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Every fall, we assemble a holiday gift guide—a carefully curated selection of 75 or so trendy suggestions for everyone on Santa’s list (see links at right). In the weeks leading up to the issue, hundreds and hundreds of companies—and their dutiful publicity reps—come out of the woodwork with items for consideration. As the close date nears, their pitches are frantically lobbed via voicemail and email; some folks are so moved that they make a random office drop-off. Dozens of cupcakes one day; a box of biodegradable drain plugs the next.
For every 100 or so pitches, there’s always one real gem. And I don’t mean a super sleek Alessi espresso machine or a Kartell chair. I mean a smushion, an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table, or a supersized box of flavored condoms. Now these items never make it into the real gift guide, carefully curated by our team of style experts, so this year, I decided to take a few of the funniest items off the cutting room floor and assemble a—dare I say—Reckless Holiday Gift Guide. Call it version 2.0.
Here are 13 objects, accompanied by the text from the publicity pitch that accompanied each of them. You might get an idea for someone in your family—in the least, you’ll come away thankful that you don’t have to comb through press releases.
Poo-Pourri, $14.95, at poopourri.com
What is it? A botanical bathroom spray marketed toward the genteel set
Press release says: “Last night’s buffet was the best you ever had, but today at the office, all that eating is catching up with you. As you walk out from your second visit to the restroom, you nearly collide with the handsome lad from two offices down. You both pause, staring at each other. Just then, the door shuts behind you. A rush of bathroom air fans past. “Mmmmmm…citrusy,” he says and walks away. You pat your purse and smile.
Boogie Wipes, $3.99, boogiewipes.com
What is it? Booger wipes for kids
Press release says: “Fall means flu! Boogie Wipes, the world’s only saline-based nose wipe for kids, has launched its “Save the Sleeve” educational program to help slow the spread of the cold and flu virus. To take the “Save the Sleeve” pledge and to enjoy the fun online activities, kids and their parents should visit SavetheSleeve.com. Meet “Boogs” and his buddies “Sick Sam,” “Amy Allergy,” and “Chilly Chuck.” The fun and challenging games, jokes, and little known gross facts are fun and educational for kids and parents alike: For example: Did you know that the human body produces over two liters of mucus per day? That’s enough to fill a soda bottle!”
LiftKits shoe inserts for men, $24.95, at myliftkits.com
What is it? A shoe insert that gives short men added oomph in the height department. Tom Cruise is rumored to use such a product.
Press release says: “All of us have observed the tactics that women engage in to cheat the playing field. Whether it be high-heels, push-up bras, padded bras, fake eye lashes, and the like, these women have a lot in their collective arsenal, and, quite simply, it works. At LiftKits we had one thought, Why not add something extra to our game? If this is reality, then lets live it. LiftKits are for everyone from Hollywood leading men to the regular Joe. Whether you are using your LiftKits for an interview, a casting, a social event, or simply to improve the quality of your everyday life, we at LiftKits are dedicated to helping you feel better about yourself. ”
Norman PhartEphant plush toy, $24.95, at normanphartephant.com
What is it? A farting stuffed animal
Press release says: “His name is Norman Phartephant and he is a 10-inch plush stuffed elephant that makes some very funny noises with the squeeze of his tail. Norman’s 8 different tooting sounds will be sure to keep everyone entertained.”