Holiday Stuffing

November 4, 2005

Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of Spinal Tap, once explained that there was an environmental consciousness behind the large cardboard package their CD came in. People should recycle, he explained, so Spinal Tap was giving them a big piece of cardboard to encourage them to recycle it. I think there’s a similar mindset at work behind the annual deluge of holiday catalogs. At a time when people do so much of their shopping on the Internet, why is it I get more and more catalogs every year? I haven’t even done my annual review of catalogs yet, but I can tell you right now that most of the 273 pounds of catalogs I’ve gotten since Halloween are going to be recycled. At least the catalog companies have the decency to wait until reasonably late in the year, unlike the stores which now start setting out inflatable Santas the day after Easter.

Whatever the catalogs contain, though, they’ll never top the ultimate item I saw several years ago. The item was an electric nose hair clipper which, by itself, is fairly innocuous. It was the bright yellow starburst with the words "Makes a great stocking stuffer!" that caught my attention. What do you get someone as a large gift when you’ve put a nose hair clipper in their stocking? Elective plastic surgery! "Hey Al, now you can remove those wires sticking out of your shnoz, and deal with those hideous growths on either side of your head! Merry Christmas!" And Al is left thinking, "Growths? Does he mean my ears?"

Honestly, giving someone a nose hair clipper for Christmas – or any time, for that matter – is like giving your wife a mop for her birthday. It’s like giving someone with chronic B.O. a case of deodorant. Maybe they’re not aware of the problem, but there are a lot of nicer ways to point it out. And have you ever considered that maybe that person is trying to grow their nose hair? Maybe they want to braid it and put beads in it. I’m sure there are people somewhere in the world who do that, maybe in one of the remoter regions of Los Angeles.

Besides, the inside of your nose is not a place you really want to stick anything with electricity. If you’ve ever tried trimming your nose hairs you probably know the exquisitely excruciating pain of accidentally yanking one of them. Once you’ve experienced that kind of pain you’re ready for anything. You go to the dentist and say, "Hold the Novocain!" You’re even ready to have your eyelid pierced without anesthetic. Are there people in this world who pierce their eyelids? I’m sure there are – in Los Angeles.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


A drunk was proudly showing off his new apartment to a couple of his friends late one night. When they made it to the bedroom, they saw a big brass gong next to the bed.

"What’s a big brass gong doing in your bedroom?" one of the guests asked.

"It’s not a gong. It’s a talking clock," the drunk replied.

"A talking clock? Seriously?" asked his astonished friend.

"Yup," replied the drunk.

"How’s it work?" the friend asked, squinting at it.

"Watch," the drunk replied. He picked up the mallet, gave it an ear-shattering pound, and stepped back. The three stood looking at one another for a moment.

Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed, "You idiot, it’s three o’clock in the morning!"

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