In the pantheon of shitty advice sites, iVillage is just ahead of AskMen.com in terms of sheer stupidity, and just below your local, painfully banal and outdated Dear Abby column in terms of sage wisdom. The difference between iVillage and AskMen (which are sister sites by the way), is that whereas AskMen is moronic, misdirected, sometimes offensive, reductionistic, blowhard, chauvinistic drivel, iVillage seems to at least have its heart in the right place. Sometimes they’ll fire off a colossal miscalculation like this offensive gem we all remember, but mostly, they seem like good gals.
So, in the spirit of Gregg Easterbrook’s Christmas Creep Watch, I’m here to poke fun at some of iVillage’s suggested gifts for guys this holiday season. As usual, their heart’s in the right place, and also as usual, this column seems to be written mostly by women who have only seen men from afar. My comments are in italics. Let’s see what Lady Santa has in her sack this year…
If you had a million dollars, you’d buy him whatever his little heart desired. But you don’t… or if you do, you’ve got a wise financial planner who’s steering you away from the Maserati.
I think this is an attempt at topical humor. I’d laugh but, 1) this joke is woefully lame, and 2) I’m not sure advice on automobile purchases fall under the financial planner’s scope of services.
Need ideas for a guy-approved holiday gift that won’t bust your budget? Read on for a few of our favorite affordable holiday gifts for guys (with a couple of little splurges thrown in).
And hey, with only 64 shopping days until Christmas, you better get a move on! Remember to buy, our little consumers. Even though your retirement account looks like the Dukes’ bottom line at the end of Trading Places, Christmas is still the most magical three months of the year! Buy, buy, buy, motherfucker!
Charge Him Up
You’re snuggled in together, all nice and comfy for a long winter’s nap, when suddenly, he remembers: “I have to plug in my PDA! I’m out of battery for tomorrow!”
And you remember why you plan to divorce him in under two years.
Up he jumps. Scrambling and rustling and pants-pocket-hunting ensue.
The only time it’s okay to “scramble and rustle and pants-pocket hunt” that frantically is when you’re either being mugged, can’t find your sack of blow, or are in an ecstasy-fueled, hallucinogenic, over-the-clothes masturbatory frenzy – not when looking for your lame ass phone.
By the time he gets back, the covers are cold again. So much for snuggling.
How do women lose heat this quickly? They’re like hamburgers you just took off the grill that you have to eat before they get cold because it’s 7 fucking degrees in the middle of November and you’re tailgating like a true moron instead of watching the game inside. I’ll never understand this phenomenon.
One smart way to keep him in bed where he belongs: Give him a bedside charging station for his electronic essentials, and pull up the covers. $30 at Brookstone.com.
And then watch him kick them off in the middle of the night because he’s sweating like a maniac from the down comforter.
Because Guys Don’t Really Carry Purses…
It’s not a purse… it’s European!
…And because it’s not safe for him to carry big 10-pound bags of money when he hits the stores in search of gifts and trinkets with which to spoil you rotten, this monogrammed sterling money clip will have to do.
He’s not carrying around 10-pound bags of money because he’s also not a villain in an Old West Warner Bros. cartoon. And has this author not heard of the credit card? Y’know, that little piece of plastic that replaces cash like magic?
Oh, well. Good thing it’s so elegant and durable. He may not be able to fit all of his millions in there,
I carry all my millions around with me at once! In $100 bills! I’m the Monopoly Guy!
but since you’re in love, all he really needs is enough cash to buy you a Slushee to share. $95 at RedEnvelope.com.
Cherry flavored – not Coke flavored. God help me, if it’s Coke flavored.
The Good Kind of Mind Game
“I’m not a mind-reader, you know!” If the dreaded phrase has ever escaped his mouth (or yours), here’s a cheeky stocking stuffer idea. Radica’s electronic 20 Questions is a fun, low-key way to play games with each other, and a great way to kill time on vacation, on the road, or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. (Unless you can think of a better way to kill time on a Sunday afternoon…) $20 at online retailers.
