From that TP dispenser with the old guy holding his nose to Jesus action figures, there’s a lot of really weird stuff out there and it’s a fine line between stupid and cool.
And, you know what they say, one man's trash is another man's ... cool.
It was a dirty job (we won't even tell you about some of the submissions we received) but someone had to do it.
We came up with 12 of the oddest gift ideas for the holidays—Everything from a jellyfish mood lamp to a fridge for your car and a pole-dancer alarm clock.
But as we said, it's a fine line.
So, you decide: Stupid or cool?
Click through these 12 gift ideas and vote.
1) A Piece of Wood to Knock On: Stupid or Cool?
A Piece of Wood to Knock On
$10.50 on MyKnockonWood.com
How many times have you said something at the office, then caught yourself and said, “Whoop! Knock wood.” only to realize that you are encased in formica and there isn’t a piece of wood to knock on within a five-mile radius.
Enter “Knock on Wood” (www.myknockonwood.com): a piece of wood in a box that you can keep at your desk, in your car—wherever—you know, just in case.
It was created by two young entrepreneurs who knocked wood multiple times a day while building a mobile-phone marketing start-up company in their garage.
“It was a side project to get away from all the tech, and we ended up buying the trademark for the phrase and creating it as a novelty product,” said co-creator Tucker Waterman.
And, as the story goes on the Web site, “Now this source of strength, humor, and security is being made available to those who seek greatness.”
Indeed, they have a sense of humor about their knocking wood: A slew of cliches like “Better safe than sorry!” and “Cover your bases!” frame the product on the Web site.
Not to mention, the actual piece of wood says “Knock on Wood” in 12 languages.
Wow, what a great gift idea!
2) Pet-View Cam: Stupid or Cool?
A Camera for Your Pet
$39.99 on JCPenney.com
Ever wonder what Max the dog is doing at home all day while you're at work?
Or, what Felix the cat is doing when he's out for a night on the town?
Well, now you can find out!
Clip a Pet's-Eye View Cam on his collar and he'll bring you home more than 35 photos of his adventures.
You can set the timer to snap photos at 1-,2- or 15-minute intervals.
Then, when your fuzzy little photographer returns, just take the pet cam off, plug the USB cable into your computer and see what he's been up to!
Admittedly, you'll get a lot of lame pictures of the couch legs when Max is napping, but you know if you stick with it long enough, it's likely to turn up something good.
Perhaps, evidence of Max eating one of your Jimmy Choos. Or which ladies are inviting Felix to a fancy feast.
It's a particularly great gift for pets who like to send their own holiday newsletters, instead of just being tacked on to the end of the family card.
And, for the penny-pinching pet, great news!
The Pet's Eye View Cam, originally $70, is on sale now at JCPenney for $40.
3) Personal Sountrack T-Shirt: Stupid or Cool?
$39.99 at ThinkGeek.com
How much cooler would you feel if you were walking down the street with spy-mission music in the background?
Or, when you're playing basketball, if you could hit a crowd-goes-wild button when you score instead of doing that lame Hhhaaaahhh thing yourself?
Well, cue the royal-entrance music because ...
It's the Personal-Soundtrack T-Shirt.
It started as an April Fool's Joke at ThinkGeek.com. But then, and I'm not trying to skew the voting here, they decided it was so cool, they just had to do it. Their customers demanded it.
It's basically a T-Shirt with a speaker built into it. There are about 20 stock sounds that come with it, including the silent-movie chase theme, scary-movie music and a "wrong-answer" buzzer.
If you prefer to, uh, march to the sound of your own drummer, you can also connect it to your personal-music player and add your own sounds.
This is gonna be great the next time I tell a joke. Who cares if you find it funny (Wha, wha, wha ...)
Cue the laugh track!
4) A Jellyfish Mood Lamp: Stupid or Cool?
Jellyfish Mood Lamp
$34.99 at ThinkGeek.com
Jellyfish can be vicious in the wild, but aren't they just the most peaceful creatures you've ever seen at the aquarium?
Well, now you can have all that peace—without the sting—right on your desk at work with the Jellyfish Mood Lamp from ThinkGeek.com.
And you don't even have to feed them or change the water like you do with real fish!
You can set the color to fit your mood, or time it to change colors every few seconds.
The three jellyfish "swim" around the tank — up, down and sideways — thanks to a little jet of water.
It's remarkably life-like. (Watch the video.)
