The mysteriously wealthy uncle
Already-has-everything gift ideas.
Uncle Joey drives a BMW and wears a Rolex, but doesn’t pass out business cards or brag about his stock options. He plies everyone with Dom Pérignon on Thanksgiving but never tells you what he does for a living. You imagine it involves meeting in the back office of a strip club with guys named Paulie, Silvio and Vito, but then again you’ve really missed The Sopranos since it went off the air.
Uncle Joey is rich and already owns everything he needs, and sometimes you resent having to scrounge up 50 bucks for his gift. But he is family and your mother insists. What you’d really like to give Uncle Joey is a flask of that veritaserum Severus Snape threatened Harry Potter with. Just three drops to make Joey come clean about his moneymaker. But the closest thing available in the Muggle world is the DeFIBulator ($40, www.GadgetUniverse.com), a nifty hand-held lie detector that picks up voice variations with 65 percent accuracy. Just watch the screen to see how long “Demonochio’s” nose gets when you ask Joey if he is satisfied with his 401(k) plan!
Alas, Joey is no stranger to subterfuge, and while this idea has significant entertainment value for you, it likely will not inspire him to put you in his will. So you turn your attention to more realistic gift ideas.
Since Joey has everything, he probably needs another place to put it. Why not get him a modest real-estate investment? The Premium Mars Package includes a property deed, map, Mars Constitution and Bill of Rights, and declaration of ownership for one acre of Mars landscape ($40, www.LunarFederation.com). When the United States government colonizes Mars untold decades from now, Joey will have prime crater-front property—and you to thank for it.
Speaking of colonization and legal documents, Joey is nothing if not a patriot, and he might enjoy his own replica of the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution to hang on his wall ($20, www.CollectibleAmerica.com). You speculate that he’ll particularly appreciate the part about the “right to bear arms.”
Yet you may want to get Joey a gift he can use instead of study; something for those cold winter nights when he’s sitting by the fire smoking a premium Cuban cigar and drinking a glass of 130-year old Hennessy Ellipse brandy—like the “slanket,” a fleece blanket with sleeves ($50, www.SkyMall.com) that permits mobility while keeping its wearer covered and warm.
You hope the slanket will prove its worth when Joey is shivering in the cold reality of foreclosure after the DeFIBulator finally reveals his true identity: an hourly wage personal assistant with a big identity crisis and a lot of credit cards maxed out on Dom Pérignon.