Is your holiday gift list packed with those impossible-to-buy-for people who "have everything"? Of course, you could always make donations to charities in their names, but why not get them something everybody really needs right now?
There really is something for everyone in the vast family of recreational pharmaceuticals. Has your sister's fear of spores paralyzed her ability to open her own mail? Give her some pot and watch her chill the fuck out! Uncle afraid of flying? Give him a fistful of Valium with a little bottle of Wild Turkey and he won't blink if jihad commences in the carry-on compartment. Grandma filled with crippling xenophobia? Turn her on to a little Ecstasy and she'll be dry-humping and snuggling with the most UNUSUAL people. In fact, there's really no type of terrifying reality that can't be obscured with a healthy holiday dose of drugs!
Available from the neighbor on your block who never puts his porch light on and has cars coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Prices may vary.
'THE GODFATHER' COLLECTION ON DVD
This collection is an escapist's dream come true: five hours of movies, five hours of commentary, and at least a couple hours' worth of eye-opening bonus features. Francis Ford Coppola's dual masterpieces (that's parts I and II) remain miraculous; no matter how many times you watch them, they only get better. Thanks to the miracle of DVD, you can press a button and listen to Coppola's director's commentaries, a feature-length narration for each film describing the filmmakers' processes, and the travails in getting the films made so many years ago. And as if all that weren't enough, the collection even comes with a commemorative coaster (it's the disc that says The Godfather: Part III on it).
The Godfather DVD Collection: $75
Available at retail outlets everywhere.
For true escapists, nothing says, "I love you and support your wussiness" like the gift of digital cable. For a mere $70 a month, you can give your friends and relatives 24-hour-a-day diversion in the form of 124 glorious channels (plus 11 Pay-Per-View options!). AT&T Broadband's Platinum package boasts four channels each of both HBO and Showtime, two channels each of Stars, Encore, Cinemax, and the Movie Channel, highbrow channels Sundance and IFC, and the excellent Ovation, which shows documentaries and concerts of bands like Blur on Sunday mornings. Nogin digs up classic episodes of Sesame Street and The Electric Company, while Style is a channel dedicated to nothing more than fashion, supermodels, dining, and decorating--and justifies the $70 monthly fee all by its lonesome.
AT&T Broadband, 1-877-824-2288.
'THE LOOK OF LOVE': THE BURT BACHARACH COLLECTION
When it comes to Burt Bacharach, chances are your loved ones think he did some nice songs with Dionne Warwick, then degenerated into the likes of "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." They'll be astonished how many gorgeous, lilting tunes the man has written, most of them in collaboration with lyricist Hal David. This collection features the biggies, like "I Say a Little Prayer," "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "What's New Pussycat," "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," "Close to You"--actually, the list of biggies goes on and on--but there's also a mix of entertaining novelty hits like "The Blob" (the kitschy theme song to the horror movie) and underappreciated marvels like "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself." All are in their original versions, by singers like Warwick, Gene Pitney, Jackie DeShannon, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and the magnificently sad Dusty Springfield. Each song gleams with hope for a life filled with love and peace. Maybe a certain loved one will invite you to curl up on the couch, let the music wrap itself around you both, and let the rest of the world just "Walk on By." It'll be the best $50 you've ever spent.
Visit your local independent record store, or just go straight to the source: Rhino Records website, www.rhino.com.
A WHOLE BUNCH OF WIGS
Why should cancer patients, international spies, and the lucky ducks with gender identity disorder have all the fun? A collection of kicky wigs is the perfect gift to help your weary loved ones escape the sad and terrifying reality of this wartime holiday season! Male or female, a saucy little pageboy or classic dishwater mullet (from $30 at Wigland, 1519 Second Ave) is an affordable way to whisk the most fearful Grinch away on a fantastical holiday journey! For the more daring, a midnight-blue fall or stylish Louis Ferre burgundy clip-on ($49-$160, available at www.wiggoddess.com) may be the ticket. Or help the man in your life relive those innocent (and relatively terror-free) hair-band days of the '80s with the breezy brown "Charlie" or curly "Vince." For the economy shopper, a smart powdered "Colonial" or pigtailed "Dorothy" (all from $26.50 at Display and Costume, 11201 Roosevelt Way NE) hearkens back to a simpler time before anthrax, smallpox, and jihad. And isn't that what wartime gift-giving is really all about?
