Gender Reveal Box, $16.95

Edited by Lillian Boyd

Copyedited by Chelle Parker

June 2021

This weekend only, you can get your very own Objective Goods Ltd. Gender Reveal Box for just $16.95. The Gender Reveal Box comes in your choice of six pastel color medleys, each scratch-proof and sturdy enough to resist any conventional explosion. And each box has its containment properties rigorously tested. Don’t be fooled by cheaper competitors; a faulty gender reveal box has consequences that no parent can bear.

This item has never been more popular! Expecting parents across the world are gathering everyone they allegedly care for to open a box and witness the revelation.

Many customers ask: How can such a thing be confined inside an affordable box?

That is a trade secret.

Many customers become wickedly curious about our trade secrets. Objective Goods Ltd. urges customers not to look inside the Gender Reveal Box before the appropriate moment. Do not have a peek inside. There is no such thing as a mere glimpse. Objective Goods Ltd. urges you to release the contents only under controlled conditions.

But don’t worry if the box falls or tips on its side. The lid cannot come open by accident. Gender is never an accident.

Objective Goods Ltd. guarantees that as of 2015, all of our products are made from cruelty-free materials — regardless of your purposes.

To assist in the deliberate nature of your venture, each Gender Reveal Box comes with ten pieces of embroidered stationery and matching envelopes. No one who receives such an invitation will have any illusions about what they are being invited to witness.

Most customers only want to expose a few people, and so ten invitations suit their needs. If you are the sort of person who wants to involve more than ten people in this event, well, that is your choice and they will remember. Additional stationery is for sale in packets of five for $5.95.

Who you invite is up to you. You know the sorts of people who deserve to be at this sort of party. If you spend the $16.95 for a Gender Reveal Box, you become the arbiter of who is complicit in the revelation.

Maybe you just want to invite those family members who tell you what colors are appropriate to paint the nursery.

Maybe you want to include those neighbors who squint at strangers when they enter a public restroom.

Or maybe you’re the sort who invites all of their family and friends.

Some independent organizations espouse the notion that opening the Gender Reveal Box in the company of a large party will raise your likelihood of survival. Objective Goods Ltd. does not endorse this theory, nor do we take any legal responsibility for how you use the Gender Reveal Box.

Make it an event. Objective Goods Ltd. sells a line of appropriately themed decorations and sedatives so that your party can achieve the appropriate mood. Set the room lighting to somewhere between contemplative and bleak. Bake cupcakes the flavor of resignation. Many customers find that smooth jazz takes the edge off of the experience. If you put on music, keep it light, since you’ll need all the aural capacity you can muster as you bear witness.

Objective Goods Ltd. reminds our customers that what the revelation takes from you is not yours anymore. Any of your guests who receive an invitation on our stationery are similarly complicit and do not have legal recourse. Some lost things simply cannot be retrieved.

These lost things will mix with the contents of the box and are guaranteed not to escape. Objective Goods Ltd. has gone to great pains to ensure the contents will be perfectly preserved and edible for the entire lifetime of the average person.

That will keep the contents fresh until the time is right.

That time when your child grows and realizes what gender is and what society has done to them.

At that point, the contents will be at their ripest. All the prescriptions about how they are supposed to dress, the hobbies that are appropriate, and the friends they are supposed to make. Think of those things you should have said at your job, and didn’t, because of what you were made to be. Wouldn’t you relish sinking your teeth into those memories? And at the heart of the box are full meals of all the things your child will be allowed to work their entire life in the hope of one day enjoying.

Once your child opens the box, the contents will undeniably belong to your child.

And your child will hunger.

© 2021 John Wiswell

About the author

John Wiswell

John (@Wiswell) is a disabled writer who lives where New York keeps all its trees. He is a Nebula Award winner, and finalist for the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, and British Fantasy Award. His work has appeared in many venues, including Uncanny Magazine, Nature Futures, and Diabolical Plots. He respects his family to death.