Last year I put up my holiday gift guide almost a month ahead of the big day, but this year it took me a bit longer to get into the Christmas spirit. So what? Last-minute shoppers need help more than those smug assholes who get all their buying finished early, anyway. Still looking for the perfect trinket to tell that special someone how you feel? Still agonizing over what bauble or trifle to send to that parent in the nursing home to make them think you haven’t forgotten them and all they did for you? You have come to the right place, my friend. You’ll Take it and Like it!
Steve’s 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
(Once again, I must stress that any resemblance between this and Dave Barry’s Holiday Gift Guide, whatever that is, is completely coincidental and unintentional.)
We’ve all received gifts from relatives that we’d just as soon trade in for cash, store credit, or, in extreme cases, an equivalent volume of dirt. But far worse than receiving such a lame present on the biggest present-receiving day of the year, is being the clueless shithead who purchased and presented the offending gift in the first place. This year’s gift guide is dedicated to making sure that this year none of you wind up trying to pass off a graphing calculator or a book by Nicholas Sparks to one of your loved ones as the spirit of Christmas. We all know about the true spirit of Christmas: it’s cheap, it’s kitschy, and it’s vaguely unsettling.
For Those Lacking Confidence Some of us take longer to come out of our shells than others. I knew a guy in high school so soft spoken that he once watched an entire Prom Promise staged automobile accident without making a single smartass remark. That fellow could have used some Mr. T in his pocket. Hang this little gadget on your key-chain, and the next time you’re at a loss for words, just push a button. Tired of dealing with obnoxious customers? Boss giving you a hard time? Lady in line in front of you at the grocery store paying with a check? If you can’t speak up for yourself, let Mr. T do it for you! Mr. T In Your Pocket says one of six pre-recorded T phrases, like “I pity the fool!”, “Quit your jibba jabba!”, and “I’m also available for birthday parties!” Kids, who have no idea who Mr. T is, will love it. For the Hugo Chavez of Tomorrow
So you’re a child between the ages of 8 and 10 and you want to be the dictator of an impoverished, technologically primitive nation when you grow up. Don’t we all? But you’ve got to start somewhere, learning the skills that will serve you well when the time comes to abolish private property rights and commence the really hardcore exploitation of that peasant class. Contained within this tiny box is everything you need: people, livestock, crude dwellings. Put them where you want them. You tell them how long to work, you tell them how much wheat to grow and to harvest, and you tell them when they’ve got one sow too many. Rough winter, they need more heat — do they get it? It’s up to you; you control the oil industry! Overpopulation is becoming a problem — do they really need that youngest daughter? You know what to do.
For the World of Warcraft Player
Kissing an actual person can be an anxious and confusing experience if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pressing your lips against theirs, applying the right amount of pressure — and what the hell are you supposed to do with your tongue? Fret no longer, pasty, pimpled ones. On the slender chance you ever encounter another human being willing to let you kiss him or her, you can prepare with this helpful 32-page illustrated book. Just follow the step-by-step instructions, and you can’t go wrong. One day (but probably never, ever) you might be able to regale your fellow travelers with tales of your kissing escapades, as you make your way through the haunted wood of Nimtor, on your quest to free the Chalice of Skrull from the clutches of the evil Lord Carnigar, you fucking loser.
For Those Unfamiliar With Double Entendres
There’s only one thing that says “I love you” more resoundingly than giving that special someone a pearl necklace you produced all by yourself: giving them something that lets them produce their very own pearl necklace! Admit it, fellas: you love making those pearl necklaces just as much as your partner loves willingly receiving them. Now, with the Natural Pearl Kit, they can join in the fun, too, and it’s about fucking time! It’s real simple, see. You just open the can and remove the dead oyster preserved inside in an alcohol solution. You pry open its shell with the plastic knife helpfully included, and pluck out your pearl, which will be in one of five fabulous colors. You place the pearl, whatever color it is, into the clasp provided, and hang it around your neck with the included chain. From then on, when you walk down the street, into your workplace, or through the mall of your choice, people will look at you and go, “Hey, that person has a single pearl in a clasp around [his/her] neck! I bet its miniscule monetary value is multiplied by the pride they feel in having personally extracted that pearl from the pickled carcass of its oyster!” And they will be right.
