Why you should