Tuesday, December 18, 2001        Edition: #2199
Don’t Take Any Sheet, Unless It’s Pure Bull!

• #1. When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It doesn’t matter if he already has one. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.
• #2. If you can’t afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ‘ratchet’ or ‘socket’ in it. Men love saying those words. “Can I borrow your ratchet?” “Are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.
• #3. If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car, a 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from the rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.
• #4. Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. If God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented boxer shorts.
• #5. You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner.
• #6. Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years. Real men drink whiskey or beer.
• #7. Do not buy any man industrial-sized containers of aftershave or deodorant. Men don’t stink, they are ‘earthy’.
• #8. Buy men label makers — almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. ‘Socks’. ‘Shorts’. ‘Cups’. ‘Saucers’. ‘Door’. ‘Lock’. ‘Sink’. You get the idea. No one knows why.
• #9. Never buy a man anything that says ‘Some Assembly Required’ on the box. It will ruin his ‘special day’ and he will always have parts left over.
• #10. Good places to shop for men include Home Depot, Home Hardware and Canadian Tire. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is. “From Canadian Tire, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn’t this a starter for a Ford Tempo? Wow! Thanks!”

Ratings for “Ally McBeal” are down 23% from last season, so recent cast additions James Marsden & Julianne Nicholson will be exiting and weird cross-dressing Aussie comedian ‘Dame Edna Everage’ (Barry Humphries) will be joining the series in a recurring role in the coming weeks (is there a character left on this show you actually like?) . . . Guys will have a big decision come FEBRUARY 3 – watch the Super Bowl on FOX or NBC’s special 80-minute edition of “Fear Factor” featuring — “Playboy” Playmates (that’s what picture-in-picture was invented for!) . . .  R&B singer Usher has been wearing stylish fur and leather arm slings after screwing up his trademark on-stage handstand and dislocating a shoulder (ouch! “You Got It Bad”, dude) . . . “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” improv star Wayne Brady is getting his own syndicated talk/variety show NEXT FALL (thanks to his variety specials scoring good ratings) . . . This may be the dumbest ‘reality show’ yet – ABC is planning a game show tentatively titled “The Chair” in which contestants must control their heart rate while answering trivia questions (if successful, it’s expected to spawn the spin-off “Hold Your Breath Till You’re Blue”).

Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor in the musical “Moulin Rouge”, set in Paris’ famous night club in the year 1899 (just awarded National Board of Review’s “Best Picture” for 2001) . . .
A socially awkward 15-year-old girl being raised by a single mom discovers she’s the
princess of a small European country in the family comedy “The Princess Diaries”, starring Julie Andrews . . . The Wayans Bros’ sequel send-up “Scary Movie 2″ again lampoons the horror movie genre (and with the addition of Tori Spelling, this one’s even scarier!) . . . And the 1997 Spanish film “Abres Los Ojos”, the original version of “Vanilla Sky”, also stars Penelope Cruz as ‘Sofia’, but long before she met Tom Cruise while shooting the Americanized version (wonder if this has happened before — someone acting in 2 movie versions of the same story in different languages?).

Having trouble finding that last minute gift for someone on your list? Here’s some wacky but real products that are on the market this holiday season —
• ‘The Trim ‘n’ Vac’ – a beard vacuum that allows you to clip your whiskers and vacuum up the trimmings at the same time. (Use it on nose hair when your sinuses are plugged up!)
• ‘Time-Release Handcuffs’ – bondage equipment for people who want assurance they’ll be set free. They come in a variety of models including the ‘Honeymoon’, which keeps you connected for 7 hours, and the ‘Bind Date’ version for 2-hour quickies. (Not to mention the ‘Husband on Your 10th Anniversary’ model that last 90 seconds or less.)
• ‘Slim Sphincter’ – a really tacky CD of flatulent renditions of Christmas classics, including an inspired version of “Silent (but Deadly) Night”. (Other suggested titles – “Windy Christmas”? “Evacuate the Halls!”?)
• ‘Backyard Blizzard’ — a do-it-yourself snowstorm for people who really, really want a white Christmas. All you need is a garden hose and an outdoor temp under 25F to blow an inch of snow per hour out of this gizmo’s ‘snow gun’. (A trip to Winnipeg is cheaper and more reliable.)
• ‘The RoboMower’ – a programable robot that actually mows the lawn for you while you loaf around watching TV. Developed in Sweden, where some 5,000 have sold in the past 2 years. (One slip-up on your data entry and you can say goodbye to your neighbor’s rose garden.)
• ‘Online Divorce’ – what a thoughtful present for your estranged spouse! — a legal end to your wedded hell over the Internet for just $250. (Handy when you’re in a chat room and someone you’re flirting with asks if you’re married — “Hold on.” [typing SFX] “Nope, not anymore!”)
• Patriotism is in this year. You can get a tie that plays “God Bless America” and even condoms in red, white and blue (a whole new way of hoisting ‘Old Glory’).

