Yes, you too can order one of the stupid and useless gifts featured in our annual guide, which for the past 27 years has been rated the nation’s No. 1 gift guide by a distinguished panel of distinguished panelists. As always, every item in this guide is a real product that we actually purchased with somebody else’s money. Also every item has been subjected to a rigorous quality-control procedure under which we look at the item in a rigorous manner and go, “Huh.” That is the reason we are able to offer our iron-clad Gift Guide Guarantee: If you purchase one of these items, and for any reason you are not 100 percent satisfied with it, simply return it to its original container, place it in an oven and bake it for three hours at 450 degrees. That should do it.
But enough with the legal mumbo-jumbo. Let’s take a look at the items that “made the cut” for this year’s gift guide, starting with:
$11.09 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (price may vary). Suggested by Craig Roberts of Meridian, Idaho.
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Every once in a while somebody comes up with a product so unusual, so extraordinary and so unexpected that we suspect narcotics were involved. That is definitely the case with Handerpants — “underpants for your hands.” Why, you ask? Well, according to the manufacturer, Handerpants have “hundreds of uses.”
So that clears that up.
We think Handerpants will make the perfect gift for everybody on your holiday list who has hands. Possibly you even know somebody who, because of a bizarre anatomical configuration, could wear Handerpants as actual underpants. We prefer not to think about it.
$8.50 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com. Suggested by Terri Card of Corvallis, Ore.
It’s everybody’s nightmare scenario: You have a slice of pizza, but you don’t want to eat it right away, and you don’t want to give up the use of one or both of your hands to carry it. Until now, your only practical option was to carry the slice on your head (this is still the system used throughout Europe). But now there is a better way: the Pizza Pouch. This is a triangular plastic pocket with a lanyard attached. You slide your pizza slice into the pocket and hang it around your neck; now your hands are free to drive a car, go jogging, dance in a ballet recital, perform open-heart surgery, etc., knowing your pizza slice is right there around your neck whenever you need it.
TV VIEWING BEER MUG
$14.99 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (price may vary). Suggested by Rick Day of The Villages, Fla., Sue Eckhardt of Gatesville, Texas, and Jeffrey P. Brown of Atlanta.
Without question the most annoying thing in the world — and we include the Kardashian family in this statement — is when you’re watching TV, and you take a sip of your beer, and the far rim of your mug blocks your view of the screen at a crucial moment. Don’t you HATE that?
Of course one possible solution would be to not sip your beer at crucial moments, but that sounds to us like a lot of work. A better solution is to use the TV Viewing Beer Mug, which has a special rim that is sloped at a scientific angle so you can still see the screen while you’re sipping. This mug is made of genuine plastic, so the lucky person you give it to is sure to cherish it for, at minimum, a lifetime. For obvious reasons, this is the beer mug preferred by commercial airline pilots, especially during landings.
$6.75 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (price may vary).
If you’re like many imaginary people, you have often said: “I sure would like some toast, but at the moment I have no bread or toaster with me!”
Well, we are pleased to announce that the days of not being able to have toast whenever you want it are over, thanks to inflatable toast. This product comes in a convenient tin; when you want toast, you simply take the product out of the tin, blow it up, and voila! (French for “What the heck?”) you have something that looks vaguely like toast when viewed in a dim light. The only drawback that we can see is that you cannot actually eat it. But on the positive side, you can use it again and again. This gift is sure to be a big hit with everybody on your holiday list, at least until they remove the wrapping.
Poop like a champion cereal
$11.99 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (At the time of publication, this item is unavailable). Suggested by Sue Eckhardt of Gatesville, Texas.
Here’s a thoughtful gift that is sure to make an impression on everybody on your holiday gift list who has a colon. Unlike ordinary “ho-hum” breakfast cereals, Poop Like A Champion contains — and here we are quoting the manufacturer — “a stupendous amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.” This cereal will blast through your digestive tract the way Godzilla went through Tokyo, clearing out everything in its path. Your colon will be as clean as a whistle, as empty as a prairie in January. It may even emit tumbleweeds. So this year, give the gift that says — and here we are again quoting the manufacturer — “Your life is about to change from the bottom up.”
$13.21 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (price may vary). Suggested by Janice Gelb of Melbourne, Australia, and Jeff Meyerson of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Here’s the perfect gift to give yourself or any person on your holiday list who wishes to make a fashion statement, specifically: “I have a tail.” Obviously you could wear it on Halloween, but you can also use it in any situation where you want to “stand out from the crowd.”
Let’s say you want to interview for a job. The other applicants will probably try to make an impression by wearing suitable business attire. BORRR-ing. Think of the reaction you’ll get when you stroll in and announce, “I need to sit backward on this chair, because of my tail.” The interviewers will definitely remember you. They might even hire you, for fear that otherwise you, as a tailed individual, would sue them for tailism, which for all we know is a real thing.
Wearing a tail is also an excellent way to add some-much needed levity to funerals.
COCKROACH POOL FLOAT
$29.95 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com.
Here’s a great gift for anybody who owns a swimming pool and would like to prevent guests from using it. This will instantly transform any pool or patio into a pool or patio occupied by a large repulsive insect. People won’t even want to look at it, let alone go near it.
MIDDLE-AGED-MAN WALL STICKER
$30.30 plus shipping and handling from Amazon.com (price may vary).
Do you have any hard-to-please teenagers on your holiday gift list? If so, here’s a “cool” gift that they are bound to “dig the most.” This is a life-size peel-and-stick photograph of a middle-aged man looking at you with a kindly, slightly bemused expression, as if to say “I don’t understand what this is about either!”
Teens love nothing more than having images of middle-aged people watching them when they’re in their rooms. But it’s also great for college students and even older people, as we can see by these actual Amazon user reviews, which we are not making up:
“I put this up in my study area at the start of the semester and my GPA is up to 3.9 now.”
“Following my purchase of the Wall Peel, I am proud to say that I have become the highly successful owner of my own orthopedic surgery practice.”
Dave Barry is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald. Write to him c/o Miami Herald, One Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132.