Pamplona has the Running of the Bulls, in which hordes of frothy Spaniards attempt to avoid getting trampled by pissed-off boy cows. America has our own equivalent – Black Friday, in which hordes of frothy shoppers run through Wal-Mart aisles while attempting to avoid getting trampled by other shoppers. Sadly, tragedy often accompanies both traditions. Today, a Wal-Mart employee was run over like a squirrel by people trying to save fifteen percent off a Tickle Me Elmo doll.
Times are tough, and saving a little money is certainly high on most people’s Christmas wish list. But let’s try to preserve a little sanity. There’s no need to wake up at four thirty in the morning and drive to whatever crap store you live near. Instead, let me offer you a couple suggestions about a few gifts you can buy for loved ones that are inexpensive, lots of fun, and will never go out of style. And best of all, you won’t have to leave your house to purchase any of them!
• For the “reader” in your family, how about a copy of Michael Ian Black’s hilarious collection of comic essays entitled, “My Custom Van (and 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face).” This award-winning (it didn’t win any awards) book will tickle your funny bone, warm your heart, and make you think (it will neither warm your heart nor make you think). Available from Amazon for $16.29. A bargain!
• Maybe you’ve got a music fan on your list. How about Michael Ian Black’s award-winning (it didn’t win any awards) comedy album, “I am a Wonderful Man?” With this terrific listening experience, Black proves that he can do it all: talk, stand, up. It’s worth the cost for the naked centerfold alone!!! Available from Amazon for $12.98. Cheap!
• Little ones will enjoy Michael Ian Black’s new children’s book, “Chicken Cheeks.” This amusing compendium of animal butts is sure to keep the wild animals in your house howling. Even better, the “old folks” just might like it, too! There’s simply no better stocking stuffer for the young ones than this award-winning (it didn’t win any awards) easy reader. Available from Amazon for $10.87. Yay!
• TV fans will want to check out Comedy Central’s much-loved television series “Stella” on DVD. Starring Michael Ian Black, this brilliantly funny and inventive award-winning (it didn’t win any awards) show wowed critics and the public alike when it premiered. Although the series ended after one season because nobody watched it, you can treasure all ten episodes for years to come. The DVD also features commentary by the show’s stars, Michael Ian Black and his friends, and a documentary about the comic trio. Available on Amazon for $15.99. Wow!
• Calling all foodies! The Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker will delight fans of fluffy breakfast goodness. Easy to use, easy to clean, the award-winning (it won the Nobel Peace Prize) FlipSide makes perfect golden waffles every time, and its 180 degree flip design helps evenly coat the batter on upper and lower plates. A great gift for a gourmet. Available on Amazon for $39.98. Yum!
• Avid runners and couch potatoes alike will enjoy the heartwarming “Run, Fat Boy, Run.” Written by Michael Ian Black, this laugh out loud comedy tells the redemptive tale of a sad sack security guard attempting to win back the woman he left at the altar. Starring some British guy and directed by somebody else, this award-winning (it didn’t win any awards) crowd pleaser will brighten anybody’s Christmas. Available from Amazon for $11.99. ($23.99 on Blu-Ray) Cheers!
So there you go. I’ve just done all your holiday shopping for you. Why? Because I love you. And because I believe that the holidays are a time to spend with friends and family, not running from store to store, trampling people. And the less time you have to spend shopping, the more time you can sit at home and drink. That’s what my wife does.