Some Not-So-Hot Gifts

Barb Wire

If you enjoy the custom of giving gifts at Christmastime, here are a few it would be better to avoid. I have seen some of these gifts presented, and it has always turned out badly.

*Evening in Akron. This is a perfume. At least that’s what the label says. Akron, Ohio, is famous for the manufacture of tires. That’s what this stuff smells like. Tires. And it costs a lot, too.

*The “Hillary Clinton Laugh” Ring Tone. Not even to your worst enemy should you give this. You know the laugh I mean: the one that sounds like she ought to be stirring something in a cauldron, in a graveyard at midnight.

*The Do-It-Yourself Transgendering Kit. Well, hey, you get what you pay for.

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*Somebody has a great deal on full shipping crates of Compound W, the wart remover; but I think there is a limit to how many little tubes of Compound W you can give someone without greatly offending him.

*The Harry Plotnik fantasy novels, by Ray Kay Jowling. These books are, of course, knockoffs of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter tales. In Harry Plotnik and the Healthy Dallows, for instance, the young sorcerer and his friends race the evil magician, Lord Liverwort, for possession of powerful magical items that restore sweet breath and a healthy head of hair. The only original touch is provided by the publisher, Bogoff Books, who put in some of the pages upside-down.

*How to Tame Any Animal, No Matter How “Dangerous,” instructional video by the late Hobart Smedley. You’ll see him sharing his technique for taming a nestful of hornets. You will not see him going up a ladder, high up into a tree, and trying his technique on hornets who weren’t quite in the mood. Also included is a tribute to Hobart by Alan “Stumpy” Jones, the former shark trainer.

So there you have ’em, folks. Steer clear of these items, and hopefully they’ll steer clear of you.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Lee Duigon
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on

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