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What I Won't be Buying the Shrub staffers for Christmas

by Jessica Brandt

When I say "college student" what do you think? Okay, after "drunk" what do you think? Poor! Right! With the holidays coming up and a greuling semester of schoolwork behind me, I barely have enough funds left over from my summer job to buy a spool of thread for me mum.

I like to buy Christmas presents for people, don't get me wrong. I even come up with lists over the summer of what I want to get everyone I think is important in my life. I reallyw anted to buy for the Shrub staffers this year because I can't afford to pay them. But if I can't afford to pay them, how can I buy them gifts?

It's the thought that counts, right? Well, here is a list of what I really wanted to get everyone for Christmas, had I the money. Happy Holidays, guys!

Spandex! Nothing but Spandex! Jason Morrison, Editor-in-Chief: What to buy the man that has everything? Well, he's got everything important: Intelligence, muscles, a girlfriend and a lot of hair on the top of his head. The only thing he doesn't seem to have anymore is time. That rules out the idea of getting him a small pet to take care of. So what if I get him a clever gift, like the gift of time? A clock! Ha! But then I realized that giving a clock to a man with no time is like giving shoes to a man with no feet. Pretty pointless. So what else does Jason want? Well, he sure wants to be Spider Man, that's for sure. Have you checked out his Spider Man movie petition? I thought maybe some Spidey undies or Spidey pjamas but come on, you know he already has those. Instead, I'll get him a little red and blue spandex outfit. Because, really, you know that's the real attraction for him.

Hang your hat on that, mister! Gordon Dymowski, Mature Guy: It's not very hard to come up with a gift idea for Gordon, considering he writes a column each month (on time, mind you) that usually contains a number of things that make him giggle with glee. And you might know that one of Gordon's favorite things, other than cheeseburgers with lots of mayo and a diet Coke, is the goofy 70s British sci-fi show Dr. Who. I asked my boyfriend, who is just as geek-suave as Gordon, what's the deal with Dr. Who. "He's got a coat rack. In his time machine!" he said. Imagine that! I was going to buy Gordon a time machine. Then I thought he's probably already got a cardboard box in his basement on which he has scribbled "Time Machine" on the side and hung some strings of blinky lights on. So instead, I decided to get him a coat rack. Did you know you can buy those online?

Cheezy Angry Dan, ex-columnist: Technically, Dan isn't on staff anymore. But you can't not buy a gift for a guy just because he quit two months before Christmas, right? I'm not sure if Dan celebrates Christmas. He might be Buddhist, or Athiest, or a Satanist. I know he likes cars, though. And he likes old car parts to put on his old cars. Or even new car parts. But who wants car parts for Christmas, especially if you don't celebrate Christmas? Well, Dan probably does. But I wouldn't know a car part from a handsaw if someone dropped it on my head. So I am going to get Dan one of those sausage and cheese samplers, because that is what you get for people who may or may not celebrate Christmas. Everyone likes cheese, right?

Pokey Uncle Summy, Minster of Culture: Summy isn't technically a staffer anymore, either, but he has been just as integral to this organization as Dan. Since England is famous for its cheese shops (okay, probably not but Monty Python did a hell of a sketch about it) I don't want to get him cheese. Besides, Dan will probably email everyone and say "All I got was this damn cheese, Jess is so cheap!" and I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I don't know much about Summy other than he goes by Greenwish Mean Time and he recently got married and had a little girl already. How that is biologically possible, I do not know. Anyway, he barely has enough time to write to me so I know he probably doesn't have time to go to the toy store to buy stuff for his little girl. So for Summy, I will get a case of old American Pokemon cards. Why? Because all kids like Pokemon, and American kids are losing interest in them, but the British kids are always a bit behind when it comes to popular culture, so his daughter will be the coolest tot in the village! Aye!

The best movies of 2000 Andrew Smith, film critic: Who is Andrew Smith? I hardly know. He is one of the twenty seven friends of Summy who is named Andrew Smith. He recently wrote to me and said he didn't want to be a film critic anymore because he really doesn't watch film. I took a look at his old columns and noticed that they are all about old American movies. See what I mean about the British being a few years behind on popular culture? So I thought about this: Good American movies stay in theaters for a long time. They they go to video. And when they make enough money from American video sales, they are transferred to the PAL format that everyone in the Empire uses and finally, the British get to see our wonderful films. This takes about 20 years. I was considering buying a DVD player for Andrew, because I am pretty sure that is a standard, world-wide format. But do you know how much those things cost? Surely much more than Gordon's coat rack, and I wouldn't want to be unfair. So I will buy him two DVDs of recent popular American films. One, Charlie's Angels and two, Little Nicky. They aren't on DVD yet so he will have to wait. That will give him enough time to order his own DVD player. From America, of course.

Happy to wash your butt, sir. P. Kellach Waddle, tv columnist: Kel has been a real trooper this year. He landed himself in the hospital with exhaustion and I think he only missed one month of his column! I thought about giving him a big-screen TV for his efforts, but once again that wouldn't be fair to the other staffers, and I also imagine Kel having one tv in every square foot of his house, like the guy int he Circut City commercial. He's from Texas, you know. they do things big out there. So I put a lot of thought into his gift. He also writes for few soap opera magazines, although he swears he doesn't really like soap operas. I think he's lying. But anyway, he is also a professional musician. Musicians are a stinky bunch of people. One musician confessed to me that he doesn't wash his clothes, he just uses Febreeze. Kel is a bass player, and they usually don't get as stinky as drummers, but they smell nonetheless. So I got really clever with this one. Ready? Decorative smiley-face soap! Now he can be happier AND smell fresher.

Paise my softness. Brad Colbow, cartoonist: This guy draws the finest Jesus cartoons I've ever seen. I bet he's excited for Jesus' birthday, then. It's like a political cartoonist revving up before an election. I don't really know Brad, but I had a class with him once at school. I predict he can make it big sometime as a cartoonist, if only he didn't write for such a dinky magazine. Anyway, I think what he needs is a muse to help him with his cartoons. I am going to get him a huge velvet Jesus painting, so he can see how the pros do it.

Spin it DJ Ed! Ed Parker, music reviewer: Ed writes some pretty sweet music reviews. Of course, he doesn't remember to do them all the time. Amazing that our musician-writer is more prompt than our music reviewers, past and present. Anyway, Ed has a pretty broad taste in music but he tends to review more college radio-type bands like Ween and Sunny Day Real Estate. Gee, I wonder where he steals those from? His college radio station, perhaps? We need to broaden our audience for the year 2001, so my gift to Ed this year will be a package of the coolest new artists: Backstreet, Brittney, 'NSync and some of those dopey country people whose names I can't remember because frankly, I don't care. That will get Ed on his toes...

Todd McCafferty, Holzqopf's Wooden Head: Er, where has Todd gone? To the Moon? He is not here, I'll tell you that. He is harder to reach than Jason. So if I bought him a Christmas present, would he be around to receive it? If a tree is born in the forest on Christmas Day, is it a Christmas tree? If I buy Todd a gift of, say, some nice diamond earrings, and he is not here to take them, do I get to keep them? Earrings it is.

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