back to article Those IT gadget freebies you picked up this year? They make AWFUL Christmas presents

An eerie green glow is radiating from my 1960s sideboard. Arming myself with the only weapons at hand – a TV remote control and a cushion from the sofa – I guardedly edge towards the ghastly rectangular cuboid of varnished beech. A dull, distant thumping can be heard, growing louder as I make my approach, and ultimately …

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Re: Cheap-ass freebies.

Both archaeologists look at each other as understanding dawns. "RITUAL PURPOSES!"

This deserves more upvotes than I can possibly supply. It only funny because it's true..

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Re: Cheap-ass freebies.

Obviously Prayer Fans

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Horrible green stuff

Amazingly people once did think it healthy to add radium to a drink.

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Re: Horrible green stuff

"Amazingly people once did think it healthy to add radium to a drink."

And put it in toothpaste.

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TRT
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Re: Horrible green stuff

Surprised you didn't link to the infamous clips from TOS and TNG

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Re: Horrible green stuff

When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste.

I am now tempted to go and buy a bottle as I rather used to enjoy it a good many years ago, and in all likelihood there would be little risk of there being any other demand for it.

All mine.

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TRT
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Re: Horrible green stuff

I thought, Midori. Which is simply foul stuff.

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Re: Horrible green stuff

When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste.

The sort of taste that, once you have aquired it, you wondered why you bothered?

(Sounds a bit like absinthe - there are easier and more palatable ways of injesting mild hallucinogens..)

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Re: Horrible green stuff

When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste.

My first thought was creme de menthe. A drink so sweet you should not only avoid it if there's diabetes in your family, you should avoid it if there's diabetes in your country.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Horrible green stuff

"When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste."

A lot of things that come from Grenoble are shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Horrible green stuff

A lot of things that come from Grenoble are shit.

The Chartreuse distillery is in Voiron, many km from Grenoble.

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Re: Horrible green stuff

When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste.

Not half as bad as that abomination invented by French ski stations, the Green Chaud. Hot chocolate with a shot of Chartreuse added. Just say no.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Horrible green stuff

My dad was given a bottle of Green Chartreuse in the early 70's as a Christmas freebie from a supplier. Fearful stuff. A few sips were all you needed. It came out of the cupboard every Christmas Eve till I left home. In retrospect I don't miss waking up on Christmas day with burnt lips.

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Re: Horrible green stuff

There is a bar in Århus, Denmark (Le Coq) who has the current world record in selling Chartreuse, 1897 bottles in 2016. The first bottle of the day is 10 DKK about a quid, so get there Early (and be found face-down in the canal a couple of days later by rescue dogs)

http://aarhusupdate.dk/hvad-er-chartreuse-den-groenne-munkelikoer/

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Re-gifting is an art

My aunt gives gifts that leave you unsure if you are a loved nephew or another name on a list; there is never enough evidence to be sure either way. My brother gives gifts and says "I didn't like it". After realizing he shouldn't have said that he says "its quite good though, it's one of the better ones available".

The most recent gift from my brother was an electric toothbrush from Lidl.

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Re: Re-gifting is an art

My mother gave my dad's mom a hat she thought she might like for xmas one year and got it back the next.

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Re: Re-gifting is an art

I got 3 £1 notes in a card once, from an uncle. They apparently couldn't quite spring to the full fiver. This was in the 80s, a year after the pound coin had come in, so the notes could be changed at a bank - but not spent.

Anyway Mum was quite annoyed by this, and bought them off me, just so she could send them back to his children for their birthdays.

They went round the family for the next year, until somebody decided to be the grown up and got them changed - or alternatively gifted them to the other side of their family in order to start the whole process again.

He was a good uncle. I remember when I was 5, they got me a Marks & Spencer gift set for christmas, St Michaels aftershave and talcum powder. If you're going to make that little effort, why not just not bother?

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Re: Re-gifting is an art

"I remember when I was 5, they got me a Marks & Spencer gift set for christmas..."

My Great-uncle was a geneticist at Oak Ridge National Labs and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go 'Heels!). Usual Christmas gifts were "thinkers" like a Chess or Go set. The absolute best gift from him was a large capped test tube chock full of his test subjects - fruit flies. Did you know that it's damn near impossible to get just one fruit fly out of a test tube full of them?

For some reason, just gift certificates from then on.

