I Think I Got the Wrong Catalog

Okay, first Christmas starts creeping up past Thanksgiving, and then even to Halloween. I hear there’s a war against Christmas, but it’s pretty clear who’s winning that. Then Black Friday becomes Black Thursday (hey, did you hear? That already has a name), and because you didn’t get enough Blackness, we’re going to have Black Saturday and Sunday. Basically, people are going to physically knock the shit out of each other until it’s time for Cyber Monday (… and Tuesday … and Wednesday …), when all the servers go down like your office network during March Madness.

Just when I thought the television advertising and traffic anywhere near any mall had gotten out of control, up pop Groupon and LivingSocial in my inbox with a relentless barrage of offers. I present to you: a sampling of the items I (apparently) can’t live without going into this holiday season.

I don’t need to rent space just to break my back.

Hot Yoga
Ten Group Hot Yoga Classes ($39)

I took regular yoga with Alison, and ended up a man drowning in a puddle of his own sweat. Gross? Yes. Exhausting? Yes. COMPLETE PAIN IN THE ASS? Yes. I can only imagine “rooms heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40% humidity” while you work into Downward Spiral Dog – is that a promise or a threat? You’d have to have NASA in on the design of your “antibacterial floors” to give them half a chance of reflecting back the Ebola virus and swine flu. My vomit would probably be a distant third on the list of toxins, but just the same, thanks and I’ll refrain from adding it.

By the way, newbies and horndogs, you know that “hot” yoga is referring to the temperature, not the chicks, right?

New Life Wellness Center
Colon Hydrotherapy with Consultation or Total Body Cleansing Package

I don’t care if you shape the target on your abdomen as a heart … that doesn’t make this something more spiritual than an enema that you volunteered for. Before you get too skittish, don’t worry – the treatment includes a 30-minute consultation with your therapist about your specific needs and concerns.

Example: “I’m concerned and I specifically need you to stay away from me with that hose.”

This could be more effective if the photo screamed, “This could be you! Get lasers!”

Alexandria Family Podiatry
Clear Up Troubled Toes with a Laser Nail Fungus Treatment

This offer is for either five toes or ten toes. Unless you’ve been the victim of some kind of disfiguring accident, I can’t imagine needing to take laser beams to your toes but determining you don’t need to do both feet. In point of fact, I’m sympathetic if you need laser beams on either hoof. I’ll probably have to wonder, though, because most people aren’t going to speak up in defense of this one.

“Well, actually, the thing about it is … um … yeah, I can’t believe anyone has fungus. Or whatever.”

City Acupuncture Circle
Consultation and Two Acupuncture Treatments

Gah! Where are they sticking these needles? Am I misinterpreting this image? Anyone? WHERE ARE THEY STICKING THESE NEEDLES?? I’ll grant you, I’m no expert on Eastern medicine, but I’m highly skeptical of whatever they’re trying to cure via this method.

CD Fit
Two Months of Unlimited Boot Camp Classes

Here’s a class for those of you who saw Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 and said to yourself, “I would love to be that buff. That buff … and also, extremely pissed off all the time.” If you’ve been hanging around Gold’s for months and still no one has offered to sell you steroids, or if you can’t get properly angry without someone pretending to be your drill instructor and screaming that the only two things from Montana are steer and queers, maybe boot camp is for you.

Maria Body Image
Brazilian Sugar Wax or a Classic Facial

Ladies – or gentleman – anyone getting anything waxed anywhere in this zip code has my undying respect – you’re tougher than I am. I worked with a gay guy for a while who used to tell us when he was going in for his BSC (“back, sack and crack”) just to watch us cringe. But why choose? If you opt for the Brazilian, your partner is going to throw in a classic facial for free.

Yeah, sorry about that.

The offers went on, and I swear: every one of these (before and after) is from the same single email. One offer for$200 off moving expenses … when have you seen anyone moved for less than about two grand? In the spirit of nothing off a lot, $50 credit at Brookstone. I think that nets you a battery. Keratin treatment, tango “initiation” classes (West Side Story, anyone?), microdermabrasion, tablet screen repair … what am I going to do with “two hours of organizational services”? That sounds like a housekeeper. A really, really bossy one. Sorry, Groupon. It’s like you haven’t met me.

Except …

D.C. Skydiving Center
Tandem Skydiving Jump with T-Shirt

Point Break is a fantastic movie but I can’t see myself falling from 10,000 feet with even Patrick Swayze or Keanu Reeves that close on my six. Look up “tandem skydiving” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I like to think the instructors prefer the girl jumpers, but the harness means that pretty much everyone gets humped. I did some Internets and found a company in the Tidewater where you can do your first jump (after 4-6 hours of classroom time) solo. That’s what I’m asking my parents for this Christmas. Thanks for the inspiration, clever marketers, which led me to someone else’s offering.

Meanwhile, my partner was sitting home alone, refusing to spend money on anything but food last Friday. “Suck it, retailers,” I think was the exact quote. Diddling around on her computer, over the weekend Alison had made several awesome finds on a mutual shopping quest we’ve set ourselves, plus scored a pair of MC Hammer pants. She was wondering to whom to give them, and while I’m kind of hoping for a company- or Internet-wide competition, it’s at least very clear who really knows how to find the deals this season.

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