You know, there are plenty of folks besides your friends and family who deserve to receive "special" treats from you during the holiday season. Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves, so nostalgically immersed in our happy little worlds, that we selfishly forget about those for whom we feel nothing but bile. Included here is a short list of treasures -- some familiar, some adventurous -- that successfully convey the notion of complete repulsion.


There's something to be said for tradition, and nothing has ever evoked "you suck" with quite the same perennial verve as a lump of coal. It's so much more than a carbon-containing solid; it's a dark sentiment of exquisite brevity. What's more, giving a lump of coal is quickly coming down with a handy case of the mass-market "cutes." Now you can leave coal for people and chortle about it with them in a passive-aggressive way. It's like making a cutting remark and having the luxury of pretending it was all in good fun.

Lenny's Fuel Company, 9010 Delridge Way SW, $1-1.50 for a small bag of coal, approximately 1 lb.


Metaphor is central to the eloquent expression of any emotion, but why tell someone he's a sack of shit when you can just as easily leave one on your giftee's doorstep? Sure, it's a lowest-common-denominator way of illustrating your point, but some people just don't deserve I'm Okay, You're Okay. Be sure to tailor the dung to what best suits his personality: The friendly folks at Sky Nursery can supply you with chicken shit (for that commitment-shy rascal), or steer manure (a headier way to tell them they're full of it).

Sky Nursery, 18528 Aurora Ave N, $2.97 per cubic foot bag of poo.


If you think fruitcake is the height of hostile foodstuffs, come into the new millennium. Make your enemies say "Wow!" with a bag of Frito Lay's infamous chips, featuring that fat-free, incontinence-inducing miracle -- Olean brand olestra. An encouraging note from the website: "While it is made starting from natural ingredients [sugar and vegetable oil], our bodies can't digest this bigger olestra molecule because of its size. Olestra passes through our bodies without being digested or absorbed by the body in any way." Yum, Mommy! Let 'er rip!

Wow! Chips, multiple flavors, available at most major supermarkets, around $3.99 for a 12 oz. bag.


Hidden among everyone's acquaintances is that one person you're not allowed to admit you dislike; that friend of a friend who claims to only watch PBS and has never glanced at an InStyle to find out how Melanie and Antonio really live. This is the person upon whom you bestow Fly, Yoko Ono's two-disc 1997 release, with a card that reads, "Dear Friend -- I thought of this for you because I know you have no fear of the avant-garde and can recognize the spirit of a true pioneer." Then immediately go home and start hugging yourself, you wily bastard.

Fly, Box Set, available by special order from most independent record stores for around $20.