Christmas Eve, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring blah blah blah fishcakes.  As with most parents, I’m preparing to do an idiotic amount of moving things about in the middle of the night, but unlike most years, I’m also enjoying a rare day away from work with the Widget.  As we prepare for tomorrow’s big Doctor Who reveal, we also enter the final laps of the yearly festivals of giving, lights and/or heavy drinking, which does beg a particular query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) sold my lucky watch to buy Stephen these combs, asking: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. A few things pop to mind.

    My second goddaughter, not only born on my birthday but named after me (both my real name and an alt spelling of my nickname, making her Emily Alicia). And my first goddaughter, my Steph, who has grown up to be an amazing young woman (although she takes after me quite a bit, which is quite scary to be honest).

    The doctor who broke his own superstitious rules never to operate on Friday the 13th nor in Room 13, breaking both on the same day for an emergency surgery I needed while I was going through treatments for Leukemia. He was the best there was for the job and I barely made it through, so if not for him I probably wouldn’t be here to annoy you all.

    And also from my time during treatments, when I’d been in the hospital for about three months of my six month stay (yeah, it was that bad), the day I was being taken back to my room after a procedure. When we got to my room, I was surprised to see a small pile of those giant LEGO kits (the kind a kid would be lucky to get ONE for Christmas) as well as several smaller boxes of the usual assorted LEGO bricks, a larger pile of Star Wars toys (including the Ewok village playset, an AT-AT walker, Millennium Falcon and probably every action figure available at the time), a battery operated kids riding car (like Power Wheels since I was too weak to walk) and a Cabbage Patch Kid (this was when they were new and REALLY hard to find). I know my family didn’t get it for me (we were pretty poor), and even all these years later I still haven’t found out who did that to thank them. The nurses all said it was Santa (even though it was July).

  2. One of my earliest Christmas memories is of getting Stretch Monster as an early present (open on Christmas Eve.) He had to go to the landfill long ago, and unfortunately, it’s not a toy that holds up well over time (must be the corn syrup filling. haha) So, yeah, Stretch Monster. :D

  3. One of my friends took all the little stories I’d written upto that point, and prowled deviantart for these amazing illustrations to go with them. She printed them out, spiral bound it and presented it to me like it was my very first published work.. heh, with included “Praise for the…” critic’s quotes she and my friend put in.

  4. Probably when people go out of their way to find me music. My dad must’ve had to do some real hunting to find the Devendra Banhart stuff that he got, and another friend got me a Dresden Dolls CD I didn’t know I needed.

    Of course, it’s also nice when people pay attention to your interests, even when they don’t understand them. Case and point, my dad, who went out of his way to find a sonic screwdriver and bowtie for me or my friend who found me a plushie Dalek this year, neither of whom watch or have any interest in watching Doctor who. It’s just nice to know that they actually pay attention to my prattling.

  5. Creigh Brigman on

    Probably when my friend got me a figure from Japan. He won it in a crane game there, but it was exactly the kind of find I wanted and was entirely unexpected.

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