Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

11 Dec 2006, 10:47 a.m.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: Pick Two

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

This week's MC Masala advertises neither alcohol nor tobacco nor firearms nor fish nor game. It's just a consumeriffic "offbeat holiday gifts" tip sheet.

Soap might seem old hat, but it's new to me. Lots of people give special scented soap. My freshman year of high school was the first time a friend gave me a bath soap basket for Christmas. I wondered for weeks whether she was trying to tell me I smelled bad. The Irish Spring in my shower disappeared in a week as I scrubbed like a post-"Fear Factor" Lady Macbeth. But now I understand that if people want to passive-aggressively tell you that you stink, they'll put a plastic ribbon on a big bottle of Dial and leave it on your desk, and not shell out for artfully arranged shells.

As long as you're spending money on holiday stuff, you should read the Frontline credit expose, even if you've seen it before.

Seen in a Garment District shop window today: various signs, handwritten and printed. "Sale," "Going out of business," "Must sell inventory," "We're serious."