You're thinking: Christmas!
You're thinking: 12 Drummers Drumming, 11 Pipers Piping, 10 Lords A-Leaping, 9 Ladies Dancing, 8 Maids A-Milking, 7 Swans A-Swimming, 6 Geese A-Laying, 5 Golden Rings, 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves and A Partridge In A Pear Tree.
And, America, you can have it -- for just $50,000 and three seconds at the Touch-Tone, from the Pepperidge Farm Mail Order Co.
The number to call right now is (800) 243-9314.
In the Land of Opportunity, where mail-order catalogues are an $87-billion-a-year business, you can have anything you want, year round, simply by letting your fingers do the dialing -- or the touching, or whatever. Sure, you can still mail off, but the answers to last-minute gift-giving problems are usually just a phone call away.
Got that credit card ready? If you've got the time, the merchants have the beer cookies, Clyde's chili, live ostriches. $150,000 walnut pipe cabinets and even a party for 100 on a Texas ranch for the unbelievably low price of $60,000. Plus . . .
His and hers mink cowboy jackets from Cutter Bill the Dallas purveyor of excess who will be only too happy to change the $8,000 they each cost to your American Express card if you call (214) 980-4244. The big question here is why these cowboy items are designed by Michael Mouratidis, who happens to live right here in the D. of C.? Is this the true urbanization of the cowboy?
How about a handcrafted rotisserie from New York City's Hammacher Schlemmer, (212) 421-8774, for a mere $34,000? This baby will be built to your specifications from copper or stainless, and can cook two suckling pigs, or three large turkeys, or three roasts, or six to eight chickens, or God knows how many partridges. "May be fueled by gas or electric; and, in any electric current used throughout the world." Now that's the year-round Christmas Spirit.
Need a trench coat for your 10-to 16--inch doggie? Nothing but the best polyster/cotton blend. Only $24, from Sportpages in Dallas, (800) 527-3166. pOr a monogrammed cheese chest, $39.95 from Joan Cook, (800) 327-3799. "A beautiful piece of oiled pine," according to the catalogue, "with the host's monogram engraved on a brass plaque. 12-x-10" chest opens to reveal porcelain cutting tile, cheese knife and cracker trays." Speaking of monograms, how about the Water Pik Traveler, in 24K gold plating? Plug this unit into any hotel electrical outlet, and you'll enjoy fashionably clean teeth and gums for just $80. From Teledyne, (800) 227-6222.
Shove that Water Pik Traveler into your Gucci-Pucci-Vuitton luggage, and you're off on L'Aventure Gastronomique, $7,500 per person from Pfaelzer Brothers, (800) 621-0226, who put themselves on the map by spending steaks through the mail from Chicago. Right. Why brother to go to the grocery store when your steaks can arrive right in the mailbox?
The tour departs April 22 from New York's JFK Airport, led by Chef Louis Szathmary of the Chicago restaurant called The Bakery.
"In Austria's Salzburg, you'll enjoy stunning Alpine views," says the catalogue."A gourmet dinner at the world famous Golden Hirsch -- and then travel on to Innsbruck via Balzano, Italy, where you'll dine at a restaurant owned by a family friend of Chief Louis . . . a gourmet kitchen unknown to all but the most seasoned of travelers."
Then again, one could stay home and astral project with the Dunhill Limited Edition World Time Clock, $13,500 from (800) 331-1750 (how did we ever live without 800 numbers?). "This international time teller, meticulously crafted in France, is a practical luxury you'll be proud to own and display."
The practical luxury in question is a brass sphere standing on a malachite-topped base and set with 39 precious stones: 18 sapphires indicating metropolitan centers in various time zones, and 21 rubies to show leading cities, some visited on L'Aventure Gastronomique. Small world, isn't it?
You can find out how small with a satellite receiver in your own backyard, which can be pointed at any orbiting object, although the folks at Sports Wares recommend the RCA Satcom F1, which provides five movie channels, four superstations, four sports services, three religious channels, no golden rings, three eclectic programmers and, speaking of eclectic, the U.S. House of Representatives live in your own living room. "As easy to operate as your stereo," the catalogue says. The price ranges from $11,700 to $13,000, depending on whether you need a 3.7-or 5-meter dish, plus site clearing and a concrete pad, all from (800) 527-0271.
The very same SportsWares catalogue offers a Talking Alarm Clock:
"No, there's not a tiny little person inside! Electronic quartz alarm clock with voice synthesizer speaks up to tell you the time on push button request or at pre-set alarm times. Snooze feature says, 'Attention, please. It's now (for example) seven-o-five A.M. Please hurry.' Includes voice stopwatch and timer functions. Batteries included. 4 1/2 inches wide. $90."
Which brings to mind another item, this from Caswell-Massey, (212) 620-0900:
"TAKE A GANDER AT THIS GOOSE (Not A-Laying):
"Le Negri goose quill tooth picks will easily dislodge trapped particles of any edible form from between your teeth. Each quill is sterilized, individually wrapped. Box of 50. $7.50."
Just a phone call away.