There's always at least one person on your holiday shopping list you put off as long as possible because he or she is such a pain to find something for.
You know these kinds of people. The insufferable wiseacre who insists he's easy to shop for when he's constantly looking for weird movies no one has heard of (more accurately, ones no one wants to watch), or talks about how he needs to add to his collection of '70s and '80s TV commercials. They're like gift hipsters. It would be too easy to just get them something readily available.
These are the people for whom gift cards were created.
Ah, but it doesn't have to be that way. With a minimum of fuss, you can get something unusual for that precious snowflake in your life without having to leave the house. Here, in no particular order, are five Crave-worthy ideas that don't involve your online shopping history being inexorably linked to movies with titles like "Blood Freak" or "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies."
5. The Airzooka Air Gun, $12.99
Because really, who doesn't need to get hit upside the head with a big ball of air from time to time? All you have to do is pull back the elastic band, let go, and pelt the target of your choice with some air. No pesky darts to feign ignorance about. Sure, it's still not a total stealth weapon--it makes a pretty noticeable sound--but it's cleaner than and safer than your average spud gun.
4. Star Trek LCARS Light Switch Cover, $14.99
A subtle yet elegant gift for the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fan who will always drink "Tea. Earl Grey, hot," despite thinking Earl Grey tastes vaguely of Froot Loops. If your target is married, there's a good chance this will replace the switchplate that is least-often seen by anyone coming over to the house, but it's a great nerd office touch nonetheless.
3. The Pooter, $9.95 and up
There are all kinds of electronic gizmos that will simulate the dulcet tones of everyone's factory-issued wind instrument. But the digitized samples most of them use just don't sound quite right. That's why my vote goes to Jack Vale's low-tech gadget, The Pooter. Words can't do this justice.
2. Lightning Reaction Reloaded, $29.99
I've always said that more games need the possibility of mild electrical shock, and wouldn't you know, here's a game in which you try to beat your friends to avoid a little zap. Push the center button and watch the red light as it pulses. As soon as it turns green, you have to press the button on your handle before everyone else. I can see a minor problem for the red-green colorblind folks, but that just means better odds for his friends.
1. Green Lantern Power Battery and Ring replica, $39.99
Sadly, it's just a scale replica, but it's a heck of a lot better than using a green Ring Pop. Both the battery and ring are removable and have on-off switches, which is good because I'm guessing the batteries in this set aren't rechargeable. Oh, the irony.
These are just a few ideas if you don't want to go for gift cards this year. Another idea, though it's a little closer to the gift card route: if your giftee is a gamer, you can get credits they can use for online purchases such as downloadable game content, or even games and movies themselves.
If all else fails, you can just give them coal. Serves 'em right for being difficult. Got more geeky goods suitable for lovable wiseasses? Sound off in the comments below.