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What is the most ridiculous thing I can have delivered in Manhattan?
December 13, 2013 9:07 AM   Subscribe

For my friend's birthday I want to send the most absurd, ostentatious thing possible to her office in New York. What is that thing?

So this friend just sent a garish balloon display to be delivered to me at my desk to "mortify and please me in equal measure." I want to return the favor to her, maybe a little heavier on the mortification. If I could have someone singing loudly to her in some kind of costume and then leave behind, I don't know, a machine that would shoot glitter into the air periodically throughout the day, I would do that.

But I'm not that creative and I'm not from New York, so I turn to you, Metafilter, to aid me in my revenge.
posted by Aizkolari to Human Relations (43 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Budget?
posted by mochapickle at 9:09 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christmas tree?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:09 AM on December 13, 2013


She's Jewish, and, I don't know, 50-100 bucks.
posted by Aizkolari at 9:11 AM on December 13, 2013


Singing telegram? I have no idea how much they cost, though.
posted by corb at 9:12 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Singing Telegram Would seem to fit the bill. But really, it's New York City, I'm sure you could get literally whatever you wanted sent over if you're willing to pay for it.
posted by Diablevert at 9:13 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Singing telegrams in NYC.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:13 AM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to one up on the balloon front:

$200 gets you a seven foot tall balloon Christmas tree with ornaments or a six foot candy cane.

$300 gets you a 12 foot tall balloon toy soldier.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:16 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got my SO a singing telegram (Elvis) a few years ago. I had an agent in her office to make sure she was there and get some video. It went well and cost me, I think, $175.
posted by vrakatar at 9:22 AM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ice sculpture with her name (or worse, face) and a bottle of something chilled to make up for it?
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:23 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Singing telegrams are nice, but for maximum impact you need a singing gorillagram.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:23 AM on December 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


The office where I'm at now just yesterday had two people dressed as elves walk in and sing us the following:

"Happy Holidays,
Happy Holidays,
We're sorry we missed Hannukah,
So here's some cupcakes for you!"

And then they put three boxes of blue-frosted cupcakes on a table and walked out. I was informed by my co-workers that they come from one of our regular vendors and that this happens every year.

So, yeah, maybe something like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:28 AM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mariachi band?
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:35 AM on December 13, 2013 [38 favorites]


I would get $100 worth of White Castle burgers delivered with a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:36 AM on December 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


Puppet McSockerson wins. A mariachi band singing "Feliz Navidad".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:37 AM on December 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


The thing about balloons is, they are huge and bright and showy, but when you want to get rid of them, you pop them and throw them in the garbage. I would just be mindful of sending a glitter machine or sandbox or hot tub unless you know for sure this won't annoy people she works with, or irritate her when she has to vacuum it all up.

So in that spirit, send the largest and stupidest inflatable lawn ornament you can afford.
posted by payoto at 9:42 AM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: Puppet McSockerson wins. A mariachi band singing "Feliz Navidad".

Since the recipient is Jewish, how about Hava Nagila?
posted by dr_dank at 10:02 AM on December 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Does it need to be a holiday song? I actually think it would be funnier if it was a totally off-season, traditional mariachi song. It takes it from a "Oh, they are a mariachi band singing carols! That's kinda weird but festive!" sorta justification to "What the fuck is this mariachi band doing here?!". It would make it a lot more mortifying and hilarious.

oh oh! Bonus points if they wish her a happy birthday too, but only if it is no where near her actual birthday! :)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:09 AM on December 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


A mariachi band carrying a whole bunch of multicolored balloons singing De Colores.
posted by phunniemee at 10:13 AM on December 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually, if the mariachi band ends up being outside your budget, just send her a shit ton of birthday stuff, including a birthday singing telegram etc. She then has to spend the rest of her day/week/career trying to explain that no, December 16th isn't her birthday. And make sure there are balloons/decorations that celebrate an incorrect (but semi-plausible) age. If she is 32 have all the balloons be celebrating her 40th birthday. I did that to a co-worker a few years ago. He is actually turning 40 next year, but people are CONVINCED that he turned 40 back in 2009 because I covered his office with "Happy 40th!" stuff on his birthday.



epilogue - I married him a couple months ago and actually the 40th birthday joke thing sort of backfired. People know I am 8 years younger than him, but now because they think he is 43 they now think I am 35. Bastards. So make sure this isn't a friend you're going to end up marrying some day, because it can get awkward.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:16 AM on December 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Hire someone to show up and scatter a few thousand live ladybugs.

Or live lobsters.
posted by The World Famous at 10:22 AM on December 13, 2013


Or cockroaches, a-la David Letterman.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:25 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only went with "Feliz Navidad" because it's got a "this is the song that never ends" quality of being easily looped over and over and over until people wanna kill someone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hire someone to show up and scatter a few thousand live ladybugs.
Dude, her co-workers would murder her. That could get her fired.


