I Can Determine What’s In That Box Without Opening It Whatsoever

I can determine what’s in that box without opening it whatsoever.

On today, a glorious day where people sit around tall brush, stuff their stomachs to the point of sickness and rip at boxes covered in processed, patterned and colored-versions of the brush standing above them, I stand alone as the man with the plan…the dude with the ‘tude…and the guy with the rocks to refrain from opening a box…

All because I can determine what’s inside of it without opening it whatsoever.

The skillz come with years of practice and an almost superhuman aural talent that allows me to translate the sound we all hear from outside the box into the item that is enclosed inside the box. It has taken years of practice and hundreds of hours of solving mathematical equations to establish this “cheat-sheet” of “the secret world of presents” — but I believe that it is both time to reveal my secrets and a perfect day in the calendar year to reveal such stunning clues to the public at large.

And so, without further adieu, I would like to present to you the modern day equivalent of the Rosetta Stone — Pauly D’s What’s Inside This Package Without Opening It, Secret Translatory Document Reprinted Here in Digital Text From My Brain, For Your Personal (And Not Professional) Use Only.

The key to reading this ultra-secret document is simple: each aural sound (the sound you hear upon shaking or jumping on top of a wrapped present) coincides with an actual present. I will be giving away huge secrets here so if you have yet to unwrap your presents but you have shaken them and registered the sounds they make in your head and you do not wish to know what is inside them…TURN BACK NOW.

Remember, this is to be used for good…not evil.

  • Soft paper sliding or crinkling sound: The soft paper sliding, crinkling or shuffling sound actually encompasses a wide variety of similar presents. These things include clothing, socks, scarves, shirts, sweaters, vests, pants, hats, gloves and almost any other soft, pliable cloth-item. If the soft paper sliding or crinkling sound is accompanied by a metallic CLINK or CLACK — you’ve got earrings or a necklace inside the box.
  • Rattle: The rattle is a unique sound that has taken years to decipher and catalogue. Initially most people with children under the age of two expect the rattle sound to be just that…a rattle. But in fact, no one ever wraps a rattle in a box — they often wrap it straight in paper because it’s a silly gift to wrap in general. Usually, a rattle sound accompanies a present that has many small plastic or wooden parts (i.e., a board game, puzzle or set of Leogs or wooden blocks) or traditional desk accessories that include but are not limited to: magnetic metallic sculpture shards, the perpetual motion swinging ball toy and outside of the United States — large collections of small tiny pairs of scissors that can only be used by children or dwarfs.
  • Back and Forth Flop/Floppy Thump: The back and forth flop (or the floppy thump, as referred to south of the Mason Dixon line) is almost always attributed to stuffed animals, socks rolled up in balls (yes, this is an exception to the crinkly paper rule above), rubber hands (the kinds you hang out the back of your car trunk because you want attention), dog or cat toys and shrink-wrapped packages of Mentos or Life Savers or mediocre non-brand name candies that all children worry about receiving.
  • Broken Glass Sound: Often, most people consider the broken glass sound to be that of broken glass — but in fact, broken glass wrapped in boxes and then swaddled in wrapping paper and scotch tape does in fact, not sound like broken glass. If you had broken glass in your wrapped present, you would in fact hear a musical-jingly sound. Yes, it’s true. But in the fact of the aural broken glass sound you can expect to unwrap a children’s xylophone, a charm bracelet, a collection of limited edition ceramic army men (manufactured in China or South Korea), carmelized onions that have hardened (a joke gift in Ireland) or peanut/toffee candy shrapnel.
  • No Sound / Heavy Package: A package with no sound that is also heavy is always electronics. No question about this one. DVD players, VCRs, video game consoles, digital cameras and/or televisions. There is, of course, one other option — which is always a huge wheel of muenster cheese. People often confuse DVD players with muenster cheese and it often makes for a hilariously depressing moment around the Christmas Tree — but it a reality nonetheless. Using such intel as I am providing now can alert you to this discrepancy (just sniff, deeply) before you go out and buy video games or DVDs in preparation of something you may not be getting in the first place.
  • Coughing/Wheezing Sound: While you’d initially be ready to call 911 upon hearing a breathing sound coming from a present, it is not a living or breathing carbon based life form at all. The breathing sound often comes accompanying those arm-floaty bands you wear in the pool (that have been blown up before being wrapped to give the illusion of a more expensive present when in fact they only cost $2.99), loafs of bread letting out moisture, pantyhouse still wrapped in those plastic egg containers and muenster cheese that has gone stale. Sometimes, and very infrequently, a true coughing/fleghm sound can be a small child wrapped in a box if the box is big enough. In the event you suspect that your family has given you a child in a box, contact the local authorities immediately. Unless you want a child, that is.

After reading the above, many people who have taken part in my double-blind tests at the local University have questioned me on a variety of presents not included in the above “basic aural groups” of my gift determination process. Here’s what they asked about, and this is what I told them:

An iPOD: No sound, with a hint of styrofoam screeching.

Box of Assorted Teas: The sound of mini pieces of paper jumping up and down in a portable, blow-up castle (the kinds you see at children’s parties).

Civil War Commemorative Chess Set: Imagine the sound of breaking glass, a floppy thump, and a musical menagerie with a sliding fiberglass thunk. That’s your commemorative chess set.

A Brand New Rolodex, Filled With Empty Cards: The sound of a blackjack dealer shuffling cards, coupled with the civil war commemorative chess set sound.

A Bean Bag Chair: Often, sounds like a hundred thousand tiny little plastic pebbles encased in a huge zip-up plastic or leather bag that is often the size of twenty basketballs all combined into one huge orb.

As always, even the Four Food Groups has leeway. So, if you find yourself with a present you have yet to open and would like to know what it is — please provide me the sound and I’ll do my best.

In the meantime, please use the above guidelines to help you today, for birthdays, anniversaries, and any other present-related events.

14 comments on “I Can Determine What’s In That Box Without Opening It Whatsoever

  1. nic - December 25, 2005 at 6:47 am -

    Yay! I always wanted a Rolex! It’s ticking … I can HEAR it!

  2. Sara J. - December 25, 2005 at 9:19 am -

    I prefer to use my freakish mutant psychic powers to determine the contents of the box. Merry Christmas, everyone!

  3. Pauly D - December 25, 2005 at 10:45 am -

    Nic – FYI, that isn’t a watch that’s ticking.

  4. annabel lee - December 25, 2005 at 11:19 am -

    Pauly, if I gave someone the gift of one hand clapping, what would it sound like? (And I mean, the gift — not the ear-splitting shriek of the recipient who opens a beautifully-wrapped box and finds a disembodied clapping hand.)

  5. Pauly D - December 25, 2005 at 11:21 am -

    AL – You’re giving someone a present of a single hand? I say, don’t worry about the sound, worry about the charges that will be filed against you by the local D.A..

  6. nic - December 25, 2005 at 1:18 pm -

    Why, of course it is! Merry ChristmAHHHHHH!.

  7. Belinda - December 25, 2005 at 6:01 pm -

    Great post. Can’t comment now, still emotionally stinging over having given my nephew the most awesome gift (translation–one I REALLY wanted to play with myself), a Robo-Raptor, only to not be able to get the darn thing to WORK. This is agony.

    But with enough fudge, I’m sure I can get over it. *sigh*

  8. sarah - December 25, 2005 at 10:09 pm -

    i have a talent too…of steaming the tape off gifts while people are at work and peeking. they never know 🙂

  9. Belinda - December 26, 2005 at 12:19 am -

    So, can you settle this Schrodinger’s Cat thing once and for all?

  10. Rabbit - December 26, 2005 at 10:55 am -

    I don’t even have to shake the presents to know what they are. I can usually tell by the size, shape, and weight of the packages. I also have the uncanny knack of knowing that though the significant other gave me a robe in the “original” Victoria’s Secret bag, the damn thing came from Walmart. Nice try.

  11. victor hugo - December 27, 2005 at 10:21 am -

    that further ‘adieu’ was on purpose?

  12. Helena - December 27, 2005 at 11:37 am -

    What about the gift of love, Pauly? What does that sound like?

  13. Zoey - December 14, 2017 at 8:25 pm -

    OMG! All these comments were posted a year before i was born…..

  14. sjsj - October 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm -


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