2003.12.17 Christmas shop now or face the consequences

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, better get with it. The best gifts are going fast, and you don’t want to get stuck choosing from the leftover junk, do you? As usual, there’s no lack of stupid items on which to spend your last-minute holiday dollars. For starters, if you’ve always wanted to look like a long-dead painter, there’s the new Norman Rockwell line of clothing.

Choose from the Norman Rockwell flannel shirt (“It’s just the kind of shirt my dad would have loved!” says Tom Rockwell, son of the late artist), the Norman Rockwell jersey-lined shirt (“It’s just the kind of shirt...etc., etc.” says son Tom again), the suede jacket, the suede comfort boots, the denim jeans, the cardigan sweater or perhaps the three-piece pajama set (which includes a coordinating t-shirt, apparently the way old, dead Norm wore his pajamas).

Just imagine the compliments your gift recipient will receive when he goes out on the town dressed like he just stepped out of a 1947 Saturday Evening Post cover. And think of Tom Rockwell and how happy he’ll be that you fell for this scam.

Or if dead movie stars are more to your taste, how about a diecast replica of Joan Crawford’s 1933 Cadillac V-16 Town Car? The ad claims the actual car “stole the show” at the 1933 Academy awards and was specially built by Cadillac for Crawford.

Features of the replica include deluxe interior and engine, balloon tires, trumpet horns, hood ornament and baked enamel finish. Sorry, “Mommie Dearest” fans, hangers (wooden or wire) are not included.

Or for an even more authentic car gift, how about a clock made from old car parts? A company called inPARTicular offers a line of clocks made from parts such as timing gears or distributor caps.  Or, if a clock wouldn’t do, perhaps a lamp made from an old Volkswagen crankshaft, just $350? Yes, old junk car parts aren’t just for the garage anymore.

If you’d prefer not to have car parts in your home, another company is offering authentic-looking rusty tools made from imported Italian chocolate. When you’re tired of having them around the house, get rid of the clutter by eating them.

The action-figure lineup is getting even more crowded with the introduction of the talking George W. Bush action figure. For only $29.95, you get a 12 1/2 inch tall presidential replica that speaks “25 unique and authentic phrases”. Heck, that’s barely a dollar a phrase.

If you like your action figures cheaper and quieter, there’s the controversial Librarian Action Figure. Just five inches tall and selling for a mere $8.95, the figure has gotten complaints from real librarians around the world because she raises a finger to her lips with “amazing push-button shushing action!”

Many actual librarians complain the figure perpetuates a decades-old perception of librarians. The figure has become a subject of many Internet discussion groups and the real Seattle librarian who posed for the doll has quit reading about it because she’s tired of reading “how dowdy” she is. She seems like a nice lady, maybe the complainers should just shush.

And finally, if you really have lots of money to waste, why not get a “Bow-Lingual Dog Translator?” It’s an “Oprah Recommended ‘O-List’ Product” if that really means anything to you. According to the ad, “your dog wears a collar that contains a wireless microphone that transmits sounds to a hand-held computer. The Animal Emotion Analysis System in the computer analyzes the bark and determines the most accurate translation. Your handheld displays the translation and you see what your dog just said-it’s just that simple!”

Can’t you just picture the first “words” out of your dogs mouth? “You feed me generic dog food because you wasted all your money on this stupid dog translator? I’m going to tear a hole in those crappy-looking Norman Rockwell jeans!”

    – Dec. 17, 2003 
  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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