This insures that whatever I buy him, he will buy for himself just days before I give him the gift, usually leaving me scrambling to return what I bought him and get him something else, which is inevitably crappier than what he just bought himself.
So I've learned to be more upfront with him. And he with me. So the other day he calls me while I'm at Wal-mart shopping for Beck's birthday. He asks me if I can buy something for him, while I'm there. I say sure, but since it's a special-ish item, I'm going to save it for his birthday, only six days away.
Fine he says. I purchase and hide the gift. Guess what I found today. I'm not even kidding. He couldn't wait six days. Sheesh.