Beginning to Shop a Lot Like Christmas
by Mad Dog
buying them Under-Ease, the air-tight underwear for the flatulent that
has a specially designed hole in the back and a replaceable filter. Hey,
even NASA couldn’t have dreamed this one up.
is going to be different this year. It won’t just be that the outside
of every house will be decorated in red, white, and blue bulbs. Or that
you have to take the time to explain to the kids that Santa’s beard is
white because he’s old, not because it’s covered in anthrax. Neither
will it be because the American flag will be sitting on top of the tree
where those boring old angels and lighted stars used to hang out. No,
the main reason it will be different is that when you splurge on gifts
this year you won’t have to feel guilty. In fact, you’ll feel
downright good knowing that you’re not only bringing a smile to
people’s faces, you’ll also be helping the economy get back on its
feet and doing your part to win the war on terrorism. It warms your
heart more than the heartburn you get from egg nog, doesn’t it?
though, will be what to buy. That’s assuming, of course, that you’re
not one of those people who finished their Christmas shopping on July
17th because they started it the day after Christmas last year, yet are
still at the mall at 7 AM every morning so they can get a jump on next
year. Can’t Attorney General John Ashcroft lock them up too?
suggestion is for anyone on your list who’s full of hot, uh, air.
Consider buying them Under-Ease,
the air-tight underwear for the flatulent that has a specially designed
hole in the back and a replaceable filter. Hey, even NASA couldn’t
have dreamed this one up.
The unique design
forces expelled gas out through the hole where the activated charcoal in
the filter deodorizes it, suddenly filling the room with minty
freshness. Just kidding. Actually it will be clean country scent. Or
more likely I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rotten Eggs™.
is a theme restaurant in Osaka which recreates the lovely dining
experience of a prison. Yes, you sit behind bars, are waited on by
“guards,” and can even book a private cell in case you want to spend
some quality alone time with that prisoner at Table 4 who has taken to
calling you his bitch.
Buck Weimer, the inventor, was awarded a 2001
Ig Nobel prize for these. That puts him in the company of such past
winners as the self-perfuming business suit (which could become extinct
should Under-Ease catch on), the world's most expensive coffee
(made from coffee beans which an Indonesian palm civet eats, then
excretes), and a Japanese study which tried to determine whether earthquakes
are caused by catfish wiggling their tails. Unfortunately I’m
not kidding about any of these.
given everyone their Under-Ease and Christmas dinner is no longer a live
re-creation of the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles, it’s time
to turn your thoughts to how your guests will get home. Especially since
thanks to your thoughtfulness jet propulsion is no longer an option.
That’s why they’ll all appreciate the Segway.
A Segway, in case
you’ve been too busy waiting for the Temptation Island Christmas
Special to run again so you can remember to tape it this time, is
the incredibly over-hyped electric scooter-like thing which insults your
intelligence by insinuating you’d be unable to pronounce “segue.”
They gave it this name because they’re convinced it will move the
world to the next level. It might, but only after Internet-connected
toasters, popcorn poppers, and fondue pots do it first. In other words,
in someone’s dreams.
In all honesty,
an electric-powered personal vehicle which can’t tip over does seem
like a pretty cool invention. Of course at $8,000 for a commercial
version and an estimated $3,000 for the personal one it had better be.
While it’s going to be a hard sell here, it might work overseas where
they’re more open to trendy things. Like in Japan, for instance. The
same place where you can buy a gift certificate for that special someone
for the hot new restaurant, The Lockup.
dressed as a beatnik, hippie, or former dot-comer working the counter at
a 7-11 as you might think. No, this Barbie’s decked out in a
fur-trimmed gold satin jacket, black skirt, gloves, hose, and a
This is a theme restaurant in Osaka which recreates the lovely
dining experience of a prison. Yes, you sit behind bars, are waited on
by “guards,” and can even book a private cell in case you want to
spend some quality alone time with that prisoner at Table 4 who has
taken to calling you his bitch.
They say the restaurant is supposed
to “add a little terror to your meal.” Right, as if a Denny’s
Grand Slam Breakfast, Bertha at the Waffle House, and a tofu dog on
whole wheat bun with soy ketchup and imitation caffeine-free mustard
don’t inflict enough already.
terrors, don’t forget the children this Christmas. And what better
gift can there be than a brand new Barbie? This year, just like every
other year since a caveman carved the first one out of stone and watched
his wife became anorexic, Mattel has released a slew of new versions to
choose from. There’s Bewitched Barbie, I Love Lucy Barbie, and even
Coca-Cola Cheerleader Barbie, which I’m pretty sure was the nickname
of someone I met once in the AOL Kinky Teens chat room. But why would
you want to get one of those when you can give the “I Left My Heart
in San Francisco” Barbie?
edition is available at See’s
Candy stores. It’s not dressed as a beatnik, hippie, or former
dot-comer working the counter at a 7-11 as you might think. No, this
Barbie’s decked out in a fur-trimmed gold satin jacket, black skirt,
gloves, hose, and a handbag. You know, the exact same outfit three women
in San Francisco might wear on any given night to a costume party but
wouldn’t be caught dead wearing on the street.
kind of like a fur-covered Aibo except it responds to human emotions,
learns its owner’s voice, recognizes its name, and makes 48 different
cat sounds when you step on its tail.
Now suppose you have a child to buy a gift for who doesn’t want a doll
that looks like Tony Bennett in drag? Get a pet! An electronic pet. One
that doesn’t need to be walked, fed, or taken to the vet because it
swallowed the remote for the fourth time this year.
Luckily Sony has
come to the rescue with their new Aibo model ERS-220. Doesn’t
that name just make you feel all warm and fuzzy? It’s an
“entertainment robot” which looks kind of like a dog made of tin
cans. It has four legs, a head, a retractable headlight, 21 colored
lights which “express feelings,” a built-in digital camera, and it
obeys 75 voice commands. Hopefully “stop using the stereo as a litter
box” is one of them. It only costs $1,500 and that includes a
cardboard box which the kids will enjoy playing with for months after
their Aibo takes up residence in a drawer.
Perhaps you want
a pet that’s a little more realistic. If that’s the case, while
you’re in Osaka waiting to get into The Lockup—something most people
wait to get out of, you can run down the street and pick up a Necoro.
It’s kind of like a fur-covered Aibo except it responds to human
emotions, learns its owner’s voice, recognizes its name, and makes 48
different cat sounds when you step on its tail. Sure it doesn’t walk,
the batteries only last for 90 minutes, and you have to go to Japan to
get one, but what do you want for $1,482?
Now that you have
all your Christmas gifts taken care of you can turn your attention to
more important matters. You know, like whether wearing mistletoe on your
belt buckle is too obvious, what the hell a figgie pudding is, and
whether you should really tape over Titus so you can have that Temptation
Island Christmas Special. Have a great holiday!
©2001 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them while waiting for a table at The Lockup.