The Free Press, Mankato, MN


December 8, 2012

Ojanpa: Don't be a bad Santa


Every 15-minutes-of-fame bozo now has a scent on the market. And if that weren’t enough, Pizza Hut a few days ago introduced its own perfume that smells like “freshly baked hand-tossed dough.”

At least Pizza Hut does us the courtesy of admitting it’s a farce, something you won’t hear from unlikely fragrance mongers such as country warbler Tim McGraw, who touts his cologne as “smellin’ like a man workin’ down on the farm — all tractor grease an’ bull dung and armpit sweat that drives the fillies wild.”

That might not be exactly what he says, but close enough.

* Stupid small electric kitchen appliances. There are scads of them. Electric tea kettles, electric pizza bakers, even electric hot dog cookers that enable you to heat wieners on rotating metal rollers, just like they do at the gas station.

Countertop-clutter stuff like this is what I call “six months and punt” gifts. Six months later they’re on card tables at garage sales.

* Any type of universal remote control for an elderly loved one. You’d think you were simplifying their life, but, oh, how wrong you’d be.

Even the most basic TV remote control can be confounding to those of a certain age.

 On a recent visit with my 87-year-old mother I suggested that rather than punch in a particular channel it might be enjoyable to surf through programs by using the up-and-down channel button.

She grabbed the cordless phone next to her chair and gave it a try.


Brian Ojanpa is a Free Press staff writer. Call her at 344-6316 or email 



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