If your little silicone buddies seem to be a bit sluggish, just pop a few drops of dishwashing liquid in there and that'll get 'em moving around in no time.
Let's just say it's far better than that other jellyfish remedy.
5) A Mini-Fridge for Your Car: Stupid or Cool?
A Mini-Fridge for Your Car
$99.99 on ThinkGeek.com
Few things are worse than coming back to your car, dying of thirst, only to take a nice long sip of warm water or soda.
Just the thought of it makes you go "blech!" to try to get the imaginary taste out of your mouth.
Behold, the Car Mini Fridgefrom ThinkGeek.com.
(You heard angels sing just then, didn't you?)
Yeah, you and a hundred other cold-beverage-loving men. The car fridge, along with the car coffee maker and car wi-fi were cited as some of the hottest car gadgets in a men's poll by LeaseTrader.com.
Of course, most of them look more like electric coolers — not too cool, if you know what I mean.
The 20-liter model we selected actually has some panache, with a sleek silver exterior, large see-through window so you can see what's chillin' and an interior light. There's even a digital LCD temperature display.
You just plug it into the cigarette lighter, set the temperature and go.
The temperature range is 44 to 140-degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use it to heat beverages, too.
Use it to keep your coffee warm on the way to work or to chill your Dr. Pepper on a road trip.
Or, use it just to say, "Hey, did you know I have a fridge in my car?"
6) A How-to-Train-Your Fish Kit: Stupid or Cool?
A How-to-Train Your Fish Kit
$39.99 at ThinkGeek.com
Fish can be fun to watch but let's face it: There's a limit to their fun factor. You can't pet them like a cat. And you can't teach them to roll over like a dog.
Or, can you?
I present to you the R2 Fish Training-School Kit, available at ThinkGeek.com.
You get all the gear to teach your fish how to do the limbo, play soccer, play football, weave, fetch and more!
I know. It sounds ridiculous. Impossible. But watch this video and you'll realize that Oh, yes. It's possible.
Remember that water-skiing squirrel that became an Internet sensation a few years ago?
Yeah, he's got nothing on you and Goldie.
You can dazzle your friends with stupid-pet tricks. Make YouTube videos. Send in video applications to late-night talk shows.
It will up the fun factor of your fish by like 1,000%!
7) The Obama "Yes We Can" Opener: Stupid or Cool?
The Obama "Yes We Can" Opener
$5.99 at Stupid.com
You knew it was only a matter of time before the Obama commemorative plate. The Obama action figure. The Obama bobblehead.
And yes, all those products are already on the market.
But I'll bet you didn't see the Obama "Yes We Can" Opener coming. Brought to you by our friends at Stupid.com, this kitchen necessity is a play on Obama's famous "Yes We Can" rallying cry on the campaign trail.
The Web site brags that this commemorative piece of history is sure to be a collector's item that could net you hundreds of dollars on eBay.
I don't know about that. But, I can guarantee you'll get one return on your money: A cheap laugh the next time you have friends over for a beer. (and, of course, the more times you use it, the funnier it gets.)
"Can we heal this nation?"
"Yes, we can."
"Can we seize our future?"
"Yes, we can."
"Can we have another beer?"
"Yes we can!"
8) A Robot Lawnmower: Stupid or Cool?
A Robot Lawnmower
$1,699 at BJs Wholesale Club
You remember the Roomba, right?
Little, round robot disc thing, zooms around the house and vacuums while you sit on the couch and watch movies you've already seen?
Well, guess what? Now there's a little robot thing that will cut your grass while you sit on the couch and watch movies you've already seen!
It's the Robomower, brought to you by the people at Friendly Robotics.
Just take it to the lawn, press "Go" and off it ... goes!
If you're not home, no worries! Set the timer and it will undock itself and get to work, then return to the docking station to recharge when it's done.
It works much like the Roomba: If it bumps into something, it knows to stop, back up and go around.
It also has a remote — for those hard to reach places. And a rain sensor. So, if it starts raining while your Robomower is cutting the grass, it will stop in its tracks and hibernate like a turtle.
And, no worries about picking up the clippings — the built-in mulch feature re-distributes the clippings into the soil.
It's virtually silent, so it won't disturb you while you recite the lines to the movie you're watching along with the characters.
It charges on the docking station, so no messy gas refills either.
If you heard the whee!whee!whee! slasher music on this one instead of angels singing, rest assured, it has a safety feature. Whenever the unit is tilted, it automatically shuts off.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to my movie.
