Needful things

I'm tapped out. I just thought you should know that before you start reading this because I really don't have any-thing of import to impart to you today. Honestly, there is nothing here that will make you laugh, cause your blood pressure to rise or give you the heebie jeebies.

Unless of course you want to talk about Christmas shopping.


Depending upon when you're reading this, you will have approximately 36 days left to empty your bank accounts, overdraw your credit cards, push through the crowds and generally get into the holiday spirit of things. It's time to get ready for this butt-puckering season of horror, er, I mean delight.

Consumer Reports magazine says that you have roughly 55 million new choices of gadgets to choose from this holiday season. Here are some we'd like to purchase.

GPS Tracking Unit for Teenagers

Simply wait until your teen has passed out from too much Halo on Xbox or pizza consumption, and follow insertion directions on packaging. This tiny base unit comes equipped to give you the exact location of your child 24/7. Upgrade now to the Full Service Plan, which includes auditory as well as visual monitoring. Add Bonus Zapping, which allows you to deliver a small electrical shock to your teenager should you see them reaching for adult beverages or cruising questionable Web sites. May also be used on errant spouses.

Universal Translator

This handheld device is a discreet way to understand your spouse and/or teenager. Here are some of the more common translated sentences:

Teenager: "Duuuuuuuude!"

Translation: "I find that highly thought-provoking and slightly stimulating:

Husband: "Duuuuuuuuude!"

Translation: "Hey, I could have bought that bad-boy truck if I didn't have to pay for braces and ballet and, man, now I need therapy."

Teenager: "Tight."

Translation: "That is so far beyond cool that I have no proper English words to express just how great it is."

Husband: "Tight!"

Translation: "TIGHT! Can't breathe! Need relaxed-fit jeans now!"

You may also use the Universal Translator on co-workers and that supervisor who prefers to speak in code when assigning you a project.

Supervisor: "You'll be in charge of the entire project from start to finish"

Translation: "Make me look good so management will give me the bonus, you low-level lackey you. If you screw up, you're fired."

It's not recommended for use on politicians, as the circuitry tends to overheat and melt during translation. Even Universal Translators have their limits.

Relative Proximity Alarm

Designed much like the alarms in cockpits that warn pilots that they are dangerously close to the ground, this handy little device will emit an ear-piercing screech when your relatives are near. Upgrade to the Deluxe System, and it will warn you verbally while simultaneously locking your doors, turning off your lights and closing your blinds. Can be adjusted to detect annoying neighbors as well. Super Deluxe package delivers a slight electric shock when annoying relative touches your doorbell.

Cone of Silence

This little device comes in handy when you have children around and you don't want them to hear what you're saying. Or if they're being particularly loud, use it over them and voilĂ ! instant silence! Take it to work and block out all your annoying co-workers in the cubicles next to you. Not recommended for use on idiots who pull up next to you in your car with their bass set on Loud Enough to Cause Internal Damage. Although fun to watch, the resulting mess will lower the resale value of your vehicle.

So go shopping! Find the gadgets that will impress and/or creep out family and friends. Make this a memorable holiday season - and remember, only 36 more days to shop!

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