Avoid the Christmas rush! Read this column!!


So you know how you are. You put off buying those Christmas presents again this year, didn't you?
You thought you had plenty of time, which you did. Back in October. But now you're knee-deep in December and Christmas is all over you like a fresh coat of Trump-Is-President sweat. What do you do? WHAT! DO! YOU! DOOOOOOOOO?!!!!??!!!!

First of all, take your finger off the Caps Lock button. Second, fill your lungs with a frosty winter breath and rela-a-a-a-a-a-ax, baby. Things may look bleak on the Christmas shopping front now, but after you get through with this week's column, you'll be smiling bigger than a Grinch with a horrible, awful idea. That's because it's time once again for my complete set of Last-Minute Twin Ports Christmas Gift Ideas, 2016 Edition!

So settle back, fill your favorite container with eggnog (not your cupped hands, though. We're not living in Proctor...), and get ready to take care of the cheapest people on your list in the cheapest way possible.

Last-Minute Idea No. 1: Don Ness still has a few of his mayoral books for sale, so you know he'll be willing and able to fill any request you may have for them. And I do mean "any." From mountain bike ramp to second vacation home to your own personal Mariner Mall erected in the backyard, Don's hard-covered memoir is both an entertaining read and structurally sound. I heard he'll even give you a discount if you can take 100 boxes off his hands.

Last-Minute Idea No. 2: Remember how a certain rubber duck dwarfed our harbor during the Tall Ships Festival last summer? Well, now you can relive that magical time of traffic congestion, long lines and sweaty tourists with your very own World's SMALLEST Giant Rubber Duck. Purchase any dollar store toy duck and charge your friends $30 to get a look at it. Just like the real festival!

Last-Minute Idea No. 3: Tell your special someone that the blue slip bridge in Canal Park is saluting them. This technique is exactly like naming a star after someone: You can always get away with it because the bridge is always going to be like that.

Last-Minute Idea No. 4: Here's a gift that you can literally invent out of thin air. It's a "Bob Dylan at the Nobel Prize Ceremony Commemorative Anything Thing." Put him on a coin, a poster ... heck, you can even put his craggy Hibbing visage on a taconite truck rumbling out of a mine in Keewatin. It doesn't matter because, like Bob, this gift doesn't actually have to show up.

Merry Christmas, indeed.