Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/12/2011 (1998 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Due to a spike in the price of partridges, pear trees and turtle doves, the cost of making your true love happy has surpassed $100,000 for the first time ever.
The grand total for the 364 items repeated across all the verses of The Twelve Days of Christmas -- from the single bird in the tree to the 12 drummers drumming -- would be $101,119, an increase of 4.4 per cent over last year, according to the annual Christmas price index compiled by PNC Wealth Management
We at Detour think that's an absurd amount to shell out for a bunch of bizarre, mostly impractical gifts -- many of which require feeding and cleaning up after.
Everyone knows that when it comes to gift-giving, it's the thought that counts and those who truly love you will be satisfied with a single bizarre gift.
With that sentiment in mind, we present our annual roundup of head-scratching gift suggestions guaranteed to make you think, "Who'da thunk it?"
See Fido doo-doo
NO. 2 is all it'll take to make you No. 1 with the youngsters on your list this year. Because seriously, who doesn't love a farting plastic dachshund that "goes doo" when you take it for a walk.
Doggie Doo -- or Kackek Dackel, as it's known in Germany -- isn't just a tool to assess your child's pet-ownership readiness, it's also a game. Players use a "feeder bone" to shove special treats down the pooch's throat, then compete by rolling a dice to see who gets to squeeze the leash, causing said treats to make their way out the business end. First one to scoop up three pieces of plasticine poop, um, wins. Sells for $29.99 at Walmart and Toys R Us.
... but we know what we like
HERE'S a gift that redefines "art lover." The Love Is Art painting kit allows couples to "safely" co-create a tangible reminder of an intimate moment that can easily hang around the house for 18 years, but won't have to be fed or clothed.
To help you turn your love into a giant libidinous Rorschach inkblot: a blank white canvas, non-toxic black paint, a plastic drop cloth, two pairs of paper slippers and a custom body scrubber -- to, like, clean the paintbrushes. The kit sells for $60 at www.loveisartkit.com.
A new wrinkle
NO one likes crinkly cleavage. Help the ladies on your list battle the new "It" wrinkle with Intimia, a pillow bra designed by a San Francisco cosmetic nurse to battle the effects of gravity combined with side sleeping. Perfect for the woman who is tired of the same old crow's feet, laugh lines and forehead furrows. $59.95 each at www.intimia.com.
Blue Man Group groupies?
THOSE creepy, one-piece stretchy suits that cover your entire body and head aren't just fetish wear anymore. According to the manufacturer, Morphsuits are acceptable attire for work, parties, sporting events, political rallies, "or just picking up some milk and bread from your local supermarket" -- basically anywhere you want to draw attention to yourself and your various bulges. Bonus: You can "breathe, see and even drink through them." Prices start at $49.95 at www.morphsuits-canada.com.
Think outside the box
IF you like a little leg-pulling with your gift-giving, you'll like Prank Packs. These "genuine fake gift boxes," invented by a group of smart-alecks who left satirical news organization The Onion to start their own business, appear to contain such ridiculous products as the rechargeable PetPetter ("Never touch your pets again!") and Beer Beard, the world's first face-mounted, secret beverage dispenser. Just pack your real, boring gift inside. Bright yellow "Prank You!" flaps on the boxes add a punchline to the presentation. $8 each at www.prankpack.com.
Pass the wind
KNOW someone whose favourite hobby is breathing? They'll love one of these hand-held, portable canisters of 95 per cent "pure recreational, oxygen" with four times the concentration found in ambient air. A few hits of Oxygen Plus (O+) offers a "no calories, no carb, no caffeine, no crash" alternative to energy drinks, caffeine binges and other less airy pick-me-ups. And a pink grapefuit-flavoured one, to boot. Starting at $5.99 for the purse-size can at www.oxygenplus.com.
Does this look infected?
YOU'VE got a headache? It's not a tumah! ... Or is it? The hypochondriac in your life will appreciate this hardover compendium of diseases, viruses and other horrible things that are out there conspiring to take him or her out. The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You: A Guide to Self-Diagnosis for Hypochondriacs (191 pages) is conveniently organized according to symptoms (real or imagined) for hours of neurotic fun. Who knew hiccups may be a sign that you have the ebola virus (no known cure, 90 per cent fatality rate)? $19.95 at www.mentalfloss.com.
Warm up to this idea
IT'S the quintessentially Canadian love child of the hoodie and the Snuggie, that sleeved blanket of infomercial fame. The Thuggie, according to its Vancouver creators, is a "pants-optional" giant kangaroo jacket that, unlike other "semi-ironic leisure apparel," is just as suitable for wearing on the ski slopes as it is for curling up on the couch with a good book. And thanks to its offspring, the Chuggie (six-pack, $45) and the Thugglet/Thuglette ($45), your canned and bottled beverages and your babies can also make a not-so-fashionable statement. $85 at www.thuggies.ca.