The catalyst for this year’s visit to the land of strange gifts is something that I saw for sale in the Kittery Trading Post after *last* Christmas. Darn me for not having my camera with me at the time, however I have since found it for sale online. This is good; it means that I did not hallucinate it.
Friends, I have found the most incredibly strange Christmas gift you could ever imagine.
But this was a banner year for ridiculous gifts as you shall see. Sad to say, I didn’t find as many crazy cheap toys in the wild (so to speak) as I did the past two years. Most of the items in this year’s feature come from catalogues. I hadn’t browsed catalogs for crazy gifts since the SkyMall feature years ago and I’d forgotten what a gold mine they can be for things to make fun of.
So, let’s get reta… IT STARTED! Yeah, that’s it.
Flesh-Eating Virus Plushie
Awwwww. Now, what little kid wouldn’t want this? I’d heard about these little guys for years but I’d never actually seen them until a recent visit to the Museum of Science and it’s wonderfully eccentric gift shop. They were all huge hits with the kids I saw there. Go figure.
Snow In A Can
As of the time of writing, it has not yet snowed here (though it looks like it will very soon). This item is meant to be used as a science experiment, but I have also seen it advertised to buy in bulk as a special treat for children who live in hotter climates and who have never seen snow.
Cry me a river.
One Square-Inch of Massachusetts
No, I love snow. Don’t get the wrong idea. Anyway, this company offers genuine American real estate for less than $5.00. The recipient gets a certificate emailed to them. For a bit more, they can get a tastefully framed certificate in the mail.
I’d give anything within reason to learn where, exactly, these square inches of Massachusetts land actually are. Underwater, I’ll wager; very likely in a swamp. Or, perhaps, they are square inches of one very big glacial boulder out in a forest somewhere. The fact that somebody is making money off of this is giving me soooooo many bad ideas.
Earrings Made Out Of Moose Sh*t.
The last item made me wonder why I blithely toss all the rocks I dig out of my garden aside when I could be selling them as genuine *cubic* inches of Massachusetts. This item… wow. Just, wow.
Actually, making novelty items out of moose sh*t is nothing new and it has taken me way too long to getting around to mentioning it. I’m starting to get the impression that we (and I mean a collective “we” as in “the people of New England”) secretly hate our tourists. That’s the only reason I can think of to justify things like this. You may debate amongst yourselves whether these souvenirs are more or less disgusting than the leather sacks sold out west in cattle country that are made from… sacks. (Think about it.)
Mind you, this is not the most incredibly strange gift yet.
Speaking of disgusting.
There’s no way I wasn’t going to mention this stuff here. I really, really, REALLY hope that this is actually some kind of spectacular put-on.
We have finally reached the point where I can’t tell if this kind of thing is for real.
A $7,000 Replica of the Little Rascals’ Clubhouse
Repeat. I can’t tell if this kind of thing is for real or not.
The F.A.O. Schwarz catalog (which is unfortunately no longer available online) is even more entertaining than SkyMall. Tragically, I saw no sign of the real, live pony they’d reportedly offered some time ago, so this obscenely expensive replica of a clapboard shack will have to do.
Foregoing nominations for who shall be first against the wall when the revolution comes, I am instead moved to ask simply, what kind of world have we created?
The Flight Anthologies
I honestly have nothing sarcastic to say here. These books are amazing and would make excellent gifts for everyone. Same thing goes for the “Firefly” DVDs and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Spread the love!
Titanic Gingerbread Man
Another winner from F.A.O. Schwarz. The cookie is $400.00, including shipping and handling. The swarm of insects that shall inevitably destroy it are free!
And this brings us to, drums please, the most incredibly strange Christmas gift you could ever imagine!
The Moose Nativity
I’m sitting here, staring at this thing. And while the catalog image does not have the same impact as actually seeing this thing in person back in Kittery, I’m still struck speechless. The American-English language has over a million billion words and I would have to invent entirely new ones to express how much of a mind-screw it is that this item exists.
Imagine getting this as a gift.
Imagine seeing this on display in someone’s house.
Imagine the *kind of person* who would proudly display this in their house.
Realize that there is a market for a Nativity in which everyone is a moose, despite the fact that it’s probably some kind of blasphemy or something. (And it raises several uncomfortable questions, too. Is Moose Jesus the only son of Legendary Moose? Of Great Ak? Is this the basis of a whole moose religion? Is it true that Moose Jesus was shot and stuffed to atone for all moose-kind? Do you think any of this crossed the minds of the people who carved this thing?)
I did a little research, and it turns out that it gets better – or worse. There are other Nativity sets available from the same company. If Moose Jesus isn’t sacrilegious enough for you, there is one where everyone is a chicken. (Why? Why? WHY???) And there are a couple of even more confusing Nativities in which everyone is a *different species*, like Mary is a deer, Joseph is a fox, and Jesus is a raccoon.
On that note, Happy Holidays to all!