A new study out of England shows that as many as 1-in-4 family get-togethers degenerates into arguments, and special occasions like Christmas rank highly as potentially explosive situations. The study finds that brothers are the biggest instigators of arguments, followed by mothers. (That’s ‘cause dad’s already passed out on the sofa.)

Highlights of a new international survey by MSN’s ‘Carview’ Web portal —
• 18% of Spaniards say they ‘do it’ in the car as often as possible.
• 21% of Italians say they’ve had car sex with someone they just met.
• 25% of Britons have had sex in a parking lot after the office Christmas party.
• 31% of Swedes say their preferred location for car sex is a busy street or other public place.
• 33% of Brits admit to having had a sexual experience in the back of a cab.
• And the make of car most likely to help a guy get lucky? Porsche Boxter.
(As canoes and snowmobiles were not included, Canada failed to register in the poll.)

According to an American Express Retail Index Survey, clothing now accounts for 60% of all holiday gift purchases. (But do you recipient a favor – make it a gift certificate so they can pick their own duds.)

A University of Pennsylvania study finds children now spend an average of 4.5 hours a day at home in front of some sort of screen — whether it’s a computer, television or video game. That’s the equivalent of being in front of a screen 24-hours-a-day, for almost 10 weeks in a year. (To talk to your kids these days you gotta hold a frame in front of your face.)


1943 [58] Keith Richards, Dartford ENG, Rolling Stones guitarist (“Start Me Up”, “Satisfaction”)

• Wears white socks with sandals on vacation.
• Has wrinkles that are turning 40.
• Charlie Watts has finally quit calling him ‘Kid’.
• He can’t get no satisfaction, if you know what we mean.
• He looks 90.

1946 [55] Steven Spielberg, Cincinnati OH, film director/producer (Oscars-“Saving Private Ryan”, “Schindler’s List”)/movie mogul (DreamWorks)  NEXT FILM: Directs Tom Cruise in the sci-fi thriller “Minority Report”, opening NEXT SUMMER

1950 [51] Leonard Maltin, NYC, movie historian (“Entertainment Tonight”)/author (“Leonard Maltin’s TV Movies and Video Guide”)

1963 [38] Brad Pitt, Shawnee OK, movie actor (“Ocean’s 11″, “Spy Game”, “Fight Club”)/Mr Jennifer Aniston  QUOTE: “Fame is a bitch, man.”

1964 [37] ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (Williams), Austin TX, pro wrestler (4-time WWF champ)   QUOTE: “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”

1978 [23] Katie Holmes, Toledo OH, TV actress (Joey Potter-“Dawson’s Creek”, since 1998)

1980 [21] Christina Aguilera, Staten Island NY, 5′-2″ pop singer (“Lady Marmalade”, “Genie in a Bottle”) who won Grammy Award for ‘Best New Artist’ in 2000

TODAY is “National Roast Suckling Pig Day”. (“Here [co-host], put this apple in your mouth!”)

THIS WEEK in ancient Rome was “Saturnalia”, the festival honoring Saturn the planter god, which was marked with these lasting traditions — the exchange of gifts, illumination of lights and the closing of businesses. Early Christian church leaders scheduled “Christmas” at this time of year partly to counteract this popular pagan celebration.

1892 [109] 1st performance of Tchaikovsky’s holiday season favorite “Nutcracker Suite” (St Petersburg RUS)

1999 [02] Christina Aguilera releases hit single “What A Girl Wants” on her 19th birthday

1993 [08] World’s largest hotel opens (5000-room MGM Grand in Las Vegas)

[Wed] ”Lord of the Rings” movie opens
[Wed] Oatmeal Muffin Day
[Thurs] Games Day
[Fri] 1st day of Winter
[Fri] Underdog Day
[Jan 9] 29th Annual American Music Awards
[Feb 3] Super Bowl
[Feb 8] Salt Lake City Winter Olympics open
International Language Week
Write to a Friend Month


Q: According to the “Guinness Book of World Records”, the world’s largest was recorded in Maine in 1999 and measured 113 feet tall. What was it — a snowman, a Christmas tree, or an elf?
A: A snowman.

Q: “Adeste Fidelis” means what — “Feast and Be Merry”, “Come You Faithful”, or “Why’s That Mistletoe on Your Belt”?
A: “Come You Faithful”.

Q: What was the original title of the poem “The Night Before Christmas” — “A Visit From Saint Nicholas”, “Christmas Eve With Saint Nick”, or “I Picked A Bad Night to Quit Drinking”?
A: “A Visit From Saint Nicholas”.

Q: When visiting Finland, Santa abandons his sleigh and rides on what — a polar bear named ‘Falco’, a goat named ‘Ukko’, or a prison bitch named ‘Sheila’?
A: He takes the goat.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you’ve got part of it, flaunt that part.

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