The ornery survivalist grandfather

Conspiracy theory gift ideas.

What do you buy the man who has everything—stored in his own hand-dug bomb shelter in the backyard?

Grandpa Red still can’t admit he was wrong about Y2K. But you’ve got to concede, things being what they are, it’s always good to be prepared. Floods, wildfires, martial law, zombies—you never know what the future holds. Didn’t plan on the zombies, did you, college boy?

You know he’s had his eye on a sporty new Taser to help keep away the vagrants and jackbooted thugs. Why not splurge and show him how much you care?

Maybe because a Taser and easy access to the egg nog sounds like all the fixings for Christmas Day in the ER. You know sparks are going to fly whenever this family gets together, but nobody needs to get hurt.

Instead, get Red a secret safe that’s disguised as a Dr. Pepper can ($20; Fox Spy Outlet, 8317 Folsom Boulevard; (916) 388-1750). It’s cheaper and a lot “safer.”

Of course, the whole family could pitch in for a new, energy-efficient portable generator (which will run you about $800 at or to power his hole-away-from-home. That way, the next time there’s a state of emergency, or whenever Red just wants to hole up by himself and knock back a few beers (like on Christmas morning), he’ll be belching a lot less CO2 into the atmosphere than his old diesel beast did. Just don’t tell him it’s good for the planet.

But you’d rather save that $800 for your own bomb shelter. Maybe a gift certificate to RC Country, (6011 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 731-5868), an enormous warehouse packed with model trains, planes and other toys for grown men, would at least provide an interesting visual accompaniment to Red’s fifteenth recitation of the same WWII tale. Plus, building said model planes might take his mind off the conspiracy theories for once. Stuff his stocking with fancy freeze-dried survival meals ($4 to $10; REI, 1790 Expo Parkway; (916) 924-8900). No heat required, just add water, stir and voila: Mexican omelette, three-cheese lasagna and Bananas Foster while he waits out the end of the world. Throw in a half rack of PBR (various locations) and you’ll stay off his enemy list for another year.