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PAPERBOY: Slow-Jamming The Alt-Weeklies

paperboyartthumbnail.jpgBY DAVE ALLEN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!


CP: “Suck it, recession!” A great way to start a Holiday Gift Guide, and CP goes on to divide theirs up by neighborhood, with solid in six categories spread across six parts of the city. A particular favorite:

ELECTRIC SHAVING KIT, Sexploratorium: This electric shaving kit from Passional’s Sexplatorium features two electric razors, a dusting brush and a travel-size bottle of body powder to keep body-scaping nice and neat. And if you’re looking to rouse a few surprised reactions when gifting time rolls around, pull out the arrow-, heart- and star-shaped trimming stencils. Just tell the kids they’re for, uh, coloring?

Local, eco-conscious, unironic and something from the Sexploratorium that’s not bondage gear: a solid foundation for a shopping list.

PW: Santa lighting up a bong on the cover… not a promising start. Bizarrely, this makes post-apocalyptic holiday greetings that open PW’s Gift Guide seem like a step up. From there, it’s a not-exactly-traditional list of gifts for a variety of outlandish types culled from (I’m guessing from the unfamiliar bylines) the paper’s interns. Merry Christmas from zombie-infested 2011! for the jerk who will inevitably lose his mind. We should have seen it coming with Aaron, and the fact that we didn’t cost us. If it’s a bite the signs will be obvious, and you need to dispatch the infected with a broadhead before they start thinking of the rest of you as al dente. If it’s just stress breaking them, well, they might recover, but don’t get caught unaware. Keep restraints on hand so you can put the crazy on lockdown when you need to. Oh, but go furry. They’re still human beings, for Christmas’ sake.

“Gifts for a Closeted Anti-Gay Politician”? Gifts for President Obama’s gang-banging alter ego, Baracka Flacka Flames, or for your unicorn roommate? It’s all very, very strange, seemingly for the sake of strangeness. Though there’s little point in parsing absurdities, the Mitchell and Ness mention (for a Flyers scarf, I believe) should have the address of the fancy new location on 12th Street. Y’know, if it survives the Zombie Apocalypse.


CP: Calling out columnists: “Someone give this man a crucifix already!” Some light-hearted ribbing. Franz Schubert as Iron Man, seducer of Haydn. Another below-the-belt blow at Byko.

PW: Funny, exuberant, mean-spirited and mostly-true insights on year-end, Best-Of lists. When not even memories can console. Have a Holiday in Cambodia… in Philly. Christmas CDs to help ween you off of B101.

WINNER: Well, they didn’t have their articles up until after 1 o’clock, but CP easily outpaces PW’s super-weird guide. I nearly docked them for lateness, but they salvage their title just in time. Happy holidays.

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