I Love the Smell of Wrapping Paper in the Morning
by Turtle Jones

Since it still (yeah I know..still) the Christmas season and we are all getting tired of buying gifts for useless ingrates who really will only trash the toys in about three months and just want something new, we decided to write about our favorite gift we have ever received.

Something that stood above the rest. That sung itself out to us and made us remember why we loved it so.

One gift and what was it?

Turtle gets the plague....

My favorite christmas present was one of two things. And since I already talked about my fond3eness for "Mouse Trap" I think I will go with my other favoite.

Yes, I can have two favorites. The hell you think I eat Reese's Peaniut Butter Cups for? I am a man of different tastes. So anyways, my favorite one was a game that I had forgotten the name for. But, with a little searching around, I not only found the name of the game but also a flash version of it!!

dark tower.jpg


I stayed up all night on kiddie cocaine cokes waiting for this one. I mean, there really wasn't too much to it. It was basically is a flashlight and some stupid computer counter, but no matter! It put Merlin to shame and really, that's all I cared about! Fuck Merlin! Fuck the Rubik's Cube! Fuck everything you got cause I gots me the motherfucking plague chasing down the left side of my ass with some god damn orc motherfuckers fighting the front of me! And fuck that shop keeper and his god damn seven dollar warriors! Haggle with that son of a bitch and get him ass down to five bags for a warrior! And fuck the food! I don't give a flying fuck if those son of a bitches eat other! I just want more god damn gold and the smell of some dead fuckers blood dripping down my sword!

God damn!

I loved that game!


I need a minute to calm down.

Basically there was no skill in this. Pick a cool warrior and fight a useless battle for gold while trying to avoid getting lost and not have your warriors start singing their renditions of "War" by Edwin Starr. Well, maybe not that last one but you get what I mean.

Cause really..

..what is it good for?

Absolutely nothing.

Say it again! - T

michele dates herself:

8track.jpgOh yea. I'm gonna date myself here. Best Christmas present ever - An 8 track player.

I opened this up and was like...Holy fuck YES!! No more unweildy albums cluttering up my room! Now, I just needed ten or so shelves to stack my 8 track tapes on. No more skipping and scratching vinyl! This RULES!

Ruled? What the hell was I thinking? Was I that blinded by new fangled technology that it took years for the novelty of this ridiculous invention to wear off?

Yea,ok. No more scratches skips. But in exchange you had songs that cut off in the middle to switch tracks. So "More Than a Feeling" was interupted by a chu-chunk sound right at the good part. I see my Marianne walking.........chu-chunk......awaaaaaaaaaaay.

And there was no fast forwarding. No rewinding. Just playing the four sections over and over, with all clunky track changes. And this particular brand just had a plunger thing you used to change tracks. The tracks didn't even change automatically.

Did I mention this thing was mono? Yes, mono.

8trackad.jpgJesus. What did I see in this thing? I swear to you, the Christmas I opened that player up, I thought I had died and gone to cool heaven. I was hip. I was in with the in crowd. Only the coolest of the cool people carried portable 8-tracks around. Someone with a player walked into the schoolyard or behind 7-11 or wherever we were hanging out and it was like The Pied Piper of cool entered the gate. Everyone swarmed around them, checking out the player, listening to the awesome portable tunes. It was like if you had a portable 8-track, you brought the party with you wherever you went. I was going to be that girl.

There's only so many 8-Track tapes you can carry around on you, you know. It was kinda awkward walking down the street with your friends, one hand holding the player, the other trying to grasp onto the five tapes you brought with you because you couldn't decide what everyone would want to hear. That left no hand free for a cigarette. And every time I wanted to change the track, I'd have to put it down, which means if we were walking (which we often were, we had a tendency to roam the streets), I had to stop and ask someone else to hold the tapes while I changed the tracks.

Everyone I know who had an 8-track player owned the first Boston tape. It was like you had to have it, whether you liked the band or not. Really, ask anyone my age (oh yea, like I'm gonna say) about 8-track tapes and they will mention Boston.

