November 2005

About twenty years ago someone I know was venturing out to a New Jersey "Bradlees" department store, in a December snow storm, to pick up a gift for a holiday grab-bag party. If you're too young to remember, Bradlees was a really crappy department store, before WalMart redefined the phrase "crappy department store" for all time. The deal was, it was an anonymous grab bag, the only rules being that nothing perverted could be gifted, and you had to spend under $15 (probably $35 in today's money, thanks Mr. Greenspan!) The party was for an office of Wall Street dudes, all well off, and all within a short walk of "good" stores sometime on their commute… so why go to a dump like Bradlees?

Oscar (name possibly changed for protection from ridicule by his kids) put it this way… "I need a gift that sucks, that's what everyone gives, and that's what everyone wants. You don't have to spend any time being grateful when you open the gift, just say 'this really sucks', and sink another drink. It's all good Christmas spirit! Sure, some secretary will spend all day choosing the perfect gift, but after someone opens it and says "this sucks!" she'll never make that mistake again. I'm looking for a Hulk Hogan action figure, no one could top that for worthlessness, and there is no surer place in Passaic County that will have a wide variety of Hulk Hogan merchandise than Bradlees. And that cashier chick with half her head shaved is a real kick." Editor's note: Bradlees of Wayne would be somewhere in the plumbing section of the new Home Depot...

In the spirit of the Wall Street holiday grab bag, we offer some "microwave" gifting ideas, some of which you can even find laying around your garage or lab, but you'll want to remain anonymous in all cases. If you have any ideas, send them in and we'll add them to the list, extra credit if you reuse or recycle!

CHEEZ-IT™ shorts

We've all seen those "Cheer" shorts worn by teenage girls... an advertisement for a lifestyle of exercise, and an excuse for the rest of us to be "reading" their tiny backsides. Nice! How about a different type of shorts for some older women (perhaps certain mothers of "Cheer girls"), that would be an advertisement for a different lifestyle, the lifestyle of driving around in a big SUV while frequenting the Circle K to pick up snacks so that a mouthful of calories is never out of reach? Below we present the official "CHEEZ-IT shorts", which will have to be offered in sizes through XXXL... somehow we doubt that Kelloggs is going to add this to the company store...

Police Radar Evadar™

Ever see that "myth buster" episode where the chick is trying all manner of junk science to confuse police radar, like dangling compact discs from her mirror? Didn't work worth a damn, but it had us thinking… why not wrap up a nice six-inch trihedral corner reflector, with some instructions that it be used to evade radar… you could make up some nonsense about "triple bounce" reflection inverts radar signal polarity, completely canceling signal to that your car will be nearly invisible". Can't you picture some inbred boss attaching the thing to his new corvette bumper with sheet rock screws, while all the time you're laughing because his "speed racer" will have the radar cross-section of a Mack truck? It doesn't get any better than this! Cost, zero, just borrow one from the antenna range… don't worry, he'll give it back!

Computer magnet™

Does your boss need a new place to post notes to himself and others? Try the Computer Magnet™! He'll (or she'll) enjoy endless appointments with discourteous I.T. professionals, especially if you remind him to put the magnet away when they come so they'll have better access!

Name a Point on the Smith Chart!™

Hundreds of thousands of morons have plunked down $50 or more for a worthless piece of paper that says that some "loved one" has a star named after him or her. The truth is, P.T. Barnum was correct. But for only $25, we'll name a point on the Smith Chart after anyone you like, except maybe O. Bin Laden (unstable characters are always outside the chart...) Yes, we'll even ship you an expensive-looking sheet of paper that says "Aunt Betty is now immortalized as -0.667+.333j!" Don't even think about 50 ohms, the Unknown Editor already has that spot taken.

Tiny surface-mount parts

This suggstion from Frank: "My suggestion for a useless gift would be any 0402 sized surface mount component. Especially one that needs to be soldered down with high temp
solder. Anybody who doesn't agree should be sentenced to building a prototype board with the aforementioned components and solder and then let's see what they think."

I think I detect a new rule of thumb here somewhere...

The Wood Monster™

We have plenty of these really bad gifts in the Microwaves101 gift shop. While you're there, buy a coffee mug... and let us know if you'd like a Microwaves101 shirt or thong, we are on the fence with these items, but if there is enough interest we will get the elves busy...

License Plate Frame Fun!

In any mall you'll find someone that will whip out a custom license plate frame for you. It's up to you to get your money's worth. Here are some ideas:


Or how about this…

A great choice, right after the next layoff. The possibilities are endless!

Here's a web site where you can type in your own idea and see how it looks.

In-N-Out tee shirt

Nothing says "eat monster" as much as a tee shirt touting fast food… no one in their right mind would wear a Burger King shirt. So why do people wear "In-N-Out Burger" shirts all the time, they provide a similarly low-cost, high-fat, bad-for-you meal? Yarbles! Great bolshy yarblockos, droogies, we get it, it's a double entendre, bit of the old in-out-in-out, from A Clockwork Orange! But at the same time, it is a laugh that most people who wear an In-N-Out burger shirt are porkers, not players!!! Does that make it a triple entendre? We won't speculate, but why not throw one in the grab bag? Then when the weight-challenged grab-baggers start in on how much they love In-N-Out, try not to blow your drink out your nose!

Speaking of Hulk Hogan..

Through the miracle of the internet, it is now possible to buy Hulk Hogan's one and only CD o'songs, featuring "I want to be a Hulkamaniac", just by going to Amazon or Ebay. Guaranteed to drive anyone insane. No gift says "you suck" more than this.


Check out the Unknown Editor's amazing archives when you are looking for a way to screw off for two hours or more!

Author: Unknown Editor