Disclaimer: There may or may not be a Part Two, but stay tuned just in case, because gift lists are always works-in-progress. And this is the time of year, along with the appearance of the ubiquitous All-Christmas-All-The-Time music channels, we turn our thoughts to our various Santa lists. So, this week, I have compiled a list of my own that might give you some ideas about what to expect under your tree.
If you are a fan of James Bondesque spy gadgetry, then you should definitely place a pair of Oliver Sweeney Secret Shoes on your list. For a mere $2,600.00 you can own a pair of snazzy shoes that can each conceal up to six gadgets at a time in their handy-dandy secret compartments (remember the “Get Smart” TV series?). These items include, but are not necessarily limited to, a mobile phone, some sort of tracking device, money, a Swiss army knife, USB flash drive, compass, pen, and pill case. Things no respectable secret agent should be without. In addition, the shoes also feature a “small video camera” with night vision and HD recording capability.
But, wait, there’s more. According to the product brochure, the shoelaces “are made of Kevlar, originally used for parachute cords. They can act as a friction saw cutting through wood or plastic [guaranteeing that should] you ever find yourself zip-tied, you have a fighting chance.” Provided you can maneuver your shoes to the area where you are zip-tied–no easy feat, even for a secret agent. These shoes were scheduled to be on sale just in time for Halloween and well ahead of the Christmas rush (well, maybe).
In this era of fake news, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to separate fact from fiction. That’s why I am very skeptical of the off-the-wall British inventor Colin Furze’s newest creation–the Briefcase Fireplace. Over the years Colin has established a reputation as a truly “madcap inventor,” treating us to a bevy of corny inventions that were never marketed. We definitely need people like Furze around to remind us to take things a little less seriously. However, I am sure there are those who will try to place an order for one of his inventions. And the Briefcase Fireplace is one of those kinds of inventions, tailor made for the Christmas season. The online description says it all: “It is a miniature gas-fueled fireplace built inside a briefcase to let you warm up on the go. Although this invention seems quite impractical, inefficient, and rather dangerous, still the concept is impressive.” Yes, indeed. The description goes on to say this product is aimed at non-flying travelers–obviously it would never pass an airport security clearance–and it comes equipped with a thermos and “a tasty biscuit.” And, by the way, you should definitely heed the advice given on the website: Enjoy this product, but “make sure you don’t set your briefcase on fire.” Go figure.
Our next item is listed in Hackaday.com as “the perfect desk toy.” What is it, you ask? It just might be the ideal gift for that techo-nerd on your gift list. For only $117.00 you can give that hard-to-please person their very own Tesla Coil to play with on their desk. Perhaps only slightly less dangerous than the aforementioned Briefcase Fireplace, the Tesla Coil shoots off electrical spikes that can be manipulated into various configurations and can even be programmed to play music–rather annoying music, but music nevertheless. After watching the inevitable YouTube video, I was a little bit unimpressed with this little desktop accessory, but I am sure it will brighten the hearts of many on Christmas morning. Let’s just hope they don’t sustain any injuries. As the promo for this little tech toy states: “While there is a small chance of minor burns, the low voltage and amperage of USB power means the design is pretty safe. I don’t think “pretty safe” is good enough for me. I’ll settle for “‘very safe” if you don’t mind. In any event, you probably shouldn’t operate this little device in conjunction with your Briefcase Fireplace.
I am somewhat of a writing pen aficionado, so I have found an item to add to my own wish list.This $25.00 gift is the “5 In 1 Tool Pen.” In what seems like the perfect accessory for the secret agent shoes described above, this little writing utensil is a pen, a ruler, a level, and a stylus (nothing new for a pen, of course). I am especially attracted to the barrel of the pen being a ruler. If nothing else, this is a good conversation piece.
If you are really into unusual gift items, you need to visit The Grommet. Here, in one place, is some of the planet’s most unusual and creative gift items, including such things as a toy that combines the ever-popular slinky with the now-not-so-popular fidget spinner, “liquid activated drink cubes,” a “foldable baseball cap” (aren’t they all?), a 180 degree flashlight, a keyring magnet (when is the last time you needed one of these?), and a “campfire safety cover” (the perfect accessory for your Briefcase Fireplace). Happy shopping.
So many gift items, so little time. I definitely like the secret agent shoes, but will wait until the price goes down. When they show up in somewhere like Rack Room Shoes or PayLess, I might be a little more interested in improving my lifestyle and spying skills. In the meantime, I will continue to lead a vicarious existence.
See you next week.