American Cheese: Odd Patriotic Gestures

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Americans can apparently get quite patriotic about bathroom supplies. Last year in Washington, Ivory soap unveiled a 6-foot, 4-inch sculpture of Uncle Sam that's made from the equivalent of 44,000 bars of soap (and still 99 and 44/100ths pure).

Peace Pedaling: Flower power isn't what it used to be. FTD is marketing morale-raising floral arrangements, including "Unity" baskets of carnations and red, white and blue "Hug Freely" teddy bears, each for about $50.

Another hot mailable gift: Gummi Grunts, soldier-shaped Gummi Bears, with such scrumptious names as Bazooka Bob and Rifleman Rich, ranging in flavor from apple to hot cinnamon.

But if you can't express yourself with flowers and candy, is offering to messenger plastic dog poop to the Iraqi Embassy or any other embassy that that you deem deserving of such a gift basket.

Honoring a Sticky Situation: A true artist is a visionary, and that is how we must consider Canadian Todd Scott. Months before Americans began stocking up on duct tape, the Manitoba resident was in New York City in June, unveiling a 95-foot replica of the American flag constructed from 13.5 miles of red, white and blue Duck brand duct tape. Scott has similarly honored his homeland with a giant sticky maple leaf flag. He's also taped giant versions of the Liberty Bell and an American bald eagle.

So Corny, Yet So Sincere: Were space aliens moved by the Sept. 11 tragedy? How did touching images of the World Trade Center, 8 feet high and spread over 12 acres, get cut in cornfields just north of New York City? Farmer Michael Paul swears he had no extraterrestrial assistance in his "Maze of Heroes" — a cornfield salute to firefighters.

The veggie salute — depicting rescue workers raising the flag — is best viewed from an airplane. Sadly, Paul notes, the two hijacked airplanes that brought down the twin towers flew a route above his home.

Testy Bureaucrats: What does it take to stand up to terrorists? California sculptor Jeff Tritel thought he came up with the ultimate symbol of America's new resolve — scrotum-shaped sculptures that he calls "American Brass Balls."