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Do Not Get Me a Hippopotamus for Christmas

By Dave Fox
Seattle, Washington
December 25, 2008 

I do not want a hippopotamus for Christmas.

I seriously mean this. I live in a moderate-sized condominium, which does not have space for a hippopotamus. So do not buy me one unless you are also going to buy me a bigger home.

You might be thinking this is funny. You might be thinking, “Ha ha! Now that he has said this, I know exactly what to get Dave for Christmas! A hippopotamus!”

Do not do it.

Listen, I have no problem with the occasional gag gift. I’ve been known to give some pretty wacky Christmas presents myself. Like, this one time, my brother told me he wanted a new sweater and some DVDs, so instead, you know what I gave him? Frozen spinach! HA! You should have been there. I laughed for days.

I don’t know if my brother laughed for days or not, because after I gave him the frozen spinach, he kicked me out of his house and wouldn’t speak to me for several weeks. So I was not able to ascertain whether my brother laughed for days or not. If all went according to my plan, he cooked up the spinach and ate some just before an important business meeting, and some of it got caught between his teeth.

But that is not the point.

The point is, the spinach was funny because my brother had space for it. (Between his teeth!) No, seriously, though, I think he probably could fit it into his freezer. I do not have space for a hippopotamus in my freezer, or anywhere else in my home. Besides, everybody knows you should not put a hippopotamus in your freezer. So do not buy me one.

Space is not the only issue. There are also rules. The only pets my condo association allows are cats. They do not allow dogs. I’m not sure they even allow turtles. The bylaws say, “cats only,” and people around here are pretty by-the-book when it comes to interpreting the bylaws. But you know what? Whether or not they allow turtles is irrelevant. If they don’t allow dogs, they sure as hell do not allow hippopotamuses, so you can just drop that argument.

“Okay,” you are probably thinking, “but what if I just give you a baby hippopotamus? Because baby hippopotamuses are not as, you know, ‘big,’ and you could put a cat costume on it, and your condo association would never know the difference.”

Dude, will you just get off the hippopotamus thing? Because it’s totally stupid and this conversation is starting to annoy me. I mean, seriously, what happens if you feed a baby hippopotamus? It stops being a baby hippopotamus and gets bigger. (Duh!) Then it outgrows its kitty outfit, and then what am I supposed to do? Buy a bigger kitty outfit? That would totally not work, because then the hippopotamus would look like a lion, and you do not seriously believe my condo association is going to let me keep a lion in the building, do you?

And if I don’t feed the baby hippopotamus, it will probably not get bigger. It will probably just grunt at me in annoyance, and then roll over and die. And what the hell am I supposed to do with a dead baby hippopotamus? That would be the lamest Christmas present ever.

I don’t know why people can’t give me practical things for Christmas. Would a George Foreman Grill be so difficult? Or a Chia Pet? But no. Everybody’s always trying to give me hippopotamuses.

So, to summarize, do not get me a hippopotamus for Christmas. You can get me a George Foreman Grill. Or a Chia Pet. But do not get me a Chia Hippo, because that would obviously be a mean-spirited attempt to annoy me.

Published on Thursday, December 25, 2008

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