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2003 Gift Guide

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Hell's Jingle Bells

A gift guide based on that perennial heartwarmer, the Seven Deadly Sins


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NO RESPONSIBLE heathen is unfamiliar with that illustrious codification of spiritual shortcomings known as the Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth. Is there a secret connection between the seven deadly sins and the Seven Dwarfs or the seven castaways on Gilligan's Island? You'll have to decide for yourself. In any event, those seven time-tested foibles make perfect categories for a holiday gift guide. Let us begin.

1.) Pride. Also known as vanity, pride is said to be the most serious of sins, the one from which all others derive. It represents a disproportionate belief in your own abilities, a longing to be important forever. If your loved one secretly desires immortality, give him or her a gift membership in the ALCOR Life Extension Foundation (www.alcor.org), the world's largest and most advanced provider of cryonics technology. Membership includes a free subscription to Cryonics Magazine. (877.GO.ALCOR)

2.) Anger. Also known as wrath, anger is the result of someone espousing rage instead of love. What a concept. For that angry person in your life, why not opt for a human-shaped punching bag? You don't even have to don karate clothing to belt the Bobby Bully Bag right smack in the face. It's a full size, torso-shaped hanging bag for realistic target training, made from durable PVC filled with urethane foam. The whole thing weighs 40 pounds--perfect for staged release of raw emotion. Available from Bill Wallace's Superfoot's Martial Arts Superstore (www.superfoots.com).

3.) Lust. Lust is the opposite of the heavenly virtue of self-control. What more needs to be said? The object of one's lust--whether it's sex, power, image or wealth--makes no difference. Jesus Christ himself said that "every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart." Just substitute www.voyeur-sex-tours.com for "a woman" in that quote, and you've got a nice little sales blurb going. No photo for this one, sorry.

4.) Envy. When it comes down to it, other people are just better looking than you are. You desire their abilities, their social status or their financial situation. When you're feeling a little narcissistic, self-deprecating or downright jealous, voodoo dolls really do come in handy. Give yourself a gift voodoo kit from www.abaxion.com and let the torture begin. Needles included.

5.) Greed. Also known as Covetousness or Avarice, Greed is the desire for material wealth while ignoring the spiritual world--discounting eternal life for the sake of temporary things. For greed, the punishment in hell is to be boiled alive in oil. But Proverbs 15:27 tells us, "He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live." Yes, gifts! A wonderful gift for that greedy one in your life is Arianna Huffington's wonderful screed Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America (Crown, 288 pages, $13).

6.) Gluttony. Ah, the pleasures of uninhibited excess, the unwarranted desire to consume more than one requires. Which does not necessarily equate to being fat. Gluttony is overindulgence in food or drink to the point where it takes away veneration of God. For a truly insatiable gift, give your gluttonous one the Chocolate Party package from www.catalogcity.com. At $94.99, the package includes Ghirardelli cookies and cream bars, 12 Joseph Schmidt truffles, chocolate graham toffee dunks, chocolate-covered pistachios, popcorn drizzled with white and dark chocolate, chocolate-dipped biscotti and 12 chocolate cable cars.

7.) Sloth. The sweet avoidance of all work, whether it's spiritual or physical. If you're just itching for inactivity, then try the Quartz Action Limited Edition Dotclock, which divides the day into 12 important breaks: snooze, nod off, shut eye, nap, 40 winks, chill, dream, lie in, head down, rest, zonked and catch up. Available exclusively at www.spaceruk.com.

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From the November 20-26, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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