04 Pitt IMG 4739Are you stressed out enough, Bunkie? Would you like some more tension in your life? Time to add a new layer of anxiety to your weary load. What are the perfect Christmas presents to magically cancel your loved ones’ 2020 stress? As a service to both my readers, here are some gift ideas that will turn 2020 into purple haze of happiness morphing this year into a triumph of comfort and joy.

Being a person of the oblivious male persuasion, I frequently encounter troubles finding the perfect gift for my wife, Lani. Other clueless husbands may have similar Christmas issues. Husbands, I feel your pain. I know you would rather watch a basketball game than go shopping, but that is not to be. You must buy the perfect gift. No pressure. Find something for her that will erase all of your shortcomings of the past year.

The first place to start looking for gift ideas is on the inside back cover of old Superman and Donald Duck comic books. There are more gift ideas there than a 19th Century Mormon would need for all his wives. I began collecting comic books back in the 1950s when they were only a dime. I had zillions of them. I ordered treasures from the back of the book: ant farms, toy soldiers and an Invisible Space Helmet. Really good stuff. A bit of background information about those ads to get us started. The Father of Comic Books ads was a dude named Harold von Braunhut. Harold was an inventor and better salesman than even Don Draper of “Madmen.” According to Mr. Google, Harold came up with 195 patents including the amazing Sea Monkeys, Invisible Goldfish, and X-Ray Specs which allegedly allowed adolescent boys to see under the clothing of ladies of the female race. (Author’s note: the X-Ray Specs did not work).

Enough history, you say: “What hath Harold wrought?” The ads on the back of the comic books were a wonderland of great gags, hilarious and disgusting products and phony teeth. Consider what you can buy from the inside cover: a 7-foot-long Polaris nuclear submarine which fires rockets and torpedoes for only $6.98. Learn to be a ventriloquist for only a quarter. See Behind Glasses with secret mirrors that let you see what was happening behind your back. Onion Gum that “looks like real gum but tastes like ONIONS!” (emphasis in original). A Joy Buzzer you wear like a ring “when you shake hands, it almost raises the victim off his feet with a shocking sensation.” (I had one of those) Trick black soap that “looks ordinary but the victim washes his face and gets blacker and blacker” for only 25 cents. A Secret Spy scope with “a wide field magnifier concealed in a pen sized pocket scope that lets you peek to your heart’s content. So handy for sporting events, counter-spying, and Girl Watching.” Only $2.98.

But wait! There are more items for your consideration: police handcuffs for $4.98. Fake bullet hole decals that are “strikingly effective on cars or windows. Looks like you’ve been shot at.” 49 cents. Fake vomit, providing loads of laughs. A squirrel monkey for only $13.50. A Geiger Counter for $24.95 — “This is no toy! It is a scientific instrument — yet a child can use it to find great wealth!” A tool that can remove ugly blackheads in seconds for only $1.00.

Need a gift for a 97-pound weakling? Give the gift from Charles Atlas who can make you a new man in only 15 minutes a day through his patented Dynamic Tension method. Remember the beach bully who yelled “Hey Skinny… Yer ribs are showing” at Joe the 97-pound weakling? His girlfriend tells him not to let the bully hit him. Unfortunately, the bully clobbers him, telling Joe: “Shut up, you Bag of Bones!” Embarrassed, Joe orders Charles Atlas’ system and works out. On Joe’s return to the beach, he socks the bully saying: “Here’s a love tap from the Bag of Bones.” Girlfriend dutifully impressed, takes Joe’s arm and says “Oh Joe, you are a real He-Man after all.” Two other girls on the beach say “What a man, and he used to be so skinny!” Turn your 97-pound weakling friend into a real He-Man.

Unfortunately, not all ads could be verified as truthful. The World of Hijinks page from Unsupervised Corp accompanying this column may have some fake items. Pet cigarettes featuring a cat smoking might be an exaggeration. A Door Mat Mine that explodes will make your friends fly. Pit Vipers “delivered direct to your favorite victim. What a hoot!” Eye Daggers with “spring loaded carbon steel knives shoot from your eyes.” Uranium Gum Looks like regular gum. But it will make their teeth glow in the dark.” A life-sized model guillotine for $3. A barrel of live monkeys —“Oh boy, that’s right, real monkeys! Don’t ask where we got ‘em. We have to move them fast. They already ate all our exploding sandwiches.” The famous Exploding Sandwich “Sit back and watch the fun. Your victim will go on a diet.”

Everyone on your Christmas list will be more than delighted to receive any of these fine items as a Yuletide treat. Sorry, no refunds. All sales are final. Merry Christmas!

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