The Ultimate, Unequalled, Unmatched, Unrivaled, Unparalleled, Unsurpassed, Final, "Just what I Always wanted," Supreme, Absolute, Perfect Christmas Gift
by Davin Dahlgren, December 1985
I had always known that Christmas was meant to be a happy time, but I never knew exactly why until I went in search of the ultimate, unequalled, unmatched, unrivaled, unparalleled, unsurpassed, final, "just what I always wanted," supreme, absolute, perfect Christmas gift.
My name is Chris -- Chris Mustry. And the gift? The gift was for the prettiest girl in the world, Elisabeth Leyham -- Beth Leyham. Oh, you'd like her, she's very nice. Did I mention that she's the prettiest girl in the world? Of course, I can substantiate that claim. I worked it all out. You see, every man has his own idea of what the prettiest girl in the world looks like, and each one is completely different from the next. Only one girl can be the absolute quintessence of beauty, therefore, a vote must be taken. Married men cannot vote, because if they did, they would be obligated to vote for their wives as the prettiest girl in the world ... or else. Likewise, single men with girlfriends can only dare to vote for their own sweethearts. And since the men without girlfriends obviously know nothing about girls anyway, they should not be allowed to vote, either. This sound and unshakeable logic leaves only myself to vote, thereby electing Elisabeth to the position of the prettiest girl in the world.
This fact does, however, present a very disturbing problem: what do you give the prettiest girl in the world for Christmas?
Whatever the gift, it has to be the ultimate, unequalled, unmatched, unrivaled, unparalleled, unsurpassed, final, "just what I always wanted," supreme, absolute, perfect Christmas gift. But what is it? Where could I find it? Who could tell me what I wanted to know? I had to find out!
After the brilliant mental gymnastics that had revealed the identity of the prettiest girl in the world, surely I could work out how to find the ultimate, unequalled, unmatched, unrivaled, unparalleled, unsurpassed, final, "just what I always wanted," supreme, absolute, perfect Christmas gift.
It was rumoured around town that there was a jolly old elf in a red suit who was a prominent authority in the area of gift giving. Personally, I don't know if I would trust an elf to pick the ultimate gift for presentation to the ultimate girl. However, in the interest of fairness, and out of a moderate degree of desperation, I decided to give the old fellow a chance.
It was generally agreed upon that the old boy could be found in one of two places during the Christmas season, either holding gift consultation meetings in local department stores, or standing on a street corner doing charity work.
Since gift consultation sounded like a much more lucrative way for a prominent gift expert to spend his time, I naturally decided to seek out the jolly, red-suited figure in one of the various department stores around town, preferably in one of the more reputable institutions.
The drive into town was, for the most part, uneventful, save for the inconsequential matter of the fifteen car pileups on main street and other such unimportant obstacles. Luckily enough, I was able to find a parking spot only fifteen blocks from the store (and I only had to circle the town fifty-three-and-a-half times!) In any case, the walk from the car was pleasant enough, with the temperature a toasty twenty-eight degrees, and a mild wind chill factor which sent a rosy minus twelve degree breeze ripping through my hair. As refreshing as all this was, I managed to stay only marginally frostbitten as I crunched merrily through the snow-covered crowds.
To my surprise and semi-delight, I was intercepted by the red-suited elf well before I reached the store. He was standing on the street corner ringing an obnoxious and earsplitting bell. He was a merry old guy, dressed from head to foot in a red suit with white trim. His long white whiskers hung down over his rather large stomach, and wiggled comically when he shouted, "Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!" Approaching this odd-looking man, I explained my predicament and told him that he was very highly recommended as an expert in the area of giving gifts. He looked thoughtful for a moment, and then delivered his verdict.
So indeed it was true! This jolly elf in the ridiculous red suit did know exactly what the perfect gift would be! Filled with a new sense of purpose and responsibility, I slipped the merry old soul a few dollars (so he could buy himself some decent clothes) and continued on my way to the department store to purchase the item.
