Here we all are, a couple weeks shy of Christmas, staring down the precipice of the Fiscal Cliff. Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Nobody would blame you if, at this very moment, you are stuffing every semolian you can find into your Sealy Posturepedic. Because only a fool would trust our petulant political leaders (who, last time I checked, are paid by us) to strike a compromise and avert financial distress for the entire country.
"Happy New Year, America! Champagne and taxes for everyone!"
But I've got news for all those obstructionists in Congress. You can kiss my ascot. I'm not going to let you, or anyone else, stop me from exercising my inalienable right to blow my hard-earned money on toys I don't really need and electronics I don't really know how to use or, gasp, give it to people I don't really know.
In the spirit of the holiday season, and of flipping off our Grinchy government, I present the first ever Fiscal Cliff Gift Guide, featuring an array of extravagant purchases some may find frivolous and selfish. But when you stack them up against pushing the country off the fiscal cliff, and triggering $500 billion in new taxes and spending cuts, well, they're downright practical.
So grab your krugerrands and let's go:
1) Oakley's Airwave Ski Goggles, $599: If we go hurtling into a financial abyss, we're gonna need a good pair of skis and goggles. These babies are equipped with GPS, gyroscope and Bluetooth, and provide real-time mapping right inside on a heads-up display screen. The Jetson-esque goggles, which can also be synched to your smartphone, will tell you how fast you're going, let you survey the terrain, and keep track of friends (and IRS agents) on the slopes. Find Airwaves at Oakley stores at Grapevine Mills, Grand Prairie Outlets, Southlake Town Square and the Galleria. Or at Oakley.com.
2) Handmade boots from Leddy's, $1,650: The Fort Worth Stock Show is coming (Jan. 18-Feb. 9), and so is a steaming pile of tax increases if lawmakers don't make a deal soon. So why not splurge on a pair of alligator boots from Leddy's, the Gucci of Texas western wear? Don't sweat the price; this is art for your feet. And as we all know, art is an investment. Find Leddy's in the Stockyards and Sundance Square. www.leddys.com
3) SunBrite Outdoor All-Weather 65" LED TV and/or all-weather pool table, $6,500 each: Even if you lose your house, you can keep the party going outside with an aluminum pool table that can be installed, literally, in your pool. Check it out at www.opulentitems.com. And Cowboys games will look even more terrifying on a 65" outdoor LED screen that's designed to resist rain, dust, insects, humidity and salt from your tears. SunBrite TVs (sunbritetv.com) are available via Video General in Arlington. 817-640-5321.
4) Dinner at the French Room, $3,000: Why secede or leave the country when you can get a taste of France right here at The French Room in Dallas' Adolphus Hotel? Start with Petrossian caviar ($235 per 30 grams) and a bottle of 1983 Chateau Latour Bordeaux ($2,500). Then sample delicacies from the Chef's Tasting Menu ($110 per person), including cinnamon honey-glazed squab, lightly seared buffalo tenderloin, and saffron-poached pears. Or, as members of Congress call it, an afternoon snack. hoteladolphus.com
5) Donate your car to Texans Can Academies, priceless: Talk about a redistribution of wealth. What better way to do it than by donating your old car to this great charity, which runs a network of schools for at-risk kids (you've heard the ads: "Write off the car, not the kid").
Then you can buy a new set of wheels, like the Neiman Marcus Edition McLaren 12c Spider, featured in this year's Christmas Book, for $354,000.
Your donation to Texans Can, www.texanscan.org, gives you a full fair market value tax write-off -- something you're gonna need. And, as a bonus, Neiman will donate $3,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters for every one of the 12 special edition Spiders it sells.
So everyone wins.