Dec 102003
Authors: Stacey Schneider

The end of the semester that once seemed light years away has

now become the present. Finals loom in the near future, and this

week the Morgan Library is packed with groups meeting to

frantically put together the final project that they have had all

semester to do. Tensions are running high as everyone scrambles to

save their grades. On top of this pile of stress is an additional

stressor: the holidays. If it is not enough to have to worry about

school, you also have to think of that “perfect” gift for that

“perfect” person. That is why I have taken the time to help with

that holiday shopping. Rest assured that by the end of this column

you will have some of the most unique holiday gift ideas


Of course “unique” is just a polite term used to describe

products that are so useless the creators of these products should

be seriously questioned for their ability to contribute to society.

Without further ado, I bring you bad gift ideas for the 2003

holiday season.

For the sports fanatic who has everything, the Robokaddy

Titanium presents a solution to that annoying hassle of having to

carry a golf bag across the course. Promising to be the “ultimate

in ease and maneuverability on the course,” Robokaddy is the best

automated caddie on the market. Long gone are the days of

Caddyshack-like escapades resulting in hilarious antics involving

Baby Ruths. This non-human golf caddie will not talk back, will not

compete for your attention and will not laugh when your special

someone completely misses the ball. Run by remote control, the

Robokaddy prides itself on not only moving forward, but also moving

backwards; helpful in situations in which Earl starts playing the

course in the wrong direction. Also noteworthy is the ability of

the Robokaddy to reach a top speed of 7 mph, important for a fast

getaway from the beer cart attendant you just poorly tipped. At a

light 50 pounds, the golfer, obviously too lazy to carry the golf

bag around, will have no problem hauling the bag to and fro.

However, you will have to pay a pretty penny to assist the

chronically lazy. At $1,295, this golf bag can be hard on the

budget. However, it is worthwhile in the end when your loved one is

made fun of on the course by all other golfers.

The next holiday gift sure to bring tears of joy to your loved

one’s eye is the Takara Bow-Lingual. All pet owners know the

frustration of trying to decipher one bark from another.

“Fido, do you want the kibbles or the bits?”


This device claims to translate these noises into useful pieces

of information describing one of six emotions: happy, sad,

frustrated, on-guard, assertive or needy. The Bow-Lingual comes in

two separate pieces, a microphone that attaches to the dog’s

collar, and a cell phone-looking device that remains with the

owner. When the dog barks, the noise is processed into one of more

than 200 useful phrases. Let us take a peak at a demonstration:

“Arf, arf.”

Translation: “I can’t believe my owner wasted money on this

worthless piece of plastic.”

Hmm, perhaps dogs are smarter than we give them credit for.

Cat-lovers, who are shaking their heads in disagreement at that

statement, do not fear. The Meow-Lingual is also available so you

can find out whether that grin across Fluffy’s face means she is

plotting her world domination or just amused by the fact you are

playing with a piece of string and a feather. This holiday season

remember that pets and their owners have needs too.

The last gift idea I bring to the table is the Prodikeys. Over

the years, many complementary items have been combined into one

solitary product: peanut butter and jelly, VCR and DVD players, the

three-color triangular highlighter. The Prodikeys is the natural

fourth party to this group, providing two keyboards in one. I know

that, personally, I cannot count the number of times I have been

sitting at my computer, typing out a report, and suddenly I am

struck with a melody. Oftentimes I have thought to myself, “Self,

if only my computer keyboard had a lower compartment that I could

rip off to reveal a piano.” Well, thanks to the makers of

Prodikeys, my dream has come true. The keyboard, or keyboards,

features a computer keyboard on the top and a piano keyboard on the

bottom. The Web site also promises easy, one-hand playability,

helpful and important to the serious musician. For a mere $100, you

could enhance the life of your favorite musician and maybe in a

couple of years you will be the reason behind the Grammy-nominated

song written one-handed, in between reports, on the Prodikeys.


This is just the tip of the iceberg of the exciting products

available for the holidays. Whether your loved one is a sports fan,

pet-lover or aspiring musician, that “perfect” gift exists

somewhere out there. OK, “perfect” is the incorrect word here.

Perhaps “useless” is more fitting. By reading this article I have

either relieved some stress, or added to it. In either case it is

time for you to go and finish that four-page essay you have yet to

start. Happy holidays!

For more information on these products:

RoboKaddy Titanium:






Pictures courtesy:







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