theskinnyonbenny Holiday Buyer's Guide

December 06, 2006

Haven't ordered my Christmas present yet? Better get off your ass and start shopping!

Here we present the first annual theskinnyonbenny holiday buyer's guide.

Ursus Mark VI Protection Suit

According to the inventor of this must-have item, it was designed to allow the wearer to survive grizzly bear attacks. As an unintended side-benefit, it will prevent harm from blows by baseball bats, stop 12-gauge shotgun pellets, protect you from a 3 ton truck cruising along at 30 mph, stop flaming armor piercing arrows, or make sure that you don't get crushed by a 350 lb. tree trunk dropped from 30 feet above. Because you never know when some nutcase is going to be in the parking lot at Albertson's, shooting flaming, armor piercing arrows at innocent shoppers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a site where you actually order this oh-so-necessary suit. I don't know what it might cost, but it might be kind of expensive. But fear not, the Ursus Mark VII Protection Suit is in development. According to the inventor, "We have to buy the materials from NASA."

Orange Boxx

Here we have your run-of-the-mill orange tackle box, but ... but.... But nothing. It's an orange tackle box. The web site acts like it's a major benefit in your quest to survive a hurricane, complete with scary Katrina photographs, which were undoubtedly ripped off from other web sites. You'll notice that the orange box appears in none of the pictures, so by implication, it's the lack of a box that left these good people in such a pickle. The site points out that you can slip a padlock on it (whooooo!), put a sticker with your name on it, so that it won't get lost, and that it is "water resistant," which is not the same as "water proof." Any boater will tell you that "water resistant" means that you have a few minutes to wipe a spill off the surface, but that any repeated splashing will soak the contents but good. Don't confuse the Orange Boxx with The Orange BoXXX, which was a 1978 pornographic film about a woman with oddly-colored private areas. This is a good example of what happens when you let any old shit-for-brains start his own web page. (And by "this," I mean, not $$ Fifty bucks, for the large orange boxx.

The "I Gave My Word" Shirt

This shirt has it all. The Johnny Cochran rhyming, a year when I was a teenager, the corny bullcrap sentiment. If only I had actually gone to school in Suffolk County. $ Eighteen bucks.

The Blundstone 550 Boot

Check out this write up that I read in Outside Magazine:
You can learn a lot about a man from his shoes. Usually. In the spring, I was wearing my four-year-old pair of Blundstone boots at a joint on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The worn-supple black leather was laced with battle scars. A few days earlier, I'd snugged them into gaiters and stomped through snowdrifts in the Rockies. A few days later, I would sit in a chair in Grand Central and have them shined back to life before meeting with some corporate types. My friend Drew wore his Blundstones on a six week trip across Eastern Europe, where he trekked through the Carpathian Mountains and suffered spilled Czechvars in dingy pubs. That was six years ago; currently, he’s wearing the same pair on vacation in the Scottish Highlands. Then there’s my friend Josiah, who destroys everything he owns. Looking at the pulverized shoes he discards after a single season, you'd think he'd attack them with power tools. His first Blundstones endured an astonishing three years, and he keeps them in the closet still, like a trophy. I've worn mine with jeans, a suit, and board shorts (OK, the latter was a stretch); on bikes, horses, and basketball courts. I've never owned a more faithful thing. And yet here I am cheating. Why? company Because this fall, the introduced the Blundstone 550, a boot with a soft leather liner that, as promised, has molded to fit my feet even better than my first pair. And because the 550 has a bouncy rubber-and-plastic sole that makes my heels feel caffeinated. But mostly it’s because I wanted a pair in brown.
Wow! Right? Until you go check their web site, and find the ugly-ass shoe pictured here. What the hell? No wonder Dew was spilling Carpathian Czechvars all over them. He was hoping they would fall apart. (But still, I want to try them out. Who wouldn't want caffeinated heels?) $$$ One hundred-sixty bucks.

The Xylon Klassic bicycle

Look at this. An honest-to-God wooden bicycle. Did you know that this bike was really and truly made by Santa's elves? (Well not elves actually, but midgets. And they didn't really work for the fictional Santa Claus, but the guy is fat, and he has white hair. On the other hand, this guy is mean. That's why they make really expensive ugly bikes that would snap like a twig if you hit a pothole.) This is the perfect gift for the bicycle enthusiast who has more money than brains. $$$$ In the $2500 neighborhood. Have to write a bad check from a stolen checkbook to pick up this one.

The World's Most Dangerous Predator

Admittedly, I've laid some stinkers on you so far. But how about this remote-controled shark? It's a couple of feet long, and supposedly moves about like a real-life shark. The only problem is that this is too big for the bathtub. It would really only be a lot of fun at the beach, where you could make your fellow swimmers think that they had been brushed by a real shark. But the water at the beach is cloudy. How do you keep from accidentally steering your toy out into the deep blue sea? Especially when the frenzied thrashings of your closest friends have turned it in a direction that's unknown to you. If we can solve that problem, we could have a whole lot of fun with this gift. $$$ A hundred big ones.

The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker

I can't wait to make my way to the bookstore, drop down into a big fluffy seat, and amuse myself with this offering for a few hours. I would strongly recommend that you purchase this book to keep near the commode in your guest bathroom. From the exhibits that I can see on Amazon, these were cartoons that were rejected because they were crude or insulting. What could be better. When I was a kid, my family had a big coffee-table book of New Yorker cartoons in one of the bathrooms. I bet every single one of us read every single cartoon dozens of times -- almost all of which occurred while taking a dump. I only remember a couple. They were the ones with cuss words. Since I remembered the captions entirely, I had no problem finding them on I'm happy to reproduce them here -- at least until I get a nasty letter from New Yorker attorneys.
I'm anticipating a whole book of cartoons that are even better. Look at it this way. Someone kept them around for all these years to compile them for a book. They aren't the ones that were rejected because they were stupid. And by "stupid", I mean more stupid than the average New Yorker cartoon.

