Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Have a Sparky, Snarky Christmas

Lon Prater and Suzan L. Wiener at The Writers’ Ezine (Dec 05) have been kind enough to give us holiday gift ideas for the writer in your life. But ask yourself: does that writer really need much for Christmas? Take my advice and save your money. Limitless quiet time to write – that’s all he* wants for Christmas. Add in occasional reminders to bathe, eat, and take potty breaks, and you’ve given him more than he deserves. Undoubtedly, you will see many such lists in the coming weeks. But who remembers the family of those lucky writers? Here at Balls and Walnuts, we do.
The Official Balls and Walnuts Holiday Wish List for Writers’ Families A Gift Guide for the Forsaken and Forlorn
We’ve spared no expense performing the necessary market research and field testing to perfect our Equalizer™ product line. Our crack team of Harvard sociologists and psychologists have given 110% so that we may offer the finest gifts for Non-Literary Family Members (NLFMs). Why Equalizer™ ? Balls and Walnuts recognizes that many NLFMs feel inferior to folks in families lacking a writer: “Jimmy’s dad takes him sledding on the weekends, but all you ever do is type.” “Tina’s mom fixes dinner every night. All I ever get is Domino’s pizza.” The list is endless. Our gifts are designed to eliminate or minimize those differences. Purchase of all of our products has been shown to result in a statistically significant improvement of quality of life [J. Irreprod. Res. 34(17) 112-118]. 1. The Happy Pappy Mood Equalizer™ ($249.95)
Screaming, ranting, dripping sarcasm, and uncontrollable sobbing can be a thing of the past with The Happy Pappy Mood Equalizer™. Simply open a capsule of Prozac (dosages may vary; ask your doctor), disguise it in your writer’s favorite junk food or beverage, and mood swings will soon be an unhappy memory. Comes with one year supply of Prozac. Junk food not included. Doctor’s prescription may be required in some States. For the same price, this product is available in pink floral packaging as The Merry Mommy Mood Equalizer™ . 2. The ‘Who Am I Today?’ Ego Equalizer™ ($349.95)
Does your writer think he’s Herman Melville one day, roundworm feces incarnate the next? Tired of having to check the mail for rejection notices before asking, “How are you today, dear?” If so, the Balls and Walnuts ‘Who Am I Today?’ Ego Equalizer™ is for you. Point our patented Pomposity Compass™ at your writer to determine his Mood of the Minute:
Close up view of our patented Pomposity Compass™
Next, use our manual to determine the appropriate Ego Equalizing Device™. Included in the standard package are the following: 10x Magnifier (for those low down days) 2x Magnifier (the “What Am I Doing With My Life?” standard option) 8 inch step stool (the “I’m good. I’m really good” lift.) For an additional charge, we will ship a four-foot ladder (published novelists), eight-foot ladder (Pulitzer contenders), or an eighteen-foot ladder (Publish America authors). Contact our sales representatives for further information. 3. The Literate Chef Culinary Equalizer™ ($649.95 for a two-person family) One of our best-selling items, the Culinary Equalizer™ ensures you will never go hungry again. Includes a one-year supply of TV dinners, 365 bags of popcorn, and our top of the line Sizzle-It™ microwave oven. 4. The Empathizor 2.0™ ($69.95) Research has shown that NLFMs who work through The Empathizor 2.0™ home study kit rapidly replace feelings of anger, loneliness, and frustration with a sense of pity and resignation [J. Irreprod. Res. 56(12) 239-244]. These easy exercises were designed by our Harvard sociologists and test-marketed on their families with stunning success. Sample exercise Stare at this image for one hour:
Now, using your word processor, type 60 words. For the point of this exercise, the words need not make any sense at all. Print out your work and read it over. Crumple the paper. Throw it at the wastebasket. Miss basket. Repeat. 5. The Big Dawg Affectionator™ ($999.95)
Your children need never feel fatherless/motherless again once one of our Big Dawgs™ becomes part of the family. Face it: compared to the writer, our Big Dawgs™ are friendlier, more playful, and smell better. Just listen to this glowing testimonial from delighted Big Dawg Affectionator™ customer Sarah C.: Watching [my son] John with Sparky, it was suddenly so clear. Sparky wouldn't stop, he would never leave him. He would never hurt him or shout at him or get drunk and hit him or say he was too busy to spend time with him. And he would die to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers that came over the years, this thing, this Big Dawg™, was the only thing that measured up. In an insane world, Sparky was the sanest choice. And because the writer’s spouse has special needs, we offer . . . 6. The ‘I Will Always Be There For You’ Surrogator 3000™ ($2999.95)
Buxom Brandi, one of our many fine Surrogators™
The Surrogator 3000™ is fully programmable to respond to your every need. (S)he will never insult you, embarrass you in front of your friends, or reveal your darkest secrets in his/her novels or short stories. Indeed, for a nominal additional charge, we’ll send you a Surrogator™ who doesn’t even know how to write, yet speaks French and Greek, if you know what we mean. Available in both sexes, a variety of colors and shapes, and a full range of sexual predilections. (Images are not work safe.) Latex-free Surrogators™ may be purchased at an additional charge. Batteries not included. D. *In keeping with most style sheets, I’m sticking with male pronouns throughout. Besides – most of you are women, and I know better than to piss off my audience.


Blogger Robyn said...

OOH! OOH! I want some Merry Mommies!

12/07/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jona said...

Doug, I soooooo need some of them!!! (And I'm not sure whether that should make me laugh or cry ;o))

12/08/2005 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger mm said...

This writer would like something to equalize the mood of 11-year-old girls.

Got anything for that?

12/08/2005 03:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kate R said...

happy holidays, just for you. And no, I don't know how to make a link in email and never mind. You're special -- the only one I bug with these links anyway.

12/08/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Ooh, goody. I haven't offended anyone (so far). Robyn, I'm sure your doctor can fix you up with a nice fat bottle of Merry Mommies. Jona, I'm not even going to begin to imagine which ones you need.

Maureen: try a new pony.

Kate: that had me in tears this morning. Here's how you do it:

{a href="LINK URL HERE"}text to link {/a} with the usual sharp brackets instead of {wavy thingies}.

So everyone else can laugh themselves silly this morning.

12/08/2005 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

Most of these items would be of use to any husband. Even when not writing...I'm insane and uncooperative.

Oh and ponies do not stabilize the moods of young girls. Ponies do, however, provide necessary lessons in humility when they scrape their young riders off on trees. (I still have bark in my skull from a pony incident.)

Ponies are Eeeevil.

12/08/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Suisan said...

Ewww, Kate. Ewww, Doug.

Yucky yucky gross. But very funny.

Now we just need to find belly-button lint candy. (I'm sure someone is working on it as we speak.)

12/08/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Ush, those dools are mowe fuggly than the widdle secwetawwy of state.

And some have the vagina on funny places. Not to mention those with a size limit for oral sex will never sell because no man thinks his widdle fwiend is that small. :-)

12/08/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kate R said...

Okay. I'm going to try this out.

Here's great toddler toys for the underachieving baby and here's a cheating bob would want Scotty as his best friend.

12/08/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...



12/08/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Hah! You found the Bush Toys same day I did. Props to Kate!

My wife would punch Scottie out after the first evasive answer.

12/08/2005 03:41:00 PM  
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