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Attention shoppers! Holiday gifts are missing!

Attention holiday shoppers! It’s that time of year. You’re pouring over gift catalogs and swarming the malls. What to buy for whom? The catalogs tell you they’re offering the sure-to-please, the unexpected, gifts for every life style — all the gifts givable. Not so!

What you don’t know is that, taken together, their offerings are incomplete. I have finished a careful examination of the 42 catalogs in today’s mail, offering 3,479 gifts, and have noted the absence of certain “must” items, omissions that could be regarded as glaring. Make whatever excuse, but the fact remains that the following items appear nowhere among all these offerings:

  • A genuine Turkish bathrobe of the finest Turkish velour, machine washable, offers exceptional absorption, luxurious pile. Available with and without a Turk.
  • Heavy duty auto wheel boot of the type favored by SF police. Maybe you should keep this one for yourself. Have fun with a neighbor. Clamp this steel boot on one of his car wheels and slip away. Hide where you can watch the hilarious proceedings.
  • Longing for precious moments of seclusion? The chance to get in touch with yourself? Reflect in the solitude of your shower on a never-rust shower stool that comes with mini umbrella.
  • The talking scale, perfect for anyone with poor eyesight. Or who, for unmentionable reasons, cannot see his feet when he looks down. You’ll enjoy such pleasantries as, “Good morning, wide bottom; I see we’re still lacking even a modicum of will power.”
  • Outdoor television set. Unlike common televisions that tend to lose their pictures outdoors in pouring rain or snow storms, this all-weather TV can be watched outside in unthinkable conditions and comes with a two-mile extension cord for ice fishermen.
  • The diamond authenticity checker. This handheld device instantly verifies the authenticity of a diamond necklace, bracelet or ring, and detects the presence of zircons, rhinestones, and other ersatz sparklers. When the device touches a fake diamond, its handle illuminates, a siren sounds and a noxious odor is emitted. Entertain at dinner parties by placing the gadget’s tip on a guest’s earring!
  • The barking dog deterrent. When a dog barks within 50 feet of the unit, it releases a golf ball-size projectile with bullet-like velocity directly at the barker, knocking its block off. Just kidding. The device uses ultrasonic sound inaudible to humans to emit the first twenty-two seconds of a violin sonata, rendering the pooch temporarily comatose.
  • The talking toilet paper holder plays popular tunes while paper is being pulled. Or you can record voice messages for loved ones and friends such as, “We’re conserving paper. Please use both sides.” No! Make that, “Please remain seated during the performance.”
  • A Swiss Army alarm clock offering the following apps: eliminates odors, repels bed bugs, barks at intruders, can be suspended from the ceiling and lit to serve as a disco ball for bedroom revelry, and will jump off the nightstand and scurry about the bedroom playing “76 Trombones.” Chase it down, shut if off, and you’re wide awake.

Hopefully, marketers will respond to this clarion call, make these “must” gifts available, and bring all of you your full measure of holiday cheer!

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Fred Gehrung is a freelance writer who lives in the Marina. Fred has written features and humor for newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times. E-mail: fred@marinatimes.com