Gift Exchange Mis-Adventure


Terror of Kirkland Walgreens

Editor's Note:
This document has been painstakingly compiled to serve as a warning to others.  The following chat log was retrieved from official Internet archives in late December of 2021.  The events you are about to read are completely true and occurred exactly as stated below.  No artistic liberties nor any amount of exaggeration have been added. 
Chat Log:
November 29, 2021, 8:12pm


It’s decided then.

Joe buys for Frank, Frank buys for Mick, Mick buys for Shane, Shane buys for Kurt, Kurt buys for Joe.

We will all open our presents on Monday December 20th during our regularly scheduled Zoom meeting. Make sure your gift arrives in time.


Got it.  


Plenty of time.  




Who’s Roger?  
November 30, 2021, 9:16pm


I've ordered my gifts for the exchange.

One should arrive this week (don't open it, Frankie!). The other says it will arrive Dec 20-27, so I have no idea if it will get there before Christmas. It will probably arrive even later because they may not realize the Pony Express doesn't deliver to Central Illinois every day.

The horses get cold and slow in the winter snow.
December 1, 2021, 8:56pm


Hey Frankie, it's on sale TODAY!

Limited-time deal: RENPHO Body Fat Scale Smart BMI Scale Digital Bathroom Wireless Weight Scale, Body Composition Analyzer with Smartphone App sync with Bluetooth, 396 lbs – Black -- by Renpho Group

Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1UX8RW/



Great price.  


Why is the black version cheaper than the white?

Isn't that discrimination???


Quit changing the subject, Frank.  


Mine is black and I love it.

Once you go black ...


December 6, 2021, 9:21pm


Maybe for Frank's Christmas present I should send him instructions on how to ride a Siamese Tricycle?  




What’s a Siamese Tricycle?  
December 7, 2021, 12:47pm


Joe, it looks like your actual gift exchange gift is ready to be picked up at the Walgreens in Kirkland on the corner of 85th and 124th.

It’s already paid for and I submitted on the order that it would be picked up by Joe.

Don’t open it till the Zoom meeting!


What? I have to go pick up my own gift?! Use my own gas and time to get it? Don’t you understand how gifts work?

A real friend wouldn’t make me drive 14 miles to pick up my own gift. A real friend would come to Kirkland himself, pick it up, and bring it to my house.

Dressed as an elf.

Like our grandparents used to do.
December 7, 2021, 2:59pm


Kurt, your gifts were ordered today. 2 separate packages. Says they will arrive between the 13th and 20th.  
December 8, 2021, 8:22am


Mick - your awesome gift is on its way! Should be there on Saturday!  
December 12, 2021, 4:56pm


Shane, ordered yours yesterday, should be there soon.

I know butt plugs are old hat for you. But these are special because they are monogrammed.


December 13, 2021, 6:47pm


Did everyone get their gifts?  


Shane did  


Kurt did not  


I did  


Frank did

Who’s the loser that got Kurt?


That’s me. I did not do Amazon. Got personalized items. Kiss my a$$  


I have go all the way to Kirkland to pick mine up, so technically no.  


You need to get out of the house at least once a year anyways.  


It would give your family a much-needed break.  


December 14, 2021, 2:30pm


Ok, so you guys have "inspired" me to try to go to Kirkland today to pick up my "gift" (is it a gift if you have to work so hard to get it?). I've filled up my gas tank and I've packed several coolers full of food and liquids for the journey. I went to REI and got several layers of extra warm clothes and gear suitable for this excursion. I've hired two Sherpa guides. I hope to be able to rent a dog sled from the local natives. I don't think they'll have any cell phone towers in that part of the world, so I bought this satellite phone to stay in contact. Please pray for me. I'll try to update you when I can.  




Good luck. We’re all counting on you.  


Joe, I pray travel blessings upon you!  


Suck it up, Joe!  
December 14, 2021, 8:37pm



I drove all day until I passed the last gas station where I filled up one last time. Ran out of gas about an hour ago. I saw a light in the distance and found a lone ranch. The farmer told me he would give me an old horse in exchange for one of my coolers of food. It's cold out here but I'm lying low on the horse to protect me from the snow and freezing winds.

