Barry Smith: Irrelativity
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Some people like to wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping, completely ignoring the savings opportunities promised by Black Friday, Slightly Off Black With Barely Perceptible Flecks of Green Monday and Shockingly Unappetizing Yellowish-Brownish Wednesday.
But some of you take it a step further by waiting beyond the last minute, all the way up until it’s actually too late to meet your cultural and consumer obligation. For you, lame shoppers, I’ve created a gift guide of gizmos that are not available. Because really, what does it matter at this point?
Or to put it another way, if you’ve ever wondered what to get that person on your list who has everything, why not get them something that doesn’t actually exist?
The Irrelativity 2012 beyond-last-minute gift guide
• SmartAss Phone: This will be an amazing time saver for that friend of yours who feels the need to constantly “fact check” your conversations with their smartphone. The SmartAss Phone is engineered specifically to listen in on what others are saying, and should they ever misuse a word, misquote an author or fudge a fact, the phone will alert you with a subtle beep while simultaneously locating a Web page that details the error in question.
You: It’s like Woody Allen said: “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.”
Friend: (Pulling beeping phone from pocket) Sorry, that’s actually a Groucho Marx quote. See?
You: Wow. I didn’t know that. That’s ironic, huh?
Friend: (Pulling recently replaced but already beeping again phone from pocket) No, that isn’t actually ironic. As you can see by this exhaustive chart, it fulfills none of the criteria for irony. Here, let me email this to you so you can avoid such mistakes in the future. My phone also is suggesting a list of words that you probably meant to use instead. Looks like “pathetic” is the closest match. I can email that link to you, as well if. … Hey, where’d you go?
• Socks 2.0: Built in GPS. Proximity alert. Accelerometer. Calendar. Additional apps available for download. Retina display. Stunning design. Sold individually.
Christmas Song Non-Suck-Er-Izer – This musical translation device will transmogrify even the most horrifically sappy Christmas song into one that you actually like. Imagine strolling through Target and having the ubiquitous “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” start to sound like Nirvana’s “Lithium.” Or what if “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” was a bit more akin to Nirvana’s “In Bloom”? Don’t like Nirvana? Doesn’t matter. It’s still better than Christmas music, right? Low profile, in-ear design is so discreet that even the carolers won’t be able to spot it. (NOTE: Does not work on Christmas songs performed by Elvis, as they’re already pretty good.) Just make sure you don’t put it in backwards.
iQ-Tips: Ever read the instructions on a box of Q-Tips? It says, and I’m paraphrasing slightly, “Despite the fact that these little sticks are clearly designed to fit perfectly, comfortably and deeply in the human ear canal, and that doing so is one of the most blissful and satisfying sensations one can experience, DO NOT DO IT!” This basic design/concept flaw has finally been addressed in the iQ-Tip. Utilizing Microdigital Cerebral Technomalarky®, the iQ-Tip is actually meant to be shoved into your earhole. And unlike the old school swab, doing so doesn’t make you deaf, it makes you smarter. And it still feels awesome.
Theft-Proof Camera Leash: It’s the most commonplace tourist scene; you hand your camera to a complete stranger and ask them to take a picture of you and your friends in front of some historic, iconic, or hilarious landmark. Are you nuts? What’s to prevent this person from taking off running with your camera? I’ll tell you what. The Theft-Proof Camera Leash, that’s what. Now imagine that same scenario, only the camera you’re handing over is attached to 20 feet of heavy duty chain. Any thoughts they had of making off with your camera quickly vanish, and you’re getting in pretty good shape from lugging around 97 pounds of industrial chain in a backpack. Also available in 35 and 50 foot lengths, perfect for when you’re traveling with larger groups and/or plan on visiting enormous monuments.
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