If you are too lame or lazy to buy me a gift, or if you suspect that I might not share your taste in music, books, underwear, décor, tools, wine, whiskey, makeup, toys, car accessories, jewellery, sunglasses, art, household appliances, towels or whatever you don’t want to buy me, why give me a card that allows me to shop only at the shop where you shop?

The only thing a gift card does, is force me to buy something I don’t want from a shop I don’t ever visit.

If you want me to buy my own gift with your money, why not just give me the money? Then I can shop where I want to shop.

With Christmas shopping going viral in the next few days, don’t underestimate the value of cash. You never know, somebody might be saving up for a CB.

That’s over and out, good buddy.

Danie Toerien.

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