Someday I'll make it to Walgreens in Kirkland....
December 15, 2021, 9:30am


It was freezing all night. I could hear the wolves howling all around me. I stupidly only brought one package of matches so fire for heat and cooking could soon become a problem. The horse is not looking good this morning.

December 15, 2021, 8:15pm


Rough day. The blizzard hit and the horse died. Fortunately, my Jedi training kicked in. I gutted the horse and climbed into its carcass to keep from freezing to death. After many hours, I was found by some men who carried me to their village.

They gave me tea and porridge to revive me. They took me to an elder, who was the only man in the village who spoke any English. (By the way, he was the only living villager who had ever left the village. He said he once went to "Flor-I-da" as a young man which is where an alligator bit off his leg.)

The elder told me many people have come to the village seeking the legendary Walgreens of Kirkland, but none have ever made it back.

Tomorrow 2 villagers will take me to the encampment where I am to meet my Sherpa guides. Please continue to pray for me. It's nice to have a fire tonight.
December 16, 2021, 7:38am


If Joe doesn’t make it, I want his motorcycle.

And his comic book collection.




Kinda have my eye on his lava lamp too.  


Forget the motorcycle. I want his Siamese Tricycle!  


What’s a Siamese Tricycle?  
December 16, 2021, 6:21am


I thought I would get a good night's sleep, but I was awakened at 2:00 to start the journey. I was fed some cold stew, which, if I understood correctly, consisted of seal meat and the flesh of a rival tribe leader's daughter.

I thought I would be able to ride on the back of the dog sled but instead they tied me tightly to the sled after taking my REI gear in payment and just giving me a seal-skin blanket in return.

We got to the camp to meet my Sherpa guides about 30 minutes ago, but there's no one here. The guys from the village keep speaking to each other in a language I don't understand, and they keep looking at me and laughing... I don't know why.

As I was typing this, they started getting back on the sleds. I thought maybe we were going to go further but they shoved me away and just started back towards their village. I hope they make it back safely. I'm not sure if I am supposed to stay here and wait for my Sherpa guides or just start walking further up the trail.

Kurt, I had to sell my motorcycle, comics, and lava lamp to pay for this trip to Kirkland to the Walgreens to pick up this gift. So, sorry. But I hope all of you have enjoyed having your gifts shipped directly to your homes.


December 16, 2021, 9:27pm


So after waiting for an hour for the Sherpa guides I pulled out my map and compass. I think the sled dog drivers must have been confused this morning because they had taken me the opposite direction from the camp where I was supposed to meet the Sherpas. So I started walking.

After walking all day I made it to the camp and met the Sherpas. They had me warm myself by the fire and gave me a coat. I guess I'm not the first person who the villagers had taken their warm clothes in exchange for a sled dog ride.

I don't want to cause you guys concern, but when I took off my boots, I noticed some frostbite has started on some of my toes. Don't worry, I'm sure it's nothing.

So anyways, my Sherpa guides seem nice. They're brothers, M'pow and M'bow. M'pow is blind. M'bow is deaf. So I talk to M'pow and he signs to M'bow who will guide us. M'pow says the next part of the trip will be toughest. Many people have not survived.

He asked me why my Christmas present wasn't shipped to my home and I told him... well, that's just not how Kurt does things.

Time to settle down for the night. I can hear wolves howling but I trust the fire will keep us safe. I miss you all and hope your beds are warm tonight.


I love it!  
December 17, 2021, 8:38am


Here on my end, it wasn't a good night. Fun fact: although wild wolves are loud when you can't see them, when they're attacking, they can be very quiet.

So we woke up this morning to find what remained of M'bow. My best guess is that they dragged him quietly down the path before feasting on him, because we didn't hear a thing.

Being a skilled hospice social worker, I compassionately told M'pow (who is blind and couldn't see the remains) it looked like M'bow froze to death while taking a crap. M'pow had a skeptical look on his face, but I think he bought it.

The upside? I was able to recover one of M'pow's gloves, and some strips of cloth to wrap around my other hand; my gloves were taken by the dog-sled guys. My toes feel worse today, and some are completely numb and I think starting to turn a dark color. But I'm sure it's nothing.

M'pow says usually it's only about 3/4 of a day's hike from here to the Walgreens in Kirkland, but that's with M'bow to guide. It's going to probably go slower since M'pow is blind. In fact, I asked him which way we're supposed to go now and he just pointed to a vertical cliff wall about 400 feet high. Silly guy!

