• Forget the cliff, look at the bright side

    The world didn't end.

    The Mayans missed it.

    That's the good news.

    Now, here's the bad.

    The one thing some of you were counting on to get you out of Christmas shopping ain't happening.

    So "you" have to go Christmas shopping and fast.

    So now not a moment too soon.

    We spare nothing for you here.

    My annual Christmas shopping tips for men "and" women.

    That's right. This year, because we're pressed for time with this whole cliff thing and my being a "bit" busy with this whole "super hero" thing, trying to save the country I have to get cracking and start consolidating.

    So without further ado my long overdue shopping tips for all.

    Tip One--Forget buying online. It's too late. You're going to have to go to the belly of the beast itself. Yep, the mall. Just deal with it.

    Tip Two--Don't even bother looking for a parking spot, you won't find one. All this nonsense people aren't shopping? It's all lies. They are. Lots are jam-packed. So just walk from your house now. I don't care how far you are. It's going to be quicker. Trust me.

    And besides,you look stupid stalking that woman with the packages, who's only going back to her car to throw 'em in her trunk. But not before she calls the police. Stop it, you're scaring her and actually me just talking about it.

    Tip Three--Do "not" go for sales. If you think stores are crowded, stores having sales are even more crowded.!! And ladies, I know this goes against your gender grain, maybe even all rational thought...but if you're shopping this late in the game, there's a whole new set of rules for you. And this is something your hubby knows well

    There's no time to play that unseemly "people-killing-each other to get their hands on the last discounted scarf" game.

    Just move onto the store where everything is full price and no one is shopping, and yet, remarkably remains in business. Time is tight. Pay up. Get out. Move on.

    Tip Four--Do not speak to anyone, anyone on the checkout lane. Anyone especially that nosey customer behind you. You know the one usually a woman (again sorry ladies), eying that sweater you're clutching, and politely reminding you,

    "Sir, that same sweater is selling for half the price at the store at the other end of the mall." Now she's clearly not getting your, "I don't want to talk to you" vibe.

    So here's where you respond, ever so tersely, "I know, but it's at the other end of the mall" and then you stop. She'll think you're an idiot. But guess who's in front of her on line? You are!! So...focus on the cashier. Focus on the prize. You're almost home.

    Tip Five--those kiosks you keep walking by? Don't. They're gold mines. Particularly the ones pushing Processed meats and cheeses. For some reason I can't figure out, they're never, ever crowded. Never. I don't know about you, but nothing says Christmas to me, like "Santa's workshop" made entirely out of mini-sausages.

    Tip Six--Don't do gift cards baby. Do not. Women often say they prefer 'em because their hubby's or significant others are clueless. But what they're really "thinking" is, "would it have troubled you to at least "try" and find me something, you lazy jerk?"

    I'm not done

    Tip Seven--Perfume. Men, it's the gift that keeps giving. Because for some odd reason, you "get" stuff with perfume -

    Purses, scarves, sometimes little bottles of the same perfume. Why, at one store, they gave me a traveling case to put the big bottle, the smaller bottle, The scarf, "and" the purse all for the price of the perfume!! It is amazing.

    But ladies, the reverse does "not" apply for you, which brings me to

    Tip Eight--Ladies, do "not" buy cologne for us. Tragic as this might seem, we don't share your sense of personal hygiene or your appreciation for the finer things in life. And besides, cologne generally doesn't come with half the stuff perfume does. So skip it save finding a scent that hints of old cheddar. Just go back to that kiosk and just "get" the cheddar!!

    But it won't if you look like a zombie.

    Tip Nine--Don't wander. Sales people pounce on wanderers. Look like you know what you're doing and you're on a mission, even if you don't know what you're doing and this whole shopping ordeal "is" a mission. Sales people can tell a clueless overwhelmed shopping zombie a mile away. Keep them at bay, or I am telling you.

    You'll end up buying an entire living room set when all you were thinking about was maybe picking up a couple of candle sticks!!

    And finally, last but not least

    Tip Ten--Hide the one gift you're counting on to make that special statement. Sort of like the dad in "A Christmas Story." remember him, hid that bee-bee gun on his son 'til the very end???

    You want to make them "think" that's all they got and then boom!! You just nonchalantly say, "Well honey what's that over there, behind the plant? You see that?"

    Then the now smitten recipient hails your good Yule form, and almost forgets it's just a Yule log. But you've surprised, which more than makes up for the fact, that once again, you're predictable tackiness did not surprise.

    So there you go, folks my gift to you. I know it's late in the game, but it's never too late to make an impression. Go make an impression. And make it a very Merry Christmas while you're at it.

    I wish I could spend more time here but this super hero has work to do.

    After all, you just have a Christmas to save. I have an entire country to save.

    So be well, shoppers. Be well. And have a Merry Christmas.