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 
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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