According to the State Department's just-released inventory of diplomatic gifts, in 2007 President Bush recieved a "$150 bronze platypus paperweight from an Australian official," among other items that look equally ridiculous when written down. Laura Bush recieved "two $100 red, white and blue hand-embroidered pillows with American flag designs and the names and images of first dogs Barney and Miss Beazley" and "a $700 porcelain Limoges box with the two pets painted on it and a stuffed black fleece Scotty toy valued at $100"–and all that was from the first lady of Japan alone.
In this holiday season, I would like nothing more than to give each one of you, dear readers, an overpriced platypus paperweight and a tackiness parade made up of terrifying patriotic dog pillows and expensive dog-related pill boxes (By the way, nice one, Japan). But unfortunately I don't have the resources, the patience, or the deep reserves of crazy required to make such gift-giving possible.
What I do have, however, is the following unecessarily graphic commercial for Charmin toilet paper, starring the disturbingly cheerful protagonists of the world's worst "Bear shitting in the woods" joke. Consider it your $700 porcelain pet-portrait box, and remember: As long as Charmin keeps making these awful commercials, 2009 is going to be so irritating. Get ready to stay annoyed!
You're welcome, and I'm sorry. Also: Happy Holidays! (Regularly scheduled hating will resume in 2009)