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From jamiet@pawl.rpi.edu Sun Nov 18 01:06:16 1990 From: jamiet@pawl.rpi.edu (James V. Tedeschi) Subject: 12 Letters of Christmas and other assorted Fun Summary: A compilation of Xmas humor, tis the season.

since someone on the net asked for it, and it was lying in a file with lots of other Christmas, we present a file to long for mortal man to read in one sitting.

Happy Holidays! Jamie

/* ———- "Twelve Thankyou Notes of Christmas" ———- */

       THE TWELVE THANKYOU NOTES OF CHRISTMAS

My dearest darling Edward, Dec 25

  What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me!  That

sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and thank you.

                   Your deeply loving
                             Emily.

Beloved Edward, Dec 26

  The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing

away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful!

                   With undying love, as always,
                             Emily.

My darling Edward, Dec 27

  You do think of the most original presents!  Who ever

thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Anyway, thankyou so much; they're lovely.

                   Your devoted Emily.

Dearest Edward, Dec 28

  What a surprise!  Four calling birds arrived this morning.

They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly - they make telephoning almost impossible - but I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm very grateful, of course I am.

                   Love from Emily.

Dearest Edward, Dec 29

  The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold

rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother has such a sense of humor. This time she's only joking, I think, but I do know what she means. Still, I love the rings.

                   Bless you,
                        Emily.

Dear Edward, Dec 30

  Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door

this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we?

                   Love,
                        Emily.

Edward, Dec 31

  I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS.  This morning I woke

up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind them, so please, please, stop!

                   Your Emily.

Jan 1

  Frankly, I prefer the birds.  What am I to do with eight

milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke? If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.

                   Emily.

Look here, Edward, Jan 2

  This has gone far enough.  You say you're sending me

nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting round the green, and it's Mother and I who get the blame. If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less), kindly stop this ridiculous behavior at once!

                   Emily.

Jan 3

  As I write this letter, ten disgusting old men are

prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden, before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it. And several of them, I have just noticed, are taking inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the neighbors are trying to have us evicted. I shall never speak to you again.

                   Emily.

Jan 4

  This is the last straw!  You know I detest bagpipes!

The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance. I hope you're satisfied.

Sir, Jan 5

  Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to

inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30 this morning of the entire percussion section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent you importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock.

                   I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
                        G. Creep
                        Attorney at law.

Author unknown.

  • 'Twas the Month before Christmas, and in Framingham, I was following Tradition, with my blue pen in hand … A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away, I was chartered to provide the musical entertainment at the office Christmas party. So I penned a few rewrites on some old songs and A Tradition was born. Published separately are the best from years past. And now I humbly publish and present … CHRISTMAS 1988 - The Next Generation Begins *

Earlier this year I published "Surf Yuppie" (ttto "Surf City"),

      so it is only fitting that I start the festivities with ...

"Surf Christmas" - by D M Goldstein, 1988

      (to the tune of "White Christmas")

I'm dreaming of a Surf Christmas,

           Just like the ones from days gone by;
      Where the wave tops glisten, and surfers listen,
           to hear breakers twelve feet high.

I'm dreaming of a Surf Christmas,

           to every Surf Dude I confide,
      Keep your board well waxed, and you'll fly,
           and "I gotta take that one last ride."
  • "The Homeless Song (Reaganomics)" - by D M Goldstein, 1988 (to the tune of "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)") Homeless sitting by an open fire, Frost-bite eating at their toes; Uletide carols being sung by a choir, drive the kids to Overdose. (Everybody knows,) George Bush is our new President, and you know that isn't right; Democrats, with fear in their eyes, will find it hard to sleep tonight. They know that Reagan's had his way, He spent lots of dough, and bought lots of arms in his day; And every Mother's child has cause to fear, 'Cause Repulicans have four more years. And, So, I'm offering this simple phrase, for men eighteen to thirty-three, although it's been said that there won't be a draft, get out of here; get out of here; find another Country. *