So we finally deduced which way to go and started out. We've been hiking for about 90 minutes, and I have to say, I've never seen so many dead bodies (or body parts); and THAT'S saying something for a guy who works in hospice! LOL! Most look like they just died from hypothermia (my guess), but some were clearly attacked by wild animals, or maybe Kirkland natives.

There are probably a lot more bodies, but it's really hard to see since it's almost Winter Solstice, there's barely any sunlight anymore and we're in darkness most of the time. But we stopped for a cup of warm tea and I'm feeling optimistic now.

Christmas present, here I come!
December 17, 2021, 8:46pm


What a day!

M'pow and I stumbled up the trail today, mostly in the dark except for the few hours mid-day when the sun was up. I could not believe the number of frozen bodies I saw. Since M'pow couldn't see anything, he wasn't much use in guiding us. I just made him carry everything and followed the trail of dead bodies. Some of them died holding signs that said things like "Kirkland Walgreens or bust!"

There were a lot of holes and crevasses to cross, and it was rough on M'pow who almost plunged off of several cliffs when I wasn't paying attention.

Finally we came to the base of a huge (1000 feet?) ice cliff. M'pow told me this is where there is a basket big enough to hold 2 people, attached to a pulley where we could pull ourselves up to the top. Unfortunately, after searching around for several minutes in the dark, I found the remains of the basket with a frayed rope and a couple of dead bodies; clearly the rope had broken, and they had plunged to their death.

So anyways, I did the only thing I knew to do. I broke off the limbs of the dead guys (Fun fact: it's easy to snap off the limbs of people when they are frozen. I bet even my girls could do it.) I pulled the flesh off the bones, tied a bone to each foot with the sharp end pointing forward, held the other bones in my hands, and proceeded to climb the cliff by jamming the bones into the ice.

After several hours of climbing, I got to the top and took the rope and lowered it down to M'pow so I could pull him up. Silly me! I forgot he wouldn't be able to see the rope. So then I had to climb back down (a few more hours) and hand him the end of the rope. Then I climbed back up (another few hours) and proceeded to pull M'pow up to the top.

He screamed the whole way, LOL! Boy was I tired. And jamming my feet into the ice wall for several hours didn't help my toes any, not at all! I took off my boots and I'm definitely smelling the gangrene setting in. But I'm sure it's no big deal.

We hiked another mile or two... AND THERE IT IS!!! The famous Walgreens of Kirkland!

[Hallelujah Chorus starts playing]

"Open 24 hours" it says on the neon sign. And I run up to the door and pull on it to open...



... and the door is locked. And the sign on the door says, "Closed due to COVID outbreak among employees."

So the plan right now is to spend the night and hope it opens up tomorrow.

I can still hear wolves howling. And we have no more matches... and there's no trees or firewood at this elevation anyway.

Have a good night, all.


Joe, my family is enjoying this little ditty. I read it to them every night after dinner.


I'm glad my pain is bringing your family enjoyment.  
December 18, 2021, 10:31am


Rest In Peace, M'pow.

In the dark hours of the early morning, I heard something walking around our encampment and sniffing. I looked out from under my sealskin blanket and saw... something.

It was white and had long hair. My first reaction was, "polar bear!", but then immediately after that I thought, "Yeti!". And then I thought, "Long-haired old hermit!" I still don't know what it was, as the only source of light I had was the "Walgreens: Open 24 hours a day" neon sign in the distance.

So naturally, I screamed and got up and ran. In my panic, I forgot M'pow is blind, so I had assumed he would be running right behind me. But, alas, no. He got up and started running the other direction. I glanced back and saw him running with the white beast running behind him, quickly gaining on him. (Do Yeti's run fast?)

But just as the beast lurched at him with a large hand/paw, the ice gave way and they both plunged in. I literally had no clue we had been sleeping on a partially frozen lake all night. Imagine my surprise, LOL!

So anyways, in the dim light I could see both figures go into the water, but after several minutes of me listening to splashing and M'pow's screams, only the white figure climbed out and walked the other direction from me. Again, it was mostly dark, but unless it was just my imagination, the white fur/hair looked like it now had a lot of red on it. Poor M'pow.

