The holiday season is upon us, and with it the sight of those same old tattered sweaters and torn skin-jeans (or whatever they are called), donned in the dead of each and every winter by this scrum of scribbling paupers. I am quite sure that even if they owned proper clothing, their cold hearts would fail to be warmed. Still, watching the frosty horde shiver this week has put me in an unusually charitable mood. I know I shouldn't have so much sympathy; a large part of their near-hypothermia, after all, has been brought on by their own actions over the past weeks—which, as regular readers will recall, were so frighteningly hot-headed that I had to file last issue's column from my well-sealed panic room. To cool tempers to a point at which these offices could again be inhabited by civilized souls, Mr. Keck wisely turned down—or, more accurately, turned off—the heat. It appears that at a cool 39 degrees these creatures, like other shiftless reptilians, cease to perform all but the most essential bodily functions and move with an unthreatening slowness. It is, in its way, rather pleasant. (Memo to Mr. Keck: Why have an office at all? Would it not be more cost-efficient to let them all lie under a rock and wait until spring?)

But, like I said, it is also somewhat sympathy-inducing. As a result, I have vowed to focus my attention this week on two of the columns that I routinely ignore. Rest assured: I stand behind my usual practice of flipping past them, and I will resume said practice as soon as the holiday season is behind us. But for now, a few pennies tossed into the bottomless pots of neediness that are their authors. We begin with F*&%ing in the Streets, whose foul name should immediately disqualify it from publication—but instead, of course, moves it to the top of the run list. I'll admit that I probably require some sort of "groovy kid" decoder ring in order to properly understand what ERIC GRANDY is saying with his references to Free Sheep Foundation, Mune Yamakawa, and Exohxo, but, it being the holiday season, I will say simply that I found the column... informative.

Next we have one LINDY WEST and her column, Concessions. At other times of this year, I would explicate just how many concessions Ms. West has made by adding her name to the roster of raging psychopaths who fill these pages, but, this being the aforementioned season, I will say simply that I was pleased to have Ms. West call my attention to two very exclusive motion-picture halls on the Eastside, which I shall be sure to attend based on my belief that the high ticket prices will generally keep undesirables like her out. That is, the next time the communist-leaning perverts of Hollywood manage to produce a film that is not the moral equivalent of a dog consuming its own stool.

Also, Ms. West, I appreciate your warning me away from the men's room with the children's shoes on the ceiling. Frightening, indeed. recommended