OffTheWagonShop.com specializes in the unique and, well, the unwanted gift — like the gift exchange goodie for the office guy who still gets a kick out of tricking people into saying “underwear.” OffTheWagon’s “funny underwear gifts” selection includes Instant Underpants, which retails for $3.99. Compressed into a compact pellet, the underpants expand in water. Uh, oh. Emergency Underpants are packed in a little tin that fits easily in a front pocket. Allegedly great for on-the-go emergencies — or overnighters.
This time of year, WiG gets inundated with pitches from PR reps promoting potential gifts. This is one of the more unique appeals, made on behalf of the Fun Factory, an “innovator” in the adult toy industry: An adult toy is “the ideal self-pleasure gift that releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins — you know, the clear-mood, confidence-building and stress-busting feeling you get after a great workout.” Plus, it’s a tool to boost brain productivity and help with weight loss. So, a little something for those making new year’s resolutions?
Red cup collection
For that cousin or brother-in-law who religiously reads the newsletter from the anti-gay Traditional Values Coalition or the magazine from ultra-right Focus on the Family, WiGWag suggests a complete collection of Starbucks’ red “holiday” cups — preferably used. And, while you’re enjoying your pumpkin spice lattes, we suggest tweeting a selfie and “Feliz Navidad” to Donald Trump. The GOP presidential candidate with the ugly hair and uglier platform has suggested a boycott of Starbucks over the minimalist cup design and vowed, “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying, ‘Merry Christmas’ again. That I can tell you.” Let’s tell him.
Don’t wear and drink
What On Earth offers dozens of T-shirt designs for the “me, me, me” character on your holiday gift list. The catalog specializes in “Your Name” gear. This year, with the craft brew revolution bubbling, the company expects to print a lot of T-shirts with customized personal beer labels and logos. Just be a pal and make sure that your beer-loving bud’s acting responsibly when advertising his or her brew.
For the 1 percent that has almost everything
The 2015 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is out and the 89th edition does not disappoint. You probably can’t afford any of the featured oddities, but it’s worth a look just to see what the handful of people who’ve made billions off your labor and tax dollars are buying this year. For instance, there’s a journey for him and seven of his closest friends aboard a luxurious capsule attached to a balloon that rises more than 100,000 feet above Earth for 360-degree views ($90,000 per person). And the KRGT-1, the first bike produced by Arch Motorcycle Company, owned by Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger. Framed of steel and aircraft-grade billet aluminum with carbon fiber fenders and front cowling, the KRGT-1 has a 124-cubic-inch v-twin engine that produces 121 horsepower and matching 120 pound-feet of torque. The limited edition vehicle comes with a two-day ride experience for two along the California coast with Reeves and Hollinger. Hotel and airfare to California are included, along with a donation of $5,000 to The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. The Arch Motorcycle and Ride Experience can be gifted for $150,000.
REI’s Reddit adventure
Jerry Stritzke, CEO of the outdoor gear company REI, tried to capitalize on the Internet buzz about his decision to close all stores on Black Friday by appearing on reddit to participate in an “Ask Me Anything” thread. The session might have been intended to generate positive comments but it backfired when former and current employees hijacked the forum to complain about the company’s allegedly toxic employment practices — particularly the emphasis on selling REI co-op memberships above all other performance metrics, including customer service and product knowledge. After reading over the lively — and long — thread, we’re guessing Stritzke lost more customers than he gained.
Smugglers hoping to give the gift of illicit Heinkens were foiled in Saudi Arabia, when customs officials intercepted 48,000 cans of beer with a wrapping that disguised them as cans of Pepsi. Drinking or possessing alcohol is a criminal offense in Saudi Arabia, ruled by an ultra-conservative Sunni government.
If you ask us, the smugglers should have stuck with Diet Pepsi wrappers — any confusion over the taste could just be chalked up to the lack of aspartame in the company’s new formula.