It looks like Brexit really is happening, regardless of how you voted or might feel about it (and judging by the comments we get on Twitter, some of you are pretty happy right now), and despite the epic circus it's taken getting from the referendum to here.
So, the time for bickering and division has come and gone. Now, it's time to pull together and focus on what matters most of all: Christmas presents.
Of course, there is zero chance Brexit will happen before Christmas, but that won't stop the panic-buyers, hoarders and chancers from stripping the shelves of anything vaguely useful before the rest of us have even finished tweeting our opinions on the election result.
Plus we should probably start preparing for next Christmas, because it takes a long time to save up when no one's got a job.
To the gift ideas, then!
Take a look at the haircare shelf at your local chemist and you'll see the problem immediately: L'Oreal. Tresemmé. Pantene. They all sound a bit continental, don't they? So no doubt there'll be epic delays and huge palettes of Head & Shoulders in limbo while some poor sod negotiates new trade agreements. (If you've seen Evolution, you'll know this is also a problem if aliens land).
In the meantime, clean hair will become quite the luxury accessory, making a bottle of Herbal Essences more prized than the last candle in the corner shop. Save it for someone you really like -- or someone you have to be within regular smelling distance of.
2. But no conditioner
Shampoo is good, but don't go crazy and buy matching conditioner on the black market, thinking you're doing your giftee a favour:
You shouldn‘t wash your hair with conditioner after a nuclear disaster: conditioner contains cationic surfactants, which bind to radioactive particles and can trap them in your hair.
— Quite Interesting (@qikipedia) October 19, 2019
Admittedly, nothing's exploded yet, but that's what the grumpy dude at Chernobyl said. Just lose half your hair in the comb like the rest of us.
3. A narwhal tusk
Technically a massive, spiral canine tooth, the humble narwhal tusk proved its worth as an impromptu combat weapon in the London Bridge terrorist attack last month. Keep one to hand and you'll easily be able to fend off marauding bands of looters and zombified remainers.
the London Bridge attacker was armed with two knives strapped to his arms, and this is how members of the public took him down:
✅ 5ft Narwhal tusk
✅ Fire extinguisher
✅ Bravery pic.twitter.com/MUzW6a8pI2
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 30, 2019
They range from around 5 feet to more than 10, and weigh about 22 pounds. Unfortunately, they're also very rare and extremely expensive, with one recent sale coming in at more than £30,000 (and that was before London Bridge made them desirable). Which means if you don't happen to know where to find a dead narwhal, you're probably best off using a fire extinguisher like the other have-a-go hero.
4. A guide to homeopathy
Nice as it would be to surprise your dear old mum with her life-saving insulin on Christmas morning, this is Brexit Britain, and you're going to have to make do.
We suggest getting very into homeopathy, perhaps with a book (for those of you old enough to remember when the education system could afford to teach people to read). This way, you can conjure up just about any medicine* from basically nothing -- at least until the water runs out.
*not actually medicine
5. An insanely bright torch
Who knows when the streetlights will fail, if yours ever worked in the first place? Keep daylight in your backpack with a ridiculously bright high-power torch like this one, and never creep around in the dark with the unknowns. Who knows where Nigel Farage is now?
It goes without saying that you should never, ever look directly at the torch when it's on, because the only thing that'll burn your eyes out faster is looking at a white-based meme when you've been browsing on Dark Mode.
6. As many Nokia 3310s as you can find
Alternatively, hoard them all and let everyone else die of exposure while listening to the nerve-jangling notes of that ringtone.
7. A face cushion
Like this one. Not only will it give the recipient something soft to lay their head on as they shiver under a bridge, it can also be held in front of their face to fool the soon-to-be-ubiquitous CCTV facial recognition systems, which will be installed as soon as we exit to ensure no one browner than a weak cup of tea gets to walk around unaccosted.
We recommend using the face of Jeremy Hunt if you want to make sure no one talks to them.
8. A metal straw
Like this one. Apparently these make everything better. We're not entirely clear on how, but it's worth a shot.
9. A mega power bank
One like this, that can charge your phone loads of times and even run your laptop.
If you've read Station Eleven, you know it's only a matter of time before the power goes off forever, and you've got a lot of kvetching about the situation on Twitter to do before then.
10. A solar charger
Like this one. Admittedly, it will only be useful for quarter of an hour a year until climate change kicks in properly and Britain turns into the Bahamas, but once that happens it'll be well useful.
11. A guide to edible moulds of the British Isles
Or alternatively, anyone who's lived in a rental house in the UK. They'll be able to tell you more about mould than you ever thought possible.
The pre-Brexit national dish might have been chicken tikka, but it looks like we'll be getting back to our roots now -- literally. Roots, tubers, leaves, stones, bits of moss -- if you don't immediately die when you touch it, it's probably fine*.
*not actually, don't be a wazzock. We don't have time to be sued.
12. A dog
If every dystopian videogame we've ever played has taught us anything, it's that a friendly dog by your side is essential for surviving the apocalypse, which is basically where we are now. Even better, dogs can create more dogs, like a sort of fluffy 3D printer, so potentially you could have enough presents for the whole family without even trying.