Farting pillows, aerosol cans filled with New York City subway train odor and George W. Bush toilet paper are just a few gag gifts on the market today.

Sawyer knew what to do with this gag gift/Ryn Gargulinski

Sawyer knew what to do with this gag gift/Ryn Gargulinski

No holiday would be complete without at least one gag gift that really makes us sick to our stomachs. My Christmas was blessed with three – two I received and one I gave, all of which were highly effective in their gag quality.

Please note that gag gifts are not the same as bad gifts. Gag gifts are often given in tandem with the real gifts, just so we don’t think the gift giver is a jerk. Bad gifts usually come from jerks, or at least clueless people with jerky gift ideas.

The best gag gifts in Tucson can be found at an array of thrift stores, especially Savers, which has a mighty selection of strange knickknacks. Some of the geegaws, like a vintage incense burner, are awesome. Others make the perfect joke.

Gag gifts are meant to make us laugh – although that laughter often turns to tears, especially when one of the gag gifts is an evil, rubber clown head (above).

Evil rubber clown head
Recipient: Me
Gift giver: My mom
Gag quality (1-10): 215

Clowns have long been a running theme for gag gifts in our family, ever since Grandma baptized a clown doll in the middle of her living room. I’ve gifted my mom with a clown candle holder, clown figurines grasping balloons and other clown paraphernalia. But she took the cake this year with the evil, rubber clown head. Sawyer took one look at it and knew exactly what to do with it.

What did I do to deserve this one?/Ryn Gargulinski

What did I do to deserve this one?/Ryn Gargulinski

Baby dressed as a giraffe
Recipient: Me
Gift giver: My brother and sister-in-law
Gag quality (1-10): 717

We’re not sure what to say about this gorgeous item. It definitely speaks for itself. It even came with a little handwritten note about how no holiday would be complete without such a thing.

It even came complete with missing eyelashes on one eye and a hole in the center of its porcelain forehead. This is one of those gifts that might just cross the line from disgusting to charming, although I still wonder what I ever did to deserve such a lovely item.


Mr. Alfonso autographed portrait
Recipient: My boyfriend
Gift giver: Yours truly
Gag quality (1-10): 999

Mr. Alfonso

Mr. Alfonso

Mr. Alfonso rates high in the gag quality because of the massive stain on the front of his pants. We don’t want to know. Anyone not familiar with this fine man can check out the kitschy horror flick “Alice, Sweet Alice” (AKA “Communion”) where a disturbed girl runs around in a yellow raincoat supposedly killing people and stabbing her mother in the leg on a stairwell.

Mr. Alfonso, the neighbor who holes up in his apartment with his 823 cats eating their food, is one of the untimely victims. No one cries when he dies. My boyfriend hung this fine portrait, “autographed” by Mr. Alfonso, in his bathroom. My boyfriend also vomited soon after hanging it, although we don’t think the two incidents are related.

[tnipoll] wb-logolil

What do you think?

Do gag gifts make you laugh or make you mad?

Does anyone actually think farting pillows are funny?

What’s the best gag gift you’ve ever gotten or received?