Ho Ho Ho - here he comes. Clean out the chimney and make room for the loot; Santa's on his way. Got all your shopping done? Get enough e-mails about free holiday shipping from this company or that? Me too.
A few weeks back we made a family voyage to a bigger town than the one in which we reside, for the sole purpose of doing our Christmas shopping. There's a mall there with good heat, so it seemed like a good place to get the season started. Amanda and the girls were in a frenzy in no time, zipping this way and that, this store, that store, the other store, one more store. I found the tool section at Sears and spent a few hours comparing pliers to one another. Eventually I wandered back out into the mall, found an open bench, and parked myself. A young guy came up, well dressed, some motor oil or something in his hair to slick it down, and he sat on the other end of the bench. He was very chatty, just gabbing away about the loafers he had on, which were new, and how he needed to find some socks to match his britches. I nodded and when he paused to take a breath and I told him I had done some work in the shoe factory where those shoes used to be made, back before the production lines were moved somewhere closer to Margaritaville than Maine. He looked at me and I saw nothing other then fear in his eyes, and then he stood up and walked away quickly. That was when I saw that thing hooked on his ear, that little phone doo-dad, and it hit me that he had never been speaking to me; he was on the phone. I said to myself right then and there, 'Well, that gadget right there is something I sure as heck don't want for Christmas.' And I don't. Don't buy me one. I won't wear it, won't use it, won't even read the instruction manual. That's item number one on this year's 'I don't Want It' list.
Blue Tooth - that's what the salesman in Radio Shack told me it was called when I mentioned it to him. Let's make that item 2 on this year's list. No bluetooth anything, because I have no earthly idea what it is, and Bluetooth Incorporated should have picked a name that better describes just what it is that they do or provide or render. Up here blue tooth means there's mercury in your well water so you'd better call down to Poland Spring and get on their delivery route for bottled water.
I saw an ad for a cell phone that had 'Blue Tooth Technology' and I have to ask you is that the sort of phrase that makes you want to plunk down your paycheck for something? Not me. But, the cell phone itself - let's have a look at this little gizmo. I like my cell phone. I can use it for the following functions:
1. Make calls
2. Answer calls
3. Store up to 22 phone numbers (possibly more, but that's all the people I know)(all the people with phone lines anyway).
I had to go renew our family's cell phone contract the other day. You know what I mean - that piece of paper that says "I don't really know why but yes, I'll pay those fees and charges and taxes and fees on the charges and taxes on the fees for two more years for no reason at all other than if I don't do it I'll have to store my 22 phone numbers on a piece of paper." While there they had me look at some new phones - I was free to choose one to go along with my new contract. This one has a 44 megapixelated camera and stores over 1,000 songs. That one unfolds until you have a full sized keyboard in your lap and an antenna that goes around your neck like jewelry. I decided on the spot that the following statements are true and factual:
1. If I want to take a picture I'll use a camera.
2. If I want to listen to the 43 songs on this planet that I really like I'll listen to them in my truck on those scratched up cds that didn't used to be scratched until That Dog walked on top of them because she claims (as if I'm stupid enough to fall for it) that she just can't get them back in that little sleeve that's attached to the sun visor.
3. OK, Miss Salesperson, I'm not going for the camera phone or the entertainment center phone, so what makes you think I'd like to at least get a new tiger striped faceplate for my old phone?
I don't need any of it. Thanks for asking.
I don't need a crescent wrench that has little pins in it to adjust to any size of bolt or nut. I like digging around in my toolbox to find the right one. How else will I ever find that 1968 Tigers pin with attached dangling gold baseball bat that I thought I'd lost?
I don't need a can of spray paint for the top of my head nor a manicure set nor electric carving knife nor just about anything that has that 'AS SEEN ON TV' label on it. Don't need a spiral cut ham (Fred gave me a great knife that does the cutting perfectly), a wrist watch that costs more than $30 nor a hydration pack. Remember when we used to call that a canteen? Now they strap it on your back and run a tube to your maw, like you're strapped in a hospital bed. I'll save that for the final stages of my existence, thank you very much. For now, if I need to bring water with me I'll just lug a bottle or my old Boy Scout canteen (Eagle Scout, 1976). Hydration pack? You've got to be kidding me.
Let's finish this year's list with a bang. I don't know where you stand on this auto maker bailout program - you stand wherever you want. For me, I have this to say to those Detroit buffoons: I'd be in favor of a bailout if just one of you Einsteins would move the radio antenna to the rear of the vehicle, so that I can scrape the ice and snow off my windshield without that thing slapping me in the face. I realize that snow or ice have never fallen on any part of Michigan or the other central states where these vehicles get slapped together, so it's clear that none of you have any experience with clearing a windshield. Let me explain - you start on the driver's side, which makes no sense because when you then switch to the passenger's side all the snow and ice you're chipping away flies back onto the driver's side - but you do it anyway because it's easier than the passenger's side. When you get over there, you reach up to start chiseling away at whatever brand of armor plating Mother Nature has decided to spew on your windshield, and then there it is - pain in the cheekbone area, swelling, watery eye on that side, and a drop, just a drop, of blood. Darned antenna.
I've grabbed that thing a number of times right after that first impact, ready to tear it from the truck and be done with it once and for all, but then I remember how it's the only way I can get the station to come in so that I can complain that they don't play any good music and all the news is from Massachusetts anyway. So, it's there, slightly bent, and I hate it. Yes, I used the word hate and I mean it. No bailout for you auto companies until that thing is hidden or moved away from where I have to do my morning routine. I'm sorry that this may mean that your companies have to operate under bankruptcy protection for a while, but think of it like this - if, during the design stage, you came up with a vehicle that paid even a small amount of attention to the human that may eventually end up owning it, you might actually sell a few of them. No kidding. This Christmas, I don't want anything you're making. Just because of antenna placement? Yes, because it represents everything you've been cranking off the line since your last good vehicle, which was in the mid 1960s. That and those ridiculous miniature spare tires you so politely provide.
Boy do I feel better. I hope you do too. If not, try working out for a while with any sort of exercise device that's been endorsed by Suzanne Somers. You can have it, because I don't want it. Not this Christmas anyway.
On a lighter note, and a much more serious note - my wish for you this Christmas is joy, peace, and a good night's sleep. Go out of your way to smile, share a little, and enjoy this season. Truly the most wonderful time of the year, so let's make the most of it. From all of us at Brettuns Village, a very Merry Christmas-
Owner of a digital coyote caller (coolest gift ever)