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Jewish World Review Dec. 20, 2002 / 15 Teves, 5763

Robert L. Haught

Robert L. Haught
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Consumer Reports

Some gifts to please political pals -- WASHINGTON Still trying to come up with ideas for those difficult names on your Christmas gift list? Well, if you're an e-mail user the answer is just as close as your inbox.

Those thoughtful merchandisers who find their way into your computer system have all kinds of offers. Maybe you'd hesitate to give someone a supply of non-prescription Viagra or a portable lockpick, but who wouldn't be delighted to open a package on Christmas morning and find it contains Talking Toilet Paper!

Using pre-recorded messages, this device is described as "like having bathroom voice mail." It's the "hottest gag gift of the season," according to its promoters.

Talking TP might be the perfect way to send a message to a member of Congress: "Hey, there. This is a voter speaking. Stop reading the Congressional Record and listen up. You've been sitting down on the job too long. You do act like you know what you're doing right now. But it's time to get moving. The handwriting is on the wall. The economy is in a stall. Terrorists need to be flushed out. You need to stand up for America. Otherwise somebody else will take your seat."

You know about the talking President Bush doll (from the last column). Any day now you might see:

The Senator Lott doll -- pull his string and he apologizes.

The Al Gore doll -- wind him up and he doesn't run.

Speaking of the pundits' pick to challenge Bush, Gore will be immortalized by a red and white Christmas stocking labeled "Re-elect Gore 2004," available on a Web site near you, no doubt at a bargain price. Gore fans on your list will thank you for that lovely keepsake.

Internet shoppers also can find Bill and Hillary Clinton bobbing head dolls and a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" poster of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Books always make good gifts, and there are so many titles to choose from. I'm still trying to find "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Books for Dummies." Maybe it hasn't been written yet.

There are some other books that haven't been published but that might be best sellers during this holiday season. One is "My Favorite Things" by Sen. Trent Lott. Some examples:

Favorite carol -- "White Christmas."

Favorite Disney cartoon character -- "Snow White."

Favorite paint -- Whitewash.

Favorite place to visit in Washington (prior to Strom Thurmond's birthday party) -- White House.

Former vice president Al Gore and his wife Tipper haven't produced much success from their tour to promote not one but two new books: "Joined at the Heart -- The Transformation of the American Family," and "The Spirit of Family." You probably could pick these up at a big markdown.

But it would seem the market should be ripe for a Gore autobiography based on his political career, something like: "How I Blew Any Chance of Running for President by Thoroughly Humiliating Myself on 'Saturday Night Live.'" One scene alone was enough to do him in -- the one of a barechested Gore in a hot tub clinking champagne glasses with an actor portraying Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

Gore could have written the first chapter of that book in the time he spent "joined at the lips" with Tipper at the beginning of the show.

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JWR contributor Robert L. Haught is a columnist for The Oklohoman. Comment by clicking here.


12/13/02: It's Snow time at White House
11/15/02: Who's Congress' lamest duck?
10/18/02: Bush can blame woes on bad 'chi'
09/27/02: Enemy list too good to be true
07/19/02: Party animals are inviting targets
07/12/02: Beat the Bush
06/21/02: Dubya and Dick; Elvis and Ozzie!?
04/30/02: Donkeys and elephants: Is it really art or is it politics?
02/22/02: Warm-up time for political spoof
01/29/02: Tax dollars working wonders
01/09/02: While Congress is away, look at the laws it has made
12/28/01: 2001: A year of achievements, but some are disputable
12/21/01: Gifts for many public officials came a bit early this year
11/29/01: Animal rights group would like to tan Osama's hide
11/20/01: Are Americans too spaced out?
10/12/01: There's something fishy going on in the U.S. Congress
10/05/01: Lincoln had some memorable things to say about war
09/21/01: Washington's guidelines on how to tickle a terrorist
08/31/01: Two Garys, going the same road
08/24/01: Dog days are laughing matter, stories set tails wagging

© 2002, Robert L. Haught