Opinion: The gift you keep on giving

It’s time for a look at part II of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue, which contains hundreds of gifts that you can probably do without. But don’t let this stop you from  sending these gifts to others.

The Brain Wave Animated Cat Ears: This is a headband with furry ears that moves in response to a person’s thoughts and moods. For example, when something piques your interest, the ears stand at attention. Men looking for romantic encounters find this a total turn on when worn by a woman, but some are put off at by the frequent trips to the kitty litter.

The Buffet Eaters Wine Glass Holder: I really want one of these, so I hope my wife is reading this column. This device allows you to hang your filled wine glass around your neck, so that your two hands are free to stuff tiny quiches and pigs in a blanket in your mouth while talking on a cell phone or checking  for text messages. If you are really friendly, you could, I suppose, even shake someone’s hand. Also great for horses that enjoy  Chablis.

Hungry Person’s Ice Cream Scoop. It’s payback time for the giant beer mug your husband bought himself that holds 64 ounces of beer, allowing him to honestly tell you that he’s just having one glass. Now you can keep to your diet even with ice cream, by simply limiting yourself to one scoop. This scoop holds two gallons of ice cream. Hang it in your garage next to the snow shovel.

The Reading Time Clock:  OK, I’m going to vote this the dumbest gadget I have ever seen. Instead of numbers on a round clock, it has real words come up on a screen. So it says:  it’s eight thirty. Of course, the clock doesn’t actually say it, you have to read it. A minute later we see: it’s eight thirty one. Who would want this as a gift? Maybe it’s for people who are literate—they know all the letters—just never learned numbers?

Animated Holiday Scene Projection :  This casts various seasonal  images onto your garage door or the front of your house. Why bother with pesky lights and cumbersome Christmas trees when for a couple hundred dollars you can relive the good old days when you actually cared enough to decorate. Now all that Christmas nostalgia comes in a USB thumb drive. Coming soon: An updated extreme version, perfect for the weatherman in you who wants to practice looking like you are really reporting in a  hurricane or battling a tornado. Now you can look as silly as the reporter on TV who hasn’t the sense to get out of the storm.

HEATED BATHROBE:  This is a bathrobe with lithium batteries so that you can plug it in and feel a soothing warmth when you get out of the shower. In this same catalogue you can also buy battery-operated gloves, battery-operated socks and battery-operated ear muffs.  You also buy a flashlight that doesn’t require batteries. Well, that’s a stupid idea.

The Talking RC  Police Cruiser: This a remote controlled toy police car that lets kids record their own message to broadcast to neighborhood ne’er-do-wells, like  “Drop That Toy.”  Great experience for your own children who may someday want to go into law enforcement or for the little gangster next door who is already studying for a life in the slammer.

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