Last-minute Christmas gifts

by Brian Clarey

It’s getting down to the wire around here folks’… just four more shopping days until Holiday and as usual I’m way behind even though I’ve been to the mall more times in the past week than I have in the past year and cruised eBay until my eyes began to water.

In years past I’ve usually taken one day, a day perilously close to deadline, to purchase all my gifts, putting about the same amount of thought into them as I do the socks I wear in the morning ‘—which is to say, not all that much. But this year’… damn it, this year was going to be different. This was the year I was going to budget my money and start my Christmas shopping in November, the way God and the big department stores intended it. Alas, change does not come easy to a man like myself and here it is, just a few dozen hours before I’m supposed to have all these suckers bought, wrapped and ready.

Honestly, It’s probably not going to happen.

So I’m taking advantage of my column space this year to actually publish my Christmas list. That way if I really drop the ball and just flake out on the whole thing, the people on my list can look to this space and know that I had the best of intentions.

Here’s my list:

The City of Greensboro: How do you buy a gift for an entire city? Most of us on the YES! Weekly staff think that the absolute coolest thing about this town is the fact that there is a big African cat that periodically stalks Fisher Park. Though we’ve heard reports that the cat has been run out of town, we think he’ll be back. So I’d like to get this cat a girlfriend and set her loose in the park. Hopefully they’ll breed and we’ll be known as the only city in the South with exotic jungle fauna.

Mayor Holliday: I am a fan of the city’s affable mayor, but if he’s going to seek another term, then he’s got to do something about that clean-cut, pinstripe Jaycees persona that, admittedly, got him where he is today. So I’m going to get the mayor a gift certificate for an eyebrow piercing, perhaps one of those surgical steel hoops, which will not only toughen up his image but also will endear him to a whole new segment of the city’s population ‘— the ones with eyebrow rings.

Don Vaughan: Our man the Ol’ Dirty Barrister will have a lot of free time on his hands next year, his first since 1991 when he won’t be sitting on the city council. So I’m gonna get him an Xbox 360, the hottest toy of the year, and a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which should give him countless hours of entertainment. Watch out for those hookers on Rodeo Drive.

Ann Coulter: What to buy for the neocon gal who seemingly has everything? I don’t believe I could afford a pair of shoes she’d like, and she clearly doesn’t want a fact checker. It’s too bad I can’t giftwrap simple human compassion. Instead I’m sending our girl Ann Coulter a couple of tickets to the Bonnaroo Festival 2006, where she’ll be swarmed by a hundred thousand sweaty jamband hippies and hipsters who are all looking for hugs.

The New York Times: Believe it or not, the Times was once a very reputable newspaper. But in the last few years they’ve been plagued by scandal ‘— Jayson Blair and Plamegate, to name a few ‘— and as the perceived voice of the liberal media during this ‘conservative’ administration they’ve been besieged by criticism from their enemies. They need some help, but I’m not willing to part with Jordan Green just yet, so I’ll be sending the editors at the New York Times a subscription to the New York Post, one of the trashiest tabloids I’ve ever read with regularity outside the realm of the ones you see at the supermarket checkout line. Maybe soon they too will be writing headlines like, ‘“Headless man found in topless bar.’”

President Bush: A guy like Bush, he wants something he just goes out and buys it. So the key is to get him something he doesn’t know he needs. In this case, I’ll be sending the president a copy of the US Constitution, or if money is tight then just the Bill of Rights. After recent allegations that the government has been routinely listening in to our phone calls, I’m not sure he’s actually read them. I only hope he doesn’t wipe his ass with it.

That’s my list for Christmas 2005. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to the mall. Wish me luck.

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