Ho, #@%&*!, Ho: The Christmas Death March
It suddenly struck me this morning as I was walking the dog that I'd been meaning to do something. Now, what was it? Oh, that's right: go Christmas shopping. Christmas is a week away and I haven't bought any presents yet.
That's not entirely true. I purchased gifts for my parents or, rather, My Lovely Wife and I did. She even mailed them. But my immediate family -- the ones whose wrath I have to fear the morning of Dec. 25 -- has not yet been accounted for, present-wise.
Not to worry, though. It wouldn't be the holidays if I didn't spend those final hours before Christmas in a crowded mall, desperately searching for the items enumerated on the gift lists I hold crumpled in my sweaty hands. I find that that whole fall-of-the-U.S.-embassy-in-Saigon feeling really puts me in the mood. The Vietcong are at the door. The helicopter's on the roof. Where can I find a decorative case for a 30-gig iPod?
Retailers know there are people like me out there, which is why they pile up huge ziggurats of cash-and-carry gifts for last-minute shoppers. Unfortunately, these gifts tend to be pretty lame: wooden back massagers, sweater de-pillers, Isotoner gloves. Bath balls. (Is there anyone who actually uses bath balls?)
I can tell that I haven't yet reached the correct level of fevered desperation. Soon, though. Soon. I'll see you at the mall on Tuesday.
What about you? How are you faring in your holiday shopping?
Keeping the Christmas theme, a couple in Somerset have trimmed a tree in their garden to look like a huge Christmas pudding, complete with "berries." I guess there are no neighborhood covenants where they live.
Sixty-five-year-old biplane. Eighty-four-year-old passenger. Cow. Put them together and you have this story, and video, from the Telegraph. If you've never seen a plane hit a cow, here's your chance.
It's going to be cold this weekend. You'll want to wear a hat. After all, most of your heat is lost through your head, right? WRONG! According to this Guardian story, researchers at Indiana University debunked that myth, which they trace to a faulty study done by the U.S. military in the 1950s. The scientists debunked other myths as well, including that sugar makes kids hyperactive and that poinsettias are toxic.
A Welsh shopkeeper who has been putting jokes on the leaflets advertising his store has been told by police to stop lest he "breach public order." Writes the Telegraph: "Mr Singh has been left baffled by the police intervention as he claims the jokes contain no bad language and are not racist. He admits some were 'a bit saucy.'" A bit lame, actually.
Finally, here's a bit of seasonal cheer for you, a Christmas video created by an English ad agency. Special effects or the real thing?
Don't forget to join me at noon today for my weekly online discussion. Post a question/comment now or jump in once things have gotten started.
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