UNDER THE TREE ’17

One bothersome tradition that cannot be escaped over the holidays is our annual gift givers guide. We know that many of you are too busy sorting credit card offers, worrying about the economy and watching television to get around to any meaningful shopping for others. That’s why we’ve put together this varied roster of clever, yet functional premiums sure to toast someone’s slippers on Christmas morning. And new in 2017 is San Juan Horseshoe gift insurance which protects the covered receiver from tasteless ties and sweet perfumes. It even contains a clause undressing potential disappointments in the children’s sector as well as worthless knick-knack storage credits for the elderly. Here are the gifts that made the cut…

WATCHED POT PLANT GROWER/INDUCER – Fits over the face like a view-finder or diving mask. Guaranteed to grow healthy house plants in just hours. Halogen light encourages lightening-fast maturity. Effective on everything from tomato plants to sensitive ivies and herbs. Comes with starter set, reversible lenses, carbon-monoxide film, foul weather gear. Why wait for plants to sprout the old way? (Not suggested for Christmas trees or mistletoe. $159.99 at reasonable florists.

ARAB ALLIES SHOWER CURTAIN – Now it’s there, now it’s not. The transparent, anti-microbial, mildew-resistant vinyl-lined shower curtain protects from leakage and wandering eyes. Many come with simulated maps of Mideast tribal boundaries  before arrogant European intervention in the 19th Century. Velcro attachments make cleaning a breeze. Simply hose it down. Doubles as a turban or chador in a fashion emergency. Matching prayer rug opens into American or British flag in the event of carpet bombing. $44.95 at Potties-Are-Us and other fine bath boutiques. Be sure to check out the digital toilet paper dispenser display and the revolving chrome toilet seats that few of us will be able to afford to be without this Yuletide.

ED’S RUBBER GARAGE LINER – Developed by local technician who grew tired of running into the garage with his car. Protects all four walls and insulated the electric door too! Somewhat bulky and difficult to apply without rubber tools and rubber hat. Effective against herd animals, drunks and tax assessors. Factory colors sure to match any garage decor. From the outside it looks like a normal garage but from the inside it resembles a cartoon rubber cave complete with windows and animated fossil fuel exhaust. Go ahead…Close your eyes and floor it. You’ll just bounce off! $129.99 at progressive auto supply outlets.

PEEING CHERUB SET – Perfect gift for the nouveau riche on your list. Decadence with a giggle. Classic pose accented by wrought-iron stand. Hand-cast resin statue beautifully detailed. Constant stream of consciousness from the personalized dangling participle. Brass or wicker with ivory-washed finish. Sorry: Matching weather-resistant bird feeder not available in spring. Discount for more than one. Rarely returned, 100% customer satisfaction assured. Movement sensitive lights, security buzzer, remote control directional flow and tinted water optional. $1099.99 at Clone Depots.

VIAGRA JOGGING SUIT – They’ll just have to see you coming with this trademark limited-edition jogging suit from your friends at Viagra. Soft-Corinthian spandex with logo prominently displayed in at least four places on garment. Give someone a leg up this holiday season with fashion that says virility all over it. Available in Okra, burnt cocoa or fire engine red. As advertised on Monday Night Football. $99.99 at athletic clothiers and surviving local pharmacies.

AIRLINE FOOD PROCESSOR/READING LAMP – Perfect for the globe trotter on your lisp. Easy to smuggle past security just to see if you can. Takes all that chemically-packed space food and turns it into an edible survival experience. Simply place unwrapped food items into processor and push button. In moments it kicks out a compact bale or freeze-dried cube that makes an interesting, if not nutritious lunch or dinner. Many experienced high altitude diners use their processor on the ground too since airport food is equally suspicious. Accompanying reading lamp doesn’t work very well but makes a great place to hide miniatures from temperance elements within the attendant population. $35.00 standby.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN PHONE KAZOO/WHISTLE – Everyone must be getting sick and tired of telephone solicitors with flat out amazing offers. Blow them off the line with the patented defense parameter beeping mouth harp. Hits a pitch that only pushy telemarketers can hear. Battery operated and compatible with answering machines so as to blast unwanted callers even when one is not home. Nickel-plated brass, dog hair repellent, easy to store. $31.99 with launcher. Order before December 24 and receive six free Scottish Highland Bagpipe Lessons (a $29 value). Offer good at pontificating merchants only.

MAIL BOX MINE FIELD – Protect yourself and your mail from terrorists this holiday season with the Homeland Security Mail Box Booby Trap Mine Ensemble. Schematic features mining blueprint for up to twenty-five yard circumference. Suited for networking in the neighborhood. Powerful detonator effective with the slightest touch. Combination lock or light sensitive device makes in impenetrable to intruders. Works great on moles, crows and other yard pests. Tests on bear-proof trash cans and child-proof prescription containers pending. $200.00 for expanded explosive selection, fuses and tiny identification camera. Not responsible for damages to rubber garage liners or peeing cherubs.

