Whether you just got out of prison, a nasty case of swine flu had you bedridden for weeks, or you just plain don't like your family that much, there are a million reasons many folks wait until the last minute to go Christmas shopping. And really, who wants to truck over to Wal-Mart and risk a trampling tonight? Better you find another way to say "I like you, kind of" -- like stopping at a convenience store on the way home and choosing from a surprisingly wide selection of gifts, both edible and non-edible.
Hair Balls has made a practice run, and while we told the dude behind the bullet-proof glass that we wouldn't name his store, we're sure that just about any convenience store carries these items, which are all under $9.99, by the way -- jackpot!
So without further ado, here are some great last-minute items...
4 Guys 4-pack of undershirts ("A"-style)
If you think your dad, brother, boyfriend or prison bitch can never use another t-shirt, you would be sadly mistaken. These things are easy to lose, and every dude could use an emergency stash. Sure, a PlayStation or iPhone are things he wants, but isn't Christmas about things we need? Like convenience-store t-shirts? Hallelujah.
Pump-Spray Desodorisant (passionfruit), by Car-Freshner
Do parrots lie? We don't think so. And the parrot on the cover of this handy spray bottle is nothing if not in ecstasy over the sweet, though not overpowering, perfume of passionfruit that has permeated his friend's car. They might as well call this stuff WILL GET YOU LAYED TONITE, BY CAR-FRESHNER.
Tampax, 10-pack (with unique LeakGuard skirt)
Sure, there are things we'd rather not think about, and this sort of thing is pretty much at the top of the list. But that doesn't mean this wouldn't be appreciated. Look, anyone with money in their checking account or a decent line of credit can get diamonds from Tiffany's, but this is absolutely the second-best way of telling your girlfriend/wife/mistress, "You are the only woman for me, and I celebrate your menses."
Stelar heavy-duty lock (key included)
You know what happened to the other "L" in "Stelar"? It got stolen, that's what! Obviously, it wasn't properly secured, as with a heavy-duty lock from a convenience store. As evidenced from the no-nonsense packaging, this has industrial, commercial and residential uses. If anything, it can be used to lock up all the real gifts this person might receive.
Hillshire Farms Beef Lit'l Smokies (since 1934)
Sometimes you don't want a big smokie -- you just want a lit'l one. So you shuffle over to your refrigerator and root around past Aunt Betty's rock-hard fruitcake and that ancient eggnogg, and then -- BAM! -- there they are: that delicious bag of bite-sized, chemically-enhanced meat-like nuggets, with more than enough sodium to get you through the night. And where did that bag come from? Why, a thoughtful friend, who felt enough love for you to rush into the gas-station food store and rifle through the freezer for something that would be edible through at least February 1, 2010 -- that's who.
Some quarters for the Pot-O-Gold machine
The three wise dudes may have brought baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh, but did they bring enough of each? What if the J-man wanted some more gold? Well, being that he was hanging out in a manger, he'd have been S.O.L., that's what. But if those magi had brought him a sock full of quarters or maybe just a few singles, he could've ambled over to the convenience store and had a shot at a big ol' Pot-O-Gold. Of course, being Jesus and all, he probably would've had the upper hand on the one-armed bandit, but we're guessing the person you'd be giving your quarters to is slightly less son-of-Yehova-ish. Play on, bro!
Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk, by Borden
There is a lot of sweetened condensed milk out there, but not all of it is the most trusted, especially in America. We found this can of Borden deliciousness next to a can of something billing itself as "Croatia's Most Trusted" sweetened condensed milk, but frankly, that's just not good enough for a very special last-minute Christmas gift. Trust us -- spend the extra seventy-nine cents and get the good stuff. The twinkle in your loved one's eyes (and the temporary spike in her blood sugar) will make it all worthwhile.
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Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers, 4-pack
Alcohol -- for when all else fails. `Nuff said.