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Friday, December 22, 2006

Festivus Poles or Leg Lamps: Which are Seasonally Better?

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Just got an e-mail that originated with Iacono Productions in Cincinnati saying they have finished a pro bono advertisement for the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce. The ad is aimed at aiding the economically depressed neighborhood, which needs to lure in some new businesses over the next year. It is a positive that Iacono's creative and talented crew has worked to help turn things around. Over-the-Rhine, the area where race riots took place in April 2001, was struggling before the disturbance.

Iacono also had a little kicker -- a contest for a leg lamp -- that it is using as a business development inducement. A leg lamp is what the Old Man won in 1983's ''A Christmas Story," the movie filmed mainly in Cleveland that has become a cult hit. Leg lamps clearly are becoming Yule kitsch.

However, Festivus Poles may be catching on, too. Last year, a Milwaukee firm sold about 250 poles at $38 each, the Associated Press reports. This season, Wagner Companies says it is on pace to sell 600 by Saturday, December 23, the wire service dispatch added.

Festivus originated as fake holiday that takes place on Dec. 23, and was dreamed up by George Costanza's dad in a 1997 Seinfeld episode, "Festivus for the rest of us." Frank Costanza wanted to protest the commercialization of Christmas by raising an unadorned aluminum pole.

Maybe trees are becoming passe in this new century. But I'm an Ohio guy with some Cleveland ties. I'll take the leg lamps over the poles any day.

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