PATRIOT CELL PHONE – In red, white and blue. Show your support for world domination while you chat away mindlessly with friends and relatives. See-through for technical support maneuvers, caller ID to help round up suspicious citizens who don’t think the right way. Rear-projection device allows for display of U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights on the refrigerator door for those who still read. Vibrator allows for relaxation between calls. Monitoring hookup flashes when device is unplugged. Comes with National Security ID Bow Tie, fog-free blinders and ear plugs, official gov’ment neck weight and neon brain truss which creates up to 20,000 simulated brain impulses per bite. Basic data service: $39.95 per month.

KILLER INSTINCT BRONCO FIELD GOAL TOASTER OVEN – Start a fire under someone this Christmas with the sports appliance that everyone in the press box is talking about. State-of-the-art clock management, conservative quartz elements, choking mechanism prevents burn-out. Heats up great for about 45 minutes then cools off for the fourth quarter. Replaceable quarterbacks complimentary. Perfect for the golf course in January too! Blocks dangerous UV field goals under the lights. $45.99 at sports memorabilia shows nationwide.

COMBINATION TRASH CATAPULT/LITTER BOX FAN/BAGUETTE AIR FRESHENER SYSTEM – It may not be the best gift but it might be the biggest! Let’s start with the trash. Avoid dangerous treks to the garbage quadrant by hurling your debris. Why deal with ice, terrorists and dangerous four-legged predators all winter. Next we discover a handy litter box fan (three speeds) that keeps the odor down even while the cat’s away. If this isn’t strong enough just screw open the top of what looks like a simple loaf of bread and get rid of all other household smells instantly. Warning: Consumers have reported some confusion when using all of these devices simultaneously. Although tragedies are varied no one as yet has been killed. $699.99

TWENTY-THOUSAND LEAGUE BASEBALL MEMORABILIA – Discarded dental floss once used by Reggie Jackson, dirty socks collected from the Milwaukee Brewers’ locker room from 1995-2000 (complete set), a shampoo bottle emptied by a utility infielder who has moved on to the used car business. Too good to be true? Forget the days when players signed autographs for free, and Mantle and Mays roamed the outfield without a financial portfolio. Sod from the Astrodome, Rod Carew’s car seat, paycheck stubs from wrecked  Rockies’ starting pitchers, a video rental receipt once thought to be the property to Andres Galaraga. The list goes on. No sports addict can resist! Market price.

RETIREMENT ALARM CLOCK AND STAR WARS LAMPSHADE – Is someone on your shopping list about to take the big plunge into official retirement? Buy them the only alarm clock that not only counts the days until release from occupational bondage but also refuses to go off in the morning. Accompanying turntable base nuclear umbrella lampshade adds a little security to an otherwise frightening future. This gem slices, trims, mulches, waxes, purifies, embalms, soothes, magnetizes, downsizes, fattens, shakes, polishes and engages in a further an assortment of other verbs left over from our pile of notes for this article. $6,000 if the creek rises.

ISIS TRAVEL MIRROR – Why do these people hate us? Take a look for yourself. Framed by 50 years of foreign policy, accentuated by petroleum based distrust and cluttered conflicts the source of which no one cares to remember. Turn the magic dial and the human image will appear as thin as the average Palestinian refugee or the fattened desert prince. Laptop available. $5.2 million.

EVANGELICAL HEARING AIDE – Is someone on your list still talking to the power upstairs? You can insure their clear reception all hours of the day or night with this tiny metaphysical hearing aide from Salvation Optics. Keep the channels open and the message infallible. Comes with translation materials and phrase book in case God prefers to speak in Spanish or Arabic. Non-transferable. One size fits all. $300,000. Financing available at most righteous electronic outlets.

FOR YOUR PET:   This year sees a myriad of new products for our fur-bearing buddies. Probably the most impressive are the expanded collection of doggie tattoos and the runway car loader for fat dogs and cats. The pine beetle lattice talking elk head is another fine choice. It is sure to keep Rover or Kitty busy for hours upon end! Many of these diamonds in the rough are available locally. Prices depend on tightness of leash laws and what side of the door you’re on.

FORTUNATELY FOR YOU, the reader, we ran out of time and space. Sorry we couldn’t review the VOICE-ACTIVATED DINGY, the perfect gift for the Yachtie; or the KING TUT GUITAR CASE, a genuine sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen. Likewise the SOFT DRINK CERAMIC TILE GROUT DISPENSER, nor the already best selling “History of Hot Dogs” and “Photographing Bedroom Furniture” will receive the deserved notoriety of the season. We didn’t like the FISH HEAD CHARM BRACELET currently being pushed on Pee-Bay or the WORLD’S FAVORITE SIREN ENSEMBLES that the Salivation Army is selling. In Closing: The breakthrough MARTINI PILLS do work. If you’re just too busy to catch a buzz this season try one. They can be a great stress reliever but easy on the vermouth if you please.

Melvin “Hard Candy” O’Toole

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