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Give gadget gifts a gander

Posted: December 8, 2011 9:03 a.m.
Updated: December 9, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Welcome to Tucker’s Christmas Mart, the store where you purchase gifts that seem like a good idea at the time but end up on the junk pile by the time New Year’s Day arrives.

Today we’re featuring my favorite foolish gifts, all of them promoted in four different catalogs that clog my mailbox this time of year. You’ve probably seen them: Brookstone, Sharper Image, Herrington and Hammacher Schlemmer.

They’re all “gadget books,” filled with items that are absolutely impractical but at the same time enticing.

So below, my favorite foolish Christmas gifts that you can get your sweetie this year, taken directly from the pages of the geekie catalogs listed above:

• Golf ball finder glasses. If you hit your ball into the rough regularly, these bright blue, $40 glasses will make your ball “practically glow” as you search for it in high grass. They use a “combination of physics and technology” with a “unique pigment combo.” Right.

• Golf ball putting glasses. Once you find your ball with your special glasses listed above,  just whack it onto the green and then change to these $40 green shades, which will “allow you to see the lines and read the greens, then make the putt with confidence.” Hey, they must work. Haven’t you seen all the tour players wearing them?

• Wireless key finder. Sync this little 50-buck device to your car key fob and then when you misplace your keys, just press the button on this handy little sucker and your keys will sound an alarm. Only one problem: what happens when you misplace the key finder?

• Instant marinator. Put your meat inside this $39 device and it will “open the pores of the food so it will absorb the flavor of the marinade.” What’s wrong with a plain old Zip Loc bag?

• Pill holder. For only $19.95 you can buy this, which resembles a regular prescription pill bottle but is made of stainless steel. It holds seven aspirin-sized pills -- isn’t that just incredible? -- and begs only one question: what does this container do that a regular little pill bottle (free with your costly prescription) doesn’t?

• Gyroscopic dumbbell. OK, no wisecracks about dumbbells. According to the catalog, this round, tennis ball-sized device -- it will set you back $70 -- “strengthens and rehabilitates muscles in the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. Rotating your wrist causes the internal gyroscope to spin up to 13,000 revolutions per minute.” There’s no explanation as to how this is a better grip-strengthening exercise than squeezing a normal tennis ball.

• Digital iceless wine chiller. For a C-note, you can get this handy little device which will allow you to “quickly serve a bottle of wine at just the right temperature.” In other words, this serves the same function as popping your bottle of Chardonnay in the freezer for 20 minutes. But hey, doesn’t it look neat?

• Retiree’s Day Clock. In addition to the minute and hour hands, there’s a third dial that points to the proper day of the week. One point: if you can’t remember what day it is, you probably need to stay in bed, anyway.

• Biometric Wallet. At a bargain basement price of $600, this carbon-fiber doodad is like carrying your own little miniature safe. It requires a scan of your fingerprint to open it, so if you like spy movies, this might be your piece of cake. No word yet on what it feels like to put a carbon fiber box in your back pocket and sit down on a hard chair.

• Pro Massager for Eyes and Temples. What, you haven’t had your eyes massaged lately? You ain’t living, then. Just place the mask-like gizmo over your eyes and choose one of four types of air massage. Then, with eyes  closed, try to figure out why you’d spent $130 on this.

• The Weed-Whacking Golf Driver. Yes, golfers are serious gadget nuts. This is an “actual driver with a grass trimmer built into it” so you can trim that pesky grass you find in the rough and thus give yourself a nice lie. But at $40, this isn’t going to do a very good job of driving or whacking.

 So there you have it: gifts that will be sure to please any psychopath in your family. Call me tomorrow, as quantities are limited. Shipping and handling are extra.

(Glenn Tucker is a contributing editor for the Chronicle-Independent, Camden, S.C.)



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