Merchadise from

For years, I've admired the spoof motivational posters at In case it's tough to read, the caption for this particular poster is this:
If a Pretty Poster and a Cute Saying are All it Takes to Motivate You, You Probably have a Very Easy Job. The Kind Robots Will be Doing Soon.
Be sure to look at the photographs. They are often as awesome as the smart-ass comments that go with them. I started to add additional links to all of the posters that are hilarious to me because they're true to me. But there's only so much disk space on the internet. If you fail to look at all of the possible demotivators, then you are doing yourself a disservice. If you fail to order me a poster, a calendar, or a mug, then you are doing theskinnyonbenny a disservice. $ Posters -- 16 bucks. $ Calendars -- 20 bucks + some change for smart-ass comments on particular dates.

An Apple Pot

Christ Almighty! You guys want to know something that really, really makes me sad? There are some people out there that think this would make a good gift. Mostly, these are husbands who bought their wives chainsaws for their birthdays earlier this year, and subsequently got bitched out because they bought presents that were, "Really for you -- not for me!" Trust me ladies. If your husband buys you the apple pot, he's not just saying that you need another junky piece of kitchen clutter. He's actually saying that he loves you so much, that he can't bear to eat another grain of rice that was boiled in a normal pot. If you're going to take your well-deserved kitchen time to cook for your husband, you might just as well have a kitschy, fun little pot to bring a smile to your suppertime preparations. $ Twenty-five bucks.

The Daddle

Please tell me that I don't need to make fun of the Daddle. Actually, I guess I might. I think that I know guys who might actually order one of these. You might think that your little kid thinks you're the bomb because you ordered a Daddle, but you would be wrong. Your kid doesn't really care if you have a fake-saddle or not. But this is assured: if you have one of these, your child will despise you as a teenager. And that said, I can't come to your defense. You deserve the despise. Let me put this offer out there now. First dad who emails me a picture of you wearing this gayest of all products -- I'll send you a check for fifty bucks. It's just like getting a free Daddle, but I get to make fun of you! Here's another offer. If you're a teenager whose parents had one of these, be the first to send me a picture, and I'll send you fifty bucks. This offer does not expire, so if you're reading this in 2019, send it on in. Fifty dollars will probably still buy you a candy bar! "As Seen on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" Does anyone think that Leno was pushing this product? Or was he actually making fun of it? 'Nuff said. Speaking of Leno, here's an aside. Some years ago, during a Las Vegas trip, our friend Crystal started badgering Mrs. theskinnyonbenny about what a big fan of Jay Leno she had been in high school. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny contended that she was not inordinately fanatic about Leno, but Crystal is the type to harp and harp and harp until she pisses you off, or until you give in. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny always gets pissed off. She never gives in. So Mrs. theskinnyonbenny was completely angry, and Crystal kept going on and on and on about Jay Leno. I don't understand why either of them was quite so adamant, but the brouhaha lasted a couple of days. We still don't bring this up to this day. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny will be pissed just in reading this recounting of the story. So to balance that out, I'll remind everyone that Crystal cried on the Oprah Winfrey show. Watch and have another laugh at her expense. (Note -- I just watched this again for the first time in a year or two, and I'm all by myself in a hotel room, having a hardy laugh out loud, all by myself.) $$ 50 bucks (way too much).

A Case of Santa's Butt Winter Porter

Various governments -- always looking out for we stoopid citzen hoo cant look after weselves -- are banning this beer, which might be the best thing or the worst thing ever to happen to this particular brewer. I gather that it boils down to being offended by Santa's big ass on the label. Personally, I don't see the problem. I don't think it makes kids want to try beer. Or at least doesn't intrigue them any more than the fact that they see their parents slurping it down after work every evening. Now don't get me wrong; there are limits. I found that "Mrs. Claus's Stinky Pussy Lager" was over the top. Under no circumstances should they continue to sell that in schools. $ I don't know how much this costs, but it's beer. It can't be that much.

A Gift Certificate at Beefmastor's in Wilson, NC

Let me start with the story of the Beefmastor Inn (known as Beefmastor's to the locals and regulars) in Wilson, NC. Wilson is (I gather) a dull little down around a half hour south of Rocky Mount, NC. Rocky Mount is a fairly dull town around an hour from Raleigh. But right there -- an hour and a half from the nearest city that you've heard of -- is a wildly popular eatery. The drill at Beefmastor's is that you show up, and find that the wait at a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant is crazy long. So you open an ice chest of beer and start to wait. How did you know to bring an ice chest of beer? Everyone just knows. I'm in Rocky Mount this week, and all of the consultants from all over the nation know to bring beer and plan to tailgate in the parking lot of Beefmastor's. Once you get in, you have a small choice in what you get to eat. Some guy brings buy a huge slab of beef, and you point to where you want him to cut a piece off for your dinner. It comes back to you on a plate, cooked medium. As far as I know, that's all there is to it. For sure, there are no menus. Perhaps there are sides, but no other meat choices. I didn't make it there myself, much to my regret. $ I don't think this is a high-dollar joint.