This Friday is Black Friday, kickoff to another harried Christmas season and the most frenzied shopping day of the year.
But I’m here to tell you ladies how to get your shopping done without ever leaving the comfort of your leftover turkey at least your shopping for the special guy in your life.
The first thing you need to understand is that guys are different from women in some very important respects, including what we consider the ideal Christmas gift. Instead of something pretty and frilly or perhaps something shiny and sparkly or possibly something soft and cuddly for Christmas, guys prefer something old and comfortable or perhaps something big and ugly or maybe even something abrasive and ornery.
I am dead serious about this, and if you can just allow yourself to make this leap in non-feminine logic with me, I can promise you one very satisfied man come Christmas day.
Besides an alley or the landfill, the best place to find what your man really wants for Christmas is in a couple of my favorite catalogs The Sportsman’s Guide (SG) and its army surplus spinoff HQ (both of which can be accessed at www.sportsmansguide.com). Here, from the hallowed and dog-eared pages of the 2002 Christmas editions of these tomes, is my personal Top 10 List of Christmas Gifts Guys Crave:
10. Mines Signs (HQ)
These red metal signs read “MINES” and point to the ground. “Another way of saying, ‘Stay the heck out of here,’” says the catalog copy. A great variation on the traditional “No Trespassing” sign, you get three for just $9.97.
9. Hunters vs. Fishermen Hand-Painted Chess Set (SG)
There’s the Hatfields and McCoys, the cowboys and Indians, the sheep and cattle ranchers. Now, there’s another great new feud as these hand-painted beauties duke it out on a chess board. Hunter pieces are mounted on shotgun shell pedestals and include “fierce” bear bishops. Fishermen pieces include a king and queen wearing chest waders and pike knights. Just $59.97.
8. Mounted Authentic Jackalope Head (SG)
You’ve admired them on Arizona postcards. Now you can hang one in your living room. The product of young mule deer breeding with mature jackrabbits, the copy tells us “they’re secretly harvested by old-timers who pass on their methods and knowledge only to kin” (while “Dueling Banjos” plays in the background, we’re guessing). “No two are alike,” and each costs $69.97.
7. Fishing Reel Toilet Paper Holder (SG)
“Handcrafted from solid wood, it has a handle that makes a sound just like a reel. You may find yourself having such fun turning it, you’ll forget all about the fight about which way the roll goes on.” It’s hard to improve on great catalog copy. $9.97.
6. Genuine Bazooka (HQ)
This is the real deal, a genuine M20 3.5-inch anti-tank rocket. Unfortunately, this 21-inch long beauty has been “fully demilitarized” so it won’t load or fire. But your enemies don’t have to know that. Used, but in very good shape for just $199.97.
5. Mosquito Eliminator (SG)
Uses a standard 20-pound propane tank and “technology the U.S. military has used to reclaim infested bases in the tropics” to “literally attack and collapse the entire mosquito population on up to 3/4 of an acre.” For just $299.97, your worries about the West Nile virus are over.
4. Smudge Pots
Remember those oily-black bomb-like devices that burned kerosene and were used for roadside warnings before battery-powered flashing lights were invented. For just $14.97 each, you can buy replica smudge pots in designer colors for your lawn complete with snuffer cap on chain.
3. UFO Mega Blimp
You’ve seen those little remote-controlled helium-filled blimps that fly around indoor sports arenas during intermissions. For just $59.97 you can get one of those plus at no additional cost a remote-controlled Area 51 Mega UFO that is a full 36 inches in diameter. Imagine the fun you’ll have creating close encounters in your neighborhood.
2. Real Coiled Rattlesnake
Freeze-dried in a “life-like, open-mouth, fangs-bared striking position,” this adult Texas Diamondback will “surprise and amaze” those who come calling this holiday season. Choose between a two-foot coiled snake ($49.97), three-foot ($79.97) and four-foot ($109.97).
1. Russian Heavy Water-Cooled Machine Gun
Machine gun doesn’t begin to do this authentic World War I artillery piece justice. It’s 44 inches long and 4.5 feet wide, spits out 600 rounds a minute, and looks like something right out of “Dr Zhivago.” And if you don’t think your man would like an antique artillery piece more than anything else, just drive by Pioneer Village Trading Post and watch him drool over the one that’s been sitting in their parking lot forever.