Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to Mary C! From Bill S!

Our friend and longtime Wo'C contributor Bill (the S! is for Sass!) S. is kind enough to do the honors again this year:

Today marks the birthday of the lovely MaryC, and I am once again stumped as to what would be a suitable gift. So, I find myself returning to the catalog for Carol Wright Gifts. After all, I unearthed so many interesting finds there last year -- and by "interesting," I mean they're items one would never, ever think to give as gifts. Surely there's something just right...right?

Extra-Large "Sweet & Juicy Peaches
Giant Purple plums Up to 1/3 of a pound
Super Big Golden Apricots
Lush and Tangy Nectarines
Apple-Sized Red plums
At its easy-picking growth height of 12-15 feet, enjoy the feat of fruits...Each sapling you receive stands approx. 3-4 feet high.
(Sorry, this item cannot be shipped into CA, OR or WA.)

Aw, shoot, Mary lives in California. Guess I'll have to find some other genetically modified plant. The catalog also offers "GIANT BLUEBERRIES-BLUBERRIES AS BIG AS QUARTERS" (2 plants, $9.99), KING KONG STRAWBERRIES AS BIG AS PEACHES! (6 plants $8.99), and, "As Seen On TV", a tomato plant that "Grows 8 feet in just 90 Days!" (Only $9.99). Hmm, 8 feet in 90 days? At that rate, by next year it'll be 32 feet high. That's a long way to climb for a salad ingredient.

Perhaps flowers might be better:

"SOUTHERN BELLE" HIBISCUS (3 plants only $7.99)
Spectacular Blooms Up to 10" across!

Hmm, looking at the photo in the catalog, it looks large enough to devour a small child. As a teacher, Mary might find it useful in classrooms with particularly unruly students.

Automatically turns on at night & off during the day! Solar powered No electricity needed.

I think I like these best, as they're the easiest to care for.

TERRY TURBAN (As low as $4.99)
Whether you wear it as a cover-up or a fashion accessory, this terry turban with ultrachic front knot and gathered back is sure to turn a few heads in your direction.

Especially at a revival screening of Sunset Boulevard.

TROPICAL ROMPER* (As low as $12.99)
Have fun in the sun in this easy-to-wear strapless romper, designed in brilliant tropical print... Polyester. Imported.

Because domestic polyester would be just tacky.

*When I read the phrase "tropical romper," it sounded like some kinky sexual position to me. And now that I've said that, it will to you as well.

This wireless doorbell plays your choice of 32 melodies-from old favorites like "The Yellow Rose of Texas" to Christmas carols and classic chimes.

"Classic chimes"? Gee, there's an oldies station I've never tuned in to. I'd recommend finding the melody that will scare away Mormon missionaries and Jehovah's Witnesses the quickest.

Announces the phone number of Who's Calling Before You Answer the Phone.

Ooh, so close. It would be perfect if it said things like, "That bitch you can't stand is trying to call you again!" in a Karen Walker voice.

FUCOXANTHIN PATCH-CR (tm) Set of 30 ($19.99)
Lose weight even while you sleep with these time-release, all-natural fat-burning patches...No shakes, no extra-large pills to swallow. Just apply one patch a day.

Methinks this could be a scam. I suppose its effectiveness depends where you put the patch.

BUTTON EXTENDERS (Set of 2 only $2.99)
Keep your favorite pants without costly tailoring. Slip over existing button and add a full inch to waistbands.

Hey, it's cheaper than the patch. And probably works better.

Cologne to UNLEASH YOUR SENSUALITY (note: the boxes are displayed in the catalog, but I can't make out the brand name due to the size of the pictures, and it isn't listed elsewhere) $14.99
This pheromone based cologne attracts members of the opposite sex like a magnet...Men's original scent and the women's unscented...

Wait, "unscented" cologne? Isn't that just called "water"? Anyway, this sounds like a product for single people. Single, desperate people. Single, desperate, gullible people...


Now, THAT'S a cheery gift idea!

The last pillow you'll ever need to buy!

Is that a threat?

Deter garden pests with this light-reflecting guard owl. He has realistic eyes and a holographic design that creates the illusion of continuous movement. Weatherproof plastic with a loop for hanging and a weighted bottom that keeps him from flying away.

Because fake owls are always trying to escape their masters.

Scratch your tickets with this "lucky coin" and WIN, WIN, WIN!
Genuine U.S. minted penny and a pewter shamrock.

Five dollars for a one cent coin to scratch off a $1 lotto ticket? I'm not looking anymore, I've found the perfect gift!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY! Hope it's everything it should be!

-Bill S.

From Scott:  Well, with that entry, I think it's pretty clear to all that Bill S. has won the Essay Contest, and there's nothing much for me to add, except the obligatory Topless Nathan Fillion shot, this year hoisted fresh from a screencap of Serenity:
Happy birthday!


Li'l Innocent said...

Hm, I seem to be Frist champ today...

I only want to observe that that is no Hibiscus. "Southern Belle", my foot. That's a triffid, that is.

Goodbye, little boy.

Woodrowfan said...

happy birthday!

maryclev said...

