It's December, which can only mean two things: somewhere in America, a public school teacher is being disciplined for using the word "Christmas," and it's time for another "stupid things I have said" column.
For new readers, STIHS is an annual feature in which I examine what I have written over the past 12 months for inaccuracies, misstatements, and general "doh!" moments. They aren't hard to find.
For example, I recently wrote about those "Fine Family" window stickers that are popping up on minivans and SUVs everywhere. In that column I wondered aloud if the elephant prominently featured on the sticker indicates that the people in those cars are Democrats.
Several alert readers immediately e-mailed to remind me that the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. The symbol for Democrats is the jack -- I mean, the donkey.
I knew that. I was actually referring to the fact that, on some of the stickers, the elephant has a red line through it, as in "No elephants." But I didn't specify that, and therefore ended up looking like I don't know the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Come to think of it, these days, I kind of don't.
Another gaffe occurred last December, when I wrote about attending an amateur sumo wrestling tournament. I said that the "mawashi," the traditional garb of the sumo, is a Japanese word that means "diaper-thingy."
Turns out that's not true. It actually means, "Colonoscopy? I don't think so." I apologize for not researching the question more thoroughly.
In June, I made the colossal mistake of revealing that I occasionally borrow my wife's deodorant stick when mine runs out. I neglected to take into account the fact that my wife sometimes reads my column, especially when her friends ask her things like, "So, does your husband borrow your (unmentionable feminine hygiene products) too?"
The result is that my wife has become more adept at hiding her toiletries. Now, when I run out of deodorant, I just have to go without for a few days. (Note to my co-workers who have taken to dabbing Vaseline under their nostrils: don't blame me. Blame my wife.)
In September, I made the statement that Tim Tebow is the best college football player I've ever seen. In light of the fact that he wasn't even the best quarterback in last weekend's SEC championship game, I'm tempted to revise that statement.
However, I've decided to stand by it. It's not fair to judge any athlete based on a single performance, whether it's Tim Tebow or Tiger Woods. Then again, Tiger isn't single and apparently he's still been performing, so that may be a little different.
In any case, those are just a few of my many faux pas over the past 12 months. But please stay tuned. There are sure to be more to come in 2010.