Life As We Know It: December 9, 2013

       Live long enough and you’ll be amazed by how much stuff you accumulate. Like mail-order catalogs. There’s a pile of them three feet high in the garage. I don’t know why they come to us with such great frequency, but it’s a rare day when the mailbox doesn’t yield a couple, especially at Christmas time. My wife says the one-day record is 13. I believe it. I have a suggestion for most of these mail-order places: just put all your stuff on-line, at one website. You could call it

        But it’s the holiday season, I’m desperate for gift ideas, and I find myself leafing through these things anyway. I’m stunned by what I learn. I had no idea you could buy a book called “Bed Time Stories for Dogs,” featuring “The Three Little Pugs.” Isn’t that special? Or how about a nice set of electric-guitar figurines?

And for the man who has everything, one catalog offers a see-through toilet seat with real starfish inside. Great, now I’m going to have nightmares for a month.

         However, I must give these folks their due. I have decided that some of the best writing in the land happens not just in One of America’s Great Newspapers but on the T-shirts and coffee mugs available in these catalogs.

         Here’s a list we compiled of some of the best and wittiest we’ve seen. A certain attitude is a recurrent theme, but a world without cynics and egocentrics would be a lonely place.

         “I’m not bossy, I just know what you should be doing.”

         “Obey gravity…it’s the law.”

         “What if the Hokey-Pokey really is what it’s all about?”

         “Start each day with a smile and get it out of the way.”

         “You’re starting to make sense. It’s time to up my medication.”

         “I’m not a waitress, but I play one at home.”

         “Do I look like I’m kidding?”

         “My Indian name is Runs With Beer.”

         “Mama said there’d be decades like this.”

         “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”


         “Even if the voices are not real, they have pretty good ideas.”

         “Everyone is born right-handed. Only the gifted overcome it.”

         “They say I have A.D.D. but they just don’t…oh look! A chicken!’

         “Doesn’t play well with others.”

         “Keep staring at me. I may do a trick.”

         “Very affectionate…On an as-needed basis.”

         “Nothing ruins good parenting like teenagers.”

         “I’m a credit to my species.”

         “Instant human—Just add coffee.”

         “Every day at this time I FREAK OUT!”

        Well, there you have it. Next week, more wacky gift ideas from the world of mail-order catalogs…