Nothing says “I love you” like …

I’ve been searching for the perfect Father’s Day gift, and for a brief shining moment today I thought I’d found it in KSBeth’s post.


Yes … can you believe it?! A HOT-GLUE GUN FOR CHEESE!

Alas, the reviews were less than stellar …

Well, it was a good idea. Hot cheese on demand? Heck yes! Unfortunately it just doesn’t work well. It heats up about one squeeze worth of cheese and then you have to wait for 2 mins for more heat. This is not fat guy approved. Thanks for crushing my dreams of assembly line nachos. Dream killers.

… so I decided to keep looking.

But like a solicitous sales clerk in the sock department at Macy’s, Amazon wasn’t about to let me leave empty-handed. “Customers also shopped for …” it suggested hopefully.

Before I knew it, I’d gone down the rabbit-hole of Weird and Inappropriate Gifts.

CUSTOMERS also shopped for

My dad is a fantastic cook, but somehow a “Creepy Cage Face Mug” or a package of Augason Farms Funeral Potatoes wouldn’t exactly set the right tone. The reviews were pretty amusing, though:

Sometimes I get a hankerin’ for gramma’s potato casserole, but I get tired of waiting for one of the family or friends to die. Thanks to Augason Farms, I can bring the taste of sorrow and loss, along with awkward hugs from distant relatives I didn’t know I had, to my freezer anytime I want it.

Hmmm. Maybe a practical gift instead — like a fanny pack for his morning strolls? Amazon suggested this men unisex waistpack with adjustable belt. Because nothing says GIFT like a hairy, pinkish neoprene man-paunch.

Belly fanny pack

My dad doesn’t (yet) own a chicken, so he probably wouldn’t have much use for a chicken harness and leash, either.

Chicken harness

But again: the comments!

I’m still working this out. I think my bird is less “hen size” and more “monster bird” size, but this isn’t offered in mutated science experiment size. My girl is a pretty tolerant bird, she let me fuss it onto her, but she was able to scrunch up and get her head out the top. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. It’s still fairly cold for walking so I’ll give an update on what my neighbors think of me in spring.

Sadly the squishy fried egg stress reliever didn’t have any reviews, but this word-salad of a description made up for 100 glowing testimonials:

Egg yolk brother vent egg pinch whole package tricky weird decompression toys. Durable Polyurethane Foam has Memory Foam-like characteristics for a super squishable experience. Great Gift Idea: Perfect to entertain,

Oh yes, my friends … I will entertain you now with my weird decompression toys squishy egg!

Squishy egg

But I will stop my narration for a moment and just let you imagine the look (surprise? delight? you are never welcome in this house again?) on your loved ones’ faces when you give them a build-your-own simple pine casket or set of 10 tiny hands.

Casket on display


Finger hand puppets

Ummm. Two of the hands are Mexican and the remaining 8 are Caucasian. This item isn’t eligible for return, so…I guess I’m stuck with a random assortment?? The photo showed ten matching hand finger puppets. That is not what i got. Boo.

And let us not forget about the pets — they are members of the family too, after all!

Cat Yoda

This is cool, but the strap is way too big for any cat. I think this was made for an infant’s head and they just cut holes in it and marketed it for cats. Otherwise the cat they tested it on must have had a HUGE head, but then again I’ve never been to China so maybe cats look like chupacabras out there.

Okay … I must interject again for just a second. YOUR CAT IS GOING TO KILL YOU FOR THIS.

Cat Yoda kill

Speaking of our furry friends … what could be cuter than a squirrel wearing a horse head? Totally worth $19, even if the top reviewer is right in observing that “squirrels always kill what they love.”

Squirrel horse head

We got one of these for the yard and it is super awesome. We smeared the inside of the snout with peanut butter and filled it with the finest squirrel blend, then set it up and waited. It did not disappoint. The additional preparations we had made for the Squirrel Viewing, which I shall not bore you with here, only enhanced the hilarity of the inevitable squirrel-in-a-horsehead shenanigans. The only downside is that once the squirrels overcame their fear of the giant disembodied floating horsehead, leering down at them like a vision out of what I can only imagine would be a squirrel’s most fevered nightmare, they tore at it like deranged zombies and turned into something resembling the steed of a White Walker. I can tell you that it was a bit unsettling the first time it rotated towards us on its string, in a seemingly innocent fashion, then suddenly revealed its ravaged and skeletal other side. You’ve won this time, squirrels.

I also got maybe too much glee out of the “My first fire” play kit. The front of the package seemed innocent enough … but just look at that photo on the back. Better start saving for Timmy’s bail!

My first fireMy first fire backWait … what was I doing? Oh, yes. Looking for a gift that expresses the love I feel for my father, and the debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay.

Maybe I will just call him and tell him that instead.








  1. omg, i love most of these for a variety of reasons. the fire for kids terrifies me, though. thanks for including my ill-fated hot cheese gun )

    • I can’t imagine many things more terrifying to a kinder teacher than the “My first fire” kit! (Maybe the “Fun with killer bees” would be a close second, or “Allergens of the world.”) But I’m glad you got a kick out of this — and thank you for the “inspiration.” 😀

  2. Trying to imagine getting one of those cat hats on one of my beast’s, the self build pine casket would probably be needed afterwards. Can’t believe My First Fire, scary. 🙂

    • Aren’t those cat hats hilarious? They should come as a bundled set with the coffin, LOL. And I should have clarified that the “My first fire” set is actually a joke box inside which you place the real gift. But don’t tell anyone — because I’m going to give it to my niece for her fourth birthday. Hilarity will ensue, no doubt. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. This was literally the best thing I’ve read so far today! I was cracking up while reading this. I certainly hope you find something for your dad but I gotta say, the horse head squirrel feeder and the first fire kit did some awfully interesting…lol

    • I’m so glad this brought a smile, Marie! I was cracking up too because I couldn’t believe any of these things are real — but as you see, they can all be had for a modest price. Ultimately I didn’t get any of them for my dad, though … the real gift will have to remain a secret in case he stumbles across this post. 😉 Thank you for stopping by, and especially for your kind comment!

      • I can’t say I blame you for not buying any of them. They were I hope your Dad loves whatever you choose. You’re welcome, looking forward to more funny posts in the future. 😉

  4. Ha ha! I can’t believe people tried to sell some of that stuff. Especially the horse-head (it’s so stupid!!!) What did you end up doing for father’s day?

    • I couldn’t believe these products either, Racheal … but sometimes a stupid gift is exactly what you need, right? 🙂 As for my dad’s real gift, well, I’m going to keep that close to the vest for now in case he stumbles across this post. Thank you as always for stopping by!

  5. This is hilarious and deeply disturbing on some level. I have clearly been using Amazon all wrong. Who knew such things even existed? 😩

    • I agree, Mel — after the hilarity wears off, you’re left with a slightly dark and dystopian aftertaste. I’m sure there are some even weirder things out there but for the sake of my own sanity I had to stop clicking on subsequent “other people bought” links. Still … isn’t it comforting to know that you can buy canned unicorn meat or Shakespearean insult bandages? 🙂

  6. I can only say, OMG! I had to come out of self-imposed blog-reading exile to reply to this one Heide. I am almost tempted by the waistpack for my (British) brother in law 🙂

    • Even when you know the answer it’s still a bit surprising, isn’t it? But sadly, yes: If it’s for sale there is probably a market for it.

      PS: I hope you won’t judge me if I admit that horse-head squirrel feeder is growing on me. I’m sure it would violate 270 bylaws at the condo, but the weirdness of it all is kinda irresistible!

    • Those poor kitties, indeed! I often think our pets got the short end of the stick when they accepted domestication, LOL. Lovely to see you here, Patti.

    • Yeah, I’ve gotta agree with you. I was trying to decide which version was the worst, but abandoned the exercise promptly when I realized it only meant staring at them that much longer. DISTURBING.

  7. Don’t sell the casket short. My college roommate and I got ahold of one (don’t ask, but it was unused). 1 coat of black enamel and some metal legs and we had ourselves the most talked-about bar of anyone we knew. Of course if your father is not a college student who drinks too much, he may not see the appeal.

    I have begun to wonder if capitalism has become a game, the object of which is to use as many means possible to trick people into giving you money. Like catch and release fishing.

    • I love these little glimpses into your wild youth, J.P.! I bet the ladies went crazy for that booze-filled casket, eh? But alas, since you’re right that my father is no longer an inebriated undergrad such a gift may not hold as much appeal.

      You have a FANTASTIC theory about capitalism, though. I’m going to keep that image in mind (I am merely a fish, and these things are all lures) next time I am forced to go to a mall. Thank you for that! And thank you as always for stopping by.

  8. Let’s focus on the fire kit. The following small print has me shook;

    Ages 2+
    Patent pending. PATENT PENDING???
    First Aid Tips.
    Cherry Scented Fuel.

    So many kinds of wrong!!!

  9. I’ve been looking for a right-sized gift box all week. Apparently I need look no further. That toddler fire-starter would make an outstanding white-elephant gift as well. You’ve got my wheels spinning now.

    Seriously, how do you come up with these ideas? What a fun post, HB. My son actually has one of those mini-hands. They’re a thing at his high school, with kids finding funny ways to use them (up a sleeve, then offering to shake hands). Of course “45” jokes also ensue.

    Thanks for the Monday-morning laughs. I hope you have a terrific week.

    • I can’t take one bit of credit for these ideas, dear Alys — somehow they find *me,* instead of the other way around. But how funny to learn that those tiny hands actually are a thing at your son’s high school! Life really is stranger than fiction sometimes (especially in the age of “45”). I’m glad to have brought a laugh or two your way, though, and hope your week is off to a wonderful start. xx

      • Those tiny hands appear in photos with the cat, and the end of a sleeve for a fake handshake and probably many other ways I’ve yet to become aware of. I always like clever reviews on Amazon. Some of them can be hilarious.

        I got to volunteer most of today doing some organizing at a non-profit called Lifted Spirits. It was just what my soul needed today.

        I hope your week is equally productive and enjoyable.

