One of the websites I spend most of my Internet time on (i.e. … most of my time on) is Imgur. It’s a collection of user-submitted posts — GIFs, memes, stories, news, and ‘other’ — that readers upvote to the front page, refreshed constantly. It’s like a single-stream Reddit, but without (as much of) the bile and vitriol that infects so much of other internet communities.
Each year a few Imgur members organise an international Secret Santa; I signed up this year without really thinking about it. I sent my Secret Santa target — a sweet-sounding, video-game-loving, feminist nerd from the north of England — some jewellery and a book or two. But I was not paired reciprocally with her: someone else got me as theirs. And I was not ready for what I received.
Now that we’re in the austere gloom of January, let me tell you a story of one of the most thoughtful collections of gifts I’ve ever received — and it was from a stranger.
I don’t think I’ve ever received a package as big as this. I bought most of my Christmas presents online, and before I unwrapped it I thought this parcel was just an inexplicably enormous version of one of the things I’d bought.
‘Somanybees’ is my Imgur username. And — Eddie Izzard! My jaw was already on the floor.
My face and body language matched Pacha’s when I opened this. A previous housemate had taken her cushions when she moved out so it’s good to have another one.
As a publishing nerd, I never ask people to buy books for me: I either know precisely what I want, and I’ve bought it, or I know that I don’t want it. But honestly: Small Gods is my favourite Terry Pratchett Discworld book, and I didn’t have it in a physical edition before, so I am thrilled. And Iain M Banks is one of the science fiction authors I’d most like to read more of. Although I am still scarred by having read Use of Weapons. (The chair).
I’ve loved Adventure Time since about 2012. Why would you not want this?
Already decimated. Obviously.
I was absolutely blown away by the specificity and thoughtfulness of these presents — I wanted to preserve them and encourage you to do the same in 2018.