Supposing you wonderful folks did, in fact, want to get your Own Personal Genius a little something for Christmas.
I suppose I ought to apologize for my extended absence. Things have been very busy over the last few months, bringing major changes in the life of your Own Personal Genius. Since last we met, I've gotten engaged, attended a Hassidic wedding in Baltimore with the fiancé¥¬ changed jobs, traveled to New Jersey to meet the future in-laws, changed residences to the Provisional Geniusdome, gotten four haircuts (not all at the same time, of course), and spent some decent quality time with my adopted son, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah).
Settling into my new routines, I finally decided it was time to resume my grueling writing schedule (three words a day, like clockwork). With the Genius Guide book still very much in the works, and my eagerly anticipated monthly column still eagerly anticipated (and, ideally, still monthly), it seemed the perfect time to set aside my relentless assault on Hank Aaron's record of 755 career homeruns (at age 37, I have a total of zero. But Barry Bonds gave me some of his flaxseed oil and I've already gained 2 hat sizes). Hammerin' Hank continues his assault on my record of 755 chicken wings consumed during a single baseball season.
As it so happens, I return to my post right here at the holidays. If I had a nickel for every time devoted readers of the Guide tried to shower me with gifts in appreciation for the services I provide here at AAJ, I'd hope it would be one of those nifty Westward Journey nickels with the inexplicable Viking ship on the back because they'll probably be worth something some day.
But suppose, for the sake of keeping my status at AAJ active and thus maintaining my reserved parking space and my key to the executive day spa and pizza buffet, that my beloved readers did want to get me a little something in the holiday spirit of giving? Besides being an unbelievably sweet gesture on your parts, it would also be a neat little dig for me to rub in the face of that son of a bitch José "aramago who must mention his Nobel Prize in Literature at least 20 times an hour when he comes over to play Halo 2 on X-Box with me, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Academy Award? winner Dame Judi Dench. I wouldn't invite him at all if it wasn't for the fact he uses his Nobel Prize money to spring for Chinese take-out and all the Schlitz Malt Liquor we can drink.
Supposing you wonderful folks did, in fact, want to get your Own Personal Genius a little something for Christmas. That begs the larger question of what to get a man who, on the surface, has it all? The old standbys of Old Spice after-shave or Isotoner gloves just don't seem appropriate for the Dean of American Jazz Humorists? somehow. Gifts that would have appealed to the carefree bachelor I used to be, like a galvanized steel trough full of Jack Daniel's or my own weight in beef jerky, would now be frowned upon by the Future Mrs. Genius.
I suppose the best and simplest thing would just be to give you a definitive list and let the chips fall where they may. To avoid repetition, though, think of this like a gift registry and e-mail Senator Ricci at AAJ to strike an option from the list when you buy one.
So here goes:
My own army of flying monkeys, like in The Wizard of Oz.
A Kevlar bathrobe for those everyday, around-the-house assassination attempts.
A sleeker, more aerodynamic pompadour.
A new nickname. "Ol' Zeke" just didn't catch on like I'd hoped.
A Kato costume for my parakeet, Trane, so I don't feel so foolish when I wear my Green Hornet outfit.
The Martha Stewart combination shrimp peeler-deveiner and prison shiv.
A pair of magical trousers that render me invisible to assistant managers. Available from the Sharper Image catalogue.
A Southern-to-Yankee pocket translator, so that my future in-laws can understand what in the hell I'm saying. For example, a "fur piece" is a long distance, not a merkin.
An electric monkey fur detangler, by Ronco.
Just enough of Mr. Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 "liquid talent" to float the long-awaited Genius Guide book safely into Admiral Ricci's hands, but not enough to make the Future Mrs. Genius schedule an intervention.
And finally, for each of my beloved readers to have a wonderful holiday season, and only the best during the New Year.
Till next month (I promise) kids, exit to your right and enjoy the rest of AAJ.