Well, it’s that time of year again, the time of year where we’re barely into November but the Christmas decorations are already up in the stores, carols are playing on the radio, the fireplace is merrily and virtually burning on the flatscreen, and the Bits and Pieces gift catalogue has arrived. And nothing says the holiday season quite like a cheap plastic puzzle box or a pantless garden gnome.
But just like every year, tucked in among the pornographic elves, the interminable pages of jigsaw puzzles and the novelty socks, there are always a few treasures. So without further ado, here are my favourite top 5:
1) Night Vision Binoculars:
For 39.99, you can “see a little bit more in darkness” with these night vision goggles that allow you to “hone in on any desired object”. Exactly WHO are we marketing to here? Someone sitting in their room at night, honing in on desired objects like, perhaps, the young pretty neighbour next door? The description also says these binoculars are “perfect for spying or just keeping track of what goes on in the night”:
Wife: Honey, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. What are you doing?
Wife: But you’re sitting here in the dark with a pair of binocul—hey, are you spying?
Husband (affronted): No! I’m just keeping track of what goes on in the night, thank you very much!
Wife: Oh, well that’s normal.
Apparently, they come with a Velcro headband that “fits most”. It doesn’t specify most WHAT, but I think we can all guess.
2) Screaming Flying Monkey:
This is the official mascot of 2020.
3) Personalized “Hide Your Stash” Cylinder:
This ingenious invention is a small metal cylinder made out of “waterproof aluminum” (as opposed to the kind that gets really soggy when wet) and can be used to hide your “treasured possessions or emergency medicine”. The best thing about the cylinder is that you can personalize it with your own name. The stupidest thing about the cylinder is that it comes with the word STASH already engraved on it:
Robber: Stick ‘em up. Give me your stash.
Victim: But I don’t have a stash!
Robber: Nice try. It says Michael’s Stash right there on that cylinder you have attached to your belt. Hand it over.
Victim (despondent): Oh, my treasures!
Robber: Ooh, is this weed? Nice stash, man! Thanks!
Victim: How did it all go so wrong?
4) Beard Baubles:
As if things aren’t bad enough, now men can decorate their beards with tiny Christmas tree ornaments, thanks to Bits and Pieces. If the Screaming Flying Monkey is the official mascot of 2020, then Beard Baubles is the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse, right after the release of the Four Horsemen. According to Saint John, “I saw the beast with 7 heads, 10 horns, and 12 beard baubles coming out of the sea.” It was prophetic. Of course, Saint John also said, “If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed”, so some of his prophecies were a tad self-evident.
5) Weener Kleener Soap:
This is on the same page in the catalogue as the fibre optic Christmas tree and kitty cat slippers, and it really blows the whole family-friendly vibe out of the water. This soap is shaped like a donut and is designed to have a manpart inserted through it for the purpose of personal hygiene which, according to the package, has “never been so stimulating”. It also boasts that one size fits MOST men.
Husband: Hey, this dang Weener Kleener doesn’t fit my weener! It’s all loosey-goosey and whatnot!
Wife: As I’ve long suspected, you’re just not like most men. Sigh.
All of the information on the package is also extremely sexual and doesn’t bear repeating here, but I’m sure you can imagine. My favourite part is the warning at the bottom that if the Weener Kleener becomes stuck, “soak the area with cold water”, I assume to provide the necessary shrinkage. To quote George Costanza, “I was in the pool!”
I perused the entire catalogue and the only thing I’d even consider is the tin of “bacon bandages”, mainly because it says there’s a prize inside the container. But if the prize isn’t ACTUAL bacon, I want my damn money back.