It may just be me, but it seems that the further people sail from the shores of middle age the harder it is to find them a suitable Christmas present. Complicating matters is that somewhere between ages 50 and 60 many begin protesting, "Don't buy me anything this year -- I have all that I need." This, of course, is pure bunk. So pull out your credit cards, print this gift guide, and get out of here.
Older Person Blow-Up Doll ($59.95)
As the Post 50 set advances in years, one of the few consolations is knowing that there exist people even older than you are, some way older. Researchers at Latex Leisure Products have come up with a perfect mood-boosting holiday present. Place one of these amazingly realistic geezers in the room where you spend most of your time and feel the resentment and self-pity disappear. The dolls come in five ages: 60, 70, 80, 90 and the new "Last Rites."
"I Smell Gas in this House" ($11.56)
(101 Original Excuses Why You Cannot Watch The Grandchildren This Evening, Or Ever)
The phlebitis scare
Food processor accidents (1-6)
Raccoon under piano
Grandpa Benson's Sharia Study Group
And many more...
Mario Batali's "Hungry Maw" Industrial Band Saw ($888.95)
Those cruising on the far side of the SS tollbooth often complain of having nothing to do. Here is an ideal gift for men--and women, why not?--who are looking for a diverting and productive hobby, like building tool sheds and resurfacing the roof. The Mario Batali industrial band saw has a "Bitchin' Sharp" 2-foot-diameter blade that slices through 4 x 6 pine like fois gras. Affords hours of amusement while saving money on major home improvements.
"The Platters" Lawn Trimmer
It is a well-known fact that as individuals age they become increasing fastidious--if not downright neurotic--concerning many trivial matters in daily life, like trimming grass along the driveway and front walk. Spending countless sweaty hours on this Sisyphean chore can now be the highlight of your week with "The Platters" Lawn Trimmer, manufactured by Decca records. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," The Great Pretender," "Twilight Time" -- these and more ageless hits ooze out of sturdy Bose speakers that are ingeniously built into the shaft. Considering that the legendary singing group recorded 87 LPs between 1955-1964, there is little worry that "the tunes will repeat before the lawn is all neat."
Tongue Broom ($12.95 two-pack)
Post 50s don't like to talk about it, but as you age you produce more saliva. And with it comes all manner of litter from the anatomical highway. The Johnson and Johnson Electric Tongue Broom utilizes triple-wind, nylon-and-straw bristles that leave your licker debris free and ready for action.
Saint-Bernard-on-a-Rope ($251--$353, plus shipping)
Many Post 50s couples are empty nesters, and while they may run on about how wonderful it is to have a quiet house, food in the fridge, and no more midnight visits from the police, they are lonely. Giving friends a new child for Christmas takes planning, sometimes as far ahead as Halloween. A more expedient option--and it is something that everyone will enjoy--is having a Saint Bernard shipped to your Christmas tree within 48 hours by this reputable Minnesota kennel. All ages, all temperaments. Free gift wrapping.
Ladies' Drive-In Simulator
The Post 50s lady has about as much chance of being courted at a drive-in as Herman Cain has of keynoting next year's Women in Business Awards. But that does not mean memories cannot be rekindled. Made of a thick, malleable synthetic fabric framed like a man's right hand and forearm, the battery powered Ladies' Drive-In Simulator can be mounted on the passenger seat's head rest as well as most lounge chairs. At the press of a button it gently strokes a woman's shoulders, her nape, her cheekbones and, if allowed, down toward the once nascent breast region. Comes with 3 Annette Funicello beach movies.
Cobra Belt ($32.47)
Let's face it, some Post50s types are ossified bores. So imagine the fun when you encounter stuffy acquaintances at a holiday party and "jingle their bells" with this! An eerily authentic looking foam-and-rubber belt features two braided cobras equipped with a motion sensor. All you do is approach someone holding a glass in one hand and a plate in the other. See how the party perks when the snakes snap and hiss at their "prey." Available in children's sizes.
Gloria Steinen Chess Set ($2.95)
One might ask, why a Gloria Steinman Chess Set? A spokesman for the Hasbro toy company said he was not certain, although it appears that one day a couple of bored designers crafted Gloria Steinman rooks as a joke and they accidently went into production. "We have a warehouse full of them," he said. A bargain last-minute gift.
Little Richard Sings "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and Other Bee-Bop Classics ($23.50)
This is not a joke. Available in 8-Track and Cassette.
Grandchildren Repellent Cologne ($27.50)
To many grandparents, children are precious and entertaining--for a short time. However over the holidays frazzled parents frequently shuffle youngsters to older relatives around the house, even if they have better things to do. Here comes the water washable Grandparent Repellent Cologne. A few drops anywhere on the body will have the spoiled little urchins dashing back to mom's apron. Available in "100-Year-Old Egg," "Road Kill," "French Person's Undergarment," "Rancid Broccoli," and the perennially popular "Vomit."
Stockings filled with Cherry Bombs
Brings backs memories of halcyon summers at the lake and shattered newspaper boxes back when there were still newspaper boxes.
Disappearing Fried Eggs ($6.88 six-pack; $13.33 12 pack)
We all know that the secret to a long marriage is laughter. This great stocking stuffer features six incredibly realistic fried eggs. Dip in warm water, serve, and leave the room. They will gradually evaporate on the plate.
Norelco "Lady's Man" Ear Mower ($12.88)
This is one of those "Why-didn't-I-think-of-that-and-make-a-fortune-and-move-to-Guadeloupe?" inventions. About half the size of a cheap cigarette lighter, the battery powered Norelco ear mower swivels to reach all of those increasingly fecund regions from outer lobe to auditory canal. (I found it a little annoying near the eardrum, but you'll probably get used to that.) You can buy these in a three-pack and keep one in your briefcase, another in the car.