IT’S been said about me, and I’m sure that it’s been said about a lot of men, that we’re impossible to buy for.
That’s the gift-giver’s gripe, and as Christmas approaches – no, honestly, the festive season is already in full swing if you were but prepared to admit it – it’s time to dispel this daft notion once and for all.
I am the easiest person in the world to buy a gift for, if you take the sensible precaution of asking me what I want – it’s just that those who make it their business to prowl the tat shops of the world for cutesy cadeaux, or women as I believe they are known, think that’s cheating.
Women like to think that they know the intended recipient of a gift so well that they can pick out just the thing, and I’ve got news for you – they can’t.
When a woman receives a gift from a woman, she lies through her teeth and says it’s lovely. Men can’t be bothered to pretend – if it’s a duff gift, they are underwhelmed and let it show.
I can only assume that it’s to put an end to that sort of unhappy ending that the people behind a particularly pointless publication that fell out of one of my newspapers decided to go into business.
It’s 32 colour pages, backed with a website, which is packed with recommended presents for the guy in your life.
All I can say is that the guy in your life will be looking for another partner pretty swiftly is some of the pointless presents presented in this collection end up under the tree come Christmas time.
I was immediately taken by what was proudly proclaimed as a new line – it’s a nifty snowball maker, which will help you make perfectly-formed snowballs every time. Yours for £8.99, this glorified potato scoop will let you stack up on ammo and fight it out with a friend the next time it snows, it says here.
The next time it snows, my friend, I will be clearing the pavement and worrying about getting to work, which is what men do. If your age is in double figures and you’re still excited by throwing snowballs, it’s time for some serious counselling, I’m afraid.
But that was just the start of it. Fancy unwrapping Wallace & Gromit extreme drinking straws or paper plane launcher?
These are just stocking fillers, of course – how about a metal detector, a talking loo roll holder or a pocket fishing rod?
I quite like the look of the socks in regimental and school colours, to be honest, but socks are always a bit of a cop out.
But otherwise it’s 32 pages that sum up just how men are regarded in the 21st century – either overgrown children who will be delighted with a water balloon launcher, a borderline alcoholic, a DIY drone who wants nothing more than to be able to organise every screw in the shed, or a bloke obsessive who won’t be offended by unwrapping the collected works of Jeremy Clarkson as the family gathers around the tree.
On page 10 there’s a whole selection of books, one of which is titled 150 Things Every Man Should Know.
I have no idea what the other 149 are, but I sincerely hope that somewhere on the list is the advice that your wife/partner doesn’t understand you, but that won’t stop them buying you a gift that will make you grimace rather than grin.