Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Christmas Eve Gift To You!

BERKELEY, United States (AFP) - From cards to action figures to doggy chew toys, gifts mocking US President George W. Bush are a hit in famously liberal northern California this Christmas.
Bobble-head Jesus dolls and glow-in-the-dark Virgins de Guadalupe were available at Oddball novelty store in Berkeley as Christmas Eve neared, but the last Saddam Hussein and Bush action figures set was gone from the window.
"It sells well at the San Francisco store, but it flies off the shelves here," said Shellina Visram, who, along with a sister, owns Oddball in Berkeley and Cheap Thrills toy shop in the Haight district.
"People seem to be grooving on it. They love to make fun of Bush. They love to hate him."
Bush is fashioned with cowboy boots, a leather jacket, jeans and a denim shirt. The doll comes with a toy Bible and bucket of oil.
Hussein is adorned with green military fatigues and comes with a container labeled weapons of mass destruction and a book titled "World Domination for Dummies."
"They are really cool," a store worker, who gave her name only as "Gina," said of the action figures. "It is funny, when you think about it, because both of them are so (screwed) up."
The dolls created by a fledgling company called Mulberry Pi were referred to as "Puppetics" and were "born" in the end of November, according to the Pi website. They were made available in stores in the San Francisco Bay area.
The 25-dollar price tag for the set did not hamper sales of the figurines, which seemed particularly popular with customers in their 30s, Visram said.
Oddball also sold out of "National Embarrassments" breath mints featuring Bush on the packaging.
Other hot selling Oddball items included Bush "Dum Gum" with idiot-proof pieces and playing cards featuring Bush's face superimposed on pictures ranging from dogs and chimps to bathing suit models and children.
Among the slogans on the gum package was "Don't debate, manipulate."
"Those have been very fast," Visram said of the cards, gum and mints.
Also popular was a refrigerator magnet set featuring a nude Bush, a star of Texas keeping him modest, and a papal wardrobe.
It came with sparkling platform boots and magnetic phrases "Who would Jesus bomb" and "Armageddon outta here".
Hanging from a display rack near the door were Bush-head chew toys bearing the message: "You can't get even, but your pet can."
And, for masking odors in cars, Oddball sold hanging air fresheners bearing Bush's face and the words "dumbass head on a string".
"Everybody from around here gets a laugh out of them," Visram said of the Bush-bashing merchandise. "The only complaints I've gotten have been from tourists from places like Kansas or Texas. They tend to get upset."
"The times they are a changin'."

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