It's crunch time, nerds. We have one week left to pick out an awesome Valentine's Day gift for the person we tricked into going out with us, or just a little something for our lonely, weeping selves. Don't freak out -- that's plenty of time, and I, John "Love Tornado" Cheese, have your back. If you're not a nerd, please ignore this article and leave these awesome gifts for the rest of us. Go buy your partner ... I dunno, like a sports team or something. For everyone else ...
#12. A Chunk of Gallium
Gallium is a metal with a melting point of 85.57 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that at room temperature it is a solid, silvery chunk. But hold it in your hand and that shit melts like a T-1000 terminator in a lava and sparks factory. There's nothing about this gift that fits the traditional theme of hearts and love -- maybe if you melt it and let it solidify in a heart-shaped mold -- but it does say, "I know you. And I know that nothing would bring you as much joy as the feeling of power you'd get from pretending to crush a chunk of metal into a molten puddle in front of your friends."
Or I suppose if you're the sentimental type you could do the heart-shape thing and put the metal in their hand. Then when it starts to melt, just look at them victoriously and yell, "METAPHOR!" The great thing about gallium is that it's cheap. You can get 20 grams for $16 at Amazon.
#11. 8-Bit Necktie
Normally, a necktie is a gift that says "I hate you" or "You're my dad." Or "I hate you, Dad." But an 8-bit tie? Holy shit, that's a whole different message. I don't think there are many better ways to tell someone "You chose the right person, baby" than a clip-on tie that looks like it came straight out of an old-school Nintendo game. Or Minecraft.
And don't for one second think that this is a guy-only gift. Imagine your nerd gal in a white dress shirt and that tie ... and nothing else. The stereo playing the midi soundtrack from Super Mario Bros. as you pull out your love mushroom. Then she just stomps the living shit out of it, making "bwOOOP" sounds with her mouth. For $20 at ThinkGeek.com, I consider that a sound investment.
#10. Darth Vader Headphones
I'd consider this a good gift for couples who either don't live together or have lived together for a really long time and need some occasional isolation. There's nothing wrong with that -- it means you're in a normal human relationship and you both understand how mortals work.
My only regret with this product is that it doesn't change everything you hear into Darth Vader's voice. If that were the case, these things would be worth more than my car instead of the humble $26 deal they're offering on Amazon. And you can't tell me that you could put those on without pretending you're aboard the Death Star and you bought them from the gift shop in the lobby.
#9. Stuffed Animal Computer Monitor Wipes
Some people prefer to go the traditional route on Valentine's Day, and a good old-fashioned stuffed animal never goes wrong. That doesn't mean they can't serve a practical, nerdy purpose. These cute little bastards have a chamois belly, and they're lemon scented. You put them on the top of your monitor like they're peeking over the back, and when you sneeze on your screen or coat it in chili dog sauce from a violent frenzy of angry eating, you just grab it and wipe off your filth. Obviously, it's best to pretend that you're using a real, live animal -- at least it is for me.
The best part? They're cheap! Vat19.com is offering them for 10 measly bucks. Even if you're poor as fuck, you could get that by selling some blood and still have enough left over for some Mad Dog 20/20.
#8. Binary "I Love You" Print
It's important to note that the frame isn't included, but for $15, you can't really bitch about that. It's an 8-by-10-inch digital print of "I Love You" written in binary code, and the person (Sandra) who runs the Etsy shop does custom work. Does this mean she can make you one in the shape of a penis? I have no idea. You'll have to email her and ask.
#7. Hard Drive Clock
OK, this one is just flat out cool. Rita and Rob have an Etsy shop where they sell some pretty awesome clocks made out of old computer parts. Most of the merchandise is between $40 and $50, which isn't bad, considering that they're all hand made, and you were probably just going to spend that money on cocaine anyway. If your human crotch target is a big ol' computer geek (or clock geek, too, I guess), it's definitely worth checking out. Otherwise, you've made it very clear that you don't truly love that person.