I forget birthdays. It always happens that I remember the birthday either a week earlier or a week later. The other day was my colleague's birthday. He turned 26. Other co-workers reminded me and were discussing what kind of gift would be good for him. Ah! Finally, One birthday I can make a difference. One of them was making a joke, "He is the kind of guy, who would drink Phenoyl for free! You can just gift him anything".
Well, technically there is no such thing as Phenoyl. Its an Indian spelling of this strong and pungent liquid with phenolic odor, typically used as a sanitizer and deodorant for toilets, drains, grease traps, septic run-off areas, kennels, poultry and animal pens. Some websites spell it as phenyle, but I am not so sure. If you know what it is exactly, Please let me know. Whatever it is, it is not edible, and this link[pdf] says it is "Irritating. Ingestion may cause nausea and abdominal pains. Severely irritating to eyes."
I said, "Why don't we gift him that ? A bottle of phenyle ?". She said, "No!!! I was just joking. He always said he wanted a photo album. We can buy a good photo album." She might have told it as a joke, but I can't get rid of the idea of buying a bottle of pungent, irritating liquid as a birthday gift. So, I bought them both - a photo album and a a bottle of pheyle (Its really cheap! Only Rs. 10/bottle). I gift wrapped the bottle of phenyle with this note stuck on the bottle.
Talk is that you would drink a bottle of phenyle, when its free.
I would say,
There's no better day to clean your toilet, than your birthday.
At the party, the un-wrapping of the photo album was un-eventful. I told him I have a special gift, that he should open. I gave him the bottle, wrapped with a really nice, light brown gift wrapper. He felt it was a bottle, and asked if it was some kind of champagne or wine. I said, "Not exactly. But, you are on the right track. Its something you would drink!"
He was surprised, of course. I encouraged him to open and smell it, so he could be sure. And, what you know, he did smell. He said this gift would be most unforgettable one in his life. Yeah! Sure. I can't forget giving it either. Well, it takes just 13 rupees(bottle+gift wrap) to make one of those moments of life, that you can laugh about. Now he has a story, that he can tell his grand children, later in his life. So do I.