Word: A St. Louis Comedy e-Zine – December 2018

Gift Giving Guide for Shitty People

By: Jake Beckman

It’s easy to give good gifts to people when you know them. My buddy got huge into Game of Thrones, so I bought him the unofficial board game. Turns out it’s awful. There are too many pieces and it won’t fit back in the box unless you put everything back perfectly. Kind of like one of those bullshit tangram puzzles. Also, the rule book is like 43 pages and I have neither the mental stamina nor capacity to comprehend that much information. It was a terrible game but he was excited when he got it, so I guess it was a good gift?

Eh. Whatever.

The hiccup to gift giving comes when you have to do the secret Santa gift exchange for your extended family, and if you’re like me and you know nothing about anyone in your family, this can be tricky.

Luckily for you, I’m here to help.

This is the gift giving guide for shitty people.

Youngest Cousin (Male):

He’s 9 and hardcore into video games. He’s always telling you about his Minecraft world and sending you invites to his Call of Duty clan. I think he’s pretty active too, but he’s into a weird sport like swimming or wrestling. I’m 85% sure he’s in the middle of a Power Rangers phase.

Whatever the case is, we know that there’s one perfect gift for this kid:

An art set.

Youngest Cousin (Female):

You guys have never really connected because every time you see her she’s doing weird shit. There was that one Easter where she started throwing hard-boiled eggs into the street and it was weird because everyone saw her doing it, but no one said anything about it. Fortunately, there’s something out there that will make her happy and hopefully appease whatever demons haunt her internally. Get her an art set.

Cousin that’s around the same age (Male):

He’s more athletic than you, taller than you, and people have said better looking than you. You know those people don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, but you’re still spiteful. You’re a year and a half older than him so you’re wiser and you’re going to use that wisdom to establish dominance. What’s the best way to make your slightly younger and more successful cousin remember when you were the Top-Dawg in that relationship? Get him something that makes him nostalgic. Something that reminds him of being a kid. Get him an art set, but not a good one. Go Rose Art for this guy.

Cousin that’s around the same age (Female):

You haven’t seen her much in the past year, but once every few weeks she puts a dope picture of her European tour on IG. You don’t know if she’s employed or just fully accepting the vagabond lifestyle, but whatever the case, she’s living a full life. That being said, it seems suspicious that her last four posts have been Latergrams of the Cliffs of Dover… Is she alive?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I’ll tell you what. You’re going to need to put two stamps on the package you send her because you’re going to send her an art set.

In September she gave the address of the hostel she was staying at. Hopefully, she’s still there.

Older Cousin (Male):

This guy has been out of the picture for a long time, but this year he’s coming in town from Chicago to see his everybody. He’s always been kind of dope, like the time he bought your tickets to Forgetting Sarah Marshall because you weren’t old enough to buy them yourself. As a matter of fact, that was the last time you saw him.

Isn’t he an architect or something? Probably.

Well, now you’re finally going to get a chance to pay him back for that favor the best way you know how. He gets a Crayola art set. Now he’ll be able to make blueprints, forest greenprints, and cotton candy pinkprints.  Good for him.

Older Cousin (Female):

Unfortunately, we don’t know a whole lot about her. You were but a wee babe when she graduated. Was it from high school or was it from college? I don’t remember.

She had a weird pet, right? Like a ferret or a hedgehog? She probably doesn’t want another one of those.

Remember that time you guys played hide and seek at their house? That was pretty cool.

Wait… was she even there for that? I don’t think she was.

Oh yeah! She had that funny story about her mission trip to Haiti.

Nope… Nope.

She was there for the Earthquake. Probably don’t want to remind her of that.

Huh…

I think she had a Jewel CD…

Yeah, she was definitely into Jewel a long time ago and that’s all we know.

Play it safe, she gets an art set.

Uncle (Male):

This guy was best. Remember when he grabbed you by your ankles, lifted you up and made it seem like you were walking on the ceiling? God, that was awesome. Remember when you got your braces off, and he brought you to Pizza Hut to celebrate? Very cool. Remember that Christmas where he gave you a fifty dollar bill but you had to finish some kind of labyrinthian puzzle in order to get it? Fuck that. Fuck that so much. He can write you an apology letter using his brand new off brand art set.

Aunt (Female):

She’s really big into running, yoga, horseback riding, gardening, crafts, cigarettes, sewing, her bocce ball league, water aerobics, her new beekeeping venture, holistic healing, geocaching, politically charged Facebook posts, glass blowing, artistic hairstyles, meditation, kayaking, recycling, black and white photography, her paleo food blog, and whatever new MLM scam she got into this year (I think it’s lipstick or some bullshit). Too bad you know nothing about any of these, so you’ll just have to stick with old faithful: get her an art set.

That should be everyone on the list. Second cousins and cousins first removed don’t matter because no one knows what they are. I will add that the best part of this scheme is that you won’t have to pay a penny. You’ll just re-gift all the old art sets that you were given. There’s nothing more frugal than being a shitty person.

Sports Nuggets:  An On-the-Couch Look into Sports History

By: Sharon Hazel

Spotlight:  The Dangers of Ballin’

They are the unsung heroes of professional sports.  They put their bodies on the line every day for a sport they love. Decades of tradition make these athletes yearn to be the best in the world.  Only a chosen few with enough guts, heart, and good fortune will get an opportunity to perform with the best that ever played the game. Lately though, these dedicated athletes have endured new trials and tribulations.  On-the-court collisions, self-inflicted injury, verbal abuse, and a basic lack of respect for the uniform has plagued this group.  Already burdened with not having the best job title, a young tennis Ball Boy or Ball Girls’ job isn’t child’s play.

Among the eager young hopefuls there are a few in the bunch that commit the tennis equivalent crime of scoring an own goal.  Some kids ‘going to run head first into a wall at full speed.  It happens more than you think.  The job is simple. Pick up the goddamn ball and run across the court, repeat. Apparently, it’s not so easy when your favorite tennis player is distracting you by his/her greatness so much that you run head first into the stadium wall like The Situation on a bender.  It happened during the 2016 Barcelona Open.

What happens when a player accidentally takes out a young tyke? Bosnian professional tennis player Damir Dzumhur laid out a Ball Boy like kitchen tile while chasing a ball at the 2018 French Open. When it was all over the kid was in the fetal position on live television for all his junior high school peers to witness. The worst-case scenario is a player knocking the shit out of a kid and then having to pay a fine like Wimbledon player Adrian Mannarino did in 2017. 

The next logical question:  What happens if a player is a dick? Since Wimbledon is old AF, the organization will probably never change its rule that a Ball Boy/Girl must fetch a towel when a player asks for one.  A gesture most would consider nice but if you’re an idiot, no so much. Spanish “professional” tennis player Fernando Verdasco pretentiously got upset when a Ball Boy didn’t bring his towel fast enough.  As the boy was hustling in the hot sun to bring him his towel, the player gestured with his hands vigorously, communicating the boy had lead feet.  The towel rule has been changed in tournaments throughout The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to minimize rude behavior from mean people. Unfortunately, no one can rule out mean people.

A New Dad’s Christmas List

By: Matt Wayman

Santa I know your not real, I actually just found out last year, but I am writing you anyway. I don’t want much, but I need a few things. If you can find it in your fake heart to get me a few things I would forever appreciate it. Here is my list:

  1. Sleep – Of the more than four hour at a time variety.
  2. Free time – I don’t remember what it is but, I know I used to enjoy it.
  3. Socks – You can never have too many socks.

Also booze, lots and lots of booze! Thanks Santa.

Signed,
A New Dad

Christmas Ad
By: Matt Wayman