Christmas is now just five weeks away. You haven't started your present-buying yet. A vague feeling of far-off panic is beginning to bubble in your veins. But don't worry! Help is at hand! Today we bring you the first selection from our Christmas Bazaar Gift Catalogue, a mouth-watering list of brilliant presents from around the world! And they're all exclusive to this column!
So, just cast your eyes over this lot and get your chequebook out...
Real Baby On Board
There's nothing more annoying for other motorists than to slow down for your car and its sign saying "Baby On Board" and then to realise, as they finally sweep past, that you haven't got a baby on board at all. But you can't be expected to take a baby with you on every trip, can you? And now you need never do so again, with our Plastic Passenger Baby! Lifelike and lifesize, it comes in three attitudes: Feet in the Air, Peering out of Side Window, and Doing V-sign out of Back Window. Ideal gift for new parents. (£39.99)
Electronic Stain Analyser
There's a nasty blob on your jersey. But is it jam? Or wine? Or coffee? Or burglar's blood? It's vital to know, so you can give it the right treatment. And now you can identify it beyond peradventure with this ingenious gadget, which gives an instant read-out of the guilty stain. Can distinguish up to 10 different kinds of caviar. (£29.99)
Nostalgia Sound Effects CD
Remember when trimphones first made warbling sounds? Remember when car horns started doing Colonel Bogie? Remember the fast flapping noise that reel-to-reel tape machines made when all the tape had been rewound on to one reel but you'd forgotten to switch off? Ah, yes, the sounds of our youth! All gone! But now brought back again on this exclusive CD of nostalgia noises. Also includes such evocative modern sounds as reversing lorry warning noise, pedestrian crossing noise for blind people and voice saying: "Cashier Number three, please." (£15.99)
Dictionary of National Celebrity
A companion work to the Dictionary of National Biography, this brings you up to speed with all those names you are likely to encounter in conversation that mean nothing to you. Simon Cowell. Will Young. Carol Smillie. Jade. Major Ingrams. Who are these awful people? The recipient never need ask again, not with a copy of the DNC. (Book £23.99; CD-Rom £80. Updated weekly)
You come back to the book you've been reading. You find the place. But you have to go back dozens of pages because you've forgotten just what was happening, and who all the characters are. Happens all the time, doesn't it? Maddening, isn't it? But it'll never happen again with the Recovered Memory Syndrome Audio Bookmark! This is a slimline recorder into which, as you close the book, you dictate a brief résumé of how far the plot has got. Next time round, just play it back and hear your own comforting voice briefing you! Ideal for any literate friend or relation. (£27.99)
Jonny Wilkinson Statue
There aren't many 24-carat heroes left in Britain, but Jonny Wilkinson is one of them. Nor are there many public statues that people respect any more. But with this all-marble sculpture of England's rugby hero, we can relive for a moment the imperial days of world-beating glory. It's 8ft high, hand-crafted in Taiwan and just right for the rich friend who needs a new figure on his south-facing terrace or Knightsbridge landing. The figure shows Jonny in his familiar pre-kick crouch, hands clasped. State whether you wish Clothed or Nude Figure. (Both statues £8,999. Prices may be drastically readjusted if Australia win on Saturday)
More super gift notions tomorrow!