It's the most ... wonderful time ... of the year.
And the most frantic and anxious and mind-numbing and expensive. The rewarding part is my ongoing seasonal side job as a lumpy elfin holiday gift consultant, where it is an honor and a privilege to be able to pass along some hot tips for this year's Christmas shopping lists.
None of which involve surplus uranium tailings from sales to the Iranians.
There's still more than a few of us struggling to climb out of financial holes so deep we're being tickled by the tendrils of redwood roots, but we're not that difficult to shop for. Dollar coins. Discount clothing. Used food. Lint-covered gum and pennies. Roadkill wrapped in the Sunday Funnies. Re-gifting welcomed with open arms.
It's the other end of the spectrum that concerns me. The least-needy of us. Wall Street is shoveling out record bonuses. Again. What to get the person who can buy anything?
Perhaps the gifts you've lined up for your financial planners won't be considered up to snuff. Well, I'm here to convince you to let those worries go. After all, it's the thought that counts. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
No, seriously. To ease your stress, we here at Durstco have come up with a catalog of prospective Christmas Gifts that any Wall Street Tycoon would be honored to find under their holiday shrubbery.
And who knows, maybe in appreciation, he or she will slide you insider status on the newest IPOs. To be honest though, probably not, but what the heck, here we go with the TOP TEN CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR YOUR WALL STREET BROKER BUDDIES:
10. A peacock. Provides the double benefit of being both the ultimate symbol of excessive extravagance and extremely difficult to care for.
9. A copy of George W. Bush's autobiography, because, during the holidays, everyone can use a good laugh.
8. A kidney in an ice chest. Purchased from a poor person. Always good to have one lying around just in case.
7. A Lexus. According to TV, that's what rich people give each other for the holidays. Don't forget the big red bow.
6. A get-out-of-jail-free card. No, a real Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card. You must know somebody who knows somebody.
5. A Faberge Egg. Only 42 are known to have survived. Go for it. Check out eBay. Or call Meg Whitman direct.
4. A pair of Bernie Madoff's underwear. Or just frame any old pair of size 36s and say they're his. It's what he would have done.
3. A signed first edition of Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" because nothing else says "Master of the Universe" quite like it.
2. A U.S. Senator. Oh sure, they probably already have one socked away, but who's ever thrown out a Senator because they went bad? Not Congress.
1. A soul. Odds are, they've sold, misplaced or ruined theirs. Just realize in advance they'll probably sell, misplace or ruin this one as well.
Will Durst is a San Francisco-based humor columnist and political comedian, who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.