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#320 :: Candy Mold

December 24, 2004

visit web search ‘popup’, advice ‘width=500, ask height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Yin to the raygun’s yang, the Clic-Clac is useful, modest and crisp – an elegant tribute to simple industrial design. Press the center of the puckered lid and the edge-tabs around the rim flip open. Squeeze the rim, and the puckered lid springs up again with a pop, clamping the tabs firmly into place once more. Press-open. Squeeze-closed. For a while, it seemed these tins were available only in a tiny size, full of silly mints and emblazoned with dot-com logos. But I just found a source for larger, 3.5-inch-diameter models at the amazing Surfas restaurant supply store a couple miles from here. They make a happy sound.
stomach ‘popup’, no rx ‘width=500, adiposity height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>To wait for a thing, to truly be patient and allow it to come at its own pace, is an inhuman act of will. We yearn – for new jobs, hot concerts, latest games, fast cars, slow weekends, a first kiss, a second chance, freedom, food, rest, love. Childhood trains us to await Christmas with palpable, potent longing. The Santa legend, the daily ritual of the advent calendar, the growth of the pile beneath the tree. Our lives seem measured out in the stroboscopic wink and bubble of tiny lights on slaughtered evergreens.

Time was, you pounded nails into your mantelpiece from which to hang your family’s Christmas stockings. Now there are hooks for the purpose. This plated, urethane-coated pot-metal facsimile of a bristlecone pine weighs close to two pounds. It sits on our rounded fireplace shelf, its hook dangling tongue-like through the loops of the children’s two empty Christmas stockings.

It waits. Because it must.
cost ‘popup’, information pills ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>Finding the perfect gift for someone quirky. It’s an elusive goal at Christmastime, particularly when you have about two dozen such nebulous missions to add to an agenda of stocking-filling, tree-buying, menu-planning, house-cleaning, wreath-weaving and the otherwise headlong rush of your already insane life. You have secrets for efficiency. The oddball hardware store with everything. The coffee-fueled, lunchtime dead run down the most diverse shopping strip in town. The scientific, ballistic, oddball, geekhead, propeller-beanied sites in the “e-commerce” section of the bookmarks you’ve been collecting for the past 10 years (whatever became of that font of Mexican wrestling gear, LuchaSwag?) And in the end, you’re surrounded by a pile of rubbish, blearily scotchtaping things shut and hoping you haven’t insulted anyone or shortchanged anyone or spent too much money or too little or … Christmas didn’t used to be this stressful when you were a kid, you tell yourself as you try to curl ribbon with scissors without slicing off a finger. And then the day comes, and everybody turns out to be (mostly) tickled with what you got ’em. My talented and industrious brother-in-law likes – among other things – to make candy. Chocolate butts are a favored specialty. This little stamped-tin submarine went into his Xmas bag this year – a 1930s-vintage repro stamped from an old die, by the look of it. I haven’t heard yet, of course, whether it was the perfect thing. Or rubbish.

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