Andy Rooney's Christmas Mail

Oh, The Catalog Pile Is Frightful

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

I got this corduroy jacket for Christmas 17 years ago.

Most of us love Christmas. I love Christmas so I don't like to admit it but there are a few things about Christmas I don't like.

One of them is the catalogs that pile up in the mailbox this month.

Reading these catalogs, you'd think it was easy to get rich shopping because you save so much money buying things. If I went out and bought these bangles for $3,995, I'd be saving 20 percent, which would be $799.

This Brookstone catalog says if you buy two of these for $358 you save $40.

A lot of things are just "OFF." They never say "OFF" what: "50 percent OFF."

Almost all the catalogs have watches for sale. I guess they're very big Christmas presents. If it's an underwear catalog, half the time they have a page of watches.

Something I don't understand about watches is shape. Most of them are oblong or square. A watch ought to be round so the hands can go around. How can they make a square watch?

Do you notice anything different about the pictures in this catalog? Look at this: no people. They must have saved a fortune by not using models.

One of the good things about these catalogs is they give me a lot of ideas for things I don't want for Christmas.

For example, here's something I really don't want one of. It's a model of a motorcycle but it's really a telephone. When you get a call, it doesn't ring - instead you get the sound of a motorcycle engine. Just offhand I can't think of many sounds more annoying than the sound of a motorcycle.

Hammacher Schlemmer has a marshmallow toaster that I don't want one of. I haven't toasted a marshmallow since I was nine.

Here's a showerhead that plays music. Well, not for me. I like my shower so much that I'm not interested in dissipating my pleasure with any noise except the comforting sound of running water.

A vacuum cleaner is not a Christmas present.

There are some things I don't think you'd want to give anyone for a present. This catalog says "DISTINCTIVE GIFTS SINCE 1958." And here's one of their distinctive gifts: "Bust Line Enhancers." It says "Create a fuller, more beautiful, bust line." Do you know any woman who'd squeal with delight if you gave her a bust line enhancer for Christmas?

I think maybe what I need most for Christmas is a big waste-basket in which to throw these catalogs.

By Andy Rooney