Holiday gift shopping often entails walking the tightrope between creativity and desperation and, occasionally, falling off into one or the other. Companies, too, seem to enjoy threading the thin line in hopes of continuing to sustain our interest long enough that we pony up and buy whatever they're peddling this year.
Thanks to the internet, fast shipping and cheap production costs, we all know that the internet offers a Pandora’s box of insane, impractical and downright scary products. But this year, the scourge advances further with a set of particularly over-the-top political-themed gifts.
Of course there's a predictable cornucopia of sassy T-shirts and snarky mugs: “liberal tears,” “this is one yuge cup of high quality covfefe...believe me” and “any functioning adult 2020.”
But this year's gift offerings have taken an extra dark turn into the wild world of cockamamie ideas that do not bode well for the future of unity or even adult behavior in this country.
It's still unclear who, after the initial laughs have faded and the wrapping paper folded up, actually wants these or plans to use them.
But here is a roundup of some of the very worst money can buy this holiday season.
Donald Trump Toilet Scrubber: Use this bright orange toilet scrubber made to look like Donald Trump's head and spiky, stiff hair to clean the darkest reaches of your commode.
Barack Obama Punching Bag: If you're looking for a more physical way to express your political feelings, a blowup punching bag with a life-sized rendering of Barack Obama on it might do the trick.
Ted Cruz poster: If you'd like a way to clutter up your relatives' walls, one Etsy shop will sell you a poster of Ted Cruz's head, superimposed onto a frog statue.
Repeatedly Melting Donald Trump: For the discerning gift giver looking to give loved ones a little bit of stress relief, there is this melting putty Donald Trump figurine. A Mr. Potato Head for grownups, this kit comes with putty you can meld into a head along with tiny hair, eyebrows, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and arms and legs. Simply mash the putty into a face shape, assemble and watch it melt.
Themed Toilet Paper: This is easily the most shockingly large category of political gag gift this season. This year, for some reason, it is possible to wipe yourself with Hillary Clinton's face; Donald Trump's face – in a variety of expressions; Obama's face; Bernie Sanders' face; Joe Biden's face; Nancy Pelosi's face; Hillary and Bill together with the caption “Not again;” a rendition of Elizabeth Warren dressed like Pocahontas; Mitch McConnell's face, photo-shopped onto a much-too-small turtle body; and for some reason, Spiro Agnew.
In fact, if you're ready to despair for the future of human kind, go check out how many different printed toilet paper and toilet-themed options are available for purchase on the internet right now. Etsy alone offers 15,075 options.
Lube: For $9.95, Amazon will sell you a tube of Luberal: “The Original Lube for Sensitive Assholes.”
Candles: On Etsy, you can buy an “Our Lady of Shade” prayer candle with the now-famous photo of Nancy Pelosi condescendingly clapping at Donald Trump during a State of the Union address.
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And, if you think a simple candle can't possibly be an expensive enough gift to give, consider buying THIS $1,795 Kamala Harris candle.
Donald Trump Toaster: The crowing jewel of this brief trip down insanity lane: a $48.95 Donald Trump toaster. No, this toaster is not, as you might at first assume, shaped like the president, but rather, comes with special plates that will char Donald Trump's face onto one side of your morning toast and “You're Fired” onto the other. For an extra $12.99 you can add a jar of “impeachment jam” to the bundle.
There are eight days until Christmas. Somewhere in America, some of these gifts are wrapped under a tree right now.