1

  • I always like to include something dealing with Computer Games: (with thanks to Tiny Tim and the Orange Elves …) "The 12 Levels of Rogue" - by D M Goldstein, 1988 (to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas") On the first level of Rogue I killed a Dwarf, a bat, and a Kobold who almost killed me! On the 2nd level of Rogue I found a Shimmering Pool! I dipped my Broad Sword, 'cause a Kobold had nearly killed me! On the 3rd level of Rogue I read a Scroll of Sleep. I slept for three turns with my plus-two Broad Sword 'cause a Kobold had nearly killed me! On the 4th level of Rogue I found a Staff of Wood. Four shots of Drain Life! Sleeping for three turns, a plus-two Broad Sword, and a Kobold who almost killed me! On the 5th level of Rogue I got really lucky: Five Magic Rings! Four shots of Drain Life, Sleep three turns, a plus-two Broad Sword, and a Kobold who almost killed me! On the 6th level of Rogue a Shrieker called to me Six elves with Cross-Bows! Five Magic Rings! Four shots of Drain Life, sleep three turns, a plus-two Broad Sword, and a Kobold who almost killed me! On the 7th level of Rogue I killed a Troglodyte; Seven Excellent Hits! Six elves with Cross-Bows, Five Magic Rings! … On the 8th level of Rogue I found a Magic Room with Eight Monsters Waiting! Seven Excellent hits, … On the 9th level of Rogue a Rust Monster found me, brought my armor to Nine! Eight Monsters Waiting, … On the 10th level of Rogue I quaffed a red potion, Experience Level Ten! Level Nine armor, … On the 11th level of Rogue I took Inventory: Eleven Rations of Food, Experience Level Ten, … On the 12th level of Rogue I fell into a Trap: Got Killed on level Thirty with Eleven rations of food, … *

1

  • And for those of you who find "The Season" much too hectic … "I'll be Cloned for Christmas" - by D M Goldstein, 1988 (to the tune of "I'll be Home for Christmas") I'll be Cloned for Christmas, there'll be three of me; One to Work, and One to Shop, and One just for Partys. Christmas Eve, I'm certain, I won't be alone; I'll be home for Christmas, or else I'll send a Clone! *

Every now and then someone else beats me to an idea …

"Wreck the Malls" - Bob Rivers' Twisted Christmas

      (to the tune of "Deck the Halls")

Wreck the Malls this Christmas Seasons

           Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la;
      You don't need to have a reason
           Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la;
      Tamper with their P A System
           Fa-la-la, La-la-la, La-la-la;
      something something something something
           Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la.

(I'll finish transcribing as soon as I get my stuff out of storage …)

  • Other titles under consideration: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Merger" "God Rest Ye, Merry Pentagon" "George Bush is Coming to Town" "The Bells of Dagoba" (for you Star Wars fans) and, "Knocking on Neighbors' Doors" (the Caroling Song) (ttto Knocking on Heaven's Door) *

/* ———- "Christmas Songs 1983-1987" ———- */

  • Everybody in America, regardless of religious preference, has some sort of annual "Christmas tradition", be it going to the family homestead for Christmas Dinner, or going to the Mountains to talk to Alla whilst skiing … I have a favorite annual tradition, too, and this is it … - DMG *

The following is an excerpt from THE ALASKA DAILY NEWS …

           Gnome, Alaska:   Authorities today arrested a  man
           impersonating  the  fictitious  Santa  Claus.  "He
           was apprehended  after  several  witnesses saw him
           leaving  various  houses  carrying a large  bag of
           goods  during  the  holiday  season,"  authorities
           said.   Santa  is being held on multiple counts of
           tresspassing,  breaking  and  entering,  burglary,
           emotional  harrassment, disturbing the peace,  and
           for having wild animals in a subrban neighborhood.
           Defense attorney Jack Frost states, "Have yourself
           a merry little Christmas."   Defendant is expected
           to plead Mental Incapacity ...

