Seasons Greetings, internet family! How are we all faring in this final stretch of 2018? Vitals good? I suspect that by now most of us have been completely imbibed by the holiday spirit, otherwise known as reckless consumerism, and therefore might be refreshed to see an anti gift guide, of sorts, come across our screens. Funny you should ask — I actually have one right here, nestled snugly amidst the 50 tabs that I’ve opened to purchase similarly price-gouged items at a speed which threatens to give me whiplash. Ah, don’t you just love this time of year? I actually ripped this concept from one of my favorite annual columns, called “The Hater’s Guide to the William Sonoma Catalogue” by Drew Magary. If you’ve never read any of his articles, I highly recommend doing so. As someone who has herself spent much time in the tartan-clad bowels of William Sonoma, Christmas shopping for her mother, I find them very relatable. This was, of course, until I reached an age of realizing that my mom does other things besides cook; and maybe she doesn’t even really like cooking that much; and maybe I’ve actually been insulting her depth and intelligence for years by confining all of my gifting material to the perimeter of the kitchen. Oh well, you live and you learn. Anyway, now that we no longer shop at storefronts or breathe fresh air, Amazon is the obvious front runner in holiday gift giving. Also, Christmas just hits different when you know that there are warehouse workers sleeping in tents (while visions of sugar-plums dance in their heads) so that Jeff Bezos can jump down your chimney on Christmas morning, with Santa Claus’ head on a stake, bearing gifts that you ordered that day. And now this process is easier than ever before, because Amazon actually curates collections of gift ideas for the various people in your life, under the Amazon Gift Finder. Let’s take a look at some of this year’s standouts:
Is this what being married is like? LOVING it when YOUR WIFE lets you DO very ordinary things? I’m just trying to imagine the person who identifies with this mug — Sorry, the sixty nine plus people who identify with this mug, not to mention the decibel at which they are speaking/shouting. “I LOVE it when MY WIFE lets me go hunting”…. Sir, this is a McDonald’s… I asked if you wanted fries with your McSoulCrushingAnxiety today? Seriously though, somebody top this poor bastard’s ceramic mug off with some whisky, because it sounds like he’s on the brink of psychosis. Just go hunting, man. If you’re wearing camouflage, she won’t see you leave anyway.
I’m becoming increasingly convinced that this “for men” category was actually curated by a woman, or possibly several women. The reason being that men do not use shit like this. It’s not because it isn’t practical stuff… it’s because, well, they’re men. And the same male stereotype that loves drinking beer and shredding up meat that he presumably killed himself (see coffee mug), is almost certainly not pulling a phallic metal cooling rod out of that beer each time he takes a sip, or wearing a bright orange hazmat suit to shred that meat. Think to yourself: Would Ron Swanson use these materials? Of course he wouldn’t. He’s busy like, chopping wood and welding and shit, while exuding pure brawn. To the stereotypical ego-driven male, using any of these contraptions would be cheating. These are sensible inventions created by sensible people, to help make the insensible things that their husbands love doing, more sensible. To paraphrase, most of these gifts seem like things that women wish their husbands would use. That’s my theory, at least. Five bucks says we come across some anal beads soon.
Close enough! Seriously, I haven’t much (any) experience with preparing things sous vide, and I’m definitely lacking in human interaction this week, but you can’t tell me this doesn’t resemble some kind of weaponized dildo. And what’s that in the bottom right? A cock ring? Cool, thanks babe! Also, why would you need Wifi and Bluetooth in your precision cooker?… You wouldn’t. It’s there so that you can turn on Boyz II Men before you get shit popping, obviously. “Precision cooker” is clearly just a facade intended for those of us who are still bumming off of our parents’ Amazon Prime accounts. Good looking out, guys.
Okay, it’s official. A woman did this, I am certain of it. No man would reduce his species to these beer drinking, meat eating, poop loving Neanderthals — no matter how accurate a portrayal it may be. And whichever woman is responsible I honestly respect, because she has managed to blast this comically oversimplified male archetype to the entirety of the Amazon community. So what is Poop: The Game, you ask? Well it’s hard to say for certain without taking a $10 L, but I checked the photo on the back and found this sample card: “Take turns pooping, but don’t clog the toilet!”… What the fuck??? I’m calling the police. If I EVER came home to a group of grown men, doing what could only be described as running a train on my bathroom, or committing any other fecal acts of terrorism in my house, someone is just going to have to die. I don’t make the rules.
I know these categories are changing daily, possibly even hourly, but I kid you not — this was the first thing under the “for women” section when I checked, further strengthening my belief that these collections are being stocked by the opposite sex. So far, the guys are giving us more credit than we gave them. The “Death Star Herb Spice Grinder” is for that special lady in your life… the one whose gracious tolerance of your propensity to stay up until 3am, ripping your bong and watching Star Wars bonus features, has somehow led to the inaccurate conclusion that she loves those things as much as you do. It’s not to say that women who would appreciate this gift don’t exist, but I’m betting it’s a very niche percentage of the population, and therefore probably doesn’t deserve to be the first thing in the “for women” category.
Okay, this is more on par with what I would imagine the average man thinks his partner wants. I can just picture some dead-behind-the-eyes sap, who gets yelled at for something different each time he enters his kitchen, sitting on Amazon one day with his “I LOVE it when MY WIFE lets me go hunting” mug clutched shakily in hand, and stumbling across this sign… Would you look at that? Here’s all those things my wife is always shouting about, listed out in a passive aggressive font! It’s like my very own cheat sheet! Then he scrolls a bit further and comes across the “I love you” block and is like, Jackpot! Another sign about something that I can never do right! As far as I’m concerned, to receive either of these presents would be to receive a sneak diss, thinly veiled by whimsical typeface.
Well, well, wellll… what have we here? I know this is probably not intended to be a sex swing, but I can tell you that is straight where the mind of the average male perusing this section is going to go. No guy is going to buy an exercise swing, knowing that he will then surely be charged with the duty of mounting it into his ceiling, unless he thinks there’s a chance that the exercises taking place involve a partner. “Well plug in your sous vide precision cooker and get some tunes going baby, because the kids are asleep and it’s time to party!”
This is a disaster. I like cheese as much as the next lactose-tolerant human, but raclette is gross. Nobody needs a pound of oozing cow’s milk scraped onto their undeserving plate of vegetables, and this act of culinary treason certainly does not need to be mobilized. The only scenario that I can imagine this device being useful in, is if your man and his pals are gearing up to play a good ol’ fashion game of the cult classic, “Poop: The Game,” and need a catalyst to get things moving before they can massacre your guest bathroom.
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