There are certain objects universally recognized to be terrible gifts, handed out at Christmas or otherwise. Somehow, not everybody knows that these items enjoy a reputation as being the absolute worst, and things that nobody wants, and yet each year, they keep getting passed along by well-meaning gift-givers with their hearts in the right place.
A bad gift is anything that brings more displeasure than it brings pleasure, which is the exact opposite of what a gift is supposed to do. For example, a fruitcake is the classic, cliché example of a terrible Christmas gift, because it’s painfully sweet and dense and a slice sends most people into a diabetic coma instead of being a festive holiday treat that spreads comfort and joy.
Other bad gifts are ones that seem like good gifts, in that the recipient may enjoy them, but which bring displeasure and discomfort to those in the vicinity. Incense, for example, or a very strong candle. But the worst offender in this category are musical instruments. Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to gift a musical instrument to somebody who doesn’t actually know how to play that particular musical instrument? During the long, long process of learning to play, it’s only going to lead to unbearably awful sounds, metaphorically bloody eardrums, and constantly angry roommates, neighbors, and family members.
A Twitter user named Abi Glynn is living this nightmare. A resident of Nottingham in the U.K., her happy Christmas turned unhappy because somebody gave her sister a saxophone for Christmas.
Who’s fantastic idea was it to buy my sister a saxophone for Christmas?? 25 to midnight I’m tryna sleep but got Lisa bloody Simpson tooting away next door
— Abi Glynn (@abi_glynn) December 25, 2017
The metaphor doesn’t quite work, however, because Lisa Simpson is a talented, seasoned saxophonist who stops practicing at a reasonable hour. Glynn’s sister? Clearly not so much. (Hey, at least she isn’t playing the drums.)
Glynn’s hilarious tweet rapidly spread around the internet, and now everybody is feeling her pain. Sure, they’re laughing at her, but they’re mostly feeling her pain.