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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Mass Media’s Guide to Gifts You Should Probably Refrain From Giving

Illistration by Gardi Arroyo
Illistration by Gardi Arroyo

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to stand in long lines at the mall, filled with frustration as you push through swarms of crazed shoppers and screaming kids.

This is never a pleasant experience. In the rush to escape the madness of holiday shopping we all make some bad decisions. We loose our sense of good taste and focus strictly on survival.

This “syndrome” often leads to buying gifts we will later regret. Some things look like a good idea when viewed on the rack, but when you see the confused, even horrified, after the recipient unwraps your crappy gift you’ll wish hadn’t ever picked up that copy of “Last Christmas Remix” by Wham!.

So here is a list of the absolute worst gift ideas. Listen closely. Follow my advice and your loved ones will thank you for it.

1. Bumper Nuts/Truck Nutz

Balls for your car come in a variety of brands. They range from simple, cartoon-like, designs, meant to mimic the general shape of the male sperm factory, to the frighteningly realistic. While you have a choice of brands, Truck Nutz and Bumper Nuts are the big boys. They’re like the Boeing and Airbus of the novelty genitalia industry.

These dangling dandies attach to any bumper or trailer hitch, and scream “Look I have testicles!” Who wouldn’t smile if they reached deep down into their stocking and pulled out a pair of bright pink, high quality, plastic testicles?

If the recipient doesn’t watch NASCAR religiously, or think Larry the Cable Guy and the word butt crack are tied for the funniest things in the world, then odds are they won’t be pleased by these little bouncing beauties. Keep your nuts to yourself, trust me on this one.

2. Dancing Santas

There aren’t many things in this world that make me want to submerge my face in a boiling vat of zero transfat cooking oil. The list is pretty basic; Ricky Martin, people who dress their pets like humans, the censored version of “Showgirls” that airs on VH1, you know, the usual stuff.

Right atop that list is a dancing Santa Claus. Not only are these gyrating gift givers irritating as there is inevitably one person who can’t stop pushing the damn button, but it is an unusable gift for almost an entire year.

If you give someone a Santa Claus on Christmas you are totally missing the boat. They can really only use it for one day before putting it away until next year. It’s not like anyone is going to break out the dancing Santa on Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July. Think people!

3. Exercise Equipment/Gym Membership

Perhaps your friend has been complaining about his or her gut all year, and has mentioned that they’d start working out if only they had the time or money to go to the gym. Don’t believe it, that’s just something people say to make themselves feel better.

Resist the urge to buy them that ab roller or six month membership to 24 Hour Fitness. Not only will it go unused, but they’ll resent your hint that they need to put down the Ben & Jerry’s and get off the couch.

Unless you have a friend who is a workout fanatic avoid any exercise related items. Otherwise prepare for a year-long guilt trip.

4.”Jack Frost” on DVD

In 1998, a full six years after “Batman Returns,” Michael Keaton was desperately clinging to his fading film career. The result of Keaton’s desperation was one of the worst holiday movies of all time, “Jack Frost.”

The plot, for those fortunate enough to have never been exposed to this crime against nature, is this: Keaton is a neglectful father who dies on Christmas Eve and comes back as a snowman built by his son to correct all the mistakes he has made in his life.

Not only is the story horrible, but the movie is painfully long for such a lighthearted tale. Keaton, despite being possibly one of earth’s greatest actors, cannot pull off being a snowman. The supporting cast is just as bad at portraying human beings, and the son has a face that makes me want perform reconstructive surgery on it with an aluminum bat.

If that isn’t bad enough, Michael Keaton sings. And yes, he’s just as bad as you’d imagine.

5. Sonicare Toothbrush

Phillips’ Sonicare electric toothbrush is a quality product don’t get me wrong. It is great for getting complete oral health. That being said, giving this gift to someone, especially someone you’re dating, sends the wrong message.

Everyone has at least one person in their life with bad teeth and bad breath. Buying them a Sonicare may seem like the best idea in the world, but just take a moment to realize what you will be suggesting. If you wouldn’t go up to the recipient and tell them, to their face, that every time they open their gaping maw it smells like low tide, then steer clear of all dental health products.

It does however possess the incredible power to keep just about any person from talking to you for months. They’ll be so concerned about their abhorrent breath that they won’t so much as open their mouth around you until St. Patrick’s Day.