Sunday, Jan. 13, 42 A.B.

"You Want Red, White, And Blue Fries With That?"

Ok - so nobody has really said those magic words to me yet.  How long do you think it can be, though, given this?

Request permission to hug you, Sir!

Dress Blues Figurine


"From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, there's something irresistibly appealing about 'Dress Blues', a bear in uniform. Especially when that uniform is the crisp, blue dress of the United States Marine Corps. Standing at attention, sword in hand, this stalwart Marine bear is ready to defend honor and country. Every detail, from his crisp white hat decorated with the Marine Corps emblems, to his coat, accented with shiny 'brass' buttons, is meticulously hand-crafted and hand-painted to reflect enduring symbols of the corps. 'Dress Blues' is available exclusively from Hamilton in a limited edition. Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.  He's 5" tall, and every inch an American hero."
- The Hamilton Collection, $19.95 (plus $3.99 S&H)

Dear Hamilton Collection:  Thank you so much for your recent ad in my newspaper alerting me to your 'Dress Blues' offer.  Just the other day my wife and I were in Kroger's, gaping in amazement at the HUGE red, white, and blue "Patriots Disposable Diapers" display and debating whether or not corporate attempts to cash in on recent tragic events had gone as low as they could.  Thanks for conclusively proving to us that they had not!

Well, eventually, anyway.  Silly girl that she is sometimes, my wife at first thought that maybe's red, white, and blue "Tweeze With Pride" tweezers actually was the low point.  Then she thought that maybe their "Eagle Sponge" best merited that designation.  In the end, however, she agreed with me that diapers, tweezers, and sponges all serve a purpose regardless of the obnoxious form they may take.  The obnoxiousness of your "Dress Blues" figurine, on the other hand, remains remarkably untainted by even the smallest hint of usefulness.  Indeed, if it attracts as many teary-eyed lovers of velvet paintings to its vicinity as I suspect it does, it might actually destroy its owner's ability to use anything at all within 50 feet of its location - a remarkable accomplishment!

Crassness, tastelessness, and uselessness aside, I believe your figurine might have won our Low Point Award anyway, just for being so... so wrong.  Teddy bears are supposed to be warm, fuzzy, infant-safe, and all-around comforting things - like this:

Fuzzy Wuzzy was NOT a drill sergeant of love!


Putting a sword in the hand of a teddy bear kinda ruins the effect, doesn't it?  It's like putting the vocabulary of a drunken sailor in the mouth of Mister Rogers or Big Bird.  Even if you could do it, why would any sane person want to?

But... you did do it, didn't you?  And now, as a result, my cat Jester is afraid to sleep with his favorite teddy.  Before he saw your figurine, he had no idea that the steely-eyed gaze of a trained killer might ever enter into the eyes of his cuddly bed buddy.  Now he can think of little else.  "Go to sleep, Jester," I'll tell him.  "Not until you get that evil ball of fur that knows how to kill a man 7 different ways out of the house!" he'll reply while hanging from the ceiling by his toenails.  Getting the "evil ball of fur" out of the house not only broke my heart but proved ineffectual as well.  Jester's worries merely shifted to other characters and creatures he previously thought he could trust.  "Did Winnie the Pooh learn how to bayonet storm troopers during World War II?" he'll mutter as he tries in vain to go to sleep.  "Did the Nazis draft Hansel and Gretel into the Luftwaffe?!  Does Snoopy REALLY have a machine gun on his biplane/doghouse?!  IS GARFIELD REALLY A TRAINED CHINESE ASSASSIN?!?!"    

All of which is my discreet way of asking, "Should I send the bill for my cat's psychological counseling to the same post office box orders for Dress Blues go to or do you have a separate box for things like that?"

Sincerely standing at attention until I hear your check is in the mail,


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(©Now by DJ Birtcher after marching all alone through 20 miles of
alternative phrasing with a 60-pound pack of blather on his back)


PS - Were you planning on buying a Dress Blues figurine for someone you love?  Are you now utterly at a loss as to what to buy for them instead?  Why not do what I'd do?  Why not send them dirt from Hell?