Look around your neighborhood the next time you’re out driving around. Know what you’ll see? The gray ghosts of Halloween past. Long gone is the day when little ghouls and goblins flood the streets, entranced by a devilish spell of a chocoholic binge. Today, sticky strands of fake spider webs fill the trees. Pumpkin guts spill onto the sidewalks. And creepy zombie creatures still dangle from wire nooses like hanged desperadoes. But now comes a much scarier specter.
It’s almost Thanksgiving. And that can only mean one thing. It’s time to go holiday shopping. Just the thought of buying all those presents fills your tormented soul with raw terror. What will you get Aunt Shirley? She hates everything. And don’t get me started on Uncle Fred. Heck, you don’t even like your Nephew Artie -- he’s a coal-worthy mole if ever there was one. And your sister Mary, she got you an aerobics tape last year. Hint, hint, fatty. It’s time to plot sweet holiday revenge! As you can see, holiday gift shoppers have a lot on their demented minds.
My wife Trina and I are already finished shopping! Eat your heart out. Yessiree, we’re way ahead of the curve. But in this economy, we probably paid way more than the rest of you will. Unsold gifts are piling up on store shelves. And unless people suddenly start buying like banshees, retailers are going to be chopping prices like the guy with the axe in one of those Halloween horror flicks.
This brings us to a truly macabre aspect of holiday shopping. It’s not trying to figure out what to buy for all those people. It’s not even trying to pay for all that junk. It’s Made In America. With so many Americans out of work, wouldn’t you really like to buy something that was actually produced in the states? Sure you would. Just try.
Here’s how we made out:
* Electronics – made in Korea.
* We bought a fancy crystal bracelet from Thailand. It has a warranty card that says “not applicable in the USA”. I’m not kidding. You can’t make this stuff up.
* Clothing - from India, Thailand and China.
* Disney’s Winnie-the-Pooh toy phone - China.
* The George Foreman Grill - made in China.
* Hasbro’s Iron Man toy with Repulsor Power - China. (I didn’t have the guts to even look at the Captain America toys.)
* And the kick in the gut? The gift tags to put on our gifts - you guessed it, made in China.
Trina and I really tried hard to buy American. Really. We bought some zesty Barbecue Spices from a company based in Illinois. Of course, that company’s name is Xcell International Corp. Hmmm. Out of all the gifts we purchased, we found some bath gel (you know, over-priced soap) that says it’s made in the USA and some homegrown cat nip for our cats, Barney & Bailey. As if those crazy beasts need to get stoned again? The last time they shredded the curtains and part of my leg. But we’ll save that screed for another day.
I was so upset with the results of our holiday shopping spree I came home, went to the fridge, and grabbed a cool, refreshing, All-American bottle of Budweiser. Then I remembered that Anheuser-Busch was just bought out by a liquor conglomerate based in Belgium. Sigh. Next year I’m giving everybody a gift that for now at least is still Made In America. Cash.