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 
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