You stay classy, San Diego.
9) Golf Club With Hidden Urinal: Stupid or Cool?
A Golf Club With Hidden Urinal
$24.95 at UroClub.com
For whatever reason, there aren't many restrooms on the golf course.
And, when you get to a certain age, you really can't wait 18 holes.
Dr. Floyd Seskin, a urologist in the Miami area, said guys used to come in all the time telling him how they would hit their ball in the woods every few holes to, uh, alleviate the situation.
Some hid behind their carts.
Others didn't make it.
Then, one day, he was golfing with a few buddies. They all had his back to them and that's when the lightbulb went on. What if you could make a device discreet enough that you could just turn your back and no one would know?
And with that the UroClub was born.
"The only club in your bag guaranteed to keep you out of the woods!" the company touts on its Web site.
Here's how it works: You unscrew the cap on the dummy club. Then, clip the privacy towel to your waistband or belt.
The UroClub also clips onto the towel so you have both hands free to, uh, ...
Discreetly handle the situation.
Screw the triple-seal leak-proof cap back on, replace the club and then get back in the game!
It's a perfect gift for that golfer in your life.
Honestly, how many ball washers and "How's My Driving?" T-shirts can you buy a guy?
10) Spray-On Hair: Stupid or Cool?
$14.95 on AsSeenonTV.com
Call it spray-on hair and ew, how tacky.
Call it Good Looking Hair and zowee! Hit me baby one more time.
GLH Formula (how scientific) can fill-in see-through spots and even cover bald spots. It contains life-like fibers that look like real hair and instantly add volume.
It comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown and white.
Of course, it is spray on, so it washes out with any shampoo.
But one can will last you about two months — and, no more messy dye jobs! Just phsssssst! Spray it on like hairspray and go.
Or, use it to cover roots between colorings.
You tend to think of hair-replacement products as a man thing, but this is good for the ladies with thinning hair, too.
It's a great gift to subtly hint that maybe that rug isn't working.
Or for the lady whose hair disappears in sunlight.
And it's great for the ego, too.
"Gee, your hair looks terrific. Did you go the salon?"
"Nope. I've just got Good Looking Hair!"
11) Pole-Dancer Alarm Clock: Stupid or Cool?
Pole-Dancer Alarm Clock
$25.99 at Stupid.com
For that person on your list who has trouble ... ahem ... getting up in the morning, great news!
This is a surefire way to get 'em up and ready to go.
It's the Pole-Dancer Alarm Clock, available at Stupid.com and other fine establishments.
When the alarm goes off—boom chicka wow wow!—dance music plays, the disco ball spins and a sexy blond gyrates around her pole.
OK, it's not so much gyrating as spinning like a music-box doll.
That is, if your music-box doll was wearing a red thong bikini and matching stripper shoes!
She's a little classier than the USB pole dancer, if you've ever seen that one, but she doesn't have the, uh, range of motion of her USB counterpart.
Now, of course, it's crucial that you, as they say in show biz, "know your audience."
You probably shouldn't buy it for the guy with the new girlfriend.
Or for someone with a heart condition.
But for that single guy with no prospects — it's perfect!
For added amusement value, wrap it in $1 bills.
He's gonna need 'em!
12) A Portrait of Your DNA: Stupid or Cool?
A Portrait of Your DNA
$169.99 at ThinkGeek.com
You know what makes a really cool gift? Deoxyribonucleic acid.
I know! It's so obvious now. I wish I'd thought of it sooner!
Well, thanks goodness for the people at ThinkGeek.com.
They bring you the ultimate DIY gift: A DNA portrait.
Here's how it works: They send you a kit to swab a few cheek cells. (Totally painless, I swear.) Then, you send your specimen back to the ThinkGeek lab, where they replicate a few strands of your DNA, dye them, embed them in gel and apply an electric field. (I have no idea what that last part means.)
You get to specify the color scheme and everything.
Then, 4-6 weeks later, voila! They mail you an 8" x 10" bolted-glass-framed portrait of yourself.
Hang it on the wall with a little placard like in a gallery: "Title: Jim. Medium: Genetic Material."
Of course, the possibilities for gift giving are endless.
You could give your love the best gift of all: Yourself.
(Just hope she doesn't return it.)
Or, you could give them what could, in certain circumstances, not naming any names, be an even better gift: Themselves!
Look honey, it's you!