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MrT

Re: Re-gifting is an art

I remember my sister receiving a silver necklace from my gran one Christmas in the 80s - the sort that was a hair-thin chain seemingly unable to hold even the tiny random charm that it came with. When my uncle saw it, all carefully presented in a small plastic bag, he recognised it as a cracker gift from his house the previous Christmas.

Around the same year, gran also gave me a jumper. From Greenwood's. The trend at the time was for tight-fitting attire, and this would have been perfect for someone several chest sizes smaller who wasn't a rugby player with a prospective military career, so off it went to be swapped. The shop weren't sure what to do as the jumper was not stocked any more, being a three-year out of date item.

Gran. Great in many ways, but took the old 'wartime thriftiness' a bit too far at times.

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Anonymous Coward

"I once made the mistake of trying a sip. Just once."

Reminds me of a long project in Luxembourg. At the end of my stint I decided to bring back a present for my house mate. The local shops had various brands of the local spirit called "Poire Williams".

The novelty was that an empty bottle was put over a budding pear on the tree. When the pear was ripe there was a full size fruit trapped in the bottle. A brandy made from the Williams pear was then added. It looked very pretty on the shop shelves. The trees in the orchard look strange while they are festooned with what appear to be a collection of empty bottles.

With a large price range I opted for a middle one. When opened we found that it was like paint stripper in both taste and chemistry. $deity$ knows what a cheap bottle would have been like.

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Coffee/keyboard

"it was like paint stripper in both taste and chemistry."

Ahhh so you had a good Willy then... Trust me you DONT want to know what a bad one tastes like...

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like paint stripper in both taste and chemistry.

So, similar to grappa then? I once got very, very sick after drinking grappa (admittedly, flavouring it with Blue Bols[1] might not have been the wisest choice but at least it mostly took away the taste of the grappa).

Coming up it tasted pretty much the same as going down. And was a bright, lurid green.

[1] We were students and it was the only thing we had.. I mean, what sort of a student in the 1980's had both grappa *and* blue bols?

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So, similar to grappa then?

Arrgh! I tried it once on a holiday at Larke Garda; an experience that I am unlikely to forget for its memorable horror. (The grappa, not Lake Garda!)

Stuck to Limoncello after that... much better.

<sigh>

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Anonymous Coward

Grappa can be very good, especially if the proprietor pours it out of an unmarked bottle just taken from the freezer - just make sure it is transparent and not yellowish. Also good in an espresso.

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Poire? Yep, I've had that on a few skiing trips. It's lethal.

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Anonymous Coward

My brother went to former Yugoslavia to help the EU paying for the reconstruction of all those historical buildings that were thoroughly shot shot up.

Everywhere he went there was some muscular dude in jeans, white T-shirt, large watch and black shades "organising things" and offering Raki in 4-finger measures in the local taverns during project meetings;

Everywhere else, "on site", where old dudes offering home made Raki in jam-jars .... He always waited for peuple to drink first, fearing a trip to the kidney-donor-center, blindness and cirrhosis, the whole time.

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Anonymous Coward

"I mean cheapo giveaways [...]"

When ordering eBay items with "free postage" it often means you are paying the postage several times over when several of the same thing are sent in the same package.

A recent trial purchase of a small LED bulb was satisfactory - so another half-dozen were ordered. In the bottom of the wrapping was a small sweet lollipop. One bulb was faulty - so they immediately replaced it. Yet another lollipop - just a different colour.

Reminds me of when Italy had a shortage of small coins - so shopkeepers would include sweets or postage stamps as your small change.

Amazon marketplace imposes a fixed postage cost for books. Ordering several from the same supplier you find you may have paid an extraordinarily excessive amount for p&p.

In the early days of online independent bookshops a similar accumulation occurred on one order. When the parcel arrived there was an unexpected £5 note inside . A note explained it was the only way they could adjust the p&p in such cases.

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A recent trial purchase of a small LED bulb was satisfactory - so another half-dozen were ordered. In the bottom of the wrapping was a small sweet lollipop. One bulb was faulty - so they immediately replaced it. Yet another lollipop - just a different colour.

It's quite common for shipments from German eBay sellers to come with a small packet of Haribo[0] sweets.

[0] macht Kinder froh.

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It's quite common for shipments from German eBay sellers to come with a small packet of Haribo[0] sweets.

Also the case with purchases from qwertee...

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Und Erwachsene ebenso.

