Opinion: Ghost of Christmas presents


Part II of my favorite Hammacher Schlemmer offerings over the past 10 years.

The Best Talking Scale: This device speaks English, Spanish, Greek and Croatian. The good news is that the weight reading is very accurate. The bad news is that it starts with a joke: “One at a time, please,” which apparently is still funny in Croatia.

Instant Pickleball Set: Sets up in the yard in minutes. It combines the skills required for badminton, table tennis and regular tennis. We can all agree that when we want spur-of-the-moment enjoyment, the first thing we think of is combining three sports we are bad at. By the way, the national pickleball champion has been accused of deflating the balls in competitions. In pickleball, this is just not kosher.

Fold-away Adult Bunk Beds:  Great for parents who are preparing their teenagers for life in a penitentiary. HS claims it can be put together and taken apart without tools, which is important since there are no screwdrivers and hammers available in maximum security. The manufacturer says the beds are guaranteed for life, so don’t waste this set on a kid who only aspires to petty larceny.

The Spinning Spaghetti Fork: Tired of driving to Olive Garden and paying $12 for an entrée, only to have to actually twirl the spaghetti on your fork yourself? The spinning fork has “a thumb-activated button that turns the device at 22 rpm…and it fits neatly in your mouth without creating a mess.” The exact same description is on the next page for their electric toothbrush, which is $75 more expensive. So, buy the fork. You’re welcome.

The Buffet Eaters’ Wine Glass Holder: This device allows you to hang your filled wine glass around your neck, leaving your two hands free to stuff tiny quiches and pigs-in-a-blanket in your mouth while talking on a cellphone or checking for text messages. Also, great for horses that enjoy Chablis.

The Selfie Toaster: After you send a photo of yourself to the manufacturer, they mail you a customized heating insert that imbeds your likeness onto the toasted bread. Many women returned the item, claiming they looked old and wrinkled, but that’s because they were using English muffins.

Happy holidays to all!