Slobs let dogs and leverage do dirty work
Like hunters aiming at reindeer with credit cards dangling off their antlers, retailers now have us squarely in their holiday sights.
Admittedly, that's stark Darwinian imagery for this Intelligent Design-tinted time of year. But while the holidays stir the best in us spiritually, the rule of the retail jungle has always been as cutthroat as it has been agnostic: It's bill or be billed.
But if you're part of a herd of consumers about to be hung in a corporate exec's trophy room, here's two outdoorsy gift ideas that might be worth your stuffed and mounted sacrifice.
The Wovel: Digital Slobs don't need too many excuses to be shut-ins. And for those in northern latitudes, 15-foot snow drifts ought be the only one they need half the year.
Southern Slobs would be shocked to learn, however, that in sub-zero social orders, white-outs aren't excuses for absenteeism, even if you've got a doctor's note. Even if the note is frozen in six inches of ice. Even if the doctor is frozen in six inches of ice.
So arctic Slob commuters have to dig their cars out just to inevitably swerve it into another snow bank that's maybe 20 yards closer to work.
They could pay $18 per square foot for a heated driveway that uses below-ground hot water to keep asphalt a balmy above-freezing.
But a Slob who's so sick of snow he's willing to rip up his driveway is probably just moments away from snapping and telling the contractor to mail the pieces to his new address in Barbados.
Another option is the Wovel, available at www.wovel.com for $120. It's a large leverage apparatus with a big shovel on one end, a handle on the other, and a single wheel in the middle. In Unicycle Land, they'd use a machine like this to bulldoze condemned buildings.
The site claims you can clear a path three times faster than with a snow shovel, and with no back-breaking aftertaste. Not as good as a ticket to the Caribbean, but to each his own.
Dog Powered Scooter: Sure, the electric-powered $4,000 Segway Human Transporter is on every geek's fantasy wish list, but can it lick your face once the journey is over? Can it run on Alpo and a few pets to the head? Can it be charged to your credit card without a black-ops credit-limit team from Citibank rappelling from the rafters, shooting you with a stun gun and shipping you to Uzbekistan in a wooden crate? The answers are no, no and it's a long story and I don't want to talk about it.
Well, man's best friend can, with the help of a $500 transport at dogpoweredscooter. com. Imagine a motorcycle with a sidecar. Now imagine the sidecar has four legs and fleas. Now imagine the motorcycle is a lazy biped who lords over all of God's creatures for pure amusement.
Since the age of Cleopatra, who traveled on slave power in an opulent curricle (i.e. pimp my stretcher), we've had the urge to cruise around on the backs of those who are beneath us. But then again, the dogs pictured on the site seem to be having a good time.
It doesn't vow to solve the energy crisis, but who knows? With soaring oil prices, every dog may soon have its day trip.
Imagine office conversations like this: "Doris is a half-hour late. Did she call in sick or something?"
"No, her Lab is in the shop getting neutered, so she has to come in on her spare Pomeranian. She could be awhile."
Next week: More gadgets.