"Mr Santa Claus" - by D M Goldstein, 1987

      (to the tune of "Mr Bojangles")

I met a man named Santa, and he'd pose with you,

           In a red suit.
      Silver hair, a red jacket, a long white beard,
           and big black boots.
      He'd fly so high, oh, he'd fly so high,
           and then he'd "Ho ho ho!"

I met him in a Sears in Alaska, he was

           down and out.
      He looked to me to be the eyes of age,
           as he spoke right out.
      He talked of elves, yeah, he talked of elves,
           smiled, "Ho ho ho"'ed and stepped.

(Chorus:)

      Mr Santa Claus. Mr Santa Claus. Mr Santa Claus. "Nick."

He made toys for the girls and boys at County Fairs,

           throughout the South,
      He spoke in tears of eight reindeer, how they and him
           just flew about.
      Now they've all retired, oh, they've all retired,
           They stay home Christmas Eve.

He said "They'd prance at every chance when they would land

           on roofs like planes,
      But most 'the time they'd sit around pole and play
           Those reindeer games."
      He shook his head, and as he shook his head
           I thought I heard a "Ho ho ho!"

(repeat Chorus and end.)

  • 1 *

I was going to have Dad take off with an elf, but …

"I Saw Daddy …" - by D M Goldstein, 1987

      (to the tune of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus")

I saw Daddy kissing Santa Claus

           when we Christmas shopped last night.
      They didn't see me creep
           into the John to take a leak,
      they thought that they were all alone
           and so a kiss they sneaked. (oh,)
      I saw Daddy tickle Santa Claus
           underneath his suit of red and white.
      What a laugh it would have been
           if Mom had only seen
      Daddy kissing Santa Claus last night!
  • My least favorite Christmas song of all time has got to be "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". It's a story about how society rejected a freak until, overnight, he became famous. Then, all of a sudden, he's Mister Popularity. Pshaw! This is not the kind of lesson we should be teaching our children! So, in my humble manner, I offer you a song with a better lesson … "Rudolph Revisited" - by D M Goldstein, 1986 (to the tune of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer") Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose. Let me tell you a secret; it's from a drug overdose! All of the other Reindeer used to laugh and call him names. That is what drove poor Rudolph to escape into Coccaine. Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say, "Rudolph, we know what you've done." The police came and took him away. Now all the Reindeer are straight; they've given up PCP, quaaludes, and marijuana, and flying high on LSD. (Optional tag, to the tune of NOEL …) No L, No L, No L, No L. None of the Reindeer do LSD. *

1

  • "Santa Claus" - by D M Goldstein 1985 (to the tune of "Rocket Man") I packed my bags last night for flight; Zero hour, one a.m.; And I'm gonna be high in my sleigh by then. I miss the Pole so much, I miss my wife; It's lonely out in space On such a famous flight. (Chorus:) And I think it's gonna be a long, long time before you get your gifts; you've yet to find I'm not the man you think I am at all, oh no, no, no; because I'm Santa Claus. Santa Claus, flying with my reindeer 'cross the sky. The Pole ain't the kind of place to raise your kids; In fact, it's cold as hell; But there's elves to baby-sit them if you did. And all these 'Go-bots' I don't understand; It's just my job one day a year. Santa Claus, I'm Santa Claus. (repeat Chorus and end.) *

"Donde Esta Papa" - by D M Goldstein 1984

      (to the tune of "Feliz Navidad")

Police got my Dad, Police got my Dad,

      Police got my Dad and now he's rotting in County Jail.
      Police got my Dad, Police got my Dad,
      And they'll deport him if my mother can't make his bail.

(Chorus:)

      I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,
      I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,
      I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my cell.
      (repeat.)

