• Chilling during the holidays
    December 16,2013

    The holidays are upon us. And so is the annual visit of the season’s evil, diabolical twin “Stress.” The pressures of finding gifts, spending money, decorating, preparing special dishes, entertaining, and going to holiday events can overwhelm even the most even-keeled individuals. Many health professionals will tell you that one of the best things to do to help alleviate stress is to take care of yourself. You need to be a little selfish.

    For example, time is a rare commodity during this busy season. The last thing you want to do is waste precious hours at a party that you aren’t enjoying. Why not get ready for your next holiday get-together by treating yourself to several online gift purchases that will ensure a memorable evening?

    Guys, there is nothing that says “socially unacceptable” and scares women away from the old mistletoe faster than nose hairs that whistle whenever you breathe. Even if you are partying in the Northeast Kingdom, nose follicles that hang down over your lips, in most cases, are not a good look. Fear not, with your new $39.95 Turbo Groomer Cobolt from the folks at Sharper Image, you can rid yourself of these pesky danglers for an evening of nose hair-free fun and excitement.

    The high-torque turbo Cobalt features duel-rotary heads of stainless steel blades with titanium cutting edges. According to the manufacturer, “Blades whirl at an impressive 6,000 RPM to effectively trim nose hair, and two super-bright lights help to eliminate shadows.” Personally, I think these sound more like the features you would look for in a foreign-made car or a tool used for oil drilling, not something you put into a facial orifice. You don’t want to be the only one at the party singing carols through a freshly bored hole in your head.

    While you are figuring out how to use your Cobalt without getting maimed, your significant other can be preparing for the festivities by making herself appealing to the under six-year-old crowd. What better way to do this than by applying Play-Doh-scented spray cologne purchased from the Perpetual Kid company. Hasbro approved this aroma, saying the fragrance is “meant for highly creative people who seek whimsical scents reminiscent of their childhood.” At $20.99 an ounce, you’d better be feeling pretty darn nostalgic. Perpetual Kid actually carries a whole line of unique cologne scents including, “Dirt,” Paint,” Vinyl,” “Glue,” and “Sawdust.” I’m guessing there was no market for “Steamed Brussels Sprouts,” or “New Tar.”

    Once you are properly groomed, and your gal smells like a daycare, it’s time to consider the logistics of imbibing at the party. No guy I know wants to fill up on eggnog and fancy mixed drinks when he could be sucking down large quantities of the cheap domestic beer of his choice. This problem is solved with the $34.95 Beer Belly — an insulated neoprene “sling” with a polyurethane “bladder” which hold 80 ounces of your favorite drink and has a tube for dispensing. This clever device is worn under your clothing for concealment, and when in place looks like a very natural, attractive beer gut. As the party progresses, you can dump the drinks foisted upon you into the dog dish and sip at your leisure. Eventually Fido will be dancing on the piano with a lampshade on his head, and you can shed your belly and be properly lubed with your own brew.

    Your significant other can come prepared with the beverage of her choice as well. If she is opposed to strapping on a faux beer gut, the little lady can wear the Winerack — a beverage storage accessory brought to you by the same clever folks who created the Beer Belly. This sports bra with a bladder holds 25 ounces of wine or mixed drinks. Your babe can arrive at the party as a “double D” while drinking her favorite Chardonnay.

    Nothing causes more stress than a DUI. But you and your date can drink responsibly. Instead of driving to the party you can ride over on a $499.95 motorized cooler brought to you by the Hammacher Schlemmer company. This three-wheeled rideable cooler can reach speeds up to 14 mph and go 15 miles on a single battery charge. It features a cup holder located between the driver’s knees, and opens to allow access to beverages stored inside while driving. In addition, the handlebars have a throttle and a brake lever for confident stops, starts and acceleration while pneumatic tires provide traction on gravel, pavement, or those snow-covered Vermont back roads. So load up the cooler with spare drinks, toss in a couple of pigs in a blanket, and ride up the road to your neighbor’s party.

    And enjoy yourself. Next time, we can talk about moderation and New Year’s resolutions.

    Mark S. Albury lives in Northfield Falls.

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