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  • Paul Davidson

Surprises Phased Out, Authorities Declare

LOS ANGELES — Local city officials have declared today, as residents of Los Angeles County swing into full Holiday shopping mode, that surprises (having been a tradition since the dawn of time, or at least since people sold wrapping paper) for the month of December will be phased out.

City council official Gabe Bevins, who spearheaded the recent campaign was quoted as saying, “Anywhere there is a present or a child waiting to receive a present or some adult still living in a fantasy world where he is pretending that he’s not 38 and going bald, there have been holiday surprises. Wrapped up, placed in a bag, attached with a mylar balloon, covered in bows and tissue paper and packed in packing products. Well, the residents of Los Angeles have spoken, and this outdated concept will be phased out immediately.”

What this means for the citizens of Los Angeles is this — local malls and stores will no longer offer complimentary wrapping services, nor will bows or shiny over-priced cardboard bags be sold. Adults who have children will be required to inform all children in their household exactly where said presents have been hidden, and if hidden in a place that is hard to get to (i.e., attic, car trunk, work cubicle), children must be provided with the means to reach said place so they can find out everything they’re about to be given. Adults giving other adults presents must leave Sunday advertisement sections highlighting already-purchased presents on countertops, bedside tables, and circled in an indelible ink so significant others/partners/girlfriends and boyfriends are not required to play any guessing games in determining just what is waiting for them come Chanukah/Kwanza/Christmas morning.

Bevins, who enlisted the help of the Visa and MasterCard corporations sold the two mega-credit groups on a very substantial change in the way holiday purchases are registered. “This year,” Visa COO Sharon Langley explained, “will be the year of the full credit disclosure. So now, when you go out and purchase that bra for your wife at Victoria’s Secret — she’ll get a copy of the credit card receipt well before she finds it underneath the tree. It’s Visa’s way of saying, ‘There will be no surprises for you this holiday season, you freak.'”

To help citizens fully get into the new Holiday spirit, the Los Angeles Police Department has also been enlisted to visit particularly secretive neighborhoods and spill the beans before Christmas Eve. LAPD community liaison Michael Miller was quoted as saying, “If you’ve got a secret or are keeping a surprise hidden from another resident living at the same address, think again. If you bought your husband that iPod and he doesn’t know about it — he will. If you’ve got a new bicycle already assembled in the garage, hidden behind the tool shelves, we’re going to cart that baby out so your children can see. With the world as dangerous as it is these days, we can’t afford to have any surprises.”

Other metropolitan cities are sure to follow Los Angeles’ groundbreaking changes in the area of Holiday surprises, as so far the changes in the early gift disclosure laws have struck a chord with Holiday shoppers. “Not having to wrap a present would really make me happy,” 43 year old Studio City resident Nancy Yates exclaimed. “I can never get those corners on the end of a box to fold just right and I always end up having to just crumple it up and stick a bunch of masking tape on it to make it look like I know what I was doing — which I don’t. But now that I have to tell my husband what he’s getting for Christmas before Christmas comes, well, that makes my life a whole lot easier.”

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