By Monte Lazarus
My mind is numb; my senses are dull. It’s all because Christmas Selling Season started shortly before Halloween this year…and it’s accompanied by endless political commercials. The mailbox is overflowing with catalogs. No wonder the Post Office is floundering. Junk mail rates probably do not cover Post Office expenses.
However, the GREAT news is that I have compiled a superb Christmas list that I have dispatched to Santa because he will surely be enthralled by what I really, really want.
First on my list is commonplace according to television: On Christmas morn, according to numerous commercials, I expect to have my beaming wife escort me out the front door to see a shiny, brand new Lexus with an adorable red ribbon tied around it. Wow! This portends a spectacular Christmas.
Let’s not stop. There are so many other useful and less common gifts than a mere Lexus. In one estimable catalog I found an incredible gift that nobody should be without – a biometric wallet. It requires your fingerprint to open it! I’m going to call it “Scrooge” when it arrives. Not only is it a necessary and desirable present; it is also reasonable. You may have one for the bargain price of $599.95 (plus, of course the ubiquitous shipping and handling, or s&h).
How about a stainless steel business card case, especially useful for many retired folks who spend much of their time circulating business cards? Only $79.95 (plus s&h). For my wife I’m thinking about that stainless steel and I’m selecting the ladies stainless steel, wallet at a low, low $129.95 (plus, of course, s&h). Instead of the “Iron Maiden” we’ll call it “The Lady of Steel”. Will it reduce her shopping? Nah.
You may want to send someone you love a personal oxygen bar – whatever that is. For just $299.95 (plus you-know-what) you may believe you’re saving someone’s life!
Perhaps the most thrilling and exotic gift (I fully understand that you may not be able to control your excitement over this one) is a remote controlled Tarantula – for the hairy spider lover in your life. $29.95 (plus…)
If the spider is too much to handle, how about a remote control magic wand to replace or complement your tv clicker? Anyone even mildly addicted to Harry Potter must have one of these things. A bargain at $89.95 (plus that other stuff).
For the wanabee chefs there’s an indispensable electric pepper mill for only $89.95 (and…….). I understand it is guaranteed to improve the taste of anything you cook.
Finally, a terrific idea – a faceless watch! I suppose this is for people who are diffident about displaying the time on their wrists. If you don’t really care about knowing instantly what time it is, this one’s for you at $129.95 (plus).
I suppose most of this stuff is made in China as is almost everything else we buy these days. At a modest mark-up of about 4,000% is it any wonder why we are suffering a terrible trade balance?
My aging mind wanders back to the days when folks were content with Midnight Mass and other observances, and kids were happy with a few toys and the electric trains around the tree. As someone observed: “Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.”