- Tim Boden’s Letter From Australia #2 – The Scene - 18 April, 2014
- Captain America – 70(ish) Years of Heroism - 27 March, 2014
- Tim Boden’s Letter from Australia – First Impressions - 15 March, 2014
It’s funny, isn’t it, how every year, even though there’s been Christmas ads on the TV and decorations up in the shops from August onwards, you always find yourself suddenly realising halfway through December that you haven’t done any shopping at all and still haven’t got a clue what to buy? And by ‘funny’ I mean ‘a dispiriting reminder of one’s deep-rooted and probably life-ruining fecklessness’. (It can’t just be me, right?)
But fear not, perpetual procrastinators, because there’s still a couple of weeks left before the big day, and that’s just about enough time to log on and buy a job lot of any old tat off the internet. What’s more, this year we’ve taken the work out of that last-minute online panic buy and picked the very tattiest of the lot. Any of the following are absolutely guaranteed either to please your difficult-to-buy for friends and loved ones, or serve as an important reminder to them to actually let you know what they want next year. But really, who could fail to be delighted by such gems as…
A Justin Bieber singing toothbrush! Perfect for fans of dental hygiene and behaviourally erratic Canadian teeny-pop superstars alike, your lucky recipient can drive away that waiting queue outside the bathroom door and buy themselves extra minutes to get ready in the morning as their toothbrush serenades them with one of two suspiciously unspecified Justin Bieber hits.
Monopoly is a terrible game which takes hours and ruins family gatherings by pitting relative against relative in the shameless pursuit of filthy lucre. Pugopoly is exactly the same, BUT WITH PUGS. Which, obviously, makes it vastly superior and absolutely not a ripoff I’m amazed nobody’s been sued for.
[to spare the sensibilities of our more delicate readers and avoid getting people who sneakily read this at work into trouble, the below entry has been left unillustrated]
For the vagina enthusiast in your life, the Cunt colouring book provides page after page of lovingly detailed line drawings of vaginas and their environs, ready to be coloured however you fancy. Will you go for realistic flesh tones or create the marvellous multicoloured muff of your uneasy hallucinogenic dreams? The choice is yours! (And why not take advantage of the package deal and get a discount on a pack of wax crayons to go with it?)
It is a well-known fact that Daily Mail-reading provincial aunts both hate wheelie bins (too big, too modern, too likely to be mistaken in poor lighting for a horde of approaching Daleks) and love those meerkat adverts (a cartoon animal with a funny accent making weak puns, oh my sides). So what better gift than some meerkat bin stickers! Now trips to the garden no longer need result in weeping, fist-shaking, and wailing that Winston Churchill would never have let those bastards in the council take away our Great British rubbish bins. Instead, the simple reminder that meerkats actually exist will never fail to bring a gentle smile to Auntie’s face as for one beautiful moment she forgets that The Country Is Going To The Dogs. Simples!
Staying on politics, why not embrace the inevitability of political arguments at a family Christmas and buy the folks some life-sized cardboard cutouts of David Cameron, Ed Miliband and, er, the other one? Beat the rush and rehearse the 2015 leaders’ debates in the comfort of your own home! Alternatively, for those seeking a little continental flavour, you can also get an Angela Merkel. Sadly no Vladimir Putin is available, but to be fair, it’s possible that even a two-dimensional card replica of him would exude too much raw masculinity to be safely contained in the average British living room.
What do you get the man who has everything? A clock with Pat Butcher’s face on it, of course! It’s also available in Phil Mitchell and Fat Barry versions, so why not buy all three and set them to different time zones for that dangerously-obsessive executive look?
And finally – after all that shopping, are you feeling the need for gin? Of course you are, it’s Christmas. But gin is expensive, and you’ve spent all your money on bloody presents. Never fear – gin essence is here! For a fraction of the price of actual gin, you can acquire some flavouring that’ll turn one and a half litres of vodka/moonshine/antifreeze into something barely distinguishable from a certain brand that comes in a blue glass bottle. All the class and, depending on what you put it in, only a slightly increased chance of making yourself blind! Or of course, if you’ve got the budget for it, you could always just cut out the fuss and buy a litre and a half of actual gin, which should be just about enough to see you through from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.
So you see, there’s no excuse for that last-minute raid of the 24-hour corner shop (unless all of your relatives really like cold Ginsters sausage rolls, of course) – I hope our guide’s provided you with a little inspiration. And if any of you are feeling generous and want to reward the writer who saved you from shameful presentless ignominy, well, I’m just going to direct you to where you can buy me this very fetching Krankies phone sock…*
Merry Christmas, everybody.
(*Please, for the love of God, do not actually buy me a Krankies phone sock.)