By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Buzz's holiday gift guide
The desperate hours are approaching. The holiday is almost here, and Buzz still doesn't know what to get Mrs. Buzz for Christmas. She asked for a vacuum cleaner, but Buzz knows a marital test when we see one, and there's no way we're dumb enough to fall for that one. We'd like to have sex again in this lifetime, and not with a vacuum.
What to do, what to do?
If you are in Buzz's situation and don't care about the sex part, may we suggest a visit to www.georgewbushstore.com. There, you can order your loved ones all sorts of fine merchandise bearing the name and likeness of Gov. Dubya.
Ted Jackson, president of English Emprise, a Kentucky-based marketing company, says his Bush store has been shipping hundreds of packages daily to Bush fans worldwide, who are spending on average $70 per order on such items as T-shirts, caps, and coffee mugs.
Jackson says the George W. Bush for President bottled water, drawn from a Kentucky spring, has been moving particularly well. At $18 for a dozen 16-oz. bottles, it's a bit pricey, but it might go well with a product from another of Jackson's clients, Maker's Mark Bourbon.
Since none of the money goes to the Bush campaign, we checked it out, hoping for a few gag gifts. We were looking for a Bush atlas -- lots of blank pages. Unfortunately, Jackson is a stalwart Republican and Bush supporter. No luck.
We also considered the merchandise on Al Gore's www.gore-2000.com, looking for a wooden Al doll -- "just like the real thing" -- but again no luck.
So it's off to the mall we go, in search of a vacuum and a book on coping with celibacy.
Another way to suck
Keeping with the things-that-suck gift theme, if political trinkets and household appliances don't light the flame in your loved one's heart, you could always sign your spouse up for subsidized liposuction at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Merry Christmas, honey. Now go get your butt shrunk." It could be the last Christmas gift you ever have to buy.
Plastic surgeons at UT Southwestern are taking part in a study of comparing ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty, which uses sound to melt fat before it's sucked out of the body, with other methods of liposuction. They're looking for 13 patients to participate.
Participants will be paid $1,500 at the end of the three-month study. About 100 people called in seeking to volunteer after news reports about the research failed to mention that patients would have to pay for the procedure up front and won't be reimbursed until the study is done, says UT Southwestern research associate Debby Noble. Most changed their minds after learning how much liposuction costs -- around $3,000 to have abdominal fat removed.
R.D. explains it all
If $3,000 is beyond your holiday budget, you cheap bastard, then consider the latest book from Buzz's favorite author, frequent judicial candidate R.D. Rucker.
Rucker, who has run unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for several judicial seats in Dallas County, is a prolific self-published author whose work includes a book on human sexuality. In it, he suggests that a part of the female genitalia he calls the "os compartment" makes women susceptible to domination by men who know how to open it up. How do you find it? Try lots of alcohol.
Rucker's latest work, The Nature of Evolution and Structure of the Universe, moves beyond sexuality to cosmology -- from little bangs to big bangs, so to speak. In it, Rucker beats Stephen Hawking to the punch with one theory that explains the nature of everything, as near as we can tell. Among his findings:
"Homo sapiens are, at least currently, the most intelligent life on earth," Rucker writes. "However, all plants and animals possess knowledge. They may not know much. Some probably know no more than how to live for a few hours. Some serve on the Dallas school board."
OK, we confess. We added that last sentence.
The book also explains the nature of time, gravity, space, and inertia -- at least as it exists in Rucker's universe. Granted, it's not exactly a breezy read, but at $9.95 the price is right for a stocking stuffer.
Besides, we want everyone to do his or her part to support Rucker. Given enough time and money, we figure one day he will manage to get elected to the bench. That may not be good for justice, but its entertainment value would be priceless.
ó Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams