Tom Ross: The least-popular gifts

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Editor's note: Tom Ross is on vacation. This column originally appeared in the Dec. 19, 2005, Steamboat Today.

I was flipping through the Sunday paper that gets trucked up here from the big city yesterday when something caught my eye.

"Now that's a hideous Christmas gift," I said out loud. Then I caught myself and realized it could be the perfect Christmas gift for the right people.

There, on page 13 of the sports section, was a one-quarter-page ad for a bobblehead doll of John Elway. Never mind that Elway hasn't played football for years, this bobblehead didn't even resemble No. 7. The face on the doll looked more like Bob Barker of "The Price is Right," long before his hair turned gray. Think generic white guy news anchor, and you've got the picture. The little plaque on the doll read "Class of 2004," and for a moment, I couldn't figure out what the significance was. Then I remembered that Elway recently was inducted into the Pro football Hall of Fame - that's right, it was as recently as 16 months ago in Canton.

I'm thinking the poor guys who ran the ad got stuck with about 70,000 Bob Barker bobbleheads and are making a last-ditch effort to unload them at the bargain price of $14.98.

That makes it the perfect gift for my brother-in-law and father-in-law, who reside in Buffalo, N.Y., on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie. That's where the Denver Broncos were forced to play on a 100-yard ice rink Saturday night. Did you see that game?

I'm thinkin' if the Broncos had been aware of the playing conditions in advance, they might have tried to sign Kristi Yamaguchi at wideout.

Yeah, in the spirit of vengeance, I think I'll rush an Elway bobblehead to my in-laws.

I know many of you right now are saying, "That's nice Tom, but my in-laws don't reside in Buffalo. Have you got any last-minute gift ideas that would bring a smile to the face of my relatives?" Yes, I do.

How about an animated Santa doll that calls out a greeting, then spins around and drops trou?

Standing 12 inches tall, and priced at $21.95, "Mooning Santa with Boxers" can be found at www.prankplace.com. Flip his switch, and he pronounces, "Seeing as you've been extra good this year, Santa has an extra special surprise for you. Ho Ho Ho!"

The mechanical figure then spins on its base, bends over and drops his crimson knickers to reveal holiday-patterned boxers.

Mooning Santa is a relatively innocent gag, but prankplace.com also has plenty of Santa Claus figures and elves doing things that would shock children and cause adults to blush. I'll spare you the details.

Know any 40-year-old virgins? I have a last-minute gift idea for them, too. Prankplace calls it "mistletoe-to-go," and it's a guaranteed icebreaker at any holiday party. Mistletoe-to-go is an ingenious device that allows the wearer to stand underneath the mistletoe as he or she circulates throughout a party. The mistletoe and an attention-getting jingle bell are attached to the top of a 12-inch plastic wand. The bottom of the wand is attached to a handy suction cup that allows the purchaser to stick the contraption to his or her forehead.

The folks at prankplace.com sum it up best:

"Imagine being the life of the party as you make your way through the crowd, searching out everyone you ever wanted to honor with a big, sloppy wet smooch! And with the jingle-bell feature, you can be sure they'll hear ya coming!"

Everyone knows that men with suction cups on their foreheads are a big turn-on for women already in the holiday spirit, and at just $7.99, you'll want to order a half-dozen.

I'm hoping Santa brings me an icebreaker, but not in the form of mistletoe attached to a suction cup. All I want for Christmas is one of those fancy new electrically-heated windshield scrapers that promise to melt ice and snow off my windshield in seconds.

I've researched several models ranging from $7.97 to $24.88. They all seem to be about the same product, with a ceramic heater on the business end, attached by a 14-foot cord to a plug-in for your pickup's dashboard electrical plug-in.

Here's hoping all of your Christmas wishes come true.

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