(alternate first verse:)

      Donde esta Papa? Donde esta Papa?
      Donde esta Papa? Papa no esta aqui.
      (repeat.)
  • 1 *

Ah, the quintessential Christmas gift for young minds: The

      Computer!  And what's better to do with it but PLAY GAMES!

"Computer Wonderland" - by D M Goldstein 1983

      (to the tune of "Winter Wonderland")

Axes swing, are you listenin'?

      Gold and jewels, how they glisten.
      A beautiful sight, ADVENTURE at night,
      playing in Computer Wonderland.

(Bridge:)

      In the KINGDOM we can feed the peasants,
      or plot our BIORYTHM for a year;
      Save the universe from Cylons playing STARTREK,
      or even try BACKGAMMON if you dare.

Later on, we'll play WUMPUS;

      Zing those bats when they thump us.
      OTHELLO's just fine, I win every time,
      playing in Computer Wonderland.
  • and from "Have a Jewish Christmas" (NOT by D M Goldstein) (to the tune of "Jingle Bells") The lights are being strung, The streets are full of cheer, The stockings have been hung, Christmas Time is here. Its joyous revelry and spirit capture you; "At Christmas Time it's hard to be a good religious Jew." ("Oy") (Chorus:) Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle night and day. It's "Yo-ho-ho" and mistletoe and Santa's on his way. Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, If Santa Claus is true, his joy is fun for everyone, but what's a Jew to do? He goes to synagogue, it doesn't matter which, He's Jewish and he's very proud, "I'd rather fight than switch." When Christmas Time is here, he wishes it would pass, "Last Sunday morning I got up and almost went to mass!" ("Oy") (repeat Chorus and end.) *

/* ———- "SIGBEER 12/2/88 (A poem)" ———- */

                SIGBEER COLLOQUIUM

SPEAKER: Clement C. Morris

      Department of Annelid Studies
      Cornell University

TITLE: The Worm Before Christmas: A poem

TIME: December 2, 1988. 5:00pm

PLACE: White Horse

      Green St. near 2nd (across from Champion Federal)
      Note: THIS IS DIFFERENT!

ABSTRACT: A critical reading of the following poem will be presented.

      Discussion and refreshments will follow.

"The Worm Before Christmas"

               by Clement C. Morris

(a.k.a. David Bradley, Betty Cheng, Hal Render,

           Greg Rogers, and Dan LaLiberte)

Twas the night before finals, and all through the lab

   Not a student was sleeping, not even McNabb.
   Their projects were finished, completed with care
   In hopes that the grades would be easy (and fair).

The students were wired with caffeine in their veins

   While visions of quals nearly drove them insane.
       With piles of books and a brand new highlighter,
   I had just settled down for another all nighter ---

When out from our gateways arose such a clatter,

   I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter;
   Away to the console I flew like a flash,
       And logged in as root to fend off a crash.

The windows displayed on my brand new Sun-3,

   Gave oodles of info --- some in 3-D.
   When, what to my burning red eyes should appear
   But dozens of "nobody" jobs.  Oh dear!

With a blitzkrieg invasion, so virulent and firm,

       I knew in a moment, it was Morris's Worm!
   More rapid than eagles his processes came,
   And they forked and exec'ed and they copied by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!

   On Comet!  On Cupid!  On Donner and Blitzen!
   To the sites in .rhosts and host.equiv
   Now, dash away!  dash away!  dash away all!"

] Note: The machines dasher.cs.uiuc.edu,

     dancer.cs.uiuc.ed, prancer.cs.uiuc.edu, etc. have
     been renamed deer1, deer2, deer3, etc. so as not
     to confuse the already burdened students who use
     those machines. We regret that this poem reflects
     the older naming scheme and hope it does not confuse
     the network adminstrator at your site.  -Ed.(

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the phone,

   The complaints of the users.  (Thought I was alone!)
   "The load is too high!"  "I can't read my files!"
   "I can't send my mail over miles and miles!"

