With our book on shelves, and your closet full of gifts you'll never actually use, we are running down the Top Christmas Gifts of 2010 and explaining whether they're worth keeping. Seeing the success of Apple's Mac vs. PC straw man gambit, we decided to find the gift recommendation equivalent of John Hodgman's doofus PC. Somehow, the third Google result for "The Top 10 Christmas Gifts of 2010" was from a website called ILoveIndia.com, the "Indian guide on culture, facts, lifestyle, cars, bikes, art & entertainment." To be fair, we won't be touching on their top three -- "Gift Basket," "Scrap Book" and "A Personal Surprise" -- since A) you already know why those gifts suck, and B) they can't be returned for anything. To be unfair to them, we'll be making fun of their poorly translated English pretty relentlessly. Though, to ask us not to make fun of that would be unfair. So it all evens out, really.
Diversity doesn't mean we shouldn't mock each other.
#6. "DVD Specials"
Let's assume that you got a DVD box set of a show or movie that you actually like, as opposed to the show that your mom mistook for the one you like because "I knew it took place in outer space, and I figured this must be the one because how many shows could afford to do that?"
So you've now got the complete set with hours and hours of extra material. Great, now what? You have to set aside some time to sit in front of your TV and watch a show that you've already seen, or the deleted scenes that -- surprise! -- were deleted for a reason. And don't forget the commentary track in which the director kisses the ass of whichever actor is currently in the room with him. Getting a DVD box set is like receiving a homework assignment that you're not going to get credit for.
All your favorite Bond movies! Right alongside all your least favorite Bond movies.
What Can I Get For This Piece of Shit?
Imagine if DVD box sets contained new, never before seen episodes of the show that were just as good, or better than the best episodes that ever aired on TV. Imagine if, for a year, every time The Simpsons had an episode that was really great, they decided not to air it on TV, and instead saved it for the DVD box set. That would be the best gift ever, right? Well, that's what we actually did. We went through and selected 20 of the best articles we've ever written on the site in case you missed them. (Though even if you didn't, they're now accompanied by illustrations from Nedroid, Winston Rowntree and Dr. McNinja, to name just a few.) Then we pulled 18 of the best articles that were turned in over the course of the year from our online rotation, and put them in the book so you'd have something new to read.
We had the writers assassinated, to protect their precious secrets.
Unlike the fat cats in DVD land, we know you're busy, so we don't ask you to set aside a Sunday to read the parts of articles that we cut out. We understand that only a select few of you would care to hear us talk about the process of making the articles you read to distract yourself at work. We made this book because we know what our audience wants: to read us on the crapper.
And all we are asking in return is that you exchange that $170 Family Guy box set that your mom got you instead of the The Simpsons one you asked for, and purchase 22 copies of our book.
It has more than four times the laugh-to-joke ratio of Family Guy.
#5. Digital Camera
According to ILoveIndia, "This Christmas, a digital camera is definitely the weapon of choice!" According to us, bullshit. See, every Christmas gift we have ever given or received has been weighed against two factors: street value, and how well it embodies the holiday spirit as depicted in our favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard.
It's only our third favorite Hanukkah movie.
Cameras once possessed impressive bludgeoning girth, but technology has robbed them of their most useful aspects when it comes to defending a skyscraper from vaguely European terrorists. Some even come with an assistant to stand on the side and hold the flash up for you -- a feature that would have come in handy for temporarily blinding machine gun wielding terrorists -- and then eventually absorb half a magazine worth of their ammo.
Technological progress has rendered modern digital cameras so insubstantial that we wouldn't even recommend strapping all your plastic explosives to one and throwing it down an elevator shaft, lest it just sort of hover there in mid-air.
We prefer to weigh our plastic explosives down with more plastic explosives.
What Can I Get For This Piece of Shit?
Well, we can tell you one gift that passes the Die Hard test.
You Might Be a Zombie is the first time in years that the Cracked brand can be used as a murder weapon. By rolling it into a tight cylinder -- as seen in The Bourne Identity -- the book will make a handy throat jabbing implement.
This could be you! And that could be your lying gardener!
Return a high-end digital camera and you will be able to purchase enough copies of the 320-page book to coat your vital organs 640 pages deep.
How Mythbusters recommends you bulletproof your car.
Also, you'll be able to spend your downtime reading Seanbaby's "5 Fight Moves That Only Work in Movies." It beats the hell out of having a walkie-talkie fest with a depressed cop, and when you eventually fight Karl to the death, you'll know that Seanbaby thinks flying jump kicks are, "really elaborate ways to look like a cheerleader immediately before getting your ass kicked."
You Might Be a Zombie doesn't just beat your new digital camera in the Die Hard gift test -- it rides it down a staircase like a sleigh, makes fun of its shoe size, dresses its corpse up like Santa Claus and writes a taunting message on its chest.
Anyone else really craving eggnog and latka right now?
#4. Nintendo Wii
ILoveIndia.com informs us that the main reason to buy someone this $200 gaming system is that "it's cool to have one!" This won't be the last sentence that makes us suspect that ILoveIndia.com is actually an elaborate satire of American consumerism. Cutting to the chase, the author points out that, "The great thing about Wii is that you can play it within the house in front of the television and with your family, but still enjoy real outdoor fun."
Yes, as in Indian cinema, the chase is a confusing mess.
After spending 15 minutes trying to figure out what that sentence means, we've come to the conclusion that "outdoor fun" is what their online translator came up with for "exercise." Staying active while gaming is at least a legitimate reason to own a Wii, but being too sedentary is a pretty embarrassing reason to receive a gift.
If you are already a fairly social and active person, your Wii gifter's motives are most likely selfish. Thanks to multiplayer party games, the Wii is the gift that keeps on giving back to the gift giver. They are essentially saying, "You know what your house could use? Something to interact with that's not you."
What Can I Get For This Piece of Shit?
Return your Wii and pocket the $200. Head over to Amazon's website and order 26 copies of You Might Be a Zombie. We know what you're thinking, "But Cracked, I only have $200! Surely you meant 2.6 copies!" As crazy as this might seem, the first ever Cracked book can be purchased for $7.95 right now.
You can also buy it in E-book form, to read while scuba diving or driving.
For the price of one Wii, you can purchase enough copies to feed a famine stricken African village with the ultimate food: laughter.
Just be sure to keep one for yourself. Each copy of YMBaZ is chock full of fascinating information that is guaranteed to solve the sorts of problems you are clearly suffering from. If you've been given the Wii by a relative concerned about your sedentary lifestyle, the article "4 Things Your Mom Said Are Good for You (Can Kill You)" will help you explain to them that exercise can be deadly, and that the real problem is the governmental conspiracy to make your ass fatter. And your dinner guests are going to have a difficult time being bored as you explain why painting the Golden Gate Bridge a different color would save thousands of lives.
Or how the LSD you dosed their champagne with will make them better baseball players and scientists.