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Friday, February 12, 2016



     My birthday is on Christmas Day, and sometimes people ask me, "Don't you get ripped off on the presents?" And I say "YES!" And if I ever meet up with Rickey Henderson, Jimmy Buffet or Yazmin Fiallos, I'm going to ask them if they went through the same thing on their Christmas birthdays. By the way, Yazmin Fiallos was the winner of Miss Universe in 1996, from Honduras, so I'm probably going to have some other questions for her. Like I might ask, "Did you ever see anyone from any of the other planets in the Miss Universe competition? And if you did, and they had, say, three legs, wouldn't it be an unfair advantage in the swimsuit competition?" I would also ask her why her country is called "Honduras," when there seems to be only one of them.

     It all started with Jesus, many, many years ago, back in the manger. Joseph and Mary were just finishing with the Christmas decorations when who should drop by, but three wise men? They had heard about the baby and all, and wanted to visit, and thoughtfully brought gifts. Frankincense, myrrh and gold, you can't go wrong there. Frankincense and myrrh were types of aromatic oils, highly treasured at the time, especially in a manger, when Febreze had not been invented yet. The gold speaks for itself, of course. What I'm saying is that they only brought ONE gift each, for Christmas AND birthday. They probably hemmed and hawed, and said we'll make it up next year, etc., blah blah blah.

     Some gifts you only see advertised at Christmas time, leading me to believe that by mid-January they might have outlived their useful life, and the word "useful" may be misused here. For instance, anyone who receives The Clapper as a Christmas gift will soon realize how often a spontaneous ovation can break out and throw an entire household into darkness. Ingeniously, I have come up with a simple solution: If I ever get a Clapper as a present, I plan to purchase a second unit, and plug it into a different light after the first light is Clapped out. That way, when I clap by mistake, the second light will come on at the same time the first one turns off. Just to be on the safe side, I plan to stop doing anything particularly well, so that there will be no applause to complicate things.

     The Chia Pet is another thing I often see on television around this time. It's a little planter in the mold of an animal or other shape that holds the seeds of the chia herb, and when watered, grows into the shape of hair. They once sold, and I kid you not, a Chia Obama Pet. After a week or so it looked like Obama had showed up on St. Patrick's day with green hair, drunk and ready to rain down an executive order on your face. After another two weeks the plants got long and wilty, and it took on the unpresidential appearance of a small musk ox.

     If they ever decide to market a Chia Trump, it will certainly prove a challenge to modern botanical engineering to make the chia plants point in the unnatural directions it would take to emulate Trump's hair. It may require two separate suns.

     I asked Donald Trump about a possible Chia Pet in his likeness, and he said, "Are you kidding? I'm terrific with the Chia Pets. I have an unbelievable record with the Chia Pets. They love me, because they know I'm going to take care of them. You think Ted Cruz knows what to do with the Chia Pets? And there's nothing worse than a Chia Bush, I don't think I have to tell YOU that." Then as he walked away he made some unflattering remarks about me, which I have to admit were true.

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