For some reason, I felt the need to go Christmas shopping on Saturday night. Normally, this would be like saying, \”for some reason, I decided to pull the bones out of my legs and run a mile.\” But off I went in the snow, and here are a couple observations:

At Barnes and Noble, some 40-year old woman\’s cell phone went off, and the ringtone was not only deafening, but it was some ridiculous ghetto booty music. I sat there with my mouth agape while she clawed at her purse as if a kitten was suffocating inside. Finally, she got it turned off. Honest to God – these ridiculous ringtones should come with a warning – \”If you add this to your phone, SOMEONE MIGHT CALL YOU IN PUBLIC.\” She acted as if it was a total surprise that someone called her. Come to think of it, I am too.

When I got to the register at Barnes and Noble, they hit me up to donate to some charity for homeless kids or something. I knew this was coming, as I had heard the whole script delivered to the previous thirty customers in line. I know the whole purpose of harrassing people to give to this phony charity is to make people think Barnes and Noble cares about kids, but all it does is make the customers feel like total a-holes when they decline. Would you want all your customers walking out looking sullen, with their shoulders slumped?

As I got to the parking lot, I realized that I had no idea where I parked. I walked around for 15 minutes in the cold until I found my car. When I saw it, I realized I got a great spot way in the front, and gave myself a congratulatory fist-pump. Then it occurred to me that the whole purpose of having such a great spot was cancelled out by the 15 minutes I had been walking around.

I walked over to the mall and entered through Boston Store. Near the door, they have \”Green Bay Packers – 2007 NFC North Champions\” shirts. I wondered who would ever buy one of these shirts before the season is over. Think about it – let\’s say the Packers go on to win the Super Bowl. Then you\’re stuck with a shirt that celebrates the least of the Pack\’s accomplishments. Wouldn\’t you look kind of dopey wearing a shirt that said \”Packers – 1996 NFC Central Champions?\” Wouldn\’t people be like, \”uhhhh…. didn\’t they win the Super Bowl that year?\” Think people are going to get \”Mitt Romney – 2008 Iowa Caucus Winner\” t-shirts printed up?

I also get a kick out of cosmetics counters. All the employees back there are wearing white lab coats – as if they have Bunsen burners and lab rats back there. Like one day we\’re going to see a headline that says \”University of Wisconsin, Clinique Counter researchers team up on life-saving adult stem cell breakthrough.\”

And who are these women who sit there and have cosmetics applied to their face while hundreds of people walk by? Isn\’t that kind of a personal thing? Can any man imagine standing there while a Gillette salesman shaved him in public? On second thought – don\’t answer that. Same goes for these people who get massages at the mall. How is this possibly relaxing?

Finally, one more Christmas pet peeve of mine – those dopey commercials where some husband buys a Lexus for his wife and has it sitting in the driveway with a big bow on it when she gets home. Has this ever actually happened in the history of humanity?

There is no formula that can calculate the amount of trouble I would be in if I were to buy my wife a Lexus for Christmas. Let\’s just say her reaction would be less than ideal, and would likely involve bruising. Of course, nothing says \”I love you\” than committing your family to five years of crippling debt.