'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
SHOPPING BATTLE COMES DOWN TO THE WIRE
Today I am addressing all the guys out there:
Well, fellas, here we are. Only four more days until Christmas. Only four more days to finish, er, I mean, to start our Christmas shopping. If you’re like me, right now you are shaking your head in bewilderment and wondering what happened to the month of December. How did it get to be the 21st so fast?
We had such noble intentions back during the last week of November, didn’t we? Right after Thanksgiving we each said to ourselves, “This year will be different. This year I’m gonna get an early start on Christmas shopping and avoid the last minute panic.”
And we really meant it, too. Now, obviously we did not go out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday—as it would’ve been insane to get out there with all those professional shoppers. As my favorite philosopher, Dirty Harry, once said: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
Amateur shoppers—in other words, guys—should never venture out there, out of our element, on Black Friday. But still, we had plenty time. And then…and then we did what guys are so good at doing. We got distracted.
The first distraction was football. As everyone knows, guys are mesmerized by football games. The average guy could be the defendant in a murder trial, moments away from hearing the jury’s verdict, and if one of the lawyers happened to have a football highlight video playing on his BlackBerry wireless device, the guy would gaze intently at the tiny screen and mutter, “Nice catch,” and, “Oh man, what a play,” even as the jury foreman was saying, “We, the jury, find the defendant…”
Every Saturday there were multiple college football games on TV—all day long. Starting with the Sunrise Pre-Game Show at 7 a.m., all the way to the final play of a late night, west coast game around midnight, guys were simply too distracted on Saturdays to go out and do any Christmas shopping.
The second major distraction was…more football. Sunday is NFL day. Starting with the Pre-Sunrise Pre-Game Show at 5 a.m., all the way to the final “Pow!” or “Wham!” said by John Madden on the NBC Sunday night game, guys again were too distracted to do any shopping.
The next thing we knew, it was Monday morning, time to go to work, and the typical guy said, “Hmm, I was gonna do some Christmas shopping this weekend. Oh well, there’s always next weekend.”
OK, fellas, we are now staring at the LAST possible weekend. I’d love to offer some helpful advice. I’d love to reveal the secret of purchasing perfect Christmas gifts that require little effort and even less money.
Unfortunately, that kind of stuff only happens in the world of make-believe. This is reality, gentlemen. This is the greatest challenge you’ve had to face all year. And I promise you this: it’s going to be a war out there. Now, at times there will be confusion and frustration. There also will be a lot of pain. But at those moments we will find out what you’re really made of.
The only way we’re going to win this battle, men, is for everyone in this room to give 110-percent from the opening kick-off right up to the final whistle! The only way we will be victorious is to fight harder and to want it more than the other guy! So strap on your credit cards, and let’s get out there and kick some butt! Are you with me?! Yeaaaaahhh!!
Oh, and if you begin to feel panicky, gift cards are a sensible choice.
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