Not with the Independent Innovatory Christmas Gift Catalogue, which lists only things that have been invented in the past six months]
Just run your eye down this list of goodies, and if you don't think it's the brightest, sparkiest, most mouth-watering menu of Christmas ideas on offer anywhere, we'll give you your money back. But remember - let's have your money first]
Gerry Adams Lip-Synch TV Viewer. This little audio gadget contains a full selection of genuine recorded statements by the Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, so that when you see him on the television being voice-overed by an actor, you can point this gizmo at the screen and hear Adams speaking] Of course, the joy of it is that you can also point the gadget at John Major or any other politician on TV and Gerry Adams' voice will come out of his mouth] pounds 79.99.
Well-Behaved Bin Liner. You know how when you put the ordinary bin liner in your bin, the damned thing won't open out properly and won't even go to the bottom of the bin? And the first time you put some rubbish in the new bin liner it just sticks in the top and won't drop? Not with the Independent Well-Behaved Bin Liner] That's because the Well- Behaved Bin Liner already has a small, heavy bit of rubbish in the bottom to weigh it down] As soon as you put it in your bin, pop, down it goes to the bottom of the bin] Only pounds 43 a roll.
An Evening with Roger Levitt. Fancy giving someone an evening of community service with one of the most famous community servants in Britain? Well, for pounds 20 an hour, which is a lot cheaper than he used to be, we can fix it for you] A word of warning: any financial advice apparently offered by Mr Levitt can only be taken at hirer's risk, since the words heard issuing from Mr Levitt are not his own words, but dubbed by actors.
Question Supplier. Ever read those features in newspapers called 'Notes and Inquiries' or 'Odds and Sods', in which readers send in questions such as, 'Why do our noses face downwards?' or 'Who invented the door?' for other readers to answer? And have you sometimes wished that you could think of a question to send in? Well, now you can, with our Question Supplier, which contains 5,000 questions that nobody ever wanted to know the answer to before] (NB: answers not supplied, so no good for pub quizzes, etc.) pounds 10 per 100.
TV Fast Forwarder. This doesn't fast forward videos - it fast forwards live programmes] That's right - if you're stuck in the weather forecast and want to get straight to the news - you can fast forward what is actually being broadcast] If endless hours of Children In Need are stretching ahead of you, now you can zap straight through until you get to the late-night feature film you want. We have no idea how it works, but it does work. As you can imagine, it's fiendishly expensive at pounds 4,099.99, but worth every penny.
Automatic Tie-Tier. It's when you have to tie a tie in a hurry that things start going wrong, isn't it? Well, now all your troubles are over with the automatic tie-tieing device] You just insert your tie into it. You set the controls to the kind of knot you want and press the knob and - hey presto] A perfect tie] Windsor knot, floppy cravat or palais-de-danse bow-tie, all are possible with the magical automatic tie-tier. And here's the added bonus. Late at night, when you're half asleep and your fingers can't manage complicated untieing, just slip your tie into the device, set the controls to reverse - and it will do the untieing for you] Only pounds 199.99]
Paper Unshredder. There are times in life when we are simply swamped in old newspapers. That's why some wise guy installed paper banks all over the country. That's why some other wise guy invented that clever little gadget that turns paper into little bricks that may or may not burn when thrown on the fire. The result? Now you can't find old papers when you need 'em] And that's why we've come up with a nifty little converter that turns almost anything back into the original old papers] 'Thank you, thank you, thank you]' writes E J M of Lancaster. 'Desperate for some papers for drawer lining, I popped some old cardboard boxes and other stuff into your converter, and they changed it all back into a complete pre-war run of the Manchester Guardian] Now my drawers make fascinating reading]'
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