Doing it Holiday Style

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Holiday Gift Ideas
by Mad Dog

 

Do you have someone on your gift list that you’d like to give food to but they’re on a low-fat diet and the doctor has made them swear off butter sculptures? Then get them a bag of Vegetable McNuggets with McMasala sauce.

     It’s December, the time of year when a person’s thoughts turn to "Oh my God it’s almost Christmas and I haven’t bought the first present yet!" Relax, I’ve got everything under control.

     While you were busy decking the halls, nogging your egg, and trimming the tree (then cleaning up the branches you trimmed off), I was scouring the four corners of the earth looking for gift ideas, not an easy task when you realize that the world is round and, if I remember my geometry half as well as I wish I did, that means it can only have one corner. The left one. What I’m getting at is that even though I missed three corners of the earth I’ve managed to uncover gifts that, should you choose to give them, will make you the belle of the Christmas ball.

     Food is a good all-purpose gift, which is why Hickory Farms is so popular this time of year. That and the fact that they stand in the mall giving out free microscopic slivers of petrified Beef Sticks, which are really nothing more than Paleolithic Slim Jims. But face it, everyone gives Hickory Farms gift boxes and you want something a little different.

     How about giving a loved one a butter sculpture reproduction of Grant Wood’s painting of the happy-go-lucky farmer and his wife, "American Gothic"? Norma "Duffy" Lyon, who’s known as the Butter Lady, made this very sculpture for the Iowa State Fair a few years back and while I don’t think Dean and DeLuca carries it, I’m sure if it hasn’t melted or been spread on the world’s biggest English Muffin she’ll be glad to sell it to you.

     Do you have someone on your gift list that you’d like to give food to but they’re on a low-fat diet and the doctor has made them swear off butter sculptures? Then get them a bag of Vegetable McNuggets with McMasala sauce. Sure you’ll have to go to a McDonald’s in New Delhi, India, to buy them, but it will be worth it when you see the look in Aunt Gertie’s eyes!



You might want to look into getting them a Taiwanese Exploding Taxi. In order to save money on gasoline, enterprising Taiwanese cab drivers have taken to converting their cabs to run on liquefied natural gas.
    Wine. Now there’s a gift that’s perfect when you don’t have a clue what to get someone. But if you’re going to buy wine let me give you a tip: Buy something old. Unless, of course, it comes in a plastic bag with a pour spout, in which case I’d recommend buying the bag with the most recent open dating.

      It’s a known fact that, with the exception of Beaujolais Nouveaux, which is best drunk before its even made, the older the wine is the better. So if you really want to impress someone, I’d suggest taking a trip to the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia and stealing—I mean, buying—the clay jar they found in the mountains of Iran which contains the oldest traces of wine—over 7,000 years old. This is sure to impress anyone, especially if you can nab the first screw top cap which was discovered nearby.

     Now let’s say you have a very special someone to shop for, the type of person who isn’t impressed by things like 7,000 year old chardonnay. Someone who would be a lot happier if you got them something bigger. Like say, a car. Obviously you’re not going to buy them the car because, well, you’re cheap. Besides, cars aren’t much fun. You climb in, you drive somewhere, you get out. Gee, where’s the excitement there?

     That’s why you might want to look into getting them a Taiwanese Exploding Taxi. In order to save money on gasoline, enterprising Taiwanese cab drivers have taken to converting their cabs to run on liquefied natural gas. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that not only do the taxis cost about half as much to run as ordinary cabs, but they often explode when least expected. Like before getting their tip. While finding these cabs is easy, especially after the fact, importing them may be tricky.



And last but not least, there’s one item that I’m sure will be finding its way into Christmas stockings everywhere: the Travel Washlet portable bidet.
    Maybe the Taiwanese cabbies should forget their dangerous gas conversion and head to India where Ramar Pillai claims he figured out a way to run a car on 23 cents a gallon fuel he cooks up at home out of water, leaves, lemon juice, salt, a few drops of gasoline, and a couple of secret chemicals. While not as cheap as getting gas from Vegetable McNuggets with McMasala Sauce, a couple gallons of this would make a great little present for the teenager of the house.

      And speaking of houses, why not give your spouse and/or loved one a straw house for Christmas? I know what you’re thinking: In the Three Little Pigs the straw house was the first one to go, having been huffed and puffed and blown down by that Big Bad Wolf guy. Well, this is the 20th century. For a little while longer anyway. Now they’re making houses out of stacked bales of straw covered with something called a slurry mix—which is chemically related to Slurpy mix, but without all the added sugar—and then covering it up with stucco and plaster. These houses are energy efficient, safe for the environment, and are guaranteed to make you the laughing stock of the  neighborhood.

     And last but not least, there’s one item that I’m sure will be finding its way into Christmas stockings everywhere: the Travel Washlet portable bidet. Manufactured by Toto Ltd in Japan [insert your favorite Wizard of Oz joke here], the company says the paperback novel-sized bidet helps guard against stray bacteria in public bathrooms. Lest you think this is a joke, I dare you to find the punch line. The battery-powered bidets sell for about $180 a crack. I mean, apiece.

     So there you have it. Now you’ve got absolutely no excuse why this can’t be the best Christmas ever. Providing, of course, your taxi doesn’t explode near your brand new straw house while you’re using your portable bidet, melting your butter sculpture of American Gothic which you can then use as a dipping sauce for your Vegetable McNuggets.

     Quit crying, at least you still have the Hickory Farms Beef Stick your cousin Archie gave you.

 

1998 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read them instead of wrapping the portable bidet you got Aunt Mildred.

 

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