Friday, November 23, 2007
BY BELINDA M. PASCHAL
'Tis a month before Christmas and all through the house,
Shopping is done with the click of a mouse;
By people avoiding the fierce toy store brawls
Of maniacal mobs surging through local malls.
Where once they left early to line up at the doors,
They now browse and surf through the Internet stores.
No price-checks, no cart wrecks, no sore, aching feet,
No need to get out of that cushy desk seat!
No long checkout lines and no NASCAR-like races
As they zoom 'round and 'round, searching for parking spaces.
No hundred-pound packages weighing them down,
No schlepping to every darn store in the town!
No guilt for ignoring the bell-ringing guy
Who asks for donations and smiles when they lie,
"I've only got plastic," they sputter and spout.
"I'll get change and give when I'm on my way out."
They kick back in comfort, not a moment of stress;
Their version of Santa works for UPS.
He'll bring gifts to put under their Christmas trees -
(Or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, whichever you please.)
The sites offer lists of this year's hottest toys
Sure to bring lots of cheer to indulged girls and boys,
Who've made lists of their own that stretch on for years,
And the parents just can't disappoint the little dears.
There's Jamal's gas scooter - oh, how he did beg!
Although fueling it up costs and arm and a leg!
For Ashley, let's see ... what makes her go bananas?
The Cheetah Girls, Barbie and Hannah Montana!
Little Dexter wants gifts in a scholarly vein,
So what can you buy that will challenge his brain?
The Mad Science lab won't cause chemical troubles,
It's safe and non-toxic - it only makes bubbles!
Or how 'bout a toy with a slight retro flair?
It's now electronic, but its shape is still square.
The multi-hued cube's undergone evolution;
Now featuring games, it's Rubik's Revolution!
Miguel wants to party - you know, like a rock star,
So get him the popular Power Tour gee-tar!
Or if he is more of the Nintendo breed,
Then perhaps "Guitar Hero" would be more his speed.
Or maybe your game-boy's a tinier tyke,
Just right for a Smart Cycle video bike.
If cuddly critters will bring him more joy,
Then buy him a Zoobie, the three-in-one toy!
For the teen who's a fan of the film "Office Space,"
There's a gift sure to bring a big smile to his face.
Yeah, you're gonna need to go ahead and pay
For a talking Lumbergh doll - that would be great, m'kay?
There's something for everyone, that is a promise;
There's Transformers, Legos, an engine named Thomas.
And i-Sing and iPhones and bionic eyes,
For youngsters of all ages, genders and size.
It's all close at hand, at your mere fingertips,
No more shopping-mall crowds packed in hip-to-hip!
It might hurt your wallet, but take heed of this:
You won't suffer more than a slightly sprained wrist!
Friday, November 09, 2007
BY BELINDA M. PASCHAL
Ozzy Osbourne has done some insane things in his day, but his next display of lunacy and wild abandon will take the proverbial cake. Alert the paparazzi: The Prince of Darkness is going to – yikes! – host a Thanksgiving dinner.
On Nov. 18, four lucky metalheads will be singing, “Over the river and through Hollywood, to Ozz-father’s house we go!” as they reap the benefits of the “Thanksgiving with Ozzy” contest sponsored by mobile media company SendMe and concert/tour promoters AEG Live. At SendMe’s sweepstakes site, SoLow.com, Ozzy fans are bidding until 9 a.m. today for the chance to celebrate an early Turkey Day at the Osbournes’ new pad in Los Angeles.
Makes sense to me. After all, when you hear the word “Thanksgiving,” who doesn’t immediately think of a doddering, incoherent middle-aged Englishman in Spandex? But hey, different strokes … one man’s garbage is another man’s giblets, right?
The winning contestant will claim the grand prize, which includes round-trip airfare for the winner and three friends, $500 cash, hotel accommodations in L.A. and San Diego (I believe head-banger protocol dictates the trashing of said hotel rooms) and a concert in the latter city featuring Ozzy and Rob Zombie. But the pièce de résistance – or the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie, as it were – is the opportunity to watch Ozzy do something few have ever seen him do.
Will he utter a full sentence without using profanity?
Will he bite the head off a live turkey?
Will he mistake the gravy boat for a urinal?
No, no and no. Puh-leese … such banalities are the stuff of everyday life for a madman like Ozzy. What he has in store for his guests will shock, awe and undoubtedly change their view of their idol forever. In fact, they could very well be rendered permanently mute after the sight of – Warning: Parental Discretion Advised – Ozzy preparing his famous Yorkshire pudding.
The Ozz-man is famous for many things – his years with Black Sabbath, his solo career, his MTV reality show – and infamous for many others – see above references to profanity, animal head-biting and publicly relieving himself. But seeing his name in the same sentence with “famous Yorkshire pudding” has to be a first.
I can only imagine what the dinnertime conversation will be like:
Ozzy: “Bloody ‘ell! I can’t (bleeping) work this (bleeping) electric knife (unintelligible rambling).”
Sharon: “Just take the (bleeping) thing and – down, Minnie! No! Bad dog!”
Kelly: “Mum! That contest person is (bleeping) staring at my (bleeps)!”
Sharon: “Minnie, no! We don’t do that to the guest’s leg! Naughty girl!”
Kelly: “Mum! Dad! (Bleeping) make him stop! Sigh … no one (bleeping) listens to me!”
Contest winner: “No one listens to your music … why should they listen to you talk?”
Ah, but I jest. To be honest, I have a soft spot for the oddly-functional-within-dysfunction Osbournes, and I’d love to be a fly on the wall during the Ozz-festivities. If nothing else, it would be worth it to hear Ozzy channeling Pink Floyd as he chides Jack and Kelly, “How can you have any Yorkshire pudding if you don't eat your meat?"