Crapmodo: Last Minute Christmas Gift Express

By Gary Cutlack on at

You've left it too late. There's no time to have something customised, built to order, captured from outside earth's orbit, made to smell like something she likes or engraved with a special message.

It's presents from garage forecourts, pound shops, market stalls and -- worst of all -- Argos, for your loved ones now. Buy them one of these, then leave the room when they open it and hope it's all blown over by February is all you can do now.

Thumbs Up Snap Remote Photo Taker, £14.99

"Hey, I noticed you like taking photos of your own face and putting them on the internet, carefully curating them so they're all of the same side of your face and showing exactly the same expression. Here's something to make doing that slightly more cumbersome, less intuitive, slower, more awkward and dependent on a separate accessory you'll lose half of."

Novelty Stress Balls, £7.59

Selling point number one on this product's list of features is that it comes in a box. That's the best thing about it, as inside the box is a rubber pair of testicles, filled with a mixture of oil and water for the ecstatic new owner to massage endlessly. An ideal conversation starter and relationship ender.

Set of screwdrivers, £9.99

They always have these at the garage or Argos, and the best thing is... they're practical. Useful. Always good to have around. One day, a few years from now, she'll need to unscrew something and it'll be YOUR screwdrivers she'll do it with. She'll smile and realise she was wrong to spend Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the first week of January in a sulk with you.

12 AAA batteries, £1

You can give presents like a king after visiting your local pound shop, bagging stacks of things to bring joy to the people you're stuck with on the big day. They probably won't power anything other than a torch for more than 10 minutes seeing as they're giving away 12 for £1, but it's the thought that counts. You weren't to know the AGFA brand can't be trusted to power a remote control.

Love Hearts Candle Mellow Yellow, £1


Also from the amazing Poundshop, this time from among the squashed boxes down the end of the 'For Her' aisle. A candle, shaped like a heart, with stuff about relationships on it. Romantic and cheap, load up on them for all the important ladies in your life. The only shame is that wrapping up it will nearly double the outlay.

Indicating Cycle Gloves, £30


Proof that the world of cycling has become over-accessorised to the point of comedy, the ICGlove is a pair of gloves with indicators in them. Lift your arm up, the lights come on. Quite clever, but also likely to spend the next seven years in a drawer, before being binned at the next house move.

Twitter diary, £25.99


A physical diary, to write down your tweets in. As if racking your brain for hours to think of something to type and getting zero RTs in return wasn't thankless enough, now you can write them down afterwards, too. The baffling sales pitch suggests this is for people who like Twitter but... don't want to use it.

Microwavable Bagpuss, £11.95


For the love of god, what message are they sending to kids with this? It's a cat so it's fine to put it in the microwave? What if the child, left unattended because mum is in bed drunk on Facebook, tries microwaving other animals? What would happen if, say, it fished out a goldfish and microwaved it?

Ellie Elephant Onesie, £15

Is it still ironic and fashionable to wear clothes around the house that make you look and feel as sexually desirable as a skip the local tramps have been using as their outdoor toilet? I've no idea, I don't talk to anyone. Probably not, though, as people have been banging on about onesies for years, which is presumably why you can get them for as little as £15 now.

Any kind of novelty drone, £31.50


Just because everyone's talking about drones, that doesn't make them any good. Especially not the cheap high street ones, which are likely to see 10 minutes of use on Christmas morning, before annoying everyone in the house to such an extent that it gets mysteriously stamped upon by persons unknown when the proud new owner first leaves it unattended.