I was spending my afternoon charting where my life went horribly wrong when Samurai Cathy came knocking at my door.
“I’m having trouble finding something for Mikka for Christmas,” says Samurai Cathy, referring to her Finnish boyfriend.
“Just get him a video game or a hockey jersey,” I say. “You’ve been dating him for like four years, surely you should know his tastes by now.”
“He pretty much has every game and jersey he desires,” says Samurai Cathy. “So I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and all he would say is ‘gainful employment.’”
“He’s been real depressed lately,” Samurai Cathy continues.
“Christmas will do that to people,” I say. “From the end of Thanksgiving till New Year’s, this is a horrid time for people whose lives aren’t going so well. And despite dating a samurai, Mikka’s life overall is kinda sucky.”
“But I still need to get him something for Christmas,” says Samurai Cathy. “The Girlfriend Code demands it.”
“Get him a gift card to some place he likes,” I say. “That’s usually my go-to gift for people. It beats figuring out what they’d like… or asking them.”
“Gift cards go against my samurai code,” says Samurai Cathy. “When a samurai gives you a gift, it is one that is thoughtful and one that they made an effort to procure. A gift card shows neither thoughtfulness or effort, and would only serve to bring shame upon me.”
“True, but they are one of the few gifts that Ninja Vicki can’t give out because every gift she gives is stolen,” I say, playing on Samurai Cathy’s blood feud with my ninja neighbor. “And gift cards need to be activated by the store via a purchase.”
“I will not base my gift purchases on Victoria’s thieving limitations,” says Samurai Cathy. “I am better than her by leaps and bounds.”
“Okay, then you have to go my Plan C of gift-giving,” I say. “Booze.”
“Is that the best thing to give someone who’s depressed?” says Samurai Cathy.
“Probably not, but free booze allows him to spend his meager savings on things that aren’t booze,” I say. “Like food. Or rent. Or lube.”
“That seems reasonable,” says Samurai Cathy. “So what do you want for Christmas?”
“I want a boot-wearing Amazonian Valkyrie of War to ride with me as we set fire to this awful world before we make savage love,” I say.
“I can get you a case of Samuel Adams Winter Collection,” says Samurai Cathy. “Will that do?”
“You’re on the right track,” I say. Chocolate Bock. Black and Brew. Winter Lager. That should get me through December.