For Self-Deluded Posers
The world’s run by squares, man. They outlawed all the really cool shit, like weed, pot, and reefer — and worst of all, switchblades! Back in the day, people saw someone in a badass leather jacket, his hair greased and combed back, wearing a pair of torn blue jeans and a filthy t-shirt, and they knew he was someone not to be fucked with, unless they wanted stabbed real good courtesy of his badass switchblade! Now, people see someone in a leather jacket and his hair greased back, and they point and laugh in a manner often cruel and derisive. Why? No switchblades. Sure, you can find real switchblades at pawn shops or junk dealers if you look hard enough, and I think they probably sell them in Mexico or something, but who wants to risk getting caught with one? Arrested? Over a switchblade? No thank you. This switchblade comb will do just fine, thank you very much. Looks like a switchblade, sounds like a switchblade, but no law-defying blade to cheese off the cops. Carry one of these in your pocket next time you hit the mall with your leather biker jacket and your pack of smokes rolled up in your shirt sleeve, and whip it out the next time some fuckin’ square snickers as you walk by. Hopefully, they’ll turn and run soon as you take it out of your pocket. If not, don’t let it bother you once they see that comb and the laughter starts. Just run this puppy through your hair and remember that the joke’s on them, daddy-o. At least you look good.
For the Small-Time Investor
Believe me, I know how hard it can be to save money. No sooner do you put it in the bank than you hear that Homicide: Life on the Street DVD set or that latest volume of The Batman Chronicles beckoning you. You need someplace to put your savings that will be secure — from thieves, from the fickle ups and downs of the market, and most importantly, from your own impulse-driven avarice. Lucky for you, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believeth in Him shall not go broke, but shall put spare change into a cheap rubber bank shaped like Him. To those of you currently giving 10% of your income to the church, I highly recommend putting it into this bank, instead. Jesus will keep an eye on it for you, and it will still be your money. Save it for a rainy day, for the kid’s college fund, for that inevitable colonoscopy, or for a more secure and tasteful bank that doesn’t serve to further cheapen an already exhausted and tawdry religion.
For the Reckless Ones Whose Bad Trip Left Them Cold
Your mind is completely shot, you live on your pittance of a disability check, and the only thing that provides any meaning to your sad and unimaginably hollow existence is your weekly trip to the 7-Eleven to stock up on your favorite nutrition-free snack, delicious Hostess Twinkies. There’s nothing like the feeling that courses through your body after that first bite, is there? The soft yellow cake, the sweet, creamy filling, and the sharp, stabbing pain as it touches your cavity-ridden teeth. Now you can have that same feeling, without the stressful chewing or tear-jerking mouth pain. This amazing product is a lip balm that tastes, and even sort of looks like your beloved Hostess Twinkies. Spread some on, and not only will it protect your lips from sunburn and chapping, it will also deceive your body into thinking it has just ingested a scrumptious mouthful of cake and icing. Got kids? Almost definitely not, but if you do, give some to them! Doom them to lives as friendless and obese outcasts. It was all you ever got, right? Why should those little bastards get off any better?
For Those Who Have Contemplated Suicide Rather Than Stay Married One More Goddamn Day
It doesn’t have to be like this, you know. You don’t have to live. Like this. This isn’t what you signed up for. A long time ago, you can dimly recall, there was love in your house. There was not merely sex, but a joyfulness that made it something to really cherish and look forward to. There was not merely cohabitation, but true companionship between the two of you, a real exchange of ideas and opinions and personalities. But now . . . well, what’s the point of living if you’re hardly even alive? You can end it. You can button it up and put it away for good and all. You bought the gun weeks ago, without telling anyone. It’s under the seat of your car, waiting on you to get your courage up and use it. Take it, load it, point it, and free yourself and that person you once loved from this gray, pitiful hell of your own making. End it, and take as many others with you as you can. But remember to save that last one for you. That’s your magic bullet, your ticket home, your get-out-of-jail-free card. Or, you can buy these talking remote controls that say a variety of pre-recorded phrases like “Whoa, ever hear of foreplay?” and “All right, hand over the credit cards!” It’s all up to you.
For Poverty-Lovers With Halitosis
You know what Mother Teresa loved even more than Jesus and poor people? Fresh, peppermint-scented breath, of course. Show your support for her beatification, and her tireless lifetime of effort to make goddamn sure those ground-down serfs living in the slums of Calcutta stayed as poor as they were the day they were born, by buying and using this pleasant and godly breath-freshening mist. Steer clear of Christopher Hitchens when using it, however; he has caught the scent and has been known to deliver to anyone smelling of Mother Teresa Breath Mist quite a thrashing indeed!
For Proud Lutherans Long overshadowed by other, louder, more intolerant Protestant denominations, the time has come for Lutherans of the world to stand up and make their voices heard! Be strong and bold, my Lutheran brothers, and speak with the courage and conviction of the great German theologian whose name your faith proudly takes as its own, only without all the anti-Semitism. Why should the Baptists, the Pentecostals, the Presbyterians have all the fun? Lutherans know a good time when they see one! The 95 Theses, the Real Presence during the Eucharist — that’s all you, baby! Let those other Christians know that if they want to claim their church is number one, they will have a motherfucking brawl on their hands. That goes for those Catholic bitches, too — you already whipped their asses once, and you sure as hell wouldn’t mind doing it again.