Move over, Oprah! LB’s got some new favorite things too!

My Fellow Inebriates,

It’s that wonderful time of year when Oprah tells us her Favorite Things.

I don’t know about you, but every year I wait with bated breath to hear what new luxuries Oprah’s pushing. She may enjoy mashed potatoes more than she likes vodka, but Oprah knows a thing or two about sybaritic living. Naturally I’m going to hijack her annual merchandising love fest, plunder it for keywords and tags, borrow her unauthorized image, and share some things I’d like to give and receive this season. So without further ado…

Oddly enough, many people don’t possess a flask. What a great gift for that closet drinker at your office, that frustrated parent at the playground…or you? And there’s nothing like Montgomery Scott to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling about secretive drinking.

Star Trek flask from CBS Store, $26.95

 

The Apocalypse is a mere 25 days away, but you might want to hedge your bets and send out Christmas cards anyway.

Set of 10 “Obama O Come Let Us Adore Him” Nativity Cards by Dan Lacey, $20.00

 

And if that doesn’t remind you of the reason for the season, get your hairy mitts on a T-shirt from The Oatmeal.

Glow-in-the-dark Wookiee Jesus T-shirt from The Oatmeal, $18.99

 

For friends who don’t find Jell-O shots sufficiently harsh and enjoy an additional suggestion of illicit behavior, how about some syringe-shaped shots? Just squirt the shot into your mouth. Ahh!

EZ Inject Jell-O Shot Injectors, $32.95

 

For those friends who need a reminder where those shots will take them…

Toilet shot glasses, bringing you full circle from that moment someone said, “Hey, let’s do some shots!” $9.95

And for friends planning a visit to Walmart in hopes someone will snap a picture…

This festive plush Santa hat features three elastic holders for shots. You supply your own alcohol and crazed expression. $9.99

 

And for friends who are already featured among the People of Walmart

Redneck wine glass, $15.00

 

Typically on Christmas morning we’re so busy tearing open gifts that we forget about the stockings, and then we get some lovely little surprises. This item isn’t really for drinking, but it contains 62% alcohol, and most of us could use it now and then.

Maybe? $5.45

But as charming as stocking stuffers are, there’s nothing like a go-for-broke, over-the-top present under the tree.

Just fill the ingenious Margarita Mixed Drink Machine with liquor, juice, and mixer and it’ll produce 48 perfectly blended combinations. Hit the “I Feel Lucky” button and get a surprise! $299.00

 

Anybody would feel lucky to get such a wondrous machine, but yes, Virginia, there are still more rarefied objects of desire in the merchandising world. Does Oprah, I wonder, have this unusual item…?

Yes, my fellow inebriates, it’s the world’s strongest beer! Weighing in at 55% alcohol, and with each bottle lovingly nested inside a dead animal (stoat, squirrel, or rabbit), The End of History is “a perfect conceptual marriage between taxidermy, art and craft brewing.”
You know you want it people, and it’s just $765.

What a whirlwind of shopping! It must be so exhausting to be Oprah Winfrey. In fact, I have only enough energy to do it once a year. Cheers, my friends, and may you revel in these luxuries, whether choosing them for a loved one or wishing for them among your own holiday gifts. My fondest hopes go with you on your gift-buying forays.

♦ ♦ ♦

Advertisements

Rest in peace, Granny (please)

My granny died one year ago today. She was cremated, and then the cremains were buried, which is kind of like doing things twice and costs about twice as much. Not that anyone begrudges Granny; she had a tough life and a slow death.

Cremation is great for people who are afraid of being accidentally buried alive. My long-dead Granddad had a big fear of this and probably should have been cremated; but in 1985 Catholics still hesitated to cremate their deceased, so into the ground he went, although the medics did ransack his body for salvageable organs (just eyes, it turned out—his esophageal cancer had metastasized everywhere, disqualifying any other organs for donation).

Of course your relatives still might put you in a bacon casket.

Burial is great if you’re concerned about your dignity and the possibility that your survivors may do frivolous things with your ashes, such as use them for artwork, put them in the kids’ sandbox, or consume them in some sort of ritual. Vouchsafing your corpse into the ground is the best bet if your relatives have any whackjob tendencies, although all bets are off at the wake.

Whether Granny harbored either of these paranoias is unclear. What I imagine is that she—always one to say yes—agreed to both cremation and burial while talking deliriously to two different relations, who then compared notes and felt she’d specified both. Or who knows—maybe she did want both.

The greater point in all this is: You’d think, by opting for both cremation and burial, that you’d be doubly sure of making yourself gone after death. What no one thought of checking was whether the soul—that 28-gram essence that once untethered seems to be able to do whatever the hell it likes—had a nearby vessel to scoot into when Granny’s heart stopped beating. Did anyone notice Fluffy sitting on her dresser drawer???

This thought occurred anew last night when—promptly at midnight—something in the house went THUMP! Not a little bump like the settling of a 1980s-era house, but the sort of big-ass THUMP that makes you think your dad may have slain that garbage-scavenging raccoon and started hurling its carcass gratuitously against the outside wall of the house. But there was just one THUMP! At midnight. On the anniversary of Granny’s death.

My dad wasn’t home yet, so there was no chance he could be outside braining a raccoon. I sat up in the dark with my fur on end. Fluffy, two bears away on the couch where we’d been tucked in under a pink blanket, was evidently playing dead. I heard my mum shuffle out of bed and rustle the window blinds, then wander around investigating. Beeps on a cellphone keypad. A drowsy conversation. Then quiet.

She knew she could go back to sleep because it was just Fluffy. He may look like nothing more than one of Chuck Testa’s less successful taxidermic experiments, but he’s the vessel. He’s the vessel Granny jumped into when she died. And the two of them, bear and 71-year-old cancer victim, decided to announce themselves at midnight.

We wouldn’t have this problem if it weren’t for the scourge called cancer. First Granddad in 1985: esophagus, lymph, liver, the works. Then Granny: lungs, back, liver, lymph…riddled. Months of hopeless treatment…surgery, chemotherapy, radiation…it made them suffer. Cancer treatment sucks.

So if all these Movember staches haven’t reminded you yet, why not head over to the doctor’s office for that overdue prostate probing? If you don’t have a prostate, scooch down in the stirrups for your yearly check-up. And while you’re there, get your doctor to check any other cancer hot spots. When you get your clean bill of health you can drink a toast. And I’ll drink one with you. (I’d join you for the physical too, but I don’t have an anal cavity.)

I never knew my granddad, but I miss my granny. She was very soft-spoken and gentle, and she was the kind of person who talked to bears.

I think I hear her telling me to have some Chardonnay.

Win a house, win a car…win a deer’s head

We bears had the house to ourselves all day while the family went to the Pacific National Exhibition. They did not buy a ticket for the showhome, despite its having a wine cellar in the freaking foyer of the house. They said it also had a deer head in the foyer, which could just have easily have been a bear’s head.

I don’t think it’s even a real deer’s head. I could live with it, even if Chuck Testa couldn’t.