I started getting reports on Black Friday that many of you in the Ol’ Moi Fan Club were already out buying the Christmas gifts that you always bestow on me with such generosity at the Yuletide.

Really, you shouldn’t do this.


Just your admiration is gift enough.

Wasn’t the baby Jesus more appreciative of the adoration of the magi than of the frankincense and myrrh? Of course he was. Besides, skeptics who don’t know the boundless depths of my integrity might think that I’d be beholden. That I could be bought for those gum wrappers that come in here by the truckload.


Au contraire!

You could give me a BMW and I’d still call you a scoundrel in this column if I thought the shoe fit. I might use a synonym for scoundrel that was a little less harsh, but my tone would still be condemnatory and uncompromising. One of those big-screen high-def TVs that you hang on the wall wouldn’t cut you any slack in this space. Well, it wouldn’t cut you any more than whatever it is that those murderers use to get the governor talking clemency.


So spend your money on the less fortunate. Spread the wealth among some of these lesser columnists who don’t get as many props. I don’t need material things – or anyway I don’t need such a gigantic seasonal outpouring of them. I could’ve done without the genuine petrified dinosaur-dung doorstop, for instance. I could’ve done without all the Garden Weasels, Salad Shooters, Buttoneers. The talking toilet paper. The gopher golf club covers. The grunting pig crumbsnuffler.

Some columnists happily harvest this Christmas schlock from rank flatterers in the readership, just as some governors glory in the more luxurious holiday offerings from philanthropists who avocate in Christmas lighting extravaganzi. But not Ol’ Moi. Not anymore. When I passed over into geezer senectitude a few years back I lost the acquisitive edge, and tribute from you masses is just not the kick it used to be.

Especially when it is delivered in the form of, say, an out-of-the-donkey’s-butt cigarette dispenser. Thanks much for that one, Longtime Admirer.

I usually post a list of hot-selling catalogue items that I’d prefer you didn’t send me for Christmas. This year’s list follows. If reading through it inspires a seasonal scribal gifting by or from you nonetheless, please, send it on to one of these self-absorbed stylists who hunger yet for the encouragement. They actually need that gaily-wrapped seat cushion that emits embarrassing gastro-intestinal sounds. It provides them with a kind of verification. Otherwise, they have to paean themselves. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


So, then, a big red X through:

The Build a Snowman Kit, $8.95. (Contains red knit hat and scarf, 10-inch plastic carrot nose, 7-inch plastic pipe, and 10 black buttons. Snow not included.)

Slashed-up “Psycho” doll of Janet Leigh being stabbed in the shower, $140.

Vibrating pet massager, $19.98.

Cat condo with deck, $99.95.

Portable 63-foot back yard ice rink, $699.95.

Self-administered foot acupuncture tool, $119.95.

Sonic belly-fat melter belt, $199.95.

Three-foot real-looking plastic rattlesnake, with rattling rattler, great for hiding under the bed covers of your friend with the heart condition, $26.98.

Planter with “wicked” plants “that trap, drown, starve, or paralyze insects and eat them,” $21.98.

Git-R-Done cap, $12.98.

“Old-looking” nanny goat figurine, $14.99.

140-page “Guide to Bodily Fluids,” $15.99.

Vintage Black Folk Art Tablecloth (with pickaninnies eating watermelon), $24.99.

“Make Time For God” wristwatch with a cross-shaped hour hand, $39.95.

Nylon inflatable nativity scene, $99.95.

Can of bald-spot covering spray, $9.98.

Bath towel with “Face” printed on one end and “Butt” on the other, $14.95.

Singing taxidermied deer head, $179.98 (“On the Road Again,” “ Sweet home Alabama”).

Plastic mechanical alligator head to scare birds away from your pool, $59.95.

Dog paw deicer, $14.99.

Bronzed human skull, “perfect for students, health professionals and metaphysical philosophers.” $69.95.

Japanese weight-loss ring (“wear on index finger to lose weight on hips, middle finger for your butt, ring finger for your stomach, and pinky for your thighs”), $4.

George W. Bush jack-in-the-box, $29.95.

Just a Drop, “Personal Bathroom Odor Eliminator,” $16.99 plus S&H.

Motion-activated talking potty pig, (says the “Here I sit all broken hearted” bathroom-wall rhyme), $16.98.

International Wind-breaking Contest recording, $10.98.

Imitation tattoo sleeves, $14.98.

Anything electronic.