When the ice had broken, the fissure had split further backward, so what remained of our entire encampment was also submerged in the water of the semi-frozen lake. This included my shoes. Glancing down, I discovered in my rush to get away I hadn't put on my footwear, and in running in the snow and ice, it was obvious some of my frostbitten, blackened, gangrenous toes had broken off. I guess I won't be running any half-marathons again for quite a while, LOL!

But I'm sure I'll be OK. After all, today might be the day I finally get my long-awaited Christmas gift (which, by the way, was shipped to Walgreens in Kirkland rather than to my house). I'm going to walk over to the Kirkland Walgreens in just a minute to see if it's open today.

I feel just like a kid on Christmas morning! Wheee!



Next year we celebrate "Chnnstmas" and "Baby Ed".

It will be safer for us all.


December 18, 2021, 11:08am


I just received a notification that the gift I bought has been delivered... directly to Frankie's house.

So, let's see...

Frankie has had his gift delivered...

I think Mick's gift was delivered to his house...

Shane, I'm pretty sure your gift has arrived at your house, right?

And you said Kurt's gift arrived at his house yesterday.

Am I missing anyone?


December 18, 2021, 9:03pm


What a great day, aside from M'pow's horrific demise. I went over to the Walgreen’s, but it was still closed. So I sat there... for several hours. Then I noticed the Kirkland movie theater next door, so I went in and watched Spiderman: No Way Home. It was extremely excellent!

When I came out the lights in the Walgreens were on, and I was able to go inside! The only other person in the store was an employee, who was a very, very old man... with long white hair and beard; he must have had a bloody nose because he had some blood on his face and clothes. He reminded me of someone I think I might have seen before....

I went over to the photo counter... and he handed me a package with my name on it!!!

It looks like a large rolled up piece of parchment, and I can see one word on it in very large letters: JOEY. I started dancing, and then fell down when a couple more of my toes broke off. But I'm sure it's no big deal.

Well, there I was in Walgreens, so I figured I should try to get some stuff for my trip back. Since it was Walgreens, I went ahead and bought:


Stamps? Fig newtons? Vicks vapor rub? Postcards from Hawaii?

Come on tell us dammit!


... some lip balm

some sun screen

several packages of Peeps Easter candy

some bottles of water

a bunch of little holiday toys that wind up and roll around

some make up

some reading glasses



hand sanitizer (1 quart)

a National Enquirer

2 clothes lines

some kids mittens and hat (they didn't have adult size)

some flip flops

a round plastic snow sled.

I went to pay for all of it and the old man told me their debit system wasn't working, and he told me I would need to use credit or get cash from the ATM at the front of the store.

I went to get cash from the ATM and it dispensed $200 in $20 bills that all said "Hollywood cash: Not Legal Tender". (Mick, it looks like this machine belongs to your company, so I am hoping you will be able to send me the real cash. Thanks.)

So I had to pay with credit.

I loaded everything back on the sled, except for the hat, mittens, and flip flops, which I put on. (Fun fact: it's a lot more difficult to walk in flip flops when your feet are frostbitten and you're missing toes.)

I pulled it to the ice cliff, threw everything over the edge. Then I rappelled down the cliff using one of the clothes lines. ROPE BURN! Plus, the flip flops fell off as I went down, but I was able to find them at the bottom.

I lost another toe on the descent, but I'm sure it will be fine.

I loaded everything back on the sled, and now I'm once again walking past all of the frozen bodies, trying to make it back to the camp where I met the Sherpa brothers. I can hear the wolves howling around me again.

Stay warm tonight fellas. It's going to be a cold one.


My family is loving this Joe but they do feel sorry you had to go to this much trouble just to get your "gift".  


Thanks, Shane. But I'm confident when I open this gift it is going to be SO worth the effort it has taken to get it.  
December 19, 2021, 9:15am


So which day exactly did we decide was Frank's birthday on?  


Thanks fellas for the birthday wishes yesterday! Really means a lot!

Oh wait...


Yesterday! Dang it!!!  
December 19, 2021, 11:01am


Sorry for missing your birthday, Frank. The days all seem to run together while I'm on this dark journey to get my Christmas gift. I hope it was a good one. It's very sad that M'pow died on your birthday.