        • I had no idea about those tiny hands! Now you have me wondering whether I need a set too, LOL. And as with many a news article, you’re right that the comments are hilarious on Amazon. Sometimes they even eclipse the product itself! It’s kind of a waste of time, but sometimes a little silliness is exactly what the soul needs. YOUR volunteer work sounds like quite a good investment of your time, though. (Isn’t it wonderful how doing something good for others can be so good for us, too?) My day was much more mundane — spent mostly reading edits — but I have high hopes for the week ahead. Big hug to you! xx

  10. Oh wow – the laughter is dark, here! A little concerned about what this reflects in our populace ; p Thanks for a weird, enlightening, and darkly humorous journey!

    • Aw, c’mon … doesn’t EVERYONE want to see a squirrel with a horse’s head? (As it happens, my boss actually *had* one, which she gave me today! I actually squealed when I saw it. Photos are sure to follow.) But all levity aside, I do believe some of these speak loudly about our populace — and not in a good way.

    • I have no idea where people get these notions … but I’m glad they do, if only for the laughs. Glad these brought a smile, Kate! xx

    • “Human ingenuity.” That’s such a positive (and generous) way of describing these objects, Jessica. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

  11. LOLOL, I almost choked on my mid-morning coffee. That’s the craziest gift list ever. I can’t believe people would buy their kid a ‘My First Fire’ kit…’first’ being the most frightening part of it. Why not, ‘Build Your Own Nuke’ kit, for the child who’d like to grow up and take over the world? bahahaha.
    The man fanny packs are so so so disgusting, but I’m so temped to get one for someone I know. LOL, his wife would die laughing.
    Honestly, I wouldn’t mess around with a chick owning the ‘Pink Mean Bitch Camo Gun Knife’ 😮 Good grief, what ever happened to oven mitts, garden tools and romance novels as gifty things for your specail gal?
    I’m sure what ever you choose, your dad will be howling with laughter and love you for it ! Cheers my dear x k

    • I’m glad you only *almost* choked on your coffee … I would have felt terrible if there had been actual choking! Your reaction to the gifts is just like mine, though: Horror and incredulity, followed by “That actually would be perfect for [name of unfortunate recipient].” But I hope you won’t be too disappointed when I confess that my dad’s actual gift was much more mundane. Heartfelt, but mundane. (Because sometimes it’s better to play it safe, lol.) Thank you for stopping by and putting this big smile on my face! xo

  12. Heide, this is SO disturbing on SO many levels that I could hardly finish reading the article and had to stop reading the comments alltogether…. I wish I could ask you that please, please, please none of this really exists but sadly I know the answer. When I think of all the energy and the funds that went into this so wrong stuff….
    And then your last post – it is really incredibly heart-breaking, even ‘only’ to read about it. We see, first hand (second hand?) the results of what adopted children ‘had in them’, many years later, even though they went to adoring and wonderfully patient, caring and loving parents – I cannot stop thinking of the victims of all those wars, upsets, wrong laws, terrible decisions and what angers me nearly most is that many of them quote GOD for their wrongdoing.
    Terribly depressing all of it.
    Peace, love and serenity from France where life isn’t a dance in rose either but at least none of that terrible nonsense is happening.
    PS: Can you tell me what you got your dad? It’s a day after Father’s Day but I cannot return to that article; it gave such creeps that I will probably have nightmares for weeks…. 😉

    • I’m terribly sorry to read that these “gift ideas” traumatized you so terribly, Kiki! Rest assured that although they are real, there is little chance of one accidentally appearing in your home. 🙂

      And since you asked: I got my father a copy of John McCain’s latest book, some English tea, shortbread to dip in it, a bag of pistachios (his favorite), a mug that says “Someone in Minnesota loves you,” and some other small sundries.

      As for today’s post, I echo your heartbreak over the trauma that can linger in children for years — sometimes even for the rest of their lives. And I echo your anger also at how often some god or another is invoked as justification for horrible acts. It’s incomprehensible to me how many “Christians” continue to support these inhumane policies. Maybe they have a different version of the Bible than the one I read as a kid.

      Anyway, thank you as always for stopping by, and for your encouraging words. Keep doing good in the world! And I will keep trying, too.

    • Indeed, Otto. It’s maddening (and heartbreaking) to think of the human effort and natural resources that are wasted in creating so much of this junk.

  13. Hahaha…I’ve been in this situation when searching frantically for birthday presents. It’s so important I remind myself that to spend time with loved ones is more valuable than buying them things they don’t need.

    • Well said! Our time and attention are really the greatest gifts we can give (along with our love, of course). Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • No matter how old I get there will still be a little fool inside me somewhere, Mr. Draco. But yes … the saying is true! 🙂

  14. Hilarious!!! So, so funny! Who knew that such thoughtful and helpful reviews existed on Amazon? I will never get over the picture on the back of the “my first fire” kit! 😆 thanks for the laughs.

    • Whenever I’m a bit blue, I turn to Amazon for laughs. It’s a treasure trove if hilarity — even if some of the most laugh-inducing reviews really throw off my algorithm. 😉 Thank you so much for stopping by!

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