I unplugged the net, and was turning around,

       When the worm-ridden system went down with a bound.
   I fretted.  I frittered.  I sweated.  I wept.
   Then finally I core dumped the worm in /tmp.

It was smart and pervasive, a right jolly old stealth,

   And I laughed, when I saw it, in spite of myself.
   A look at the dump of that invasive thread
   Soon gave me to know we had nothing to dread.

The next day was slow with no network connections,

   For we wanted no more of those pesky infections.
   But in spite of the news and the noise and the clatter,
   Soon all became normal, as if naught were the matter.

Then later that month while all were away,

   A virus came calling and then went away.
   The system then told us, when we logged in one night:
       "Happy Christmas to all!  (You guys aren't so bright.)"

] Note: The authors would like to apologize to Dave McNabb for any

   detrimental references to his sleeping habits or lack thereof.
   Unfortunately, they couldn't think of anything else that rhymes
   with "lab".  -Ed. (

/* ———- "Dave Barry: Holiday Shopping" ———- */

  • - CHRISTMAS SHOPPING: A SURVIVOR'S GUIDE -*
  1. By Dave Barry

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!" or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!"

These days, people say "Season's Greetings," which, when you think about it, means nothing. It's like walking up to somebody and saying "Appropriate Remark" in a loud, cheerful voice. But "Season's Greetings" is safer, because it does not refer to any actual religion. Some day, I imagine, even "Season's Greetings" will be considered too religious, and we'll celebrate the Holiday Season by saying "Have a nice day."

Some of you may be unhappy with this dereligionizing of the Holiday Season, and you may have decided that, this year, you're going to celebrate it the old-fashioned way, with your family sitting around stringing cranberries and exchanging humble, handmade gifts, like on "The Waltons". Well, you can forget it. If everybody pulled that kind of subversive stunt, the economy would collapse overnight. The government would have to intervene: It would form a cabinet-level Department of Holiday Gift-Giving, which would spend billions and billions of tax dollars to buy Barbie dolls and electronic games, which it would drop on the populace from Air Force jets, killing and maiming thousands. So, for the good of the nation, you should go along with the Holiday Program. This means you should get a large sum of money and go to a mall.

Unless you live in Indonesia, there should be several malls within five miles of your home. It makes no difference whatsoever which one you go to: Under federal law, all malls in the United States must have the same 42 chain stores. You have your chain bookstores, your chain clothing stores, your chain shoe stores, your chain restrooms, your chain electronic-game arcades.

The basic idea behind malls is that they are more convenient than cities. Cities contain streets, which are dangerous and crowded and difficult to park in. Malls, on the other hand, have parking lots, which are also dangerous and crowded and difficult to park in, but - here is the big difference - in mall parking lots, THERE ARE NO RULES. You're allowed to do anything. You can drive as fast as you want in any direction you want. I was once driving in a mall parking lot when my car was struck by a pickup truck being driven backward by a squat man with a tattoo that said "Charlie" on his forearm, who got out and explained to me, in great detail, why the accident was my fault, his reasoning being that he was violent and muscular, whereas I was neither. This kind of reasoning is legally valid in mall parking lots.

So when you get to the mall for your holiday shopping, the first thing to remember is that you should not park in the parking lot and walk to the mall buildings, because you will probably get killed. Instead, drive your car right up to and, if possible, right into, the mall building. This is perfectly legal; people do it all the time. In almost every mall I've ever been to, the corridors were littered with cars, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles and motorboats left by smart parkers.

Once you're safely in the mall, you should tie your children to you with ropes so the other shoppers won't try to buy them. Holiday shoppers have been whipped into a frenzy by months of holiday advertisements, and they will buy anything small enough to stuff into a shopping bag. If your children object to being tied, threaten to take them to see Santa Claus; that ought to shut them up.

