WASHINGTON -- Here we are in the season of peace, love and good will. It's a joyous time, unless of course you are one of the billions of people being targeted by the bigot running for president of the United States.
Because the nation's presidential hopefuls have worked so hard and pointlessly to win us over, here are a few gift suggestions for them culled from the avalanche of catalogs that inexplicably cascades through my mail slot this time of year.
Ben Carson may be sliding in the polls but he certainly had our attention for at least 15 minutes. A devout anti-evolutionist, he should receive a Big Dig Dino Model, which provides the "mystery and excitement of a (dinosaur) dig" in a box, complete with hidden plastic bones that can be washed and assembled to form a complete dinosaur model. We know Carson only knows what he believes. But this is totally believable at $24.95; two for $39.95.
Dour Bernie Sanders, who has sobered us up with grim stats on inequality, the power of big banks and the looming decimation of Earth, needs the Vermont Country Store's "incredibly moist" Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey Cakes, "drenched with a couple of fingers of Tennessee whiskey" and guaranteed to "get you in the holiday spirit." Just $18.95.
We'd like young Ted "Green Eggs and Ham" Cruz, who hasn't got any friends or backers in the Senate, to have a $94 copy of the "1,000 Places to See Before You Die" book. It's a leather edition from Front Gate. (Not even old former Sen. Bob Dole likes him, and Dole likes everybody, even a few Democrats.) We'd like Cruz to see a little more of the world before he shuts down our government.
Hillary Clinton is still trying to show how tough she is against the macho GOP horde. She needs the live action infrared skeet shoot from Hammacher Schlemmer. For $69.96, it "challenges shooters to hit three flying targets using a harmless infrared gun," even if the shooter is wearing a $1,400 pantsuit. Or maybe the company's snowball launcher -- just $34.95 -- for when she's irritated at voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Or maybe both the infrared gun and the snowball launcher!
If Marco Rubio doesn't make it in 2016, he should have a Nightmare Before Christmas Cuckoo Clock (only $199 from Hammacher Schlemmer but requiring four batteries) to remind him there's still 2020.
Chris Christie probably would be delighted to see under his tree a Maze and Marbles set ($89.95 from Young Explorers), which teaches you how to design chutes and bridges, teaching "organization, visualization, coordination and spatial skills." The "I'm sorry" kit comes separately.
The obscenely rich megalomaniac in the race doesn't deserve anything but scorn, but to be charitable somebody should get him the Talk Back Mimicking Tomcat, an 18-inch plush cat that repeats anything said to it in a cartoonish voice. Only from Hammacher Schlemmer for $59.95.
Paul Ryan, the reluctant new speaker of the House, has grown a hunter's beard. Since he sleeps in his office and must be on call all the time to denounce Obama or Trump, we do not want him to be unkempt. We found on Amazon.com a compact multi-groom, all-in-one beard trimmer with five attachments for only $15.95.
Carly Fiorina needs some new one-liners. Here's a selection of $17.95 T-shirts from Catalogue Favorites: "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you." "Politicians and diapers need to be changed often ... for the same reason."
Somebody should give John Kasich the shirt that says: "Don't make me put my hands on my hips." And left-handed Rand Paul and George Pataki should each get the one that says, "I may be left-handed, but I'm always right." Jeb Bush needs "When I was a kid I wanted to be older. This crap is not what I expected."
Catalogue Favorites also has a $14.95 Hillary Clinton action figure in her signature pantsuit. "Designed with eight movable parts by artist Mike Leavitt, she can pose for pretend photo ops." For sure it will be in Joe Biden's stocking.
President Barack Obama has everything he wants except world peace and his freedom. But we'd like him to receive the "best WiFi security camera" from Hammacher Schlemmer for $199.95. Well, you know, the Secret Service hasn't been all that great lately.
Happy shopping, everybody!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at amcfeattersnationalpress.com.