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