It was a weird night. I had been following the stream of dead bodies, determined not to sleep because:

(1) I knew the wolves would kill me (Fun fact: like sharks, wolves can smell blood for miles, as I continually weep blood from my frostbite wounds. Another fun fact: wild wolves do not like the smell of sunscreen, so by slathering myself with coconut scented sunscreen that I bought at Walgreens, I was able to keep them at bay).

And (2) I really hope to make it home... (I almost said "by the time of our Zoom meeting tomorrow night", but in reality, I just hope to make it home.).

Then the blizzard hit. I was snow-blind, unsure which way to go, and unable to find the bodies to follow. Then, almost like a heavenly gift, I stumbled across the body of a woman I don't remember seeing on the trip up. But she was barely covered in snow? And she wasn't frozen solid? What sort of witchcraft is this???

I determined she must have just died within the past few minutes. Thinking quickly, I searched her bag of items and came up with a thermos of coffee, a small flashlight, and a set of keys. The coffee was only Luke-warm, and I only drank a little. Then, using the flashlight (the blizzard limited my vision to a few feet), I noticed a hairy lump in the snow. Upon closer inspection, it was... a reindeer!!!

It didn't look like it was in good condition. I don't know much about reindeer, but this one seemed old and sickly to me. Using the quick thinking that I could have only gotten from years of Central Illinois high school, I took my remaining clothesline and tied it around one of the antlers and tied the other end to my plastic sled.

I sat on the sled next to the reindeer, and slowly fed it some Peeps and the coffee. After about 15 minutes, it slowly stood up and started walking, towing me behind. Was I saved? I don't know.

My only consolation was that it was walking downhill, which I knew was the general direction of the camp. I prayed that I wouldn't be pulled over the edge of a cliff or into a crevasse in this blizzard.

Every once in a while I could feel myself get pulled over a large bump, which I assumed was a frozen body, so I hoped we were headed towards home.

I named the reindeer "Sam" because it tolerated me, but I could tell it didn't really want me around. I talked to it for most of the ride, occasionally feeding it Peeps and coffee, and singing "Last Christmas" because I think it really likes that song.

Sometime in the night we must have passed through or near the camp, but I never saw it. When Sam finally fell over and died today, I realized that I am really close to the village; you know, the one with the dog-sled riders and the elder with one leg. I can see its fires in the distance. I'm not sure if I should approach the village or not; I don't have any more items to barter with them that I'm willing to give away.


Gosh, I hope he makes it, guys.  
December 19, 2021, 8:31pm


I need to apologize to you guys. I just realized I haven't taken any photos on this trip that I could send you. I'm really sorry. I wish you could have seen the things I've seen....

So anyways, just when I thought this trip to pick up my Christmas gift from Walgreens in Kirkland couldn't have any more surprises, today happened.

In my last update, I ended by saying I didn't know whether or not to go into the village. Well, it turns out the choice was made for me. The guys who had taken me on the dogsled trip found me outside the village and took me before the elder.

He told me to relate my story since leaving he village. So I started by telling him about the mistake the dogsled drivers had made in taking me the wrong direction and then forgetting about me, without my REI gear (the guys were actually wearing my REI gear as I shared my story. I hope they were warm.)

The elder seemed to grow angry when I shared this story. Apparently, the drivers had gotten confused about the story, and had told the elder I had been eaten by wolves and they had just salvaged my gear.

Suddenly the elder had some other villagers grab the dogsled drivers, take the REI gear off of them and throw it back to me, and then they had some kind of village-wide festivity where they marched the drivers naked through the village before burning them at a stake and making stew out of them. I was the guest of honor at the dinner!

During the dinner, the elder told me about the woman who had come to their village on a snowmobile the day before. She had traded the snowmobile for a dogsled ride towards the Walgreens. He said he hoped she made it. But meantime, the villagers have been unable to get the snowmobile to run.

But I then told the elder that I hadn't finished my story. I proceeded to tell him about eventually finding M'pow and M'bow, about M'bow dying by wolves, and M'pow dying after being chased by the hairy creature and falling through the ice.

The look on the elders face! Boy, I wish I had taken a picture. As it turns out, M'pow and M'bow were his sons! What a small world! (Well, unless you're talking about how far it is to get from my house to the Walgreens in Kirkland; then the world is HUGE!)

