We’re three weeks away from Christmas Eve. That’s too little. I want five weeks. At least, I did until I remembered that it’d place me squarely at the point where I was going crazy trying to find the ingredients for Thanksgiving’s stuffed mushrooms. That wasn’t fun. Nobody had pine nuts.
Fearing that the speedy calendar will screw me out of covering everything I'd wanted to before Santa comes, today, I’m going to spew red and green until it kills me. Assorted holiday thingamajigs, ahoy!
Philips USB Powered Miniature Christmas Tree: God, yes! Something reasonably “adult!” I’ve become so accustomed to writing about things intended for the pre-tween set that this stupid tree feels like an issue of Playboy. The comparison only works if their December centerfold has silver hair and light-up nipples. Does she?
It’s a six-inch Christmas tree powered by a USB cable, ensuring that your "web time" will be festive even when you’re not looking up recipes for mince pies. It’s seven bucks and worth every penny, and it’s the only thing that has ever made me yearn to work in an office again. I’d gain instant credibility with my co-workers with this on my desk. Nobody with a USB tree could be a tyrant or vulture.
The tree was easily the highlight of my week, which is both a testament to Philips and an insult to me. I could not love it more. Target had ‘em in various colors, but if I’m going to have a computer-powered tree from Christmas Future, I don’t see why I’d pick green over space age silver.
I want more of them. A dozen of them. My printer, scanner and camera cables can wait until January. I want an entire Christmas village surrounding my monitor, casting a disco glow on my pasty skin. I write this because one of Santa’s elves could be taking notes. It’s a hint, Elfie. I don’t need any more zip-up hoodies from American Eagle Outfitters. I hate their logo and would never be their billboard.
Hickory Farms Beef Sausage Snacks: Target has an amazingly chaotic “stocking stuffers” section, generally filled with the kinds of things you'd expect to find in Christmas stockings. But, somewhere in that sea of peppermint candy and small toys, there they were. Eight-packs of oily meat rods.
They’re a bit hard to see in the photo, but they’re there, and there were way too many packs for it to have been a mere case of misplacement. No, we’re really being urged to stuff stocks with meat, and the potential for innuendo is almost larger than Christmas itself.
There was a point in my life when I would’ve been absolutely elated to get oily meat rods for Christmas. In middle school, I channeled all of my angst into eating as many beef sticks as possible. It may have been my favorite food, and the proof was in my size, which was nearing that of the forgotten planet of Pluto.
I don’t eat things like that anymore, and yet, I knew that a passing mention of Hickory Farms Beef Sausage Snacks wouldn’t be as righteous as an in-hand review. So, I bought them. Since I wouldn’t eat them, my compromise was to use them as materials for a 100% beef log cabin.
Things didn’t go quite as planned. My beef log cabin looks more like a beef tent, or a beef Kon-Tiki, or an ornament on an all-beef miniature golf course.
The rods are unbelievably oily. It has to set some record. If you’re thinking they’re like Slim Jims, no, they’re at least twenty times greasier. Were you to eat the entire eight-pack, you’d be three hours away from Baby Cloverfield blowing out of your gut. Of course, theories like that make me want to swallow my entire log cabin immediately.
Oh, to be a twelve-year-old with superheroic metabolism. Christmas morning would be so much merrier if my teeth were peppered with sausage casings.
Spumonster is Dead: “Spumonster,” star of this year’s most singularly focused X-E entry, IS DEAD.
Look, I tried. We kept him in the freezer for as long as we could, but the thing only has so much room. Plus, every time I wanted ice, I had to go through a whole vaudeville act, with Spumonster edging perilously close to falling out and crashing on the tile.
Don’t feel bad. Most spumoni ice cream cakes don’t get to live the kind of life that Spumonster did. He may have ended his journey looking like a dying gremlin, but I’ve never known another cake who could play Left Center Right with me.
Spumonster, this sip of nuked coffee is for you. It tastes like ass.
Big League Chew: It’s as if the Christmas spirit wanted to become something tangible, and chose a pack of gum as its avatar. This seasonal sensation from Big League Chew adds the “oray oray oray” to “ho ho ho.” I’ve been waiting three weeks to use that.
The main point of interest is the snowman, whose look of determination betrays an obsessive fixation on pitching perfect games. But really, isn’t it incredible enough that a snowman can pitch at all? This guy shouldn’t be so hard on himself. The stress is making him hold water.
I was going to blast the flavor, because “Swingin’ Sour Apple” does not at all make me think about reindeer. Upon further consideration, I realized that green gum is Christmassy enough to render any complaints unfounded. Which makes this entire paragraph moot. Should I delete it?
Chewing is fun, but I had other ideas:
Now we’re talking. The beef log cabin now looks so much more livable. Big League Chew doubles nicely as thatching, and the next time I catch a ladybug, it is so going to live in here.
Birds: Growing up, my favorite tree ornaments were those phony red cardinals – the ones with the wired feet who always looked like they’d just got done fighting rabid tigers. I know I’ve written about my fake cardinal fascination before, but no amount of Googling is leading me back to that article. Let’s pretend that this is all-new fare.
Those cardinals never made it onto our Christmas trees. I’d always sneak off with them, treating them like pampered pets all through December. With hindsight, I see that as a cry for help and wonder why nobody did. If you’re taking fake birds to bed with you, you’re probably a hop away from murder.
Old habits die hard, so I was immediately attracted to these birds, sold together at Dollar Tree. I can’t say that my love is boundless, as despite having visual reference, I cannot muster enough passion to look up what type of birds they are. Doves, maybe?
They’re cute, they seem friendly, and they make me want vanilla ice cream. I wonder if there's any vanilla within Spumonster’s corpse? Is spumoni part vanilla?
Oh, and it’s December 3rd:
We’re gonna go string up the lights now. Everyone else on the street is already done. We feel like grinches, or atheists who won’t bend the rules. This must be changed. I hope these extension plugs are for indoor/outdoor use.Posted by Matt on 12/03/2011. E-mail me!