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Chestnuts, Literally

Ten can’t-miss gift ideas for the eccentrics on your list.



Isn’t it fun to paint?

There’s a great scene in writer/director/star Jon Favreau’s 2001 comedic romp, Made, where two blundering wannabe wise guys (Favreau and real life buddy Vince Vaughn) take a sweetheart daughter-type to a DIY pottery boutique. The clerk directs a smoking and malingering Ricky Slade (Vaughn) to extinguish his butt and buy a ceramic if he wants to sit at the glazing station. “How ’bout an ashtray,” Slade snaps. “Can I color me that?” Anyway, the cute little girl has a blast customizing her ceramic bowl with a purple frog. And so can you and yours at Color Me Mine (1400 S. Foothill Blvd.), where they’ve got 300 bisque items, 50 colors to choose from, friendly staff and a full-service studio. Another surefire DIY hit with the little ones awaits at Build-a-Bear (Gateway and Fashion Place Mall). As the name implies, your rug rats won’t whine come Christmas morning that they got hosed, because at Build-a-Bear they get to choose their own plush toy, give it a name, give it a back story, make it talk, stuff it, fluff it, stitch it, dress it, love it and take it home.

Are you down with OCD?

So I’ve got this wife, Lydia. And she’s a princess. But she’s also got some obsessive-compulsive tendencies. All doors get locked twice'knob, then deadbolt, then knob, then deadbolt'and re-checked at least once before bed. Twice per slumber, she rouses me to check that the fridge didn’t spontaneously ajar itself. When we adopted a three-legged red heeler, Lydia thought it cruel to latch both clasps on the crate the first time we left the escape-artist pooch home alone. She insisted that we latch only one clasp. The dog broke out, ransacked the house'even hopped onto the counter and flung a cabinet’s worth of Ramen noodles to the floor. Which brings us to Lydia’s cleaning affliction: Only disinfectant wet wipes will do for any household chore. For the Melvin Udall (As Good as it Gets, 1997) on your list and mine, Klein’s Custom Countertops (1030 S. 700 West) introduces the “world’s first antimicrobial countertop.” As defined and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Klein’s claims its Silestone with Microban quartz countertops are “proven to prevent bacteria, mold, mildew and other microbes from reproducing.

That can’t be hygienic.

When no ordinary gift basket will do for that lecherous adolescent male, Dee’s Assorted Nuts (order at offers a tasteless guarantee for why its nuts go down better than any Diamond or Planter. According to nut company founder, Dee Hamilton, “the saga began when an errant nut flew between the ample cleavage of a female friend. Someone ate the nut, and discovered the hallowed journey had mysteriously made it tastier. Now Dee’s Nuts cycles every nut between the breasts of a beautiful woman.” Vote online for your favorite of eight Dee’s Nuts gals'guaranteed to bust your nuts one sack at a time.

Do you feel a draft?

Yeah, kids will get a gas out of Airzooka (check in periodically at, where due to “overwhelming product demand,” it is out of stock). But can you fathom the impish delight to be had around the office with a gizmo that launches a laser-accurate ball of air up to 40 feet? For $15, recipients can revel in the power and wickedness of a stealthy atomic buttercup … or they can tousle the boss’ coif from across the hall.

Take Dick and “Deanie,” please.

For the surprisingly reasonable price of $250, the jet-setter or traveling salesmen on your list will never have to miss another “check local listings” ballgame or hometown newscast. Hook up the Slingbox ( to a home television, and access your boob tube from an Internet-connected PC anywhere in the world. “The simple silver device looks suspiciously like a giant chocolate bar, but the technology inside is truly sweet,” raves the company Website, which also lists a bevy of electronics stores that stock the box. Your on-the-go loved one won’t fret the next time they hit the ground in a heartless blue-state big city, for the soothing baritone of KSL 5’s Dick Nourse and the chipper chirp of Nadine “Deanie” Wimmer will be but a mouse click away.

Venom spewing she-devil

action figure.

Strike a nerve with anyone to the political left of Strom “Segregation in the South is honest, open and aboveboard” Thurmond, by ordering the vomitous $29.99 Ann Coulter doll from (Perish the thought, Ann darling.) Among 14 canned quotes, ripped from Coulter’s searing public orations, the plastic version of the im-mute-able diva poses this tender supposition: “Why not go to war for oil?” Talking Presidents also offers Carter, Reagan, Bushes I and II, Clinton, Rumsfeld and Dennis Miller'all stuffed to the gills with an even split of moronic and articulate ruminations.


“Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na … Just be the ball. Be the ball. Be the ball. You’re not being the ball, Danny.” 'Ty Webb (Caddyshack, 1980). Ever wonder how Chevy Chase mind-manipulated putt after putt into the cup? Cool-gift-for-guys outfitter Hammacher Schlemmer ( may have figured out the secret with its remote-control golf ball ($39.95), which zigs, zags and baffles golfing buddies at the command of a discreet joystick within 100 feet of the pin. Hammacher also offers genuine gopher club covers at $24.95 per varmint, and rather stylish golf-ball-finding glasses ($39.95) guaranteed to save sod-hackers beaucoup time in the rough.