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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Fabulous Gift Ideas for the Holidays

A little late getting started with your holiday shopping? Preparing to send gift cards to all your loved ones because you haven't a clue what they like? Relax! HW has done the work for you with this guide to the season's must-have gifts for everyone on your list, including that most important person, you!

Revolving cat flap. For the fellow who spends too much of his day holding doors open for

felines that can't make up their puny minds whether they want to come in or go out. When kitty is within 2 feet of this amazing device, its powerful vacuum element sucks her in . . . and out! In the process, the cat flap's firm vacuum action removes loose fur, fleas, and dead skin cells. No more allergies, Frontline, or picking up clumps of cat fur. Soon he'll think he owns a rex!

Warning: Squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, and other unauthorized animals may be sucked in. Do not walk or place objects within 2 feet of door. If small children are missing, you know where to check.

The Back button for everyday life. When you make a mistake on your computer, the Undo command "erases" it for you. Wouldn't it be nice to have a feature like that for everyday life? Now you can! The Blunderless 2000 Universal Remote Control features a Back button that lets you undo what you've just said or done. Imagine how many stupid mistakes you can rub out with this nifty little feature!

Works on others, too! Getting tired of your significant other's incessant nagging or trail of discarded clothes on the floor? Just point and click! With the Blunderless 2000's Repeat action, you can back yourself up to before you were married and choose Niles instead, the nerd who pursued you in college and then made billions in computers. Pick a better job . . . get rid of your kids . . . lose 25 pounds the easy way! Can also be used to turn on the TV, play a DVD or CD, make toast, or order pizza.

For your friends, from the magazine aisle . . .

Witty Talk Magazine. The magazine for women who like to sound witty and well informed but

never make it past the relationships columns. Summarizes the world's top news stories in 25 one-syllable words or less.

Fashion Talk Magazine. The magazine for women who like to read magazines about fashion. Should you buy Vogue or Flare? Elle or Harper's Bazaar? Tells you which stories are hot, which are not, and how to find the page numbers. Half price when you subscribe to Celebrity Talk Magazine, the magazine for women who like to read magazines about celebrities.

Computer Talk Magazine. The magazine for women who like to think they know something about computers. Features easily memorized discourses peppered with words like RAM, gig, and cache so you can converse with friends and coworkers and sound like you know what you're talking about. Bonus: Guides to talking about your cell phone and PDA.


The Judgment Game. What would the holidays be without your elderly female relatives showing up to point out your slovenly cleaning habits and where you went wrong in life? Now, instead of dreading those visits, you can take a sadistic pleasure in them with the Judgment Game.

Players march their tokens about the board, picking up Chance and Choice cards that bode ill or good fortune. Will they work in a sweatshop or go to the conservatory on a scholarship? Will they marry a shiftless, cheating husband or win the watermelon-eating contest at the county fair? Players buy and sell properties and dot them with tokens of miserable shanties or multimillion-dollar homes. They'll spend the day sniping at each other and leaving you alone.

Don't Forget Grandpa. This year's hit among males over 60 is the Old Spice Recycling Kit. Grandpa probably has enough Old Spice aftershave by now to take a bath in it. With the Old Spice Recycling Kit, he can trade it in for a variety of useful gifts. Tops on the list: an intercom system so he can aggravate people in every room of the house.

Recipe Converter. For that annoyingly slender sister who shops in the girl's department because a size 2 is too small. This calculator-like device converts healthy lowfat recipes to artery-clogging fare. From canola oil to a stick of butter . . . from fat-free milk to heavy cream . . . from Sweet'N Low to a cup of sugar . . . from 2 egg whites to 14 eggs. She'll be back in a size 14 in no time!

iPod Mega Plus Ten. For kids of all ages, the iPod is this year's gift of choice. Now comes the iPod Mega Plus Ten, with 3,400 subliminal messages, recorded by top celebrities, that you can choose from, practically guaranteed to produce a more tractable child.

Eat . . . your . . . breakfast!

Clean . . . your . . . room!

Brush . . . your . . . teeth!

Do . . . your . . . homework!

Don't . . . have . . . sex!

To avoid darkly humorous yet actionable incidents, keep out of the hands of older siblings.

©2005 Elaine Langlois