2002.12.11 All I want for Christmas is none of this stuff

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Is anyone else as amazed as me at some of the junk being passed off as possible Christmas gifts these days? I don’t know why a lot of this stuff was ever made in the first place. I’m certainly not going to buy it and give it to someone as a Christmas present.

I recently received a mail order catalog titled “Gifts You Never Knew Existed.” Some of them, such as the Anna Kournikova Wall Calendar or Simpsons Monopoly game would make fine gifts, but I’m still puzzled over who would want many of the featured items.

For example, the Mullet Wig. For only $14.98, trick your friends into thinking you’re really Billy Ray Cyrus. For another $17.98, you could also get a “Mullets Rock” T-shirt. And that’s one of the more tasteful items.

Then there’s the 140 page “Guide to Bodily Fluids,” which claims to “deal with bodily functions and all excreta in a humorous (and serious) way.” I don’t even want to describe the cover of the book. I can only guess how sickening the contents are.

Or how about a “Die Cast JFK Presidential Limo?” This one comes with the catalog’s disclaimer that “Our die cast replica is not intended to sensationalize the tragedy...” but there is the 1961 Lincoln limo, complete with die cast figures of the President and Mrs. Kennedy, Governor and Mrs. Connally and two Secret Service agents. The $69.98 limo lacks only a grassy knoll and Book Depository Building with die cast Oswald to be complete.

A more tasteful die cast item might be the 1957 Studebaker “Restoration Project Car.” Instead of your usually shiny replica, this car comes in junkyard condition. One wheel rests on a miniature cement block, the hood is held open by a replica 2x4 and the trunk lid is missing. The car is covered in several types of primer and tiny beverage cans are scattered everywhere. For the $44.98 they’re asking for this, you could almost buy a real wrecked car.

Leaving the catalog behind, there are also some strange items available for the golfer on your list. How about a weekend of golf and Deepak Chopra? Yes, the spiritual guru, who recently finished a book of spiritual guidance and golf advice, is offering a “Golf for Enlightenment” workshop next May. Participants will “learn cutting edge leadership techniques with Deepak Chopra while improving their golf game.” Insert your own joke here.

Or how about spending some time with Donald Trump? Memberships are now available in the Trump National Golf Club in New York state’s Westchester County. For only $300,000, your gift recipient gets to join a membership list that includes Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas. I wonder if Donald’s purple friend Grimace has joined? But better hurry, as The Donald recently told Golf Magazine, the membership list is nearly filled. If this sounds a little pricey, consider the fact that members get free tees. This one little perk alone will pay for the membership fee if you live to be, say, four million years old.

Unfortunately, golfers can’t escape from tasteless gifts, either. Someone actually came up with the idea of a “Let’s Roll” golf putter, meant to commemorate the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Some of the proceeds are going to charity, but this whole idea just seems obscene, especially the part explaining that this is a limited, numbered edition, limited to the number of victims of the attacks.

And of course, we should never forget the real reason for the season. To make sure we don’t, Catholic Supply in St. Louis has a line of Jesus sports figurines available. Jesus playing basketball, Jesus playing soccer, hockey, etc., etc. Just $20 each, plus shipping. But be advised, golfing Jesus does not come with free tees.

    – Dec. 11, 2002 
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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