As the elder wept, something happened none of us saw coming: M'pow came stumbling into the hut! Literally stumbling, because he was missing a leg, as well as an ear. Well, kind of missing a leg. He had wisely broken off the leg from one of the frozen bodies on the path and strapped it to where his own leg used to be: good as new!

He told us how he had lost his leg to the polar bear/Yeti/old hermit creature, and had lain on the far bank of the semi-frozen lake until he was strong enough to get back to the bottom of the ice cliff, where he obtained the frozen replacement leg and had worked his way back to the village. And remember, he did all of this BLIND.

The elder was so happy to see him and shared with M'pow how they were celebrating my return as well. M'pow went to give the elder a hug... and stabbed him in the heart! I'm not sure how he knew where the heart was, because he is blind. Boy, I didn't see that one coming at all.

Then M'pow sat on the elder's chair and pronounced that since I had abandoned him, I would be imprisoned today and served as stew tomorrow, since most of the villagers were already full from today's stew. Boy, talk about someone holding a grudge!

As I sat in the cage in the cold dark (they let me keep some of my REI gear so less of my flesh would be frozen/rotted for the stew), I said a prayer of thanks. Because, as you all have figured out by now, when you have to go from your home all the way to the Walgreens in Kirkland, there's no way you can have enough food for the trip.

Aside from the 2 bowls of stew and a couple of Peeps, I haven't eaten anything in the past week. With all the strenuous activity, plus the loss of frostbitten body parts, I'd guess I've lost between 80-90 pounds this week. When no one was around, it was no problem for me to slip between the cage bars.

I snuck through the dark until I found what I was looking for: the snowmobile! I was checking and confirmed it had gas in it. You might be wondering why the villagers couldn't get it to run? Because the woman had given them the snowmobile, but she had kept the KEY!

Remember earlier today when I told you had had found a key in the dead woman's possessions? I still had it! Thinking ahead, I had wisely hidden the key in my rectal vault (yes, that's a real thing; look it up).

So all I had to do was pull down my pants and poop the key out. As I was doing that, a couple of the village children came around the corner. I was afraid they might sound the alarm, so, thinking quickly, I reached into my Walgreen's bag and took out the little wind-up toys I had bought. I gently gave them to the children, who seemed thrilled.

After wiping the poop off of them that I had accidentally gotten on them with my hands (remember, I had to dig through my poop to find the key), they playfully ran off.

And I was good to go. I fired up the snowmobile and I was off! I laughed as the spears and arrows flew past me.

I passed my old dead, gutted horse. And eventually, I made it back to the farmer's ranch. He has allowed me to spend the night in his barn. He told me I don't sound good. He has a few ranch animals that he has to care for, and after listening to my lungs he says he's pretty sure I have pneumonia. But I'm sure I'll be fine.

Tomorrow, he said I can trade him the snowmobile for some gas, and he's going to take me back to my car.

Sweet dreams, y'all.
December 20, 2021, 8:36am





Just wow.


I’m speechless  


Yay, you made it out alive!  


Yes I did, if you can call my current condition "alive".

The rancher/farmer took me to my car this morning and filled up my tank with some gas. I am on my way home now, with my Christmas present from Walgreens in Kirkland!

But I think I will need to stop at an Urgent Care or hospital to have a couple of things looked at before I head home. When I stopped at a gas station a few minutes ago to buy some chips and jerky, I realized I must have lost about half my teeth on this trip, and I didn't even notice until now, LOL!

Assuming I make it home today, I'll see y'all tonight.


All I can say is that I'm glad my BFF Joe was smart enough to have my packages delivered to my front door!  


I also think that horse has been beat to death  


I disagree, Mick. I think these reminders about real friendship and the proper way to send gifts are important to rehash over and over indefinitely.  


Thank you, Kurt... I totally agree!  

Joe replied to Mick

“I also think that horse has been beat to death”

... says the man who did not have to literally climb inside a dead horse to keep from freezing to death.
December 22, 2021, 2:20pm


I just drove past the Walgreens in Bellevue. I drive past it all the time, FYI.  




That Walgreens sucks. It’s smaller and older and has less hours of operation.

I did my homework.


Maybe so, but I'm on a first name basis with all of their employees.

We hang out together for holidays and karaoke twice a month at a local dive bar.

Heck, they told me they would have just driven the gift over to my house when they brought the girls their Christmas gifts, had they known.