A few of the items I spotted in Christmas catalogues recently, though, had me shaking my head and wondering who the hell would buy them—and who the hell would they be intended for?
Take the Monkey Nail Dryer from Hawkin’s Bazaar.
Hawkin’s has a host of brilliantly off-kilter gifts: Crime Scene Loo Roll; the Giant Wine Glass, which holds an entire bottle of vino; the Incredible Expanding Bunny (I can’t begin to explain it). But the Monkey Nail Dryer is, to my mind, just bizarre. I can accept that some people might feel the need to hasten the drying speed of their manicure with an air blower. But why is it in the shape of a cartoon monkey? I just don’t get it.
Then there’s the Furrari dog bed from Pets at Home:
I love dogs. I especially love my dog. But my dog is not going to have a swankier vehicle, plush or otherwise, than I do.
Gifts for the Girls sells Onion Goggles. These aren’t a gag gift, not at £14.99 and with a “comfortable foam seal” and “anti-fog lenses [for] maximum clarity”. But you’d need to chop an incredible amount of onions to justify the expense. Besides, who really wants to receive a gift whose sole purpose is to make it moderately less uncomfortable to carry out a tedious task?
Which sort of brings me to the Tweeze battery-operated tweezer from the Original Gift Company. I’m not saying this isn’t a great product; according to the copy, “it’s estimated to be 30x faster than ordinary tweezing” and is “ideal for facial hair on upper lip, chin and cheek areas”. But woe betide the man who presumes to surprise his honey with an implement for removing her moustache.
When it comes to truly naff gifts, the British have nothing on the Americans. Case in point, from the US catalogue Things You Never Knew Existed: Jingle Jugs.
And people wonder why I left the States for England.--SC