Monday, November 21, 2011

You people disgust me. Any good deals?

My biggest fear in writing this post is apprehension toward being construed as a hypocrite.

Perish the thought of getting myself clumped in with other colossal two-faced charlatans, like the meth-snorting Pentecostal preacher who seemed to think he could exorcise the gay out of himself by confessing how Daddy didn't toss the Nerf football around enough during his formative years, and hence Satan and his alluring penis flytrap club swallowed him whole.

Of course, a solid six-week course later, he was cured. And just to prove it, he harbored no qualms about moving the Top Gun poster from the bedroom ceiling to the bathroom wall right in front of the toilet.

So, yeah, please keep in mind that I don't want to come across as a super-sized hypocrite when writing about today's subject: Christmas shopping. With Black Friday approaching, this whole conspicuous consumption fiasco just keeps worsening.

It's a beast which must continually be fed larger and larger animals to maintain its expanding girth. At first, rodents suffice, but before long, Mom and Dad must lie to little Johnny that his wonderful Golden Retriever, Mark, has been sent to a farm where he'll be much happier.

But we know where Mark really went.

It's also similar to when you arrive at the Mexican restaurant starving out of your gourd and immediately commence stuffing yourself with chips and salsa. After a three-second respite to catch your breath, you realize that the salsa is so spicy that you're drooling tonsil sweat, and must therefore maintain consuming the liquid inferno to avoid mortal agony.

You're then lucky to finish a third of your enchilada platter.

Enough with the similes. I think you'd agree that the Christmas advertising onslaught ensues earlier each fall. Wal-Mart, ever the trailblazer in ethical retail practices, actually published a listing of its "door buster" items barely a couple of days after the kids had separated their Halloween candy between the good stuff and what's probably still sitting in a plastic bowl in a corner of your kitchen (Smarties, trail mix, definitely raisins).

Wal-Mart, as inherently evil as it is, employs highly effective marketing strategies to maximize profits during the holiday season. Taking a page out of the Jerry Springer manual, where Donnie Ralph is already so fired up before he goes onstage, he's pissed even before he finds out his sister's baby isn't his, the Wal-Mart shoppers are equally as worked up before the sun has risen and their oyster stuffing has fully digested.

And this is where my hypocritical nature enters the scene.

I love getting ridiculous stuff for Christmas. I don't care if it's something I don't need or never wear, like a t-shirt that says "I'm With Stupid" and the finger points to my crotch. Hopefully, no one had to stomp on an elderly lady's one remaining kidney to acquire that last extra large, but boy, will I enjoy opening it and slipping it on before watching "A Christmas Story."

Do I need anything, anything that exists on God's brown earth, for Christmas? Heck, no. Not by a long shot.

Maybe if a home liposuction kit or DVD of my greatest high school sports moments suddenly populates the shelves, I'll mount Saint Nick's lap and beg like a yippy Pomeranian, but otherwise, I think I'm good.

Let's just have a good time, watch all the great old Christmas specials and dig in to those Triscuits, cheese logs and Frangos. That's what it's really all about, right?

Well, there are some funny doormats out there, too.

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