December 18th, 2002 Ted Katauska | Special Section Stories
 

Gadgets

...For the La-Z-Boy

     
Tags:
Yaktrax
IMAGE: abby dansiger
Gift Guide No. 1-- gifts over $50, published Dec. 4, 2002

Gift Guide No. 2 -- winter fashions, published Dec. 11, 2002

contents Stocking Stuffers
Toys
Books and Music
Graphic Novels
Kitchen
Home Furnishings
Gadgets
Outdoors
Accessories
Pets
Sex
Spirits
No Sweat Shopping

Sloth. It's not just a deadly sin; it's also what we call the proverbial lump on a log, a creature that does little more than sit there and scratch itself every so often, sort of like ol' lard-ass there on the living-room couch. Stuff one of his stinky tube socks with one of these gadgets and you're bound to get a grunt of approval.

Gas Masked
Forget about terrorist attacks. Your couch potato needs a gas mask ($49.99, The Foxhole, 7476 SE 82nd Ave., 775-3077) to protect himself from his own friendly fire.

It's Fallen, and I Can Pick It Up!
What do you get a guy who already has The Clapper and a Remote-Control Fart Machine? The Deluxe Gopher Pick Up & Reaching Tool ($16.99, As Seen on TV Store, 2300 Lloyd Center, 493-8269). He'll never have to bend at the waist again!

Over and Out
Tired of hearing the lump scream, "Where's my pot pie?!!" With a set of his 'n' hers walkie-talkie watches ($29.99, Fry's Electronics, 29400 SW Towncenter Loop West, Wilsonville, 570-6000), you'll be able to respond in kind to his every command, from up to 150 feet away, as in "Get off that air mattress you call an ass and get your own goddamned pot pie!"

Fly Open, Fan On
A guy can work up a sweat surfing the web, especially when visiting sites that require a credit card for access. A FlyFan ($24.95, The Computer Store, 700 NE Multnomah Blvd., 238-1200, www.thecomputerstore.com) for the USB port ought to cool him down. That, and a cold shower.

Uncork his Heart
Armed with a battery-operated corkscrew ($30, Latitudes, 1003 Lloyd Center, 282-3264, www.latitudesgifts.com), your Homer Simpson will become more like Pepe Le Pew. Because hey, after all, the only reason he prefers Bud to Bordeaux is because a pull tab is less work than a cork.

Va foppa gee wontahumpa?
No, that's not Finnish for "do you want that we should do the hanky-panky?" It's Huttese for "does that come with a warranty?" Better start practicing, because once he has a set of plans for a do-it-yourself electric hovercraft ($35, Future Horizons Advanced Technology, (906) 249-5197, www.futurehorizons.net), he'll be modifying the vacuum and floating around the house like Jabba himself.

Wake Up, Little Jethro
It was designed for narcoleptics, but the Stay Awake Driver Alert ($19.95, Sharper Image, Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave., 228-4110, and other locations), an earplug alarm that shrieks at the drop of the chin, will keep him from nodding off even during late Beverly Hillbillies reruns.

Don't Pay the Repo
He'll keep the debt collectors guessing with a telephone voice changer ($19.95 and up, Netgadget, (703) 923-9765, www.netgadget.net), vocal camouflage for the bankrupt underachiever. It's sold with the caveat "This voice changer digitizes your voice and DOES NOT sound completely human," which means it'll sound perfectly natural to the repo man.

MORE GIFT IDEAS

Leatherman's Squirt Tool
Be prepared for anything with the smallest, most compact Leatherman tool to date--the 2.25-inch Squirt, with three types of screwdrivers, tweezers, a nail file, a bottle opener and a knife. MacGyver can be as close as your keychain.

$39, REI, 1798 Jantzen Beach Center, 283-1300, and other locations.

Yaktrax
Give them a foot up with a shoe traction device called Yaktrax. Like a rubber band for the sole, it provides traction in icy situations.

$20, REI, 1798 Jantzen Beach Center, 283-1300, and other locations.

Z-Cars by Atomic Toys
The world's smallest remote-control car is as long as a quarter and as high as a nickel. The car charges and is ready to go in 45 seconds. Race your friends and scare the dog--the fun will never end.

$19.95, Discovery Channel Store, Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave., 222-0015, shopping.discovery.com.

Projection Clock by Oregon Scientific
Automatically sets itself to satellite readings and projects the time in gigantic, easy-to-read digits on your ceiling. Handy for nearsighted insomniacs!

$29.95, Discovery Channel Store, Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave., 222-0015.

Ultra-Compact Binoculars

These binoculars, as small as a deck of cards, are easy to travel with and will always come through for those Sasquatch sightings. The 6x16 lenses won't give you Superman vision, but you'll be able to see better than the average bear.

$30, Brookstone at Oregon Market, Portland International Airport, 7000 NE Airport Way, 287-6934, and other locations.

 
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