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.

3 comments:

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...