I love this country. Let’s spend $20 on a useless piece of shit that takes the place of a game that needs no equipment whatsoever and requires you to carry an extra piece of consumerist bullshit around with you on the weekends. Good idea! God forbid we use our minds to generate 20 questions topics like actual free-thinking adults here.
Clear the Air
Every morning, you get the shower first, and every morning, by the time he gets to shave, the bathroom mirror is foggier than a dry ice factory in London.
What kind of blokes do you s’pose work at the London area dry ice factory? Tough ol’ buggers, I’m sure. Probably a rich heritage of London dry ice manufacturers dating back to… oh who the fuck am I kidding? The author was obviously groping around in the analogy candy bowl and pulled out the Necco wafers – confusing, misfired, and just plain goofy. Dry ice factory, eh? I didn’t realize so many haunted houses, children’s birthday parties and Science Fair volcanoes occurred throughout the year necessitating an entire factory for the production of this sublimated material.
If you’re going to be a bathroom hog, the least you could do is help your fella out in the shaving-without-nicks department: This fogless shower mirror lets him be super-efficient and shave in the shower without having to guess whether he got that spot above his left dimple. $40 at BedBathandBeyond.com.
OK, first of all, what guy tries to shave in the shower without a mirror? Secondly, what guy shaves his face in the shower, period? Thirdly, and most importantly, what woman sincerely believes her man is actually going to use this to shave and not talk his woman into checking out kinky sex angles during a shower bone session? Give me a break.
Seriously, shave at the sink like everyone else. You know that thing you used to dry off? Yeah, it’s a towel. Use it to wipe the steam off the mirror and save your woman $40, a-hole. And ladies, you know you don’t ever want to have that weird sex talk with your dude after buying this stupid thing. And if you do, then god bless ya’.
You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Baby
If your guy has a rep as the “office clown,” he’ll love this desktop “missile” launcher, which shoots harmless foam projectiles up to 10 feet.
Given the economic downturn, I’m willing to bet the “office clown” is the first one “downsized” when he fires one too many “missiles” at co-workers during “important conference calls” continuing the trend of everyone in the office “hating this asshole.”
Here’s the coolest part: The launcher is powered by plugging into his PC via a USB port, and a computer-driven control panel enables the launcher to swivel, point and shoot. So he can indulge all those Han-Solo-in-the-Millenium-Falcon laser fight fantasies from the privacy of his own keyboard. (Trust us, if there’s even a molecule of geek in him, he’ll love this.) $50 at Hammacher.com.
I also know that most offices won’t even let their employees check their own personal email account out of fear of losing productivity, much less shoot toy guns at each other. I’m willing to bet that gerbil-humper over in HR probably won’t be too pleased when you’re shooting the accountants with your Nerf gun instead of filling out those TPS Reports. Back to work, drone!
Heaven in a Box
Deliver this gift while wearing a cheerleading uniform (one that’s just a little too small in all the right places) and this might just be the world’s best guy gift.
This is actually a fine idea – from the gift to the presentation. Thumbs up all around!
The all-in-one tailgating kit includes a removable cooler, grilling utensils, and a portable propane barbecue with lid. It may be a bit of a splurge, but he deserves it-especially if he didn’t drag you along to the big game last month. $130 at BedBathandBeyond.com.
And for $130, it’s a goddamn steal. Finally, iVillage gets something right and offers a piece of advice that is actually worthwhile.
Ladies, when all else fails, just give him “Your Box in a Box.” It’s easy to do, just follow these steps:
1) Cut a hole in a box.
2) Put your box in that box.
3) Make him open the box.
See? Simple, but effective. Nevermind the anatomical challenges associated with such a gift. Figuring out how to make this work is part of the fun. And I’m sure your man will thank you for it later. Aren’t you glad I’m here?
Until next time…
22 Oct 2008 E Dagger