Monday, April 6, 2009

Best Gift I Ever Gave.

Posting about cheese in a can reminded me of a time long ago when I decided to make some special Christmas gifts for my closest friends. In retrospect, they were perhaps the greatest gifts I ever gave. And, if not "the greatest", then at least the most - um - original.

It's 1991. At that point in my life I was living in Gainesville, Georgia, working in my family's business. My father owned a company which produced a wide range of liquid and aerosol consumer goods; most notably, WD-40 and Barbasol Shave Cream. The company was, for some time, the world's largest manufacturer of shave creams and gels. Most weekends found me on a 60-foot houseboat (my home for a few years, but that's another story), usually sharing a few bottles of wine with some of my friends. On one of these weekends a friend of mine joked about the idea of wine in an aerosol can.

Uh-huh. You can see where this is going.

The following week I happened to be in the company research lab, inspecting a gel shave cream can. Now, shave gels are packaged in a aerosol can known as a 'barrier pack'. That is to say that the product is kept out of contact with the propellant used to dispense the product. This can be done via a plastic piston or plastic sleeve or bag. It wasn't long before I thought, "You know? I could easily put wine in the plastic bag, crimp a valve on it, and charge it with propellant. Then you'd have wine in a bag!"

So it was that I produced "¡Three Amigos! Wine-In-A-Can". The name, "¡Three Amigos!" referred to a fictitious winery owned by me and two buddies of mine (and, of course, a reference to one of my favorite movies of all time), and seemed a fitting name. The next weekend I presented my friends with a can of wine, and we enjoyed a chuckle or two.

With the approach of the Holiday season, I thought that my Wine-In-A-Can could be taken to it's next logical step. So was born the "Mat Garretson Cheap Date Kit"!:

In addition to the ¡Three Amigos! Wine-In-A-Can, there was a can of Cheese-In-A-Can, conveniently shrink-wrapped together. I tied a small bag of oyster crackers to the neck of the can o'cheese, and - TA-DA! - there you had it. The gift even came with a note instructing you to, "tilt your date's head back, ask her to open her mouth, spray equal parts wine and cheese, and drop in a cracker. No muss! No fuss! No dirty glasses or dishes!"

Sadly, I never kept a "Cheap Date Kit" package for myself...I gave them all away. If you happen to find one, let me know. They're incredibly valuable collector's items! Well, to me, anyway.


Rajat said...

You have really suggested some nice gifts to present someone.It also happened with me that I didn't know that it was my nephew's birthday.I was totally confused what to gift her.Moreover the party was limited to family members only because she had her exams.So,we presented her a study lamp and hopefully that was the gift she needed at that right time..
Thanks BPL..

Bustawines said...

In this economy you may be on to something.....

Hey, there's 2 buck chuck, why not????

Mat Garretson said...

Hey! You may be on to something. Instead of "Two Buck Chuck", I can be known as "Two Can Stan"?! It has possibilities...