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What did you get?

San Diego musicians remember weird gifts past

Geezer's Adam Gimbel remembers his battery-operated musical friend Manny the Menorah.
Geezer's Adam Gimbel remembers his battery-operated musical friend Manny the Menorah.

’Tis the season for giving and receiving. No matter what your holiday is — Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus — gifts are bound to be exchanged, though levels of merriment may vary. Often gifts will be given or received that fall into the unfortunate category of just flat-out strange. We sent out a feeler to local musicians asking them what weird gifts they have given/received/wished for during the holiday season. The following is what some San Diego maestros came up with.

Adam Gimbel (Geezer) had this to say about an interesting Hanukkah gift:

“One year, a relative of mine bought me Manny the Menorah for Chanukah and couldn’t understand why the room erupted in laughter when I opened it. It’s a battery-operated device that plays music. It also looks uncannily like a blue vibrator.”

Brendan Bohan, aka Brendan B, has a history of weird-gift-giving in his family:

“Every year my mom, Maureen Bohan, gives my siblings and I weird/goofy gifts. Her and my dad think it’s funny, they get a kick out of it — so we try to be good sports. One year, my mom gave me a wrapped box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a copy of Bel Biv Devoe’s Poison CD, and the movie Brokeback Mountain on DVD. Did I get any use out of the presents? I most likely finished the box of cereal that day, probably played Poison 100 times on repeat but still have not seen the movie Brokeback Mountain. She thinks she’s funny. Love you, mom!”

Alfred Howard, local author, musician, and Redwoods musical collective co-founder, shared this lovely holiday memory:

“I paid a kid named Theodore $5 because he told me he could introduce me to the pink lion from Voltron, which, looking back, seems suspect.”

(Editor’s note: For those of you who aren’t children of the ’80s, Voltron: Defender of the Universe was a cartoon in which five robot lions combined to form the super-robot Voltron. Howard claims “the pink lion formed Voltron’s vagina,” but this is also suspect.)

And speaking of the ’80s, Jeffrey Brenneman, rhythm guitarist for Catapil-Flux, relayed this tale straight out of a John Hughes movie:

“While opening Christmas gifts with my parents and my sister circa ’88, I received a somewhat unusual gift from my Uncle Bri from Akron, Ohio. (The previous year, he sent a vinyl copy of the Moody Blues’ On the Threshold of a Dream, an album I grew to love!) This year, however, Uncle Bri had a different idea for his nephew. After ripping through the wrapping paper, I discovered a cardboard box and pulled out white fabric. Stretching out the plain white textile, I discovered that the fabric was a large pair of tighty-whities with four leg holes! Apparently, it was an undergarment that was intended to be shared. I think he had hoped that his nerdy nephew would get an entirely different type of booty shaking with this year’s gift. I still own the Moody Blues album but have no idea what ever happened to the ‘funderwear.’”

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Geezer's Adam Gimbel remembers his battery-operated musical friend Manny the Menorah.
Geezer's Adam Gimbel remembers his battery-operated musical friend Manny the Menorah.

’Tis the season for giving and receiving. No matter what your holiday is — Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus — gifts are bound to be exchanged, though levels of merriment may vary. Often gifts will be given or received that fall into the unfortunate category of just flat-out strange. We sent out a feeler to local musicians asking them what weird gifts they have given/received/wished for during the holiday season. The following is what some San Diego maestros came up with.

Adam Gimbel (Geezer) had this to say about an interesting Hanukkah gift:

“One year, a relative of mine bought me Manny the Menorah for Chanukah and couldn’t understand why the room erupted in laughter when I opened it. It’s a battery-operated device that plays music. It also looks uncannily like a blue vibrator.”

Brendan Bohan, aka Brendan B, has a history of weird-gift-giving in his family:

“Every year my mom, Maureen Bohan, gives my siblings and I weird/goofy gifts. Her and my dad think it’s funny, they get a kick out of it — so we try to be good sports. One year, my mom gave me a wrapped box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a copy of Bel Biv Devoe’s Poison CD, and the movie Brokeback Mountain on DVD. Did I get any use out of the presents? I most likely finished the box of cereal that day, probably played Poison 100 times on repeat but still have not seen the movie Brokeback Mountain. She thinks she’s funny. Love you, mom!”

Alfred Howard, local author, musician, and Redwoods musical collective co-founder, shared this lovely holiday memory:

“I paid a kid named Theodore $5 because he told me he could introduce me to the pink lion from Voltron, which, looking back, seems suspect.”

(Editor’s note: For those of you who aren’t children of the ’80s, Voltron: Defender of the Universe was a cartoon in which five robot lions combined to form the super-robot Voltron. Howard claims “the pink lion formed Voltron’s vagina,” but this is also suspect.)

And speaking of the ’80s, Jeffrey Brenneman, rhythm guitarist for Catapil-Flux, relayed this tale straight out of a John Hughes movie:

“While opening Christmas gifts with my parents and my sister circa ’88, I received a somewhat unusual gift from my Uncle Bri from Akron, Ohio. (The previous year, he sent a vinyl copy of the Moody Blues’ On the Threshold of a Dream, an album I grew to love!) This year, however, Uncle Bri had a different idea for his nephew. After ripping through the wrapping paper, I discovered a cardboard box and pulled out white fabric. Stretching out the plain white textile, I discovered that the fabric was a large pair of tighty-whities with four leg holes! Apparently, it was an undergarment that was intended to be shared. I think he had hoped that his nerdy nephew would get an entirely different type of booty shaking with this year’s gift. I still own the Moody Blues album but have no idea what ever happened to the ‘funderwear.’”

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