Mugs Detained: Replacement Gifts Sought


Photograph courtesy of Zazzle

‘Gift Mugs, you are now under arrest.  You have been charged with the thoughtless inundation of that unfortunate bloke’s kitchen cupboard.’  He’d probably never tell you, but here are 5 suggestions of alternatives which he would probably, coffee-addict or not, appreciate more…

A Nice Fragrance


‘Replace the convict with Invictus’ 

Courtesy of fragrantica

It’s tough to say which repulses more, a harsh draught of halitosis-ridden breath, or a consuming, pervasive stench that a body unwashed carries about like a yoke upon beast of burden.  They’re equally horrendous.  With the first, it’s difficult, nigh on impossible even, to gift that bloke toothpaste without an implicit ‘your breath stinks’ dripping from the very act of giving the toothpaste.  Even if its Gucci branded – it doesn’t matter, you could have got him Gucci Perfume instead.

Voila!  There you have it.  With Perfume, it’s label of sophistication, of varying degrees of course, suggests that the true reason for its gifting can be obscured behind a – ‘here, have this new Paco Rabanne Invictus, man – the scent is to die for.’  Nevertheless, good perfume is an item which is becoming less luxury and more necessity – your scent defines you and provides a memorable marker.



‘The dark ages of 2D video games’

Courtesy of Thisiswhatweknow

I know a guy that rocks boxers to condemnation. They’re like a pair of hard-knock work shoes, worn till their worn, and laboured to an inch of their shelf-life before being unceremoniously lost to the black hole that is the washing machine.  Or is that the case for socks?

In any case, instead of a mug, why not get a bloke a set of boxers.  Nice ones too, not those embossed with Silvestre and Tweety grinning from cheek to cheek (Pacman, you’re not exempt either).  Furthermore, they’re usually sold in pairs or trios, sometimes more if you’re partial towards Primark’s stock.  His old pairs will thank you too – it’s frankly criminal to have less than 28 days of holiday a year.



Courtesy of cartoonstock

He’s probably lost them all in the washing machine, and his shoes are crying out to be delivered from his dreaded sweaty feet.  It’s important to make the distinction now – I do not refer to ankle-length sports socks; what I refer to is the formal, longer socks which are appropriate in a business casual or formal environment.

The really smooth thing about them is that in their formality, there is ample leeway for a bit of character.  Stripes, polka dots, blocks, and imprints of your favourite animated character all form part of the varied motifs of formal socks.    You’re in luck as well – high street stores such as Next, House of Fraser, and co. (I live in the UK so please excuse my Briti-centric perspective) all stock and sell them at fairly affordable prices.

Books – ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’


‘I don’t Promise you Riches’

They often end up being the bottom feeders, the forgotten ones.  They often serve as coasters for hot mugs of coffee, accumulating an assortment of burn rings enough to make the IOC ponder trademark infringement proceedings.  In other cases, they may accumulate their thickness in layers of dust as they idle, untouched and unblemished, in the corner of a room.  Despite the instantly recognisable neglect that books are often subject to, he’d probably read one if it’s good, and about wealth.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a rather good one too.  Written long before your parents or mine even met, it’s a brilliant narrative about the wealthiest merchant in the ancient City of Babylon.  The rather interesting aspect of the book is the clarity it brings to what, upon reading, would appear to commonplace, commonsense ideas.  It teaches discipline and foresight, not promising wealth, but guaranteeing that the principles ensconced within the retelling of the life of this merchant will provide you with a firm foundation to comfort in life.  Furthermore, it’s just under a 140 pages long; attention-span size, don’t you think?

 Formal Shirt 


Courtesy of Pune

He’s got an interview on the morrow and rustling through his smelly laundry, he realises that his sartorial investments comprise of T-Shirts, a couple of ragged denim jeans and one pair of boxers.  In his kitchen cabinet, rows and rows of mugs sit idle and unemployed.  Interview minus formal shirt usually equals ‘unemployed’.  This is where his friends intervene.

Rather than continue furnishing him with mugs that remain brand new a decade after conferral, why not get him a nice, formal shirt.  It’s never too early to dress smart and button-ups are the first step.  That they serve multiple purposes is gold, never looking out of kilter even among a gaggle of throwaway T-shirts.

Raymond is a football-loving law student who probably has an opinion on everything under the sun.  While not an expert on gifts, he could tell you more than 5 he’d rather have in his first XI than a mug.  What do you think?