Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tree'd Volume II

Yes, it's New Year's Eve and I'm still writing about Christmas but that's just indicative of how this holiday season unfolded. We are both behind the eight-ball for the last month and we make it through Christmas by the skin of our teeth.

We still have much to do on Christmas Eve. Robin has the day off so we head out to buy last minute items like stocking stuffers. There is no better place on Earth for stocking stuffers than Big Lots. Scores of cheap and close-out items but always a few nuggets amongst the clinkers. Unbeknown to us, our local store terminated its lease and sold most of its stock over the last month.

We enter the store and see aisles of empty shelves. After three weeks or so, only the most mutant items remain. Actually, this is a golden opportunity for marketing students and working professionals. They should all take a tour of that store to see ideas that someone signed off on but should stay in the darker recesses of the marketing mind.

Ideas like Bald Guyz Wipes. Yes this is a real product. No I can't make this up. Bald Guyz Wipes are moist towelettes made specifically for wiping your personal dome. What happens if you use them somewhere else? Do the Bald Guyz Police jump out of your gym bag and arrest you for Unauthorized Use Of Marketing-Targeted Products? Let's look at the following official Bald Guyz bullet points:

  • Specially formulated for the bald guy.
Are bald guyz different physiologically? Are we endowed with special Bald Guyz Powers? Am I not living up to my Bald Guyz Potential? Are we poorer spellerz? Can I join a group like the NAABP?
  • Cleans and Freshens
Help me understand why a piece of skin exposed to the open air needs, er, "freshening."
  • 16 wipes in each box
Are you sure that's enough? After all, if my head needs freshening, I should do that like once an hour, right?
  • Green Tea extract cleans your head from the natural oils secreted during the day while providing a cool fresh feeling.
If those "oils" are natural, why are we cleaning them off? Their continual reappearance tells us maybe they're important. Or maybe this forward-thinking company wants to sell you a product called ChappedHead later on.
  • This quick drying Swiss formula will give you a clean and renewed feeling, leaving your head with a natural healthy look.

Picture with me a roomful of white-coated Swiss scientists stroking their Van Dykes and uttering pithy truths like, "Yah, I zeenk it needz more uff zet grrreen tea shtuff. "

There is also a product called "Lifelike Legs" or something to that effect. Hang the life-size Lifelike Legs out of a garbage can or car trunk and use the Lifelike Kicking Action to fool your friends. A regular laugh riot.

Great men and women are dying in Iraq so we can waste valuable resources on crap like this.

Time is critical and we need to wrap presents. For weeks I tell myself we need Scotch Tape. Here it is Christmas Eve and still no Scotch Tape. Nerves fray. Both of us get snippy and start taking it out on each other. Robin asks me to pick up her prescription at CVS when I go buy Scotch Tape. I want to scream because I will have to wait for the prescription to be filled but I take one for the team and hold it in.

Now I'm at CVS waiting in line to see the pharmacist. In front of me is a small man made smaller by sitting in a wheelchair. He knows the pharmacist and they're laughing over something. HIPAA mandates I do not divulge. Later on, while searching out the Scotch Tape, I find him having a lighthearted conversation with a clerk. After minutes of searching, it turns out the Scotch Tape is over by the magazines and our friend is already there reading Motor Trend.

I want to strangle this guy. He has no right to be upbeat in a wheelchair on Christmas Eve. Then I realize it's my attitude that needs adjusting, especially since I'm planning a nice surprise gift for all the girls this scaled-down Christmas. I buy a box of those chemical heat pads for Robin as a peace offering. Her upper back is killing her lately. These pads bring relief.

So I'm shamed into cooling it for Christmas Eve. Scotch Tape in hand, I ready myself for The Final Hurdle. Unbeknownst to everyone I suffer secretly from Gift Wrap Anxiety Syndrome. I cannot produce one passably wrapped rectangular package in less than an hour. In the same amount of time, I can pack a transmission for shipment across the country.

Three hours later, I emerge from my office perspiring after wrapping three packages. In the same time, Robin wrapped thirty gifts. No baloney. Now she's curled up on the sofa watching A Very Special Christmas Eve Presentation of HGTV's Property Virgins. Seems a young couple expects their first child real soon but can't find anything in their price range. The Realtor shows them a partially completed manger conversion. I think I've seen this one before but I can't remember how it comes out......

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