Last weekend, I learned of two evils in this world. Two puissant forces determined to drive the wedge of hostility amongst betwixt ourselves and our bretheren of the human race, and to entrench painful despair in our very souls.

Of these evils I speak, the first is the underfunded gift card.

My wife got a nice gift card from a relative this Christmas, and has yet to spend it. Why, you may ask? There's a very good reason. The card was for a certain dollar amount, let's call it X. The average purchase at the store whereat this gift card is honored is another dollar amount - let's call that Y. Now, you can probably guess that Y is greater than X. Quite a bit greater, actually. Of course, one could buy some little trinket or tchotchke, but what use is that when you could easily buy the same item yourself at a different store for much less? You, my friend, are left in a quandry. A chasm of unparalleled agony from which you can not escape. Either you waste the gift card on a meaningless purchase, thus stripping the intended value of the holiday gift away and tossing it carlessly away as rubbish, or you invest so much of your own money in purchasing a real gift for yourself from the carded establishment that it negates the worth of the gift card all together. A true evil in this world my friends, indeed.

The second of these horrors I speak also deals with shoppping. I shall call it "the unanswerable display."

Consider this: you are shopping for clothes with your significant other. You're in the clothing department of the opposite sex, which, for a man, means you might as well be in another nation. Your dearest love is perusing the racked wares, sometimes pausing, other times moving quickly by. And then, it comes. The Moment. Your mate removes a piece of clothing from the rack and holds it up, saying nothing but merely wearing a quizzical expression. And, at that moment, you are stuck between a solidity of rock and gravity of a hard place between which you have never been before. For what shall be your answer?

Either you assume she likes said garment, and is seeking your outside approval only to affirm the inclinations she is already feeling in her heart - meaning you should offer some token praise for the raiment, even if you feel it's more deserving of display upon some cell wall within Arkahm Asylum.

Or, she is feeling a moment of whimsy, and raises the foul fabric design aloft merely to mock it with some sarcastic remark as "Oh, this is SOOOO me!". Your proper response then is to join in the sarcasm, relishing in its irony, or perhaps heaping some derogatory comment upon the woven wreck hung so impossibly from the cheap plastic incorrrectly-assigned-as-another-size hanger.

Fail to determine the correct response, and you have either insulted a garment which your loved one truly felt a yearning towards, or you have intimated that she should garb herself with images too mind-numbing to be seen in public. You balance a tight rope above a lake of burining sulfur, with the Sword of Damocles suspended above.

Truly, these are great and heavy perils.

"...I want a girl with a short skirt and a looooooong jacket..."

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