Dave Barry:  Hark … Do you hear that sound? It’s the radio, playing “Frosty the Snowman!” For the eighth or ninth time today! And that thud in the yard? Why, that’s dad, falling off the ladder while attempting to hang fake icicles from the roof. And if you listen really, really hard, you can hear, softly in the distance, the sounds of shoppers trading punches over parking spots at the mall.

No doubt about it: The holidays are here!


This is not your ordinary gift guide, the kind that features gifts that somebody might actually want or use. The gifts in this guide were selected because they meet a very strict criterion, which is that when we saw the item advertised, we said to ourselves: “Are they SERIOUS?” The idea is, if you give one of these items to somebody on your list, that person will be much less likely to want to exchange gifts with you in the future.

Every item in the Holiday Gift Guide is a real product that is actually for sale. We have purchased all of these items and subjected them to our rigorous field testing-procedure, which consists of giving them to Raul the photographer and sending him out into the field to take funny pictures of them. After that, we don’t know what happens to them, and we frankly don’t care.

Musical Funky Toilet

Pick it up: $12.95 plus shipping and handling from Spilsbury, 3650 Milwaukee St. PO Box 8922, Madison, WI 53708-8922, 800-772-1760 or 800-285-8619, www.spilsbury.com
— Suggested by Sue Doughtie of Buffalo, N.Y.

Ordinarily, we do not include “gag” gifts in the Holiday Gift Guide, because most of them are, frankly, stupid. But every now and then we come across one that is different — one that makes us sit up and remark: “Wow! This one is really stupid!”

Such is the case with the Musical Funky Toilet, which is a miniature toilet powered by three AA batteries that are not included, which may actually be a good thing, because when you put them in and open the toilet lid, the toilet contents — yes, the toilet has contents, with little eyeballs — perform a funky musical dance.

Medical advisory: All kidding aside, if you ever do happen to notice that your toilet contents have eyeballs, the Surgeon General recommends that you, quote, “cut way down on the martinis.”

Kiss Celebriducks

Pick it up: $24.95 plus shipping and handling from The KISS Museum, 3140-B Tilghman St. No. 305, Allentown, PA 18104, fax: 610-351-5348, www.kissmuseum.com (click on “Dolls” link).
— Suggested by Lee Michalak of Medford, Ore.

Every once in a while, two entirely different things come together to form something new and wonderful. Peanut butter and jelly. Abbott and Costello. Ham and eggs. Peanut butter and Costello. The list goes on and on.

This gift concept is another example of this phenomenon. What probably happened was this: Some marketing people were sitting around a conference table, trying to “brainstorm” an idea for a product, and they got into an argument. On one side was a guy saying, “We need to put out a product that would appeal to fans of the legendary rock band Kiss.” On the other side was a guy saying, “No! We need to put out a product that can be used as a bath toy!”

And then, just when it looked as though they had reached a stalemate, a light bulb went on over their heads, and they decided to ingest powerful narcotics.

More here.