Yesterday, I got a Diwali gift of such surpassing ugliness that I was quite impressed. It takes real talent to produce something so extremely horrid that it has no redeeming qualities WHATSOEVER. It got me thinking about what it means to give gifts that aren't meant to be taken seriously ... and whether we should all rise up and do something about all that wasted expenditure ... and what I should do to stem the rot. But then when I got to thinking about all the other causes and crises that exist in the world ... well ... it seemed kind of ridiculous to get carried away about just another Diwali gift. So I removed some of the more fruity descriptions I had posted here about the thing and have stowed the object out of sight.
Meanwhile, my travel agent (I'll post a link to his company web-site some day soon -- he's become a buddy over the years quite aside from being possibly the friendliest person ever to survive in his line of business!) sent me a kilo of fresh tasty almonds (unsalted) in a pressed-glass bowl that looks as if its designers put some effort into making a pleasing, durable object. It makes the point about the holiday season in the right way. Can't go wrong with almonds!
And for those who like to combine their word-game-playing skills with a spot of good-samaritanism, here's a useful link: Free Rice. Fill that bowl! You'll enjoy it -- and maybe someone else will too.