Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Truly tasteless gifts

My mail carrier is a petite woman who probably has a huge hernia, thanks to all of the catalogs I receive every week. I still can’t help but wonder how on earth I ever got on the mailing lists for some of them.

For example, last week I received a catalog for horse breeders. Another one was full of fencing equipment (fencing as in dueling with swords). I can’t even begin to imagine why these catalogs were sent to me.

There was one catalog, however, that really intrigued me. In fact, it made me stop to wonder exactly what the guy (or woman) who orders the merchandise for it must be like. The words “wacky” and “eccentric” immediately came to mind…which probably explains why I received it.

The catalog, “Things You Never Knew Existed,” features gift items that I doubt anyone on anybody’s Christmas list ever would already have. So for the shopper who is looking for a gift for the “person who has everything,” I pretty much can guarantee that this catalog contains plenty of stuff that the person won’t have.

Here is just a sampling of some of the actual gifts and their descriptions as listed in the catalog:

1. Pipi,” the drinking, barking, puddle-making toy pup with hand-held controller. Leaves a puddle wherever he goes! ($20)

2. The Christmas Chicks CD. Hear the chickens as they join the “Fowlharmonic” Orchestra to sing such classics as Silent Night and the Little Drummer Boy, for 28 minutes of sheer “egg-citement!” ($10)

3. The world’s largest men’s underpants – size 100. Have a party to see how many people you can squeeze into them! Made of 100% cotton. Machine wash and dry (which might shrink them down to size 99). ($17)

4. Nose-hair trimmer in the shape of a finger. ($10)

5. Big Barf and Big Burp candy dispensers. Push down on the top and the dispenser makes a barfing (or burping) sound as your treats “gush” out. ($4 for a set of two)

6. A genuine acre of the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Own a piece of the ocean floor located midway between California and Hawaii, while supplies last. Comes complete with a deed, suitable for framing. ($20)

7. Money soap. This soap comes with a surprise tucked inside – cold cash! Once the soap wears down, your prize, tucked safely inside is guaranteed to be one of the following: a real $1, $5, $10, $20 or even a $50 bill! Great incentive to get children to wash their hands frequently. ($11)

8. Doggy Doo Christmas ornament. This little ornament is made of faux doggy doo and is decorated with a sprinkling of glittery snow and tied up nicely with a holiday ribbon. A great holiday reminder of man’s best friend! ($7)

9. The Butt/Face towel. This soft terrycloth bath towel has “BUTT” embroidered on one end and “FACE” on the other, which makes it easy to remember which end to use when you are drying yourself. ($17). Also available, the butt/face bar of soap ($5) to go with it.

10. “Shocking” TV remote control. Is someone at your house always hogging the remote control? Here’s a great way to get even. Just hand him this remote and then step back. Pushing the power button will give him a real jolt! ($7)

11. Set of eight self-sticking can labels. These labels, from Cousin Skeeter’s Backwoods Cookin’ Kitchen, fit over the labels on your real canned foods. Guaranteed to turn heads and stomachs! Labels include cream of cockroach soup, roadkill ravioli, possum stew, mashed maggots and more! ($6)

12. Magic bean plant. Just open the can, add a little water and sunlight, and watch the magic bean grow to reveal the secret message, “I love you,” right on the live plant itself. A real surprise for a loved one! ($10)

13. Genuine quarters with your choice of two heads or two tails. Finally, those “let’s flip a coin” decisions will land in your favor! ($8)

14. Remote-control talking dog collar. Just clip this small bone-shaped speaker on your dog’s collar, then operate the remote control and watch the reactions as your dog appears to actually be speaking one of six clever remarks and witty lines such as, “I’m a lover, not a biter!” ($19)

I could continue, but I think you get the idea (and I didn’t even mention the dozen or so items that make rude bodily sounds).

Would I ever actually buy something from this catalog? Never!

Okay, maybe…just maybe…I did order the lifelike animated turtle that crawls across the floor while singing, “Slow down, you move too fast.”