We've arrived once again at that most magical time of year, a time to pause and a time to rejoice, a time to remember the twinkling of the Christmas trees of our childhood, a time to huddle with friends and family on a cold, snowy night and, of course, a time to pull Santa's finger and make him fart.
I'm talking about one of the actual Christmas gifts available at Spilsbury.com, a terrific Web site for the shopper who has, well, given up.
Here's a description of Pull My Finger Santa: "Nothing says Happy Holidays like a gift of a farting fat man in a red suit. Pull Santa's finger and he'll give you a gift: one of seven toots and funny phrases including 'Was THAT on your list?'"
Colon-trouble Santa is available for the low price of just $12.88. Although if you don't have $12.88 -- and if you're actually considering this as a holiday gift, I'm guessing you don't -- there's always option B, which involves a short drive from our village but will allow you to pull on a live Santa's finger and make him fart. (See calendar listing for the Christmas in Calhan Festival. )
Glowing red eyes
But there's more to Christmas than making Santa break wind. From the same fine holiday shopping Web site, for example, comes Remote Control Rat: "Disgustingly lifelike remote control rat scurries across your floor. Rat is life-size, with glowing red eyes and twitchy movements that are sure to send friends running."
(I got one of these last Christmas, for a friend who lives in an apartment owned by County Commissioner-elect and landlord Doug Bruce. When I hit the button and made the furry little guy scamper across the kitchen, my friend Dave reacted instinctively: He beat the hell out of it with a tennis racket then went into the living room to shovel the snow that was coming through the hole in the roof.)
If gassy Santa or the electronic rat don't meet your holiday shopping needs, here are some other actual -- I am not kidding -- gifts that you might consider:
Winnie the Pooh Musical Toaster. "This toaster brings everybody's favorite bear to your table. 'Winnie the Pooh' song plays when the toast pops up. Special feature toasts Pooh's and Tigger's faces onto each slice of bread. Cute honey bee lever. $49.95." (To make this gift extra-exciting, purchase the optional stainless steel Eeyore Toast-Retrieving Knife and the Christopher Robin Bucket o' Water for little Billy to stand in.)
Sno-Baller Snow Ball Maker. "Make up to 60 perfect snowballs per minute! Press soft, loose snow into baseball-sized balls that burst on contact. $8.95." (This actual, plastic, tonglike device is perfect for that child on your list who is too $%^&*#@ lazy to grab a handful of snow and pack it together in his hands. A popular toy in the Broadmoor area, it's considered a godsend by butlers when their hands start turning blue and little Oliver demands more snowballs to throw at the salmon delivery truck.)
From the Williams-Sonoma holiday gift catalog: "Marshmallows. Remarkable for their impressive size and airy texture, our old-fashioned marshmallows are crafted using a meticulous three-day process. 12 marshmallows. $18.50." (For that special evening around the fire, add the $97.50 Williams-Sonoma Sharpened Stick, hand-cut from a rare elderberry bush that grows only on a steep hillside outside of the quaint town of Yupretentiousbastard in eastern Newfoundland.)
Also from Williams-Sonoma: "French chestnuts. Our whole chestnuts, hand-harvested from orchards in France, are peeled and ready to use. 14.8 ounces. $14.00." (Historical note: These come from the same orchards used by the French during World War II, when the men of the village bravely threw the chestnuts under the tracks of the Panzer tanks to slow the German advance as they screamed and ran into their basements.)
From the Levenger ("Tools For Serious Readers") catalog: "Robust and well-balanced, Stipula's impressive Sunset is a pen you may be tempted to use from dawn until dusk. The fountain pen has a flexible 14K gold nib that's rhodium-plated with elegantly detailed, silver plated bands. The marbled pattern of the resin barrel is like the promise of blue skies. $348." (This is the perfect pen for writing notes to teachers, notes such as: "Please excuse little Oliver's absence from school yesterday. His wrists ached from having to make one of his own snowballs, using some sort of a repetitive cupping motion with his hands. P.S. We have since dismissed the butler.")
Shocking the kids
From the Signals ("Gifts That Inform, Enlighten and Entertain") holiday catalog: "Frankincense and Myrrh. Gifts to the baby Jesus, frankincense and myrrh have long been prized by royalty. Our handcrafted wooden box holds a generous supply of both authentic resins, obtained from trees found only in the Middle East. $29.00." (On a local note, for an additional $50 you can have the frankincense and myrrh personally delivered by our village's Three Wise Men -- D-11 school board members Eric Christen, Willie Breazell and Craig Cox.)
Shocking Battle Tanks. "Your opponent feels an electric shock with every hit! Futuristic battling tanks take remote-control action to a new level. Each player can choose low power for less shock and less ammo, or high power for bigger shock and more ammo. Uses 6 AAA batteries. Ages 14 and up. $49.95."
I'm getting the electric shock tanks for my kids and will let them open this gift on Christmas Eve.
I'm hoping it raises their pain threshold before the morning, when they open their big gifts -- the loaf of bread and the Winnie the Pooh Musical Toaster.
Listen to Rich Tosches Thursday mornings on KVUU-FM 99.9.