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Present Company Included

The Hammacher Schlemmer Christmas ’22 gift catalog just arrived! It’s the longest-running mail-order retailer of its kind, its pages filled with unique (if not quirky) selections. Here are some of my favorite choices. Who knows, maybe this holiday you will receive…

John Wayne’s Canvas Rancher Jacket:

This hand-crafted canvas jacket features a notched corduroy collar. I guess the notches each represent some poor soul Duke wasted in a movie. Do the five buttons denote the people he eliminated in his real life for not embracing the Second Amendment?  None of these purchases were returned, with customers saying: “You’ll have to pry that coat from my cold, dead hands.”

The Warming Cat Bed:

“Highly recommended by veterinarians,” says HS. But only two vets could make an honest endorsement—the only two small enough to fit in the bed. The catalog says you can also use it for a small dog. I’m no pet expert, but I’d take the cat out first.

The Side Sleepers Ergonomic Pillow:

Ideal for someone who is sleeping with someone on the side. The pillow adjusts to your head and neck and provides support. Providing support is what you will have to do if you get caught.

The Perfect Spiral Robotic Quarterback:

This training contraption loads footballs and launches the pigskin 75 feet. You pump each ball, putting in as much air as you like.  Endorsed by Tom Brady.

The Lego City Police Station:

The 680-piece Lego set is complete with a three-story building, a jail, cops and police dogs, and a training area. As the kids near bedtime and toys must be put away, parents can post a sign that says: DECONSTRUCT THE POLICE.

The Electronic Tag Game:

This is a modern version of tag where kids wear LED lights so they can see who has been tagged. Give me a break!  When I was a kid, I admit I wasn’t smart enough to reduce a fraction, but I sure didn’t need a light to know who was “it.”

The Award-Winning Cat String Toy:

Recognized for innovative cat amusement, this electric gadget is basically a string that hangs on the doorknob and swirls around, teasing the cat, and encouraging exercise. If you get this for your feline, he will show his gratitude just like a dog. Your cat will wag his tail, wiggle his behind, jump up in your lap and lick your face. I’m just kidding.

The New York Times Jigsaw Puzzle of Your Birthdate:

Ever wonder what the front page of the New York Times looked like the day you were born? Me either. This 600-piece puzzle will test your concentration and patience. Remember the New York Times slogan: “All the news we print will fit.”  Unless the dog chewed a piece.

The Personalized Animated Singing Elephant Chair:

This is a giant plush pachyderm that sings, “Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro?” When I was 8 years old and first discovering my body, that’s not how I remember the words.

And one last favorite item from a past holiday edition, still available:

The Soft Kangaroo Wallet:

This billfold is made from the hide of a kangaroo. How ironic that here we have an animal, one of the few on the planet with an actual pocket that can carry something and we made him into a wallet.

Dick Wolfsie spent his career sharing his humor, stories and video essays on television, radio and in newspapers. His columns appear weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at [email protected] aol.com.