Enough foolin’ around, guys. Christmas is coming, not to mention Chanukah — almost gone! — Kwanza and Lew’s birthday. (Lew, in addition to being handsome and witty and my stepfather, was born on 12/12/12 at — I choose to believe — 12 minutes past 12. Happy birthday, Lew.)
The point is, there are only a precious few Shopping Days left, and you really have to get off your butt. (Forgive me.)
I think I can help.
A friend sent me a couple of pages ripped from the Brainstorms catalog (800-231-6000), which appears to be unique — it is the only catalog in the world I don’t already get.
He thought I’d like these pages because all the stuff has to do with money. And it’s true. Ever since I was treasurer of my high school class, six years running, I have had a fondness for the stuff. (Tuttman! You still owe $6! [Just kidding.]) It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I did love collecting those dues.
Anyway, I glanced at these catalog pages someone had sent me, and my eye immediately went to Item #50727, which is a clear plastic bag about waist high filled with — are those leaves from the lawn? no, $100,000 of genuine shredded United States currency. What your loved one would do with this and whether his or her chuckle would be worth the ensuing consternation (what would he/she do with it?) — let alone the $99.95 plus shipping it would set you back — I do not know. But Brainstorms stands ready 24 hours a day to enter your order, and — with shipping fees that increase with urgency — to get this shredded fortune to the recipient of your choice by the holiday of your choice.
Not so flush? You can send a little see-through pillow — item #31091 — “regularly $1,000, shredded price $6.95.”Or how about a $1,000 money wreath for $19.95 (item #50445). I must say that these two leave me cold in comparison with the waist high bag o’ money, but then I guess you get what you pay for.
Other items include #953028, the $29.95 see-through, battery-powered coin sorter Coin Bank a lot of catalogs seem to offer; #504478, the $19.95 laminated shredded-money clipboard. Or how about this — I like this one — item #50446, a money-filled, see-through spherical Christmas- tree ornamentfor $5.95 (or the economical set of 12 for $54.95).
The $34.95 stocks-and-bonds tie is ugly, and no one would wear it; the silk-screened dollar-bill baseball with wooden base, at $19.95, might appeal (item #31121), though I know not to whom (Pete Rose?); the quarter, half and full sheet of genuine $2 bills straight from the Bureau of Engraving and suitable for framing (items #2022, 2024 and 2026) are actually kind of beautiful, though at $49.95, $89.95 and $149.95, you would suffer an immediate 70% loss if you cut them up and used them to buy groceries.
I’m omitting a few others but can’t end without mentioning that staple of the Funny Money Novelty Gift Department: a set of 5 rubber checks (with “brown bill-paying envelopes for mailing”) that are honest-to-goodness stretchable and yours for just $5.95. Item #50638M.
Or you could just write a rubber check of your own.
Tomorrow: Losing Patience with Closed-End Funds
Quote of the Day
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.'~Martin Luther King, Jr.
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