During the holiday season, it is not uncommon for companies to send gifts – a bottle of wine, a box of candy, a gift certificate – to their best customers. In my years at DC, we in the Production Department received an array of such gifts and there really was no fair way to distribute them among all the members of the departments I was in charge of…
Until the raffle!
One year, when we had received enough wine to float a boat in, I came up with the idea of a holiday raffle. We put all the boxes and bags on the table in the conference room, dropped the names of everyone in my departments into a hat and gathered everyone together. As I pulled a name from the hat, that person could make his or her choice of one of the gifts on the table. It was a big success and everyone went home with something nice.
But as the years passed and my departments grew, I had more participants than I had gifts. Thus was born the addition of the gag gifts. I’d take a fancy-looking box and put a can of Diet Coke in it. Or box and wrap a bundle of last week’s comic books. With the addition of these “prizes” came a new rule: “You touch it, you bought it.” No one could pick up a box and then decide they didn’t want it.
That raffle went as well as in previous years, though one of the Production Artists, who had picked a bottle of wine early, kept trying to trade it each time she thought someone had something better. She made three or four such trades, each time getting something she felt was a bit more to her liking, until she made her last trade… and got the can of Diet Coke.
After a couple of years of the gag gifts, most of the people in my departments caught on to the way I was setting them up. Invariably, the most elaborately wrapped and expensive looking gift would turn out to be the biggest gag, so when their turns came to pick, they would avoid such gifts like the plague. This usually meant that the last person chosen from the hat would end up with a box of paper clips or a crumpled promo poster. (And a bottle of wine that I would have conveniently stashed away.)
So it was time for another variation on the theme. In 1997, the last holiday season I spent on staff at DC, I found a big box, filled it with tissue paper, wrapped it in fancy foil, tied it up with a bow and set it on the table right in the middle of all the other gifts. Comes time for the raffle and there are plenty of bottles of wine and champagne, boxes of chocolates and cookies, even a fruitcake to choose from… and the box.
Well, nobody wanted the box. A couple of people asked if they could pick it up and I reminded them of the rules. [One person who broke the rule in a previous year lost her turn and ended up picking last… winning, of course, the can of Diet Coke in the champagne box.] As we were getting near the end – there were more than thirty people in my departments by then – one brave soul decided, “Aw. What the heck, I’m going for it.”
He picked up the box and was quite surprised at how light it was. He looked at me and I just smiled. He unwrapped it and looked inside. As he was pulling the tissue paper out, he got really annoyed and said, “Aw, come on, Bob… there’s nothing in here but tissue paper!” I just smiled and told him to keep looking.
Well, there was a lot of tissue paper and everyone was laughing as he got more and more frustrated. Some people guessed that I’d put some promotional pin or maybe a plastic Green Lantern ring at the bottom. But they were wrong.
He finally pulled out a small envelope which had been taped closed (with LOTS of tape) and said, “Man, this better be good.”
But you could tell by the tone in his voice that he was not a happy camper, especially when I laughed and said, “Better open it carefully.”
So, using a razor, he carefully operated on the envelope while his comrades continued to laugh and cheer him on. And finally pulled out…
“A $50 gift certificate to Macy’s!” [Did I forget to mention I’d put that in the box?]
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
Okay, it’s time for some holiday season bad puns and brain twisters. Figure out the meaning of the sentences below:
1. Hogan joins forces with all of Diana Prince’s college friends?
2. Young Hawkins gets scratched by Catwoman’s?
3. Jack Q of Harvey fame meets BobRo’s Mister and a Hall of Heroes title?
4. Simon Templar teams up with Sgt. Fury
5. Ghost VanZandt sings a jingle to Liberty and Microwave Mom?
6. Etta and Bette go on tour together?
7. Night Force Baron visits Oz’s wartime foe?
8. Perry and H-Dialer King meet Mrs Kent and Mrs Hunkel?
9. Brian Kent?
10. Peach in Kal’s “House” with Morrow?
11. Popeye’s father fights with Katar and Shayera?
12. Ted is ahead of “with the Super-Heroes”?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. The first Christmas cards were engraved by Louis Prang of Roxbury, Mass. in 1874.
2. The line “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is from an 1897 editorial in The New York Sun. Editor Francis P. Church responded to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon.
3. Santa’s eight reindeer, as named in Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas”: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen
“Good morning, students. This is Mr. Carver speaking.
“As you know, this is the last day of classes before the holidays and, as principal of the high school, I am called upon to make the traditional holiday greeting to the student body. What I have to say is simply this: While you are enjoying the holidays, giving and receiving gifts, visiting with friends and relatives, and ringing in the New Year, take a moment to reflect on what these holidays symbolize — ‘Peace on Earth’ and ‘Brotherhood Among Men.’
“One other announcement this morning: Due to the damage caused at the south entrance by the pipe bomb explosion last night, all students, faculty, and staff will have to enter the building through the metal detectors at the north entrance until further notice.”
And, on a less cynical note:
In the coming year, may each of you…
…find an old friend you thought you’d never see again.
…help a stranger in need and, in turn, find yourself being helped by another stranger.
…face adversity with a positive outlook, fight pain with a laugh, and disarm your enemies with a smile.
…gain the willpower to break your worst habit.
…rediscover the unrestrained laughter we had as children.
…overhear someone saying something nice about you, especially something you know to be true but don’t think anyone else realizes.
…do at least one of the things you have always wanted to do but never had the time for.
…find a moment every day to reflect on all that is good in your life.
1. Happy Hollidays
2. Sandy Claws
3. Frost E [the] Snowman
4. Saint Nick
5. Silver Belles
6. Candy Kane
7. Winters Wonderland
8. White Chris Mas
9. Silent Knight
10. Miss El T.O.
11. [Poop]Deck the Hols
12. Knight before Christmas
Need more trivia in your stocking? Check out BobRo’s daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
[“Holiday Message” is Copyright (c) 1967 by Bob Rozakis; revised and Copyright (c) 1995 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.]
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.