As I rounded the next corner, I was surprised to find that the old elf had arrived there ahead of me. He looked taller and a little thinner than when I had last seen him, but I supposed that this was due to his rushing so fast to beat me to this corner.
But why had he intercepted me again? Perhaps he had changed his mind. Perhaps upon further reflection, he had decided that another gift would be more suitable for the prettiest girl in the world, and had rushed ahead to tell me before I had made the mistake of purchasing the wrong item. He didn't seem to be in any hurry to speak with me, so I asked him if he had indeed changed his mind. To my astonishment, he behaved as if he had never seen me before in his life. I felt sorry for the old fellow; he was obviously growing a little forgetful in his old age, so I explained the situation to him once again. Having refreshed his somewhat stale memory, I eagerly awaited his reply. He suggested a suitable gift, and I once again continued on my way.
I finally reached the department store, but not before the forgetful but agile old elf had stopped me five more times, each time suggesting a different gift. So it was with some trepidation that I entered the store. The aisles were very festively decorated in green and red, and brightly coloured signs pointed out all the fantastic bargains that were to be found among the myriad of nooks and crannies that lined every inch of the store.
Imagine my shock and bewilderment when I stepped from between the electronic appliances and cosmetics aisles to find that my jolly, red-suited advisor had yet again arrived ahead of me. This time, the fleet-footed fairy was seated in almost majestic splendour on a gaudy throne made of cardboard with little sparkles of sequin-like jewels pasted here and there like snowflakes frozen in their downward flight. Lined up for aisles and aisles were hundreds of parents and their children waiting for a chance to speak with the overweight old gentleman, no doubt on the subject of Christmas gifts. I felt sorry for all those people, lined up to talk with the old man. I hated to think about what those poor misguided souls would feel like when they found out that their jolly, Yuletide symbol was nothing more than a forgetful old charlatan in a bright, festive costume.
I left the store without buying any of the things that the the old gentleman had suggested. I walked slowly back towards my car, trying to think of what the ultimate, unequalled, unmatched, unrivaled, unparalleled, unsurpassed, final, "just what I always wanted," supreme, absolute, perfect Christmas gift could possibly be.
I rounded a corner and the red-suited gift man stood there, waiting for me, ringing his silly bell. I quickly turned away and crossed the street, hoping to avoid another confrontation with the big fellow. Down the street and around another corner, he again stopped me in my tracks, blocking my way, always ringing that ominous bell! I began to get worried; it was almost as if he were chasing me! I turned and ran. Left. Right. It didn't matter which way I turned, he was always there, waiting for me ... I couldn't get away! He loomed up at me from every corner, every doorway, everywhere! Always ringing.
Ringing, ringing, ringing!
Ringing that bell in my face, threatening me with every clang. Desperately, I turned into an alley to escape; surely the hideous old elf would never dare to follow me in there. Panting, I leaned against an old brick building, and tried to calm myself down to a mild state of panic.
The whole thing was horrifying! I was merely searching for the perfect gift, a gift I could give to the prettiest girl in the world. And here I was, suddenly thrust against my will into the middle of this terrifying nightmare before Christmas.
My heart still racing, I turned and clutched at the bricks behind me in a valiant effort to steady myself. As I did so, the display in the window caught my eye. It was a curiously peaceful little scene, just a wooden shack filled with cows and sheep and a few people, and certainly no sign of any fat, red man anywhere.
A little man and woman were looking down at a charming little baby in a hay-filled bed. A few shepherds stood nearby, and a large star hung down from the ceiling. It was such a compelling scene, that I had to step inside and ask about it.
Well, remarkably enough, I found the ultimate, unequalled, unmatched, unrivaled, unparalleled, unsurpassed, final, "just what I always wanted," supreme, absolute, perfect Christmas gift in that little store. And after the kindly old proprietor of the store introduced me to Him, I went home and did the same thing for the prettiest girl in the world.

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