Now you're ready for the actual shopping. Your goal should be to get it over with as quickly as possible, because the longer you stay in the mall, the longer your children will have to listen to holiday songs on the mall public-address system, and many of these songs can damage children emotionally. For example: "Frosty the Snowman" is about a snowman who befriends some children, plays with them until they learn to love him, then melts. And "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is about a young reindeer who, because of a physical deformity, is treated as an outcast by the other reindeer. Then along comes good, old Santa. Does he ignore the deformity? Does he look past Rudolph's nose and respect Rudolph for the sensitive reindeer he is underneath? No. Santa asks Rudolph to guide his sleigh, as if Rudolph were nothing more than some kind of headlight with legs and a tail. So unless you want your children exposed to this kind of insensitivity, you should shop quickly.

Here is a very efficient shopping method: Divide the amount of money you have by the number of people on your gift list to get an average dollar amount per person. So if you have $160, and you want to buy gifts for 10 people, your average is $16 per person. Now find something that costs $16, and buy 10 of whatever it is. You'll find many useful gifts in this price range; for example, you could get 10 family-sized bottles of vitamin B. Everyone, young and old alike, can use vitamin B, and your children are sure to shriek with delight when they find it under the tree.

If you want to buy gifts that are a little more personal, you should follow these guidelines:

Gifts for Men

Men are amused by almost any idiot thing - that is why

    professional ice hockey is so popular - so buying gifts for them
    is easy. But you should never buy them clothes. Men believe
    they already have all the clothes they will ever need, and new
    ones make them nervous. For example, your average man has 84
    ties, but he wears, at most, only three of them. He has learned,
    through humiliating trial and error, that if he wears any of the
    other 81 ties, his wife will probably laugh at him ("You're not
    going to wear THAT tie with that suit, are you?"). So he has
    narrowed it down to three safe ties, and has gone several years
    without being laughed at. If you give him a new tie, he will
    pretend to like it, but deep inside he will hate you.

If you want to give a man something practical, consider tires. More than once, I would have gladly traded all the gifts I got for a new set of tires.

Gifts for Women

Again, you should avoid buying clothes, but not because women don't like clothes. The problem is sizes. First of all, women's clothing sizes don't mean anything. Suppose you're looking at a dress, and the tag says it's a size 14. You could measure that dress with every known measuring instrument, checking for every known unit of measurement, and you would never find any dimension that was 14 anythings long. Not only that, but you would never find any dimension that corresponded to the same dimension on any other size-14 dress. Not only that, but chances are you would never find any woman in the entire world who would admit to being a size 14.

Another problem is color. Women do not see color the way men do. Suppose several women are in a paint store, looking at a sample of orange paint. The paint-can label may say "orange," and the paint may appear obviously orange to a male, but the women will never use the word "orange" to describe it. They will say things like: "It has a lot of blue" or "It's much too gray." Don't ask me to explain it. All I know is, if a woman tells a man she'd like a green scarf for Christmas, he'll go out and buy a scarf that he believes to be green, based on his concept of "green," which he got from crayons in the second grade. She will look at the scarf as if it were covered with maggots, then show it to her friends and say: "I asked Harold for a green scarf, and just look at what he got me." They'll all have a good laugh, and she'll return it.

So the safest gifts for women are expensive little bottles of colorless liquids, which are sold at cosmetic counters under names such as "Eau de Water" and "Endless Night of Heavy Petting."

Gifts for Children

This is easy. You never have to figure out what to get for children, because they will tell you exactly what they want. They spend months and months researching these kinds of things by watching Saturday-morning cartoon-show advertisements. Make sure you get your children exactly what they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices. If your child thinks he wants Murderous Bob, the Doll with the Face You Can Rip Right Off, you'd better get it. You may be worried that it might help to encourage your child's antisocial tendencies, but believe me, you have not seen antisocial tendencies until you've seen a child who is convinced that he or she did not get the right gift.

(Copyright 1984 Knight-Ridder Newspapers)



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