Haribo Gummy Bears are nice gifts to take to the US. Because the standard ones here in Germany use natural fruit juices for color and flavor, and they're hard to get over there. What you get there are one made in Spain or Hungary using artificial coloring and flavoring.

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"Reminds me of when Italy had a shortage of small coins - so shopkeepers would include sweets or postage stamps as your small change."

I'm convinced that our family started that system. In the late 60s we holidayed on the coast north of Rome. Petrol stations then had attendants, and they expected a tip. As impoverished Brits we had little spare cash, our car had a tin full of sweets such as Swizzels, wine gums etc., and these were passed on to the people who had operated the pumps.

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Windows

Fondly remember...

My first USB stick. A fantastic (at the time) 128MB at Full Speed (USB 1.1) with encryption software. Served me many years (at the time a 4GB IDE HDD was huge) and I think I may have it rolling around somewhere. I used to frequently load it up with firewall, anti virus, ccleaner, firefox and other useful programs when heading round to friends/family to sort out their XP home systems that had slowed to a crawl.

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Eeeew

"... bottom-quality earbuds that stop working after two uses"

I always throw earbuds away after I've used them once.

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Happy

Re: Eeeew

Well, at least they're better than ear quality bottom buds...

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Windows

Re: Eeeew

I steal the earbuds that my youngest kills.

They may no longer be functioning earbuds, but they do work as an FM antenna for the Moto.

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Coat

Evil green liquid

Sounds like absinthe. Watch out for the hallucinations (from the wormwood content).

Remember what they say: absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

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TRT
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Re: Evil green liquid

Always had a terrible effect on my bowels... but then absinthe makes the fart go Honda.

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Re: Evil green liquid

Absinthe makes the hands go fondle her

Seems to be current excuse of groping MPs, blaming being drunk for being "hands on" with people who did not want the attention.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Evil green liquid

Easiest way to tell is set fire to it.

I don't mind absinthe, Black absinthe is nicer than green.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sounds like absinthe.

That's what i thought too, but I dread to think what kind of absinthe would come in a bottle with a label that looked like a pirate map (unless someone had decanted it into an old rum bottle for some reason...)

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Re: Evil green liquid

Sounds like absinthe

I tried it a couple of times. It has.. interesting results when taken with codeine-based painkillers..

Nowadays I can't have it because of the vast amounts of sugar you need to make it palatable. I find I'm not missing it.

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Re: Evil green liquid

Absinthe makes the hands go fondle her

Have some madeira, m'dear.

Rang out down the hall loud and clear

With a tremulous cry that was filled with despair,

As she fought to take breath in the cool midnight air,

Have some madeira, m'dear.

The words seemed to ring in her ear.

Until the next morning, she woke in her bed

With a smile on her lips and an ache in her head...

And a beard in her lug 'ole that tickled and said:

Have some madeira, m'dear!

(Flanders and Swann. What a fine pair of music-hall gents they were!)

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Re: Evil green liquid

Regrettably you are unlikely to see the green fairy. There is no evidence that the active ingredient (thujone from wormwood oil) has any hallucinogenic effect despite it structural similarity to THC. Perhaps absence of evidence is not essence of absinthe.

Absinthe was traditionally diluted to about 1 part in 4 of cold water. That could explain the bad taste, but so would an "absinthe" kit (vodka, wormwood oil and a risk of kidney damage).

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Evil green liquid

Absinthe should be enjoyed after adding water poured on a small piece of sugar to soften the bitterness.. It is not meant to be taken pure unless you want to live a similar experience to the one described in the first video.

I remember having such a moment when trying to drink 'cul-sec' a glass of a liquor made by my dear grandma with some fruits I was unable to recognize... probably because the aforementioned liquor add an ABV rating above 80%.

Regarding the second video (congrats for the translation!), there is something similar in my native country. It's called 'Vipérine', it's made by putting a viper alive into a bottle of (strong) liquor. It's very weird when somebody offers you to drink something coming from a bottle with a snake in it..

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Re: Evil green liquid

On the LP introduction according to Flanders, Swann thought the song was about cake, and so it was...

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I'd love some small ones for things like bitlocker keys. Seems a waste one bigger that a few MB.

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Anonymous Coward

Or for RAM testers, like memtest86

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Or for RAM testers, like memtest86

Have you looked at Yumi?

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Pint

chilli sambuca

My local pub sells this, being almost luminous green it looks disgusting. But it tastes great, just what's needed on a cold day. I can't remember the brand, it's that good :)

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