I hope everyone's having a nice End-of-Year Holiday Eating Marathon. This is the time of the season when the alien starships hovering in orbit warm up their tractor beams, because in about four days the Harvest will begin. They'll only take a few, mostly from the American South and Samoa just because that's where they grow 'em the biggest. My roommate Rob is classified as veal. Nick is beef jerky that you find three weeks later on the floor of your car. Ultimately, our little rock is just one station on a giant interstellar buffet and our galactic overlords rotate between them. Next up is the pasta bar, but everyone knows to stay away from the pasta bar. A boatload of stomach-filling starches at an all-you-can-eat buffet? IT'S A TRAP!
There are an awful lot of post-Christmas sales going on over the next couple weeks, but I thought we'd get next year's consumerist orgy kicked off in advance. I've read my share of market research and consider myself eminently qualified to comment on emerging consumer trends. So, uhh...put that in your cap and smoke it!
Zhu Zhu Pets: The Bivalve Series
These adorable little saccharine bombs were one of the top gifts of 2009. That's right; as a direct consequence of reading this blog you now have a browser tab entitled "Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Num Nums." And that wasn't even the joke! We roll pretty deep around here. Anyway, we're taking this to the next level. If kids are falling over themselves to play with toy hamsters, they'll play with anything. Let's be honest: the appeal of hamsters is that they might as well be toys. They are stupid creatures that do nothing besides meet their biological needs and snuffle around. They scamper through tubes if you set them up, but the tubes are really there for your amusement. You haven't changed the hamster's life, you've just provided it with a means to entertain you. Moving from a live hamster to a fake one is different only in that one doesn't eat real food or poop real poop. Next year, we'll take change this up and advance the concept at the same time. Behold the Zhu Zhu Bivalve Series, a series of battery-powered plush toys from across the mollusk family! They feature the latest in adaptive behavior programming; your children will shriek in delight as they watch their little friends feed with realistic plankton-filtering action. The shells for all models (clams, mussels, oysters and scallops) are fully articulated with German-engineered hinges. Every type of sound and movement produced by honest-to-God bivalves is lovingly reproduced here by Zhu Zhu. WARNING: Toys manufactured in the People's Republic of China may contain poison. Like, a lot of poison. This is not illegal in China, but Grandma gets 20 years for dressing up in yellow PJs and stretching in public. Go figure.
A God Damned Cardboard Box
See that kid to the right? That kid is an asshole, because in about 20 minutes that book is gonna be underneath and couch and he'll be playing with the leftover wrapping paper from somebody else's gift. When you get your children nice things, you are wasting your time and money. They can't pay attention to anything for more than 10 minutes unless it's on TV. So why go through with the farce for another year? In 2010, buy A God Damned Cardboard Box, fill it with packing peanuts, wrap it up and put it beneath the tree. The kid will go berserk. All I wanted as a child was really just free license to roll around in styrofoam peanuts, and if I had a giant cardboard box I could have pulled that off without my parents yelling at me. So tap into your inner child and give your screaming pooping outer child something he'll really appreciate. On top of that, stop throwing away your money! Spend it on your spouse, because that person (occasionally, grudgingly) has sex with you. And that's something.
The iPod Clench
Let's face it: with modern advances in technology, things are getting smaller all the time. Ten years ago, a computer twice the size of my current one had a 4GB hard drive and that was pretty freaking amazing. I mean, who's ever gonna even need that much space? There's no way you could even fill that big a hard drive. Nowadays, you can carry your favorite porn star's entire portfolio in HD on a flash drive attached to your keys. For the 2010 holiday season, Apple is pulling out the stops. Behold the iPod Clench, the first-ever MP3 player to be offered in anal suppository form! After years of shipping iPods with cumbersome and unsanitary armbands, Steve Jobs has found the solution in a "streamlined" design. Runners, cyclists and other music lovers with active lifestyles can enjoy their tunes without the hassle of a sweaty slab of neoprene. Much like the popular Shuffle model, the Clench is manipulated via controls on its headphone cord. Don't be the only runner in the park without that trendy bow-legged gait! Lubricating fluid and cordless headphones sold separately.
I'll take some time at the end here to comment on futtbawl. The Indianapolis Colts are a punk-ass organization run by a petty blowhard (Bill Polian) and an empty shell (Jim Caldwell). If somebody accidentally plows into Caldwell on the sidelines, I expect his face to pop open and reveal a wizened little alien at the controls of a diabolical machine a la Men in Black. The decision to tank yesterday's game against the Jets was reprehensible. In the words of Reilly Freeman, "That's a bitch move, Santa!" Understand this: I am a big Patriots fan, and as such I really really really did not want the Colts to go 16-0. But I wanted them to try. New Orleans lost their perfect season to Dallas, but at least they went down fighting. Pulling your offensive starters gradually over the course of the game sends the message that not only are you tanking the game, but you want to avoid criticism for your decision no matter the outcome. I don't even blame Peyton; from the severity of the Manning Face I observed on the sidelines (see above), he wasn't on board with the decision. And no, this isn't defensible from a "this helps them win a title!" perspective. You know why? Because football players can be severely injured in any game at any time. Tom Brady blew out his knee on a routine snap in the first quarter of the first game in 2008. Peyton could have blown out a knee in the fourth quarter of the Jags game last week (where the starters played until the very end). You know what doesn't help you win a title? The same thing that has never helped the Colts win a goddamn title: tanking the end of your season with the attitude that you can just turn it on and off. You'd think with their history of shameful first-round playoff exits (despite resting starters!) they might want to roll the dice with actually playing the game. Indy will host a playoff game on Jan. 10, having not participated in a meaningful contest since Dec. 17th. I hope they choke on it.