originally published December 21, 2013
We are rapidly approaching the glorious end of the Christmas shop-fest, that time of year when we pour too much of our paycheck into gifts people generally don’t need but are too polite to turn down. Unfortunately, these are the grisly days when you might find yourself on the receiving end of a kind gesture without sufficient opportunity to match it with a gift of your own. Inevitably some friend or co-worker with whom you have had a cordial but tempered relationship is going to drop a ribboned and bowed box of Ferrero Rocher in your lap and you’ll have nothing to with which to reciprocate.
Well, there’s always a quick trip to the drug store. Nothing says “you’re in my thoughts this Christmas” like a box of Tucks Medicated Pads. But if you really want to impress them, just tell them you’re waiting on their present to arrive through the mail, and dammit, that Skymall is just too slow.
They aren’t, of course. They are a wonderfully efficient shopping machine, but maybe you can buy some time and get away with a thoughtful and heartfelt gift on the 27th or the 30th. Here are some Skymall products I believe would enrich anyone’s life.
Ever since the Chevy Chase movie Oh Heavenly Dog rocked the foundations of our culture in 1980, people have been fascinated by the idea of a talking dog. Now you can own one! Just strap this collar around your naïve and helpless little hound’s neck, and with the handy remote you can trigger one of four pre-recorded messages that you have prepared. Scraps will be the life of your New Year’s Eve party when he approaches guests and says things like, “Hey, your crotch smells like raisins!” or “Have another shrimp puff, fat-ass!”
In your voice. While you crouch behind the bureau and giggle.
This gift is a clever way of telling your friend that he has too many friends. Also it’s a good way to mess up his poor dog’s mind. I’m no Cesar Milan, but I’m pretty sure if the dog is hearing voices two inches from his ear and not seeing any accompanying visual cue, he’s going to get a little squirrely. Especially if you have the dog uttering sleazy pick-up lines like, “Hey there, good-lookin’!”
This is the gift that tells your co-worker, “I don’t know which football club you support in any given match, but this saggy clump of non-breathing vinyl will sit on your head and remind everyone around you that you are experiencing the joys of the iron grid.” I particularly enjoy the what-am-I-doing-with-my-life smile on the model’s face.
The $52.25 price tag for this product may scare you off, but don’t let it. For that price you get six of these – and yes, it’s the only way to purchase them. Now everyone at the office will be able to clearly identify which other co-workers you forgot about when you were doing your Christmas shopping.
There is an obesity epidemic plaguing our great nation, and when you couple that with a sharp increase in repetitive stress injuries due to excessive computer time, it’s a wonder our entire species hasn’t collapsed into the wells of history by now. Fortunately for the future of humanity, the good people at Gadget Universe have bestowed upon us the Springflex UB. Simply clamp the two massive, totally non-weird-looking arms to your desk and you are set up to do over 120 exercises to tone your upper body into a buff, Youtube-comment-leaving machine.
According to Skymall, “The SprigFlex (sic) lets you do over 120 exercises virtually anywhere at anytime.” Well, ‘anywhere’ meaning the desk you’ve clamped it to, and ‘anytime’ meaning whenever you aren’t feeling overwhelmed by the reality that you just spent $89.95 on two ridiculous-looking flex-arms when you could have simply gone for a walk.
The Mistress of the Crypt statue is a lovely piece of 9.5-inch-high art for the moody gothic person on your Christmas list. I simply want to know why this is included in Skymall’s ‘Christmas’ section, between the wreath-cozy and snowman-riding-a-rooster tree ornament.
And speaking of which, who is spending $60 on a snowman riding a rooster? What is happening to our culture?
The mounted squirrel head is a great bargain. For only $24.95, its eyes will monitor and judge you, its chest-fur will ripple confidently, and its flaccid front legs will dangle helplessly near where its groin would be if it hadn’t been mercilessly severed from the upper portion of its body. This is the ideal gift for that co-worker who prattles on about the crazy dream she had last night while you’re both waiting for the coffee machine to percolate. Now she’ll only have nightmares to tell you about. And those will be far more interesting.
The reviews of the mounted squirrel head are unanimously positive and sincere, which in itself is a little scary.
You’ll be singing, “No artificial creamer, no cry,” as you pour a hot pound of Marley Coffee into someone’s (belated) Christmas stocking this year. This is the ‘Get Up Stand Up’ blend, but you can also try the ‘Buffalo Soldier’, ‘Talkin’ Blues’ and ‘Lively Up’ varieties. I think they’re really on to something here.
Why not “I (espresso) Shot The Sheriff”, “Forever Loving Jah(va)”, “Coming In From The Cold” (an iced coffee blend), “Punky Reggae Latte” and “Redempaccino Song”? None of the blends feature kaya, so we can safely leave the obvious ganja jokes in the cupboard where they belong.
Once again another Christmas will pass me by and I won’t end up owning a voice-activated 15-inch R2D2. Not only does this droid respond to 40 commands, but he can play games with you, act as a motion-sensor sentry, and he plays the Mos Eisley cantina song while he dances. This is the droid I’ve been looking for, and it would make a great present for that internet writer on your list who has provided you with so much mirth and delight for the past 721 days or so.