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Who is “The Man Who Has Everything” and why do we have to keep buying him presents?

December 11, 2013


I’m getting a bunch of spammy advertising in my in box these days, much of it telling me of gifts I can purchase “for the man who has everything”.  Who is this man?  Why do we have to keep buying him presents?   Is there nobody left in the world who needs anything?  Is it a symptom of the wickedness of the global economy under the iron grip of the austeriarchs that our biggest holiday should involve those who can ill afford to make sacrifices, scrimping and saving in order to offer worthless trinkets to people who have more stuff than they can possibly get round to playing with?  Is this the true meaning of twenty-first century Christmas?  (Yes.  Yes it probably is.)

When I think of the amount of authentic need in the world (including my own) I find myself bitterly resenting this “man who has everything” and I think I’d like to confront him personally.

We don’t know his name, and we won’t I suspect until Carly Simon finally breaks down and tells us (because she’s plainly talking about the same person), but I believe I can see him in my mind’s eye.

He’s sitting on a throne, or rather in a top of the range reclining leather armchair, with enough beverage holders to bewilder George Best.  A cruel smile of assured entitlement plays across his stern but handsome face.  And in front of him is a long weary procession of humanity, dressed in rags and casting at his feet rotating tie holders, amusing letter openers, car fresheners, indoor putting games and other assorted shiny scraps of bric a brac which he greedily embraces before discarding, sometimes deliberately breaking.  Over time, these shards of expensive nonsense form veritable pyramids of insatiate waste on three sides of him.  And still the gifts keep coming.

I hate the man who has everything.  There.  I said it.  The festive season appears to be devoted to satisfying his lusts at the expense of most everybody else’s.

The next time I see an email advert suggesting “Presents for the woman who needs a bunch of things and will certainly use and/or enjoy them” then I’ll assuredly open it.

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