Immoral, illegal, and infinitely more satisfying than a sock full of LEGOs, a hot, humpy professional sex worker is the universal gift no one can refuse--or return! Orgasms release tension and anxiety, flood the system with endorphins, and take one's tortured mind off collapsing towers and bio-terrorism completely. However, acquiring the "gift" is tricky. Remember: Location, location, location! Physical pleasure is a thoughtful gift; scabies is not. Ignore the sad trade wandering around Aurora and stick with the classier female models available in the lounges of Seattle's upscale hotels or listed in the back pages of this here paper. For the cock-lover, try the Escort section of the Seattle Gay News personals. Explain that you are shopping for a "friend"--your whore will understand completely. But remember, good trade don't come cheap ($150 per hour and up) and presentation of your gift is key. Get creative! Have the "gift" pre-oiled and ready under the tree Christmas morning, or (for that Martha Stewart touch) create construction paper "gift coupons" with little butt-fucking stick figures in Santa hats and "Good for One Blowjob" written in a cheerful font at the top. That way, the lucky recipients can "consummate" this--the perfect gift--at their own convenience!
In this time of public terrorism, when buildings go boom and even the mail can kill you, why not give your nervous-Nellie friends and family members a gift they can really appreciate--like one full month of slothful hibernation? This handy kit includes 30 pairs each of brand-new underpants and socks, 10 sets of pajamas, a Brita, local delivery menus and coupons, a Sony PlayStation, a DVD player and seasons one and two of Sex and the City, weekly fresh-flower delivery, a fluffy feather bed with a down comforter and luxuriously high-thread-count sheets, magazines, all kindsa new CDs catering to the recipient's taste in music, and last but not least--cleaning supplies, because nothing gets on your ass like a little dust or shower grime after you've been housebound for more than a week. Your housebound homies will never stop thanking you for this present!
Underpants: three pairs for $20; socks: three pairs for $12; pajamas: $16.50-$19.50, Old Navy
Brita: $39.99, Bartell Drugs
PlayStation: $329, Circuit City
DVD player: $229, Circuit City
Sex and the City DVDs: $99, Hollywood Video
Flowers: $24 a week, 1-800-flowers
Bedding: Featherbed: $89; comforter: $149; sheets: $199, Bed Bath and Beyond
Magazines: $50, Steve's on Broadway
CDs: $250 gift certificate, Amazon.com
Comet: $1.25; sponge: $2.35, Bartell Drugs
HOME KARAOKE MACHINE
It's the rare individual who doesn't enjoy seizing the karaoke spotlight and belting out his or her favorite sing-along hit. Unfortunately, the inevitable effects of alcohol poisoning, terrifyingly earnest hosts, and endless off-key versions of Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" can spoil any karaoke-lover's good time. Well, thanks to the clever and oh-so-cute Karaoke Party Machine, now everyone on your holiday list can enjoy all the thrills of unbridled exhibitionism with at-home convenience, and sing, sing, sing! Nothing chases the Armageddon blues away like standing on the coffee table in your pajamas and belting out "Let's Hear It for the Boy!" from the immortal Footloose soundtrack. This shockingly inexpensive gadget is sure to bring all your loved ones years of mindless pleasure!
GPX Karaoke Party Machine with AM/FM cassette recorder, sing-along microphone, and portable CD karaoke kit: $67.42 (price includes shipping).
To place an order, call 1-800-953-7173.
The ultimate gift for the escapist on your list. The big danger, of course, is screwing it up; no one, least of all someone who already feels miserable about his or her life, wants to end up a vegetable or horribly maimed. Shooting, wrist-slashing, and hanging are all pretty unreliable. The book Final Exit recommends a heavy dose of tranquilizers and wrapping a plastic bag around your head; that way, if you vomit while unconscious, you don't make a mess, and you still asphyxiate from lack of air. However, there's a decidedly tidier approach, advocated by the Church of Euthanasia (www.churchofeuthanasia.org): helium. A tank and an oxygen mask are all it takes. The stuff is easy to breathe; you simply become unconscious and die. (Nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide will work just as well--and nitrous is more fun along the way--but they're harder to acquire in the necessary quantity.) A quick survey of places that rent helium tanks (for example, the Red Balloon Company) indicates the rate for renting a good-sized tank--and there's no point in going cheap here--is generally around $100. An oxygen mask should cost less than $5 at any medical-supply source.