I knew this album/tape from start to finish. They were the only band of their genre I enjoyed. That genre being high-pitched -lead-singers-with-semi-heavy-guitars-in-the-background. Journey. Kansas. You know the type.

steve-perry.jpgSpeaking of Journey, who the hell thought Steve Perry was cute? My god, he looked like a deranged girl. He reminded me of Kerry Anderson in my seventh grade class who had this It's Pat vibe going on - I only knew she was a girl because she was in my gym class. When Journey came around I remember thinking, Wow, Kerry Anderson is a rock star! But it was just Steve Perry, girly man.

This doesn't mean I don't rock out to Don't Stop Believin'. Because everyone does, whether they want to or not. That song has magic power.

Anyhow. I just ripped apart what was the best Christmas present I ever got, which is kind of weird. But at the time, I thought it was great. It was one of those "moment" presents, the kind where the person who gave it to you says "I guess I did a good job picking this one out." So even though today I think of the 8-track player as a piece of plastic crap, I still cherish the memory because those "moment" presents stopped happening a long time ago.

I have this sudden urge to listen to "Foreplay/Long Time". Without the chu-chunks. -M

So those were are favorite gifts. Some were cool, some were lame but for some reason they invoked in us something. Something that made us smile when we thought back on them.

You have to have one. One that you remember for some reason.

What was it?

Now if you will excuse me. I am going to play some Dark Tower.

Michele and Turtle are giving each other the gift of love this Christmas. And by love, we mean.........yea, that.



I think I was 10 when I got an AM Radio for Christmas. It came with a single earbud for private listening. "My" first radio station was WCFL, Super CFL with Larry Lujack, Super Jock. Going to bed and falling asleep with the bud in my ear.

And if I remember right, I'm about a year older than you Michele. No one in my crowd did the 8 track thing though. We couldn't afford them. We mostly had vinyl and then put our stereo on mono and then put a microphone in front of the speaker to record it to cassette and then played it back on a crappy Zenith player with, I swear, a tin speaker.

There was one summer when Journey came to town with every single "in the park" or "fest" or whatever concert pack was playing and I had to see them about four times because the girl I was dating thought "Wheel in the Sky" was a fucking religious experience.


Great...now I've got that drum rhythm at the end of "Wheel in the Sky" stuck in my head playing over and over and over again.


We used to do the cassette recording thing too. Good times.

Don't feel bad, I've got Don't Stop Believing on repeat in my head since last night.


My best Christmas present ever was when I was five - I got this huge stuffed horse named Horace (okay, he was huge to a five year old). I curled up with him to sleep when I was pregnant. I lent him to my young daughter (I think that's when he got the bloodstains). Still have him.

And Michelle? I still have my 8-track. Sucker still works, too. I figure someday orange plastic will be a collector's item! My favorite 8-track? Foghat - "Slow Ride". What else do you think Vermonters do for recreation in the winter? Can't afford to ski...


Hmm. Best present is kind of hard. I am lucky because I've gotten a lot of good stuff over the years. Millenium Falcon, bmx bike, hockey stick, guitar, iPod...


was steve perry in this post last night?

I think i would have remembered that pic if i saw it earlier.

it's so disturbing


Yes, Steve was here last night.

Steve is always here.




I can't quite remember how old I was, probably somewhere around 5 or 6. The "it" gift was a toy rifle set - I know the name but it's escaping my enfeebled memory at the moment. It came with a rifle, pistol, leather holster (with bullet loops!) a badge and I think maybe spurs. I saw it in the Sears catalog and lust immediately burned in my heart. I got a lot of joy-inducing gifts throughout childhood, but that one sticks out as the pinnacle.


I have two favorites...both made me cry and confused the hell out of my parents! Who crys when they open christmas presents...me! Anyway, when I was 6 or 7 I got one of the first Cabbage Patch Kids from my rich grandma. That is when they cost $100 and I was the envy of my friends - for about three months. The second came when I was much older. I got a cd player and bawled my eyes out because I thought my parents spent way too much money on me and I didn't deserve it. Hell yeah I deserved, I was the good daughter!


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