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Still shopping for that special gift? Maybe my annual installment of Weird And Expensive Gifts will help.
This year’s ideas come from a catalog which shall remain nameless. It arrived in my mailbox with “Special Holiday Edition” printed boldly on the front. Oddly enough, I do not remember receiving a catalog from this company any other time of the year, which begs the question, how can this be a special edition if there is no normal edition?
In any event, the offerings on its pages did not disappoint.
Let’s start with the surround sound shower system for $119.99. This handy gadget gives you wireless music and speakerphone calls in the shower. I guess this eliminates the need to jump out of the shower to answer the phone, although let’s be honest, I wouldn’t answer the phone if I was still IN the shower either. Having surround sound while I lather, rinse and repeat has never struck me as being a necessity.
Next item for the person who has everything: the Fantasy Jellyfish Aquarium, $99.99. Let’s be clear — we’re not talking real jellyfish. This maintenance-free aquarium contains “lifelike rubber jellyfish” that provide a “relaxing visual sensation.” Well. If you say so. I thought they just looked creepy and not particularly relaxing.
Heated clothing is hot this year. (See what I did there?) You can buy heated jackets, vests, socks, scarves and gloves. I was intrigued by the gloves until I saw the price tag: $189.99. I’m not sure what it’s like at your house, but gloves at our house do not have a long life expectancy. I am reluctant to spend that kind of money on something that could become a dog chew toy in short order.
The barbecue grill light and fan ($99.99) promises “four pivoting LED lights to illuminate your grill area.” I agree being able to see what I’m cooking is helpful but generally find turning on the overhead light in the garage or on the back porch does the trick. Maybe I am not taking my grilling seriously enough. Would lighting it up like an operating theater ensure better quality burgers?
A classic kitchen gadget that pops up every year (so people must be buying it, right?) is the electric indoors s’mores maker for $79.99. I’m all about making s’mores without having to build that pesky campfire first but guess what? You can pre-stack the chocolate bar and marshmallow on a graham cracker and zap it under the broiler in your oven to get everything appropriately melty. Don’t ask me how long I spent perfecting that technique. Just don’t. But it didn’t cost me $80 either.
I think it may be time for this company to bring their product buyers into the 21st century since one of the items is a $44.99 travel alarm clock. This dandy gadget includes a display that shows date and time on a lighted screen as well as alarm status. It has a snooze button and a way to dim the backlight at night. So far, this perfectly describes my cellphone. Which is already paid for.
And finally, the tabletop fireplace for $199.99. While I admit it would be fascinating to watch and harbors distinct marshmallow roasting potential, I have no doubt I would catch the house on fire within minutes since both our kitchen and dining room tables are home to the mother lode of combustible material.
But if you’re determined to have open flame, at least pair it with lighted dancing water speakers for $99.99. If your table catches on fire, you can use them to put it out.