Opinion: Trolling for the perfect gift


Below are some of the items from the new fall Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog. This 171-year-old company offers a lifetime guarantee on its products, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they come up with these ideas.

The 10-minute Smartphone Sanitizer

According to HS, the average cellphone has more germs than a public restroom. It’s probably true I leave my phone in a public restroom several times a week. Their gadget disinfects your phone with a germicidal light. Don’t worry, you can still make dirty phone calls.

The Silent Squeaking Dog Toy

Now your dog can play with his squeaky toy and you don’t have to go batty listening to it — since only your pooch can hear it. And you never have to replace his toy because you’ll never know when it’s broken.

Lost Glasses Locator

You attach this device to your specs, and it connects via Bluetooth and uses an Android app to locate your glasses on an interactive map. Your cellphone rings when the glasses are nearby. How cool is that? Now, where the heck did I leave my phone?

The Talking Children’s Bank Machine

This child’s toy looks like a real ATM and teaches little ones to deposit and withdraw money. What does the machine say? If you deposit cash, it says, “Thank you.” If you withdraw, it says, “Sorry, kid, that’s a $5 service charge.”

Chess Masters Salt and Pepper Mills

The shakers are in the shapes of chess pieces, but I do not recommend this gift for people who are chess fanatics. One woman reported that she gave these to her husband as a gift. That night, she asked him to pass the salt and it took him four minutes to make the move.

Fish-Catching RC Boat

The perfect gift for the absolute laziest person in your life. It’s a pint-sized boat that fishes for you. Yes, it trolls the lake, sets the hook when the fish strikes and then brings the fish back to shore. It’s $69.95, and for an extra six bucks you can get a sign to put on your front door that says, “Home fishing.”

The Every-Angle LED Mirror

Yes, this is just what I want for Christmas: a series of six separate attached mirror panels positioned so that when I sit in front of this contraption, I can see my double chin, my bald spot and the bags under my eyes — all at the same time.

I look forward to the Christmas edition of the catalog. For a humor writer, it’s a gift.


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