My Secret Christmas List, 2008

Back in 2006, I made a list of stuff I wanted but didn’t expect I could get for Christmas, for various reasons. Then I got my top choice on the list, to my surprise. A year ago, I figured I’d one-up that, and make an even more unlikely list for the sake of tradition—and, somehow, I got three things off that one over the course of the year, including the ridiculously expensive one. This year, I don’t want to break the magic by listing things with the intent of actually getting them, so I’ve decided to continue the tradition with an extra dose of absurdity, unlikeliness, and downright contradiction. So, here we go.

Item: Set of special edition sci-fi books with cool covers

Reason I won’t get it: £5.99 a book may not sound like much, but there are eight books in that set, and they ship from the UK. Just seems like a lot to pay for paperbacks. Also, Amazon.co.uk has replaced packing peanuts with poison-tipped barbs.

Item: A PS3

Reason I won’t get it: I have pledged not to acquire this until after I get my degree. I won’t get the degree before Christmas. So there! (And anyway, I’m kind of waiting for Heavy Rain and the next game by the Ico people to come out.)

Item: Zener cards

Reason I won’t get it: I suppose I could print out my own set of black and white cards to test for ESP, but it would be nice to have a set that feels all nice and professionally made. Still, I suspect that potential givers would be concerned that this feels like a silly, cheapass gift, seeing as how it kind of is. I’m not even sure where you’d buy a set if you don’t feel like paying 18 bucks to also get a stupid book and a crystal ball. Most of all, though, I don’t think I’ll get these because I don’t even want to test for ESP; I thought I might use them for a game or something, and my loved ones are kind of sick of hearing me talk about recycling silly cards for gaming.

Item: Another game as good as Coachride to Devil’s Castle

Reason I won’t get it: I don’t know if any such game exists. Tony gave away a bunch of copies of this game (which was on last year’s Secret Christmas List), but has yet to refer to any other game as being comparably awesome.

Item: World peace

Reason I won’t get it: Ha ha! Let’s see you beat this year’s list, jerks.

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You might like the game Saboteur. It’s definitely got elements of Coachride to it: there’s two teams and you don’t know who’s on yours, and the instructions are in German. That’s where the similarity ends.

You’re all dwarves trying to mine to some gold, except some of you are saboteurs who win if you don’t get to the gold. I’ve only played it 7-person and it was very unbalanced for the saboteurs, but that could be just the number of people, and we came up with a couple house rules that made it more fair.

Jason,
I am very disappointed at the reckless way you have used the demonstrably awesome power of your Secret Christmas List. Did you not for a second consider how the world peace you asked for might be achieved? I did:

A plague might wipe humans from the face of the Earth.

A race of advanced aliens might conquer us and force us all into slavery building their colossal war machines to fuel their all consuming need for galactic conquest.

Global climate change could decimate our food supply and make all our conflicts trivial next to the desperate struggle to procure sustenance.

I hope you’re happy Jason. As for me, all I want for Christmas is for my loved ones and I to survive the coming holocaust wrought by heedless misuse of godlike powers for personal gain. And a really cool T-shirt.



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