Gag gifts make us gag – in a good way

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?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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21 Responses to Gag gifts make us gag – in a good way

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Hope you had a fine Christmas. What a fine array of gag gifts you have here… 😉
    I like gag gifts if they are in fun, although I chickened out on giving my mom a clapper for Christmas. 🙂
    RE: Mr. Alphonso. Holy smokes! I do not doubt the vomiting was related to this ‘gift’. That should keep folks from spending too much time in your beau’s bath.

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax –
      hope you, too, had a fine christmas. the clapper is an awesome gift! i remember talking one of my former bosses into getting one for that pesky lamp in the corner of his office – he absolutely loved it and showed it off to anyone who walked down the hall. i wouldn’t say that’s a gag at all – but then again, i kind of like that baby giraffe thing.
      yes, mr. alfonso is quite an eyesore. but i think it was the chili dog that did my beau in, not the photo – hahahhaha.

  2. Carolyn Classen says:

    Once I gave some specialty toilet paper to some friends as a wedding gift. I don’t think it went over too well, as I’ve never seen them again.  Ha ha

    • Rynski says:

      hahhahahahah! that’s too funny, carolyn. what was the specialty? did it have their names or photos on it?
      i’ve never given or received toilet paper – although even gag gift paper would come in handy when it runs out. haha.

  3. Carolyn Classen says:

    Not sure, I can’t remember, but it had B/W drawings of something comedic on it.  And it wasn’t cheap…haven’t given any since.

    • Rynski says:

      i love it! sawyer will take two of them. (also love how it says: ALL SALES ARE FINAL). – hahahha

    • radmax says:

      Haha! Lefty, how did you ‘stumble’ onto this stuff? 🙂

      • leftfield says:

        Where else but Skymall, of course.  

        I was compelled to give this anonymously to all my relatives last year.  I only wish that I could have been there to see their faces when they opened the package.  I love it because not only is it absurd and useless, it is also the perfect metaphor for overproduction in capitalist societies, consumer culture and bourgeois decadence.  I wish the Poop Freeze people would do some TV and get a celebrity spokesperson.

        BTW – the company sells Poop Freeze- logoed tote bags at a reasonable price.  I mention it in case there is anyone you forgot this Xmas.

      • Rynski says:

        skymall rocks!
        i’ve seen the most utterly worthless yet wholly necessary items in there. can’t think of any offhand, and surely none were as cool as poopfreeze!
        hope your relatives put the poopfreeze to good use, leftfield. and thanks for filling me in – i was waiting for the poopfreeze’s hidden anti-capitalism message! hahaha

      • radmax says:

        Nah, didn’t miss anyone this season. I shudder to think of what these tote’s are use for…those dog-eared volumes of Das Kapital? 😉

  4. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Rynski: Since they’re so easy to get and apparently worthless, I gave my friends Nobel Peace Prizes this Christmas. They were 10 for $1 at the local Dollar General. Hell, it seems like anybody can win one these days. <g> Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

    • Rynski says:

      very good, ferraribubba!
      hope they enjoyed them – hahahaa. also meant to tell you i enjoyed your real life true crime experience you posted on last week’s reading blog, the one about the wife getting the gun for christmas from her husband and using it to shoot him.
      keep the stories comin’!

  5. azmouse says:

    I’m not sure if they were meant to be gag gifts, but the gift slightly funnier than the Chia head thing I got was the King Henry The Eighth coffee cup. When you poor a hot beverage into it, his wives heads’ come off.

    • radmax says:

      Haha! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas az! I must have one of those! Let me know if you know where to find one! 🙂

      • azmouse says:

        I think my Mom ordered it through some BBC catalogue, along with all four seasons of “The Two Fat Ladies”!!!!!!

         Oh how I love those two crazy British cooks!  Getting The Two Fat Ladies was almost as good as the 46 in. flat screen tv my daughter got me for Christmas. She thought my old one was to lame, although I was happy with the 32 in. tv with a tube still in it. lol

    • Rynski says:

      AZMouse, that sounds like an AWESOME coffee cup! i was thinking of your talking trash turlene as i was admiring my own fine gag gifts, too!

  6. azmouse says:

    Yes, I had a great Christmas…my daughter Sara is still here visiting until tomorrow.

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