This is America, and now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we have become preoccupied with holiday gift shopping. For the next three weeks, shopping will be our national pastime.

Of course, we made a list:

" American Airlines: Mapquest instructions on how to get to Love Field from DFW.

" American Express: The Internet For Dummies.

" Amtrak: a new CEO who will fulfill the Bush administrations goal of being a turnaround artist and not a liquidator. (Note to self: not Carl Icahn.) Also, for recently fired CEO David Gunn, The Polar Ex-press DVD, complete with outtakes.

" The Boeing design team working on yet another stretched version of the venerable 747: trial memberships in AARP.

" ASTA: Small is Beautiful.

" Carnival Cruise Lines: Mapquest directions to Asia from Miami.

" Cendant: Classic TV on DVD: The Brady Bunch, final season.

" Choice Hotels: A new brand for the upper-middle family budget short-suite mid-length-stay niche.

" Delta Airlines: lottery tickets.

" Galileo: telescope.

" EasyCruise: paint.  (Note to self: any color but orange.)

" FEMA: a sonic gun to repel critics.

" Heathrow Airport: more slots.

" Independence Air: comfort food (maybe chocolate).

" KLM: French lessons.

" Kayak: paddles.

" National Hurricane Center: a copy of a Chinese alphabet, with 6,000 characters instead of 26.

" Priceline: whatever.

" Royal Caribbeans marine architecture department: Small is Beautiful.

" Southwest Airlines: Mapquest instructions on how to find DFW from Love Field.

" Transportation Security Administration: A database of every person on earth.

" United Airlines: lottery tickets.

" Virgins Richard Branson: a list of U.S. citizens with money to invest in making Virgin America a U.S. airline. (Note to self: not Carl Icahn.)

" Worldspan: a sonic gun to repel takeover artists.

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