Monday, November 10, 2008

Must-Have or Not in This Lifetime: More on Gifts

I am in the airport awaiting a flight to visit "Almost-Marrieds." Next to me I notice an abandoned copy of the Sky Mall catalog.

Flipping through the pages, I begin to silently categorize the items into "must-have," "it would be nice," "it would be nice but I could do without," and "you've got to be kidding."

Take the X-Glider foot-sized in-line skateboards. Just looking at them puts me into traction. Are you kidding? Not this lifetime, I decide.

The animated emotive robotic companion at a whopping $299.95 is definitely over-the-top. He expresses laughter, distress, or surprise. I imagined his surprise when I'd ask him to cook dinner, my distress when he cooks something ethnically unrecognizable or inedible, and his laughter at my despair. "It's nice but not a must-have" (unless he can be programmed to take Italian cooking lessons, that is).

Then there's the marshmallow shooter. Now that's practical. I could see myself perched on a log in front of a blazing campfire shooting marshmallows into the flames. With amazing agility (reminiscent of Wonder Woman), I'd skewer each charred mallow (the best way to cook them) and plop it between chocolate-covered twin graham crackers.

The massage table looks heavenly. But for $300-400 it had better come with the masseuse. Without the masseuse, it would become a very expensive clothes rack in my house.

The hot dog cooker brings memories of my dad who sent us a "hot-dogger filled with cheese" one holiday. Unlike the poor wieners that got electrocuted for dinner, the Sky Mall version roasts the franks and buns in a toaster-like contraption. Much more humane. A must-have.

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