All I want for Christmas is a machine gun

Not really, of course, but damn do I love this sweater.

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For those of you who can't quite pick up on the reference, it's Die Hard, the greatest Christmas film of all time.

In the movie, our hero, John McClane, has just managed to kill his first terrorist and acquired a machine gun. He sends the lifeless corpse down to Hans Gruber, the terrorist boss man, in an elevator with this note written in red Sharpie on his sweatshirt.

There's nothing better than a barefoot underdog taunting his well armed enemy.

For the record, while I'm not interested in owning a machine gun, I'm not at all opposed to the second Amendment. I believe in the right of Americans to own firearms. I simply want every gun owner to undergo a thorough background check, restrictions placed on criminals, perpetrators of domestic abuse, individuals on the no-fly list, and the like, and a complete ban on assault weapons. 

You know... reasonable, rationale gun ownership. The kind of gun ownership our founding fathers envisioned with they wrote the Constitution. 

Except for John McClane, of course. He can have as many machine guns as he wants. 

Verbal sparring 101: Comparing apples and oranges makes a whole lot of sense. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The next time someone attempts to counter your argument by claiming that you are making an “apples to oranges” comparison, say this:

Really? Apples and oranges are both similarly sized spherical fruits that grow on trees and weigh about the same. They have about the same number of calories per fruit. With the exception of vitamin E, they contain the same vitamins and minerals. They are two of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world. They can both be squeezed into a juice. 

Is it really so ridiculous to be comparing two things that have so much in common? 

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Whoever decided to first use apples and oranges in this idiom wasn’t thinking straight.

Interestingly enough, it’s an idiom repeated around the world but using different objects. In France, the idiom compares apples to pears, which is even more ridiculous since apples and pears are even more alike than apples and oranges.

In Latin America, the comparison is potatoes to sweet potatoes. Also ridiculous.

Other cultures seem to understand the concept much better. The Serbians, for example, compare toads to grandmothers. The Romanians compare grandmothers to machine guns. And the Polish compare gingerbread to windmills.

The next time someone accuses me of making an apples to oranges comparison, I think I’ll say, “Did you mean a grandmothers to machine guns comparison, because apples and oranges have a hell of a lot in common.”

Are the machine guns really necessary?

My son was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, playing with this tow truck. It looked cute, with large eyes in the windshield and a smile on the bumper.

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Then he pressed down on the roof of the cap, and out popped a twin pair of machine guns from the sides.

Still the inquisitive, anthropomorphized eyes. Still the smiling, anthropomorphized bumper. Just some added fire power in the event that a disabled motorist refuses to pay for services rendered.

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I’m not entirely opposed to toys like this. Your average Star Wars spaceship or action figure will undoubtedly be equipped with weapons of some kind, as will any number of similar toys. I’m fine with that.

But were machine guns really needed on this smiling, happy, anthropomorphized tow truck?