Sunday, December 4, 2016


    Time once again for my five favorite Christmas gift suggestions. These are real items, made in China, and designed for those special someones in your life. Here is where the true spirit of the holiday season enters my heart, as I think of those lonely sea captains picking their way across unbounding mains --- oceans of floating plastic junk --- with their cargo holds full of plastic junk.
    First up, the Bunny Ear Salad Servers. These are (floatable) plastic simulated bunny ears. Apparently, you stick them into a simulated grass pattern-decorated plastic salad bowl (sold separately) to help get you into the mood to munch, and “now even the kids will want their greens!” It’s not likely, after you’ve traumatized them into thinking you’ve buried the Easter bunny alive in the radicchio.
    (HUMORIST’S NOTE: Some of these Chinese-made items are shipped from the United Kingdom. This means that we live on a planet where petroleum-based rabbit ear utensils first go around the world before they ultimately land on the “Free!” desperation tables at next summer’s yard sales in America.)
    A moment of silence and season’s greetings, please, for the sea captains out there separately shipping a few tons of plastic salad bowls.
    Next, the Cat-A-Pencil. This is a working pencil. For my younger readers, a pencil was a writing instrument that you chewed until suffering gum slivers, eraser-head tartar and lead poisoning. The Cat-A-Pencil is shaped like, I’m not kidding, a slingshot, and is “not suitable for children,” yet the description also adds that it’s “perfect for mischievous Monday morning office desktop fun after you’ve finished doodling.”
    There is so much wrong with that statement. No one has pencil-doodled for thirty years, and the “mischievous Monday” is why it takes six to eight weeks for your bunny ear salad fork order to be processed.
    I’m only thinking of Christmas day emergency rooms filling up with moms & dads presenting with their children's puncture wounds:
    “Uh … how’d this happen?”
    “My son winged a plastic bunny ear into his sister’s ear with his pencil slingshot.” I see a whole new branch of pediatric medicine in the works.
    Next, the Re-usable Hot Pants Hand Warmer.
    Ah, nothing says Christmas spirit and/or New Hampshire winter weather to me better than designer underwear used to warm your hands, and I looked at this one closely.
    Wait. It seems these are shaped like skivvies, but are NOT made to be worn as such. You keep them in your coat pocket until needed, then take them out, “click the tab inside,” and insert your hands. To re-use them you “simply pop in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes and allow to cool.”
    I already see the lawyers lining up on December 26th for these lawsuits, as someone is surely going to forget the allow to cool part and ignore the no they’re not meant to be WORN you idiot part. Emergency rooms, already jammed with ear trauma cases, will fill up with an outbreak of groin burns.
    There’s little I can say about the Christmas Inflatable Fruitcake, designed to “repay your Aunt Franny’s kindness” in sending you a real one, by giving her a (yes, plastic) blow-up one. We can now add dear Aunt Franny’s choking on fake candied raisins to the influx of speared ears and scalded crotches. These folks also score points for truth in advertising: "It's festive, it's traditional, and it's inedible -- just like the real thing!" 
    Lastly, my favorite Christmas gift offering:
    It’s plastic, and comes packaged in enough plastic to open up another sea lane. The special holiday sentiment it invokes is perfect, and it comes when you press the button on the plastic brain-shaped remote control, and your Yuletide zombie “trudges forward and groans.”
    When it comes to Christmas gift shopping, we can relate.

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   Senior Wire News Service Syndicated Humor Columnist B. Elwin Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. He is an author, humorist and agony uncle columnist. His latest book is "Dear Witbones" -- Ask A Humorist!, now on Kindle and in paperback, from Curry Burn Press. You may contact him via his website at Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.