Annual Guide Simplifies Holiday Shopping

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Ho, ho, ho!

That can only mean one thing, fellow townsfolk -- the holiday shopping season is upon us once again. But I bring great cheer and good tidings, because Wal-Mart is not your only option.

There are, in fact, two others we are recommending this year, and both being catalogs they come with the added advantage of allowing you to shop from the convenience of your own trailer. Without further ado, here, once again, is that grandest of all Rim country holiday traditions: Jim's Annual Shopping Guide for Women and Men.

First, for the lady on your shopping list, and I'm going to make this real simple -- the rule is, if you hate it, if it serves no practical purpose whatsoever, if it sparkles in the sun, she will love it. End of story. Deviate from this fundamental law of nature at your own risk.

For you guys who still don't know what to buy that special lady, let's get down to precious stone-encrusted gold tacks. In the Christmas edition of Things You Never Knew Existed (1-800-843-0762) is the perfect gift -- the world's largest diamond ring ($19.98).

The "gleaming, chrome-plated" band is three inches wide, while the 2.5-inch-tall "diamond" is made of "fully-faceted heavy glass." Pick up the phone, place your order, and you guys have completed your holiday shopping.

And now, ladies, for the guy on your shopping list. Just pick any one or more of the following items and your guy will be one happy camper -- guaranteed.

  • If we're recommending the "world's largest" for the ladies, why would we do any less for the guys. From The Sportsman's Guide Christmas sale catalog (1-800-888-3006) comes the world's largest "real-working" grizzly bear trap ($169.97).

I know what you're thinking, ladies: the last grizzly bear killed in Arizona was in 1935. But that kind of thinking will only get you in trouble. To please a guy with a perfect gift you have to think like a guy, so allow me to detail the inner workings of the male mind:

It doesn't matter if there are grizzly bears in Arizona or not. A grizzly bear trap is a great intimidator. Just baiting it and setting it out in the yard can serve as a deterrent to county planning and zoning inspectors, mother-in-laws, ex-spouses, and all manner of undesirables.

  • Our next gift for the guy in your life is truly exciting. For as long as "A Christmas Story" has been a holiday classic, my brother has rummaged through antique shops and secondhand stores in search of a plastic lady's leg to make a leg lamp out of.

At last his search is over, because this year Things You Never Knew Existed is offering an "actual working 1/2 scale replica" of the old man's "major award," complete with fishnet-clad leg and fringed lampshade ($49.98).

  • If your guy talks a better game than he bags, our next items are for him. From The Sportsman's Guide come bear, buck and moose head wall mounts -- each constructed of plastic resin and finely detailed for amazing realism.

The bear ($59.97) is the perfect complement to the grizzly bear trap, while the buck ($119.97) and moose ($129.97) are a must to complete the set. Who knows, maybe these lifelike critters will actually save a life or two.

  • If you've got a special guy, you don't have to be told that inside each and every one is a little boy. Well we've got the perfect gift for the little boy in your guy. It's AirZooka, the "fun gun" that shoots a blast of air from up to 20 feet away. Great for messing up someone's hair, shirt or papers, and for just creating general mischief and mayhem. And best of all, the ammo is free. From Things You Never Knew Existed ($16.98).
  • And last, but far from least, The Sportsman's Guide offers pro series pop-up blinds ($39.97). "Just toss 'em and their spring steel frames expand," the ad copy reads. Covered with a camo pattern material these babies look like tents with peepholes. It's the perfect gift, even for the non-hunter, because every guy needs to hide once in awhile.

A final parting word of advice, ladies. As dumb as these gifts may sound to you, trust me -- he will like them. Nay, he will love them. Please don't even try to understand, and have a joyous holiday.

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