RN: That's quite the jaunty Santa cap you're wearing, Claude. I didn't realize that Paul Smith had a red-and-white holiday line.
CP: Oh, yes. And with the matching boxers, they make the perfect gift set. I hope this isn't you angling for another pair of those pricey designer socks from me under the tree. No, you would never.
RN: My etiquette and deportment teacher at Burnsville Country Day would have been appalled at the prospect of such behavior. But as long as you're asking.
CP: What I want to know is how things are breaking down for you on the naughty-vs.-nice continuum? I, for one, am praying for an end to the Vikings stadium debate. Choose it, site it, finance it, lose it, move it -- I don't care, so long as we can switch to any other topic.
RN: Such as the GOP leadership scandal in the Minnesota Senate? Which has me wondering if the DFL is beginning to believe in good old-fashioned Christmas miracles.
CP: Year-end political stocking stuffers don't get much better than this. The miracle I'm still waiting for should arrive any day now, on the yoga mat: levitation.
RN: I'll be happy just to get to yoga. Namaste.
CP: Lacking that, I may get the hang of a nice upright warrior pose, minus the tip-over. Another wish? That the big, new NBC series "Smash" doesn't turn Marilyn Monroe into Celine Dion, as the sneak peek appears to foretell.
RN: That, and I wouldn't mind a Minneapolis holiday lights counterpart to the winter wonderland that is St. Paul's Rice Park, although it seems unseemly to complain, what with so many other problems in the world. You know, Kim Kardashian spending the holidays alone, a two-time loser in the marriage department.
CP: And this thorny dilemma: Will good actor Ryan Gosling find a good movie in 2012? Because I'm on the "Drive"-was-way-overrated train. And the Gos was kinda overshadowed by older pros in "Ides of March."
RN: Even more pressing: Will 2012 be the year that Hollywood finally gets around to filming Sondheim's "Follies"? I mean, if Tom Cruise can star in "Rock of Ages," why can't we commit Bernadette Peters to celluloid in an American classic?
CP: And please, let something, anything, break out in the unbearably dull world of fashion. Men's and women's. Where's the Hedi Slimane of the 'teens?
RN: That, my friend, is the question of the ages.