Lookin’ for lube

December is a lousy month to be racked with friction. Out of all the months, you want December to go as smoothly as possible. Which is why this is an excellent time to fire up the Neon Babylon Super Survey of Personal Lubricant Products.

First, I want you to know … I couldn’t have written this column 10 weeks ago. And I couldn’t have written this column if we Americans were still on Ashcroft alert. By the way, did John ever tell us it was OK to slack off?

Anyway, there are a lot of these water-soluble, gourmet rub-rub products now glutting the whoopee shelves in your local supermarket, and the lube section at the local Raley’s is the last place you want to be standing in front of in a state of confused consumer paralysis. Ideally, the totally together modern man/woman grabs his/her preferred water soluble with an assured yet subtle leer. It seemed possible, then, that some readers might appreciate a little guidance in this ever-growing and complexifying field.

But then I priced this stuff. Whoa. These cats are making us pay for frictionlessness. As I checked out the dinky 4-ounce bottles of Astro-glide, Astro-lube, Wet, Drip Trip, Knastee, Sta-slik, Everslide, I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Wesson and Slaphappy, I couldn’t help but notice that they were all going for $6 a bottle or more. These are 4-ouncers, mind you, which means we’re talking at least $1.50 an ounce. At that rate, just to give you an idea of the exorbititude of it all, a 1-pound T-bone would sell for $24, and a six-pack of Pale Ale would be $108!

I knew right there I was gonna have a rough time getting the OK from my editors to turn in receipts for this cutting-edge, yet semi-silly caper. When business managers at newspapers speak these days about operating more efficiently, $60 expense accounts for lube surveys are way up there on the list of projects to be put on ice. And since I couldn’t use too many bottles of Wet Classic for gifts, I opted not to eat the tab myself.

So hey, if it’s $6 or $7 a bottle, go for it. It’ll beat the hell out of Vaseline or Bardahl. Stay away from supermarket knock-off brands (occasionally caulk-like) and any lubes made by Lava.

In a few weeks, we’ll see the major tabloid rags (Enquirer, Examiner, Tattler, Slanderer, etc.) come out with their annual psychic issues, where the ‘bloids beg the leading psychics of our time to make relatively insane predictions for the coming year.

I wish I had all of the prediction issues for 2001. I’d bet that none of the "psychics" made what would have been the career-making clairvoyant call of the century, and one that should have been fairly easy for any self-respecting seer to spot dangling out there in the astral wormholes of the future. I mean, how do you call yourself a psychic and not see two jetliners plowing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center?