Ah Christmas, that holy celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, heralding sentiments of peace on earth, love, joy and good will towards our fellow man coupled with an orgiastic celebration of retail consumption. What’s not to love? The gaudy decorations, the earnest caroling, the sumptuous feasts and all that shopping! How better to express it than it’s the most wonderful time of the year? It’s Christmas time, gosh darn it, and if you don’t feel good, better or best, then there must be something radically wrong with your curmudgeonly ass! So get out there and buy some damned presents for your loved ones. Just avoid these less-than-stellar gifts:
Air Bagpipe Hero: A virtual music game letting players pretend they are the lead bagpiper in the local Police Marching Band. All the great bagpipe tunes are included, like “Amazing Grace” and all the rest of them that sound exactly like Amazing Grace when played on bagpipes.
Tickle Me Tiger: A Barbie and Ken-type doll/action figure of Tiger Woods, Mattel Toy Company figured to clean up this Christmas with this toy of the most popular golfer ever, packaged with a miniature set of golf clubs. After the scandal hit, they tried to recoup their losses by packaging each Tiger figure with one of a set of 13 look-alike “Bimbo Mistress Barbie” dolls with sexy cocktail waitress outfits, evening gowns or lingerie, but toy retailers have been slow to embrace the concept.
iCuffLinks: Apple computers finally went too far with their i-products, and the iCufflinks may be their worst idea ever. With one cufflink as the speaker and the other as the video screen and music player, these things are just a tad too tiny.
Stuffed Endangered Species: The people who marketed these real dead animals weren’t getting the concept of “saving” endangered species when they figured people would like to have a genuine stuffed Polar Bear, Snow Leopard, Brown Spider Monkey or Bald Eagle before they disappear. The only ones who placed any orders were the Palin family of Alaska. Some retailers just don’t think things all the way through.
Edible Play Dough: Bowing to the inevitable, the maker of Play Dough finally took the next logical step and is now making “Edible Playdough,” which tastes exactly like the original (not too bad, really, if memory serves) but is an actual food substance with all the required daily vitamins per serving.
The Shamwow Diaper Blanket: The ultimate couch potato’s dream, a sleeved blanket you wear while you lay around the house that doubles as a super-absorbent diaper, eliminating the exhausting chore of walking to the toilet, often two entire rooms away from the couch, or even more daunting, up a flight of stairs! Sales were hurt by the fact that the target customers were too lazy to even click the mouse of their computer to order them, saving valuable energy to operate their TV remotes.
Junior’s First Gun: Some say that firearms manufacturers have crossed a line with this red, white and blue lightweight but very real pistol built for the hand of a three year-old. Gun retailers defend the product as an educational toy intended for fire arms training and is sold with only blank rounds, with real bullets only available with parental permission. The company is having a hard time keeping up with the orders.
Chanel #4: There is a reason why the world’s most famous perfume is called “Chanel #5.” The first four attempts resulted in very foul-smelling concoctions that attracted unwanted attention from leg-humping dogs. The marketers of Chanel #4 are figuring to cash in on a craze for retro fashion items, mounting an expensive advertising campaign aimed at the dim-witted children of rich people, and are actually doing quite well with it. Keep your distance from Yuppie trash this season.
Artificial Laps: This product is actually a practical invention, a small portable platform that really fat people can strap to their knees with handy velcro straps in order to have an actual “lap” for their laptop computers. So far there have been few takers.
Computo-cycle: This “simulated bicycle game” is an interactive computer game that lets children have the sensation of riding a real bicycle without the danger of leaving the couch. By the makers of “Artificial Laps” and “Shamwow Diaper Blankets.”
Lego: There’s nothing different about Lego after all these years, but it’s been around long enough for us to know that it is one of the lamest and most frustrating toys ever, impossible to build something that looks like anything. Lego has created more disturbed and obsessed individuals than even Etch-A-Sketch or Pick-Up-Sticks.
Chia Pubes: Marketed by the Chia Pet people as a joke adult gift, Chia Pubes comes with either a clay penis or vagina, and as usual grows a green moldy looking weed for pubic hair. All in all, not funny and kind of disturbing.
Mister Parsnip Head: The Nutrition Police are getting a little crazy and have introduced this crazy toy as a healthy alternative to Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Kids will like it about as much as they do real parsnips.