Opinion: Present company included
Time again to save you the trouble of reading through this year’s holiday edition of the “Hammacher Schlemmer” catalog. These are actual gift selections from their brochure…
The Best Talking Watch: This is the perfect gift for people who find it inconvenient or troublesome to have to actually look at their watch. You’re in your car, one arm around your lover, the other hand texting, another holding a cup of coffee, and still another might be on the steering wheel. Don’t jeopardize your safety by glancing at your watch.
The Only Heated Outdoor Cat Shelter: According to HS, this shelter keeps your cat warm in the winter and cool in the summer. “There is no reason for your little feline friend to ever go in your house,” says the manufacturer. So I have a question: Why do you have a cat?
The Handcrafted Hippopotamine: This is a huge handcrafted sofa that is the same size and shape as an actual hippo, complete with head and tail. HS says it took 400 hours for the artist to complete the project, which is why this monstrosity costs $95,000. If you are a big fan of this enormous creature, a real one is only $82,500.
The Darth Vader Pancake Maker: The state-of-the-art thermostat ensures that each pancake or waffle will be a golden brown and cooked in the shape of Darth Vader. But be warned if you overcook your waffle, breakfast guests will say their food is a little Chewie and showing its dark side.
The Single-handed Barber: The typical affluent HS shopper will love the idea of giving himself a haircut. On the Internet, buyers comment it’s a great product but requires practice. Who do you practice on? Don’t worry, if you have compliant children to humiliate, the kit includes two baseball caps.
The GPS Homing Device: This is a device for people who travel, so they can find their way back to their hotel. I mean, really, only a total loser would need one of these. My wife is getting me one.
The Self-finding Wallet: Again, a gadget for space cadets, with an integrated tracking device that you pair with your Bluetooth so if you misplace your wallet, you just go to your iPhone and you can locate it. Okay, now where the heck did I leave my iPhone?
The Children’s Weber Grill: A great gift choice for kids who already have iPhones and computers and high-tech video games. What fun, to have a fake plastic grill where you can pretend you are cooking a plastic hot dog on pretend coals. Learn to be just like Dad, who in 17 years behind the barbecue still can’t figure out medium-rare.
The Electric Kazoo: Just when you thought that the world’s most annoying musical instrument couldn’t get any worse, the folks at HS electrified it. Apparently they partnered with the last kazoo manufacturer left in the United States, but this idea should pretty much finish them off, too.
The Instant Portable Soccer Game: Introduce your children to this international sport with two portable nets and regulation-size balls. Teach them the rules, how to move the ball down the field and how to start a small neighborhood riot when the game is over.
Finally, the Table-top Fireplace: Provides all the sights and sounds of a real fire, but the whole thing is 100 percent fake – the perfect gift for your friend who is romancing that cute inflateable doll.