In our gift guides, we try to make as many local picks as possible, highlighting area artisans and small businesses. But we're aware of a large demographic of online shoppers, and as you know, there's a plethora of odd gift options floating around the Internet. Here are five picks you probably (and sadly) won't be finding locally.
Dear Princess59 I'm dead
"If something happened to me, who would tell my online friends?" This the premise behind slightlymorbid.com, the Web site where you pay a one-time fee (ranging from $9.95 to $49.95) for a service that helps tell your chat room or gaming pals that you're taking a permanent dirt nap. Basically, you create a list to which you and a third party have secure access, and if the unspeakable happens to you, your Web buddies won't just think you ditched them or disappeared. You can even compose last words that are ready to comfort with the click of a mouse.
Kitty wanna get stoned?
With a motto like "Say High to your cat," and strains like Mousewreck, Chronic Pussy, Chicken Haze and Shredded Couch, we don't need to tell you that the folks at catabis.com have quite the sense of humor. The site offers "The Finest Indicat and Cativa Strains" of catnip, in bud or leaf form, packaged for about $3 to $6 in baggies or plastic medicine vials. You can even personalize your own label with a feline's name for an extra $2. The idea was apparently born when the site's creators, trying to cheer up a kitty sick with cancer, delivered some catnip, weed-style. Why they've not named a strain "Meowy Wowie" yet is beyond me.
Primal cup of tea
Three words: monkey-picked tea. Yup, it's real all right, and you can come by 2 loose-leaf ounces of it for $20 at thinkgeek.com/caffeine/drinks/9f1f. According to the site, the tea comes from a remote mountain village in China, where the inhabitants have trained their pet/worker monkeys to pick it. For those of you already in mid-dial to PETA, hold up they say the monkeys aren't mistreated or harmed in any way. No word on whether any lice come with the tea, or whether those who ingest it have a sudden desire to huck their own feces.
Sweet Jesus (stuff)
Nothin' beats sacrilegious gifting around the holidays. One of the best blasphemous collections around can be found at hipstergifts.com/religious. Leading off: The Holy Toast miracle bread stamper ($5.99) puts an image of the Virgin Mary on your morning toast. Then there's the "Original Jesus Saves" bank ($17.89), Jesus Band-Aids ($4.95) and an assortment of clever Darwin fish logos for your bumper, such as fish 'n chips ($7.89). And for the chosen people: the Say-A-Blessing Jewish talking keychain ($14.95), with proper prayers for different foods, handwashing and more. Be prepared for a scolding or errant lightning bolt from the sky.
Occasionally, you need to receive a gift so stupid you cherish it forever. Enter the Electronic Yodelling Pickle, available for $12.95 at mcphee.com/items/11761.html. The site also offers Hopping, Yodelling Lederhosen ($19.95) operated by a knockwurst remote control you know, for your German friends. It'd be tough to pick either of these over the Cold War Unicorns Play Set ($9.95), which asks, "Can the Communist Unicorn's horn of classless social structure hold up against the Freedom Unicorn's hooves of capitalist opportunity?" You decide.