Or live lobsters.
I wonder if the mariachi band could deliver the live lobsters.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:26 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mariachi band dressed like Elvis bringing live lobsters and ice sculptures
posted by Lucinda at 10:28 AM on December 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


and wishing her a happy 40th birthday.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:29 AM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Poor ladybugs would not fare well in New York City in December. I love the mariachi idea, though.
posted by ambrosia at 10:30 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yourself in a box. You can deliver the singing telegram.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:37 AM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Puppet - aint nothing wrong with being 35. "Omg you look so young!" etc.

How about a cronut
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:38 AM on December 13, 2013


I actually think it would be funnier if it was a totally off-season, traditional mariachi song.

15 de septiembre. Any mariachi band worth their salt will know it, and it totally doesn't fit during December holidays.
posted by ambrosia at 10:42 AM on December 13, 2013


If you're going to wish a happy birthday, go whole hog and include party hats, ice cream cake, and anything else you can possibly think to include that'll get her coworkers congratulating her on her birthday all day long.

True story: a friend of mine did this to me while we were in high school. His method of stopping arguments with me was to wish me a happy birthday, loudly enough that classmates would hear, and to keep going on until whichever teacher whose class we were in would get a Happy Birthday To You going. This culminated in a post-play celebration at Applebees, with the restaurant staff singing, everybody getting hats and party favors, and way more ice cream cake than I needed four months before my actual birthday.

It was hilarious and great fun and one of the only things I remember with any real clarity about high school.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:44 AM on December 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


I also immediately thought of a mariachi band, but I was going to suggest hiring them to bring her a single piece of cake. One that's obviously from a grocery store in a little plastic clamshell, just a plain old ordinary cheap-ass piece of cake, delivered with unholy levels of pomp and circumstance. There should be a trumpet entrance march, and then they should stop and sing her praises for a minute or two -- I'm sure there must be about a billion mariachi songs that boil down to "Holy shit this lady is beautiful and kind and all that stuff" -- and then and only then deliver unto her... a piece of cake, accompanied by a single, solitary party-buzzer-thing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:46 AM on December 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man


(they are branded skydancers or amazing airflatables and are really really cheap to rent... they only cost about $260 to buy outright with a blower for an 18' model, renting is usually like $50-75 a day. they take about 11 seconds to set up)
posted by chasles at 10:56 AM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I suppose a stripper is out of the question? Not a full-on STRIPPER, but like a sexy cop guy or something?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:32 AM on December 13, 2013


I would be cautious about any sort of noisy disruption of the workplace. If big boss is having a telecon with big-time client or investor, s/he ain't gonna be smiling at that brass band. And please, no even remotely-sexually-tinged performances or gifts...holy cow, that could go sideways fast.

How about a series of nesting gift-wrapped boxes? Deliver to her a HUGE wrapped box that she has to tear open...followed by another wrapped box...followed by another...like, 10 of them...culminating in some sort of charming little knickknack or extravagant chocolate.
posted by nacho fries at 12:09 PM on December 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love all these ideas, but if it's all getting a little too elaborate, might I suggest a giant,oversized stuffed animal of some kind? I received a giant stuffed tiger like the first one on that page almost five years ago, and I still have a vivid memory of the confusion, delight and mortification that came from opening it and then carrying it home. You can probably find a store in NYC that sells them and have a courier door to door it for you?
posted by theweasel at 12:12 PM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


We were given a 42" tall Mylar balloon "sundae" complete with cherry on the top. In mid-October. It is still inflated. It is the balloon that will not die.
posted by Cranberry at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Butter sculpture

A toilet (Actual toilet) planter with flowers/plants.
posted by edgeways at 12:50 PM on December 13, 2013


did you know you can hire a stripper to do a singing telegram?
posted by bruce at 1:00 PM on December 13, 2013


Dude, I have no idea why people are suggesting strippers. It is wildly inappropriate to send a stripper to someone's work, and can get them in serious trouble with coworkers, bosses, and HR. If you like your friend, don't fuck her over by sending anything sexual.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 1:03 PM on December 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


Maybe I've seen too many sit-coms where a strip-o-gram at the office was treated like a funny thing. As I said, I wasn't picturing full-on stripper-ing. But if it's a bad idea, disregard.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:51 PM on December 13, 2013


How well do you know her office environment? Some buildings and offices, especially in New York, are super crazy distrustful of visitors and messengers and wouldn't let a signing gorillagram get past the lobby, which would kind of spoil the fun.
posted by zachlipton at 5:09 PM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Michael Jeter Delivers a Message in the Fisher King
This is what you want. There's no topping this.
posted by Soliloquy at 5:33 PM on December 13, 2013


[Guys, your enthusiasm is appreciated, but please keep in mind the OP's update of budget ($50-100) and the office setting of the recipient, and try to keep suggestions within realistic parameters. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 1:01 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


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