Gift ideas never out of season

For some people, Christmas is the time of year that

most people never want to end. More importantly, Christmas

isn't over until you've gotten every item on your wish


At first, I thought I had received everything I wanted.

Then I opened some junk e-mail and looked through a

few catalogs to realize all the things I didn't have.

A good example is a laminating machine. I'm pretty certain

some companies purposely don't advertise particular

items because the demand would just be too immense.

I'm going to show you a few of the best technologically

advanced items so you can add those to your list. Christmas

doesn't know it's January! Although I think credit card

companies keep good tabs on those things.

NOTE: This is not the same column as Dave

Barry's 2001 Gift Guide. I'm a fan of Dave's, but

there's a huge difference: He makes his living writing

columns. I make a living THEN I write my column. Sometimes

my Living falls apart because I use masking tape, but

that's a different story. Another difference is Dave

doesn't have an e-mail address, whereas I receive a

copy of every e-mail you have ever sent to anyone. At

least it seems that way when I clean out my junk e-mail.

The e-mail I sifted through didn't produce too many

excellent post-Christmas gift ideas: DVD duplication

software, an investor's kit, a cell phone and science

fiction books. There were about 58 messages to refinance

a house I don't have and to recover hair I haven't really


One item, the internal antenna, also appeared on TV

recently and in the Carol

Wright gifts magazine I received with "Current Resident

or" circled in black ink. Supposedly this mechanism,

when attached to a cell phone, extends your antenna

4 feet. I've heard you can do the same thing with masking

tape, but don't try it while in a tunnel. There is an

important statement not in the magazine that was in

my e-mail: "Please note that it will not provide signal

where there is none." You know, like under the laminating


There are plenty of other items in the catalog (check

it out online), about half of which I would use for

at least five minutes if they were given to me. But

I found other cool things online. First, we have the


camera. Yep, I really know a technological breakthrough

when I see one. Why someone would combine French fries

with a camera, I'm not sure. No salt included.

The other top item I found was an invisibility

book. The site says you can "learn how to make yourself

invisible and levitate anyone or anything--including

yourself." As I copied this quote over, it disappeared;

it was amazing! Then I realized it was just white text

on a white background, so it reappeared. So maybe I

don't need to read the book after all. I would recommend

placing a piece of masking tape on the invisibility

book; that way, if you make it disappear, you will be

able to locate it.

CNN also ran a story about weird

Christmas ideas, although none came with French

fries. Dave Barry's is probably the best holiday gift

guide, so you can check that out too. Even if you have

taken down the tree, the companies that sell this wonderful

stuff have not. You can buy them now or tomorrow, or

you can save your money for next year's round of weird

ideas. I think I'll just try to tape my life back together

in the meantime.