Thanks, Bill! I gotta say, the child eating flower definitely caught my eye. I may look into that for the classroom.

And to much loved and real life husband, thanks so much for the muffiny pic of my pretend life boyfriend.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

You thought you could escape my birthday greetings on Facebook...foolish girl! Happy birthday, m.c...

Nadine said...

Happy, Happy Day Mary!! I will have to bring back some of those extra-big Venus Small Child Traps from Florida for your gift. Classroom discipline will be a breeze!
Much Love to the Nicest Person that I haven't met in real life but really want to...

The Minx!

M. Bouffant said...

Whew, made it in time. Happy Birthday MaryC!

Carl said...

Terry Turban....didn't he co-star with Lola Falana in "Take My Wife, Please"?

Happy birthday, Mary!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Happy Birthday MaryC.

Watch out for that flower, it might start singing and making demands.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Happy Birthday, Mary.

Chris Vosburg said...

Happy Birthday, Mary, and many more Nathan Fillions to come.

Bill, excellent essay. "Say, that's fine, here's five dollars!"

AnnPW said...

Day late to the party - again!! Sorry Mary, but hope you had a Great Birthday, and thanks for sharing Scott with all of us!

Good essay BillSass....

Anonymous said...

Aaargh. Noo - I missed Mary's birthday - and she always has the BESTEST Nathan Fillion pix.

Happy Birthday, hon.Keep lusting anf thriving.

Li'l Innocent said...

It dawns on me that I neglected to say "Happy Birthday, Mary C" yesterday while getting distracted about triffids. Shame! Apologies, and may the next 364 days be lovely - and funny - ones, Mary.

D. Sidhe said...

Happy birthday, Mary. I trust the cats showered you with, I dunno, fur, probably. But in an amiable sort of way.

Please use this belated wish as an excuse to celebrate irresponsibly again today. :-)

Debbi said...

Well, better late than never. I guess.

Happy (belated) birthday, Mary C! May the angel of Nathan Fillion visit you in your dreams.

Scott, you don't mind angel visits, right? :)

Scott said...

Scott, you don't mind angel visits, right?

As long as they don't touch me.

Chris Vosburg said...

Incidentally, the "Fruit Salad Tree" Bill S found in the gift catalog sounds like a genetic nightmare far surpassing any offense committed against God and nature by Monsanto in their efforts to engineer hardier alfalfa (as exhaustively condemned in foodie websites).

Does this really exist? Anybody ever seen one?

Kathy said...

That flower is going to burst into song, probably "Happy Birthday". The fruit-salad tree probably sings, too.

Happy birthday Mary.

Anonymous said...

Crap. I'm late, I'm late for that very important birthday date but best wishes (and heartfelt also!) to you Mary!
I had the thought that if you actually did get the Fruit Salad Tree, you could harvest the fruit and be Carmen Miranda this Halloween. Hey, just a thought!


D. Sidhe said...

The tree is something called a grafted family tree. You'll notice the fruits are all basically the same. Peach, nectarine, apricot, two plums. These are all Prunus species, they can be grafted together pretty easily. You can also graft assorted citruses together, and assorted apples, though that's less exciting. (Most commercially grown apples are grafts, btw, because apples are basically the nonconformists of the treefruit world and can grow a into different shapes and colors and flavors from the same set of seeds.)

It's a horror, but not because of the multi-grafting, which can be done well. You can also graft several apple varieties onto one tree so you always have something in fruit. Hard on the roots, though, from what I understand.

I would expect a tree from a company like this to have been poorly handled and packaged, and to not be very old, meaning the grafts probably aren't that solid. I would expect at least one scion (the part with the fruit) to die quickly. I'd be amazed if they come with anything approaching reasonable care instructions, and I would expect people to be surprised when each graft splits open under its own weight as soon as the fruit start growing because it didn't occur to anyone to prop it. I'd also expect them to have selected the cheapest possible species for stock and scion, regardless of things like flavor and hardiness and compatibility.

As with all plants, buy from an actual nursery or expect them to pretend they're annuals.

Hot damn, I finally get something out of FFA other than, you know, colossal hangovers and late night hotel room visits from other members of the tournament team...

Chris Vosburg said...

You also get my thanks-- and another whistle tune-- if I can come up with it, D. There is nothing to compare you with.

Carl said...

You also get my thanks-- and another whistle tune-- if I can come up with it, D. There is nothing to compare you with.

And Sinead O'Connor didn't spontaneously erupt in your mind????

Chris Vosburg said...

Och, my heart still belongs to wee Annie Lennox.

D. Sidhe said...

Mine too, Chris. Mine too.

As to all the shit about the tree grafting, can you just imagine how many immortals I had to slay to know everything? I feel like it was worth it, quite honestly.

There can be only one!

Carl said...

Och, my heart still belongs to wee Annie Lennox.

Well, you may want to, but I think she's still married and I'm not sure she likes golden showers anyway.

heydave said...

Well, late to the party again, or as McBargle would say, agin. Anyway, I am the only guest truthful enough to admit I read YOUR columns while nude. Happy Birthday!