A very geeky holiday gift guide -- 2013 edition
Don't let your geek miss out on this next year!
As you read this, there are thirteen (or fewer!) shopping days until Christmas. For many of us, that means it's time to panic. (You smug bastards who already finished your shopping can just keep it to yourselves. No one wants to hear how organized and on top of things you are.) But panicking doesn't help; it just makes you drink more and understand why suicide rates go up around the holidays, and no one wants that. What you need is a little help -- a push in the right direction for those hard-to-shop for folks on your list. I can't help you with your picky-ass Aunt Edna whose good side you're trying to get on for inheritance reasons, but just as I helped you geek up your holiday last week, I can help you choose a few gifts for your geek friends and family.
We're going to skip the obvious stuff here. That means no Dr. Who DVD box sets or mint-in-box Star Wars figures. If you know your geeks well enough to both know what franchises they love and have a pretty good idea of what toys/games/books/DVDs they already own and are willing to settle for getting them those things, you don't need me. You just need Amazon and a credit card. This guide is for those looking for something a little different, or for those hard-to-buy-for geeks who have everything (or hate everything), or for those of you willing to go the extra mile to put a smile and/or look of WTF? on your loved one's face. Without further ado, let's get to the goodies.
For the Harry Potter fan who just can't accept that it's over
Super-rich writer lady J.K. Rowling swears there will be no more Potter fiction, and while that will probably change (seriously, she can't live forever and her heirs will likely whore that shit out at top speed once she's gone), for now there's no more magic in the world for fans of the Boy Who Lived. To help cushion the blow, set up your Harry Potter fans with this sweet TV remote controlling magical wand! Just like the wizards of Rowling's fantasy world, they can swish their wand and make magic happen, even if that just means starting a new episode of Game of Thrones without leaving the couch. Adding the spoken spell components is optional (and does nothing), but how cool will they look waving that wand around, saying "Accio ESPN!"?
For the geek who already has their zombie apocalypse survival plan nailed down
Zombie fanatics should be easy to shop for, but they never are. It's always, "I already own all the Romero movies" or "I already have a crossbow and 500 MREs" or "Those are calf brains, they can't sate my undead hunger." Well, no more! This year, get them the gift of early zombification, via a zombie caricature or portrait (if they're already zombified, just shoot them in the head and put them out of their misery already). Here in Denver, Stan Yan is the man when it comes to zombifying your loved ones, and his zombicatures are both reasonably priced and, if you hurry, still guaranteed to make it to you in time for the holiday. If his comic style doesn't suit you, Rob Sachetto does some wicked work in a more realistic style. (I've been using a zombie portrait he did of me as my default online photo for years.)
For the brony who loves everything about magical horses
Bronies, those adult, mostly male fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic may seem a strange lot to the outsider, but they're just like any other fandom. They found something they like (in this case, magical cartoon horses) and they aren't afraid to embrace it, despite the derision of their less enlightened friends. If you're tight with one of these brony folk, one who isn't afraid to embrace all aspects of horse magic, there's only one gift that will do: unicorn poop! The original magical horse (okay, Pegasus may predate the unicorn) is a rare beast, and it only poops once a millennium, so this is something you can be pretty sure they don't already have. Probably.
For the geek who gets cold sometimes
Have you noticed it's been cold? Damn cold. So get your pal a Snuggie. No, there's not anything particularly geeky about it (other than the obvious thing of looking like a total goof while wearing it); I just think everyone should have a Snuggie. See how happy that guy looks in his!
For the geek who's incapable of planning ahead
Denver Comic Con is big. Like, huge. And it sells out, without fail. Last year I met more than one sad geek who wanted to go but waited too long to get tickets. Don't let this happen to the geek you know and love! Buy them a ticket (or tickets, so they'll take you along) now, while admission is still cheap, and make sure they don't miss out on a chance to meet Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
For the geek who's forever alone (and/or a total freak)
Look, the stereotype of geeks as sad, hopeless men who will never know the touch of a woman is mostly bullshit. I'm proof of that -- they don't come much geekier than me, and I've been married three times. If I can do it, then obviously geeks can get women -- and men, for the female and nontraditional male geeks out there. That said... some geeks are pretty awkward and/or shy, maybe to the degree that they might not know the touch of a woman/man for years at a time. For those lonely souls, may I suggest the Fleshlight Freaks line? It's not just a sex toy, it's a sex toy for those who think aliens are sexy! Or zombies, or vampires, or whatever weird shit you're into. As a bonus, it's just goofy enough that they can pass it off as a joke if someone discovers it in their room. There are ladycentric versions available, too, but I didn't include the photos of that, because that weird blue thing might pass as "not a simulated vagina" enough that the photo won't get you in trouble at work, but the dong version is, well, very obviously a dong. That'll get you fired, then you won't be able to buy gifts for anyone.
Seriously, though -- Comic Con tickets. Can't go wrong with those. Happy holidays!
Find me on Twitter, where I tweet about geeky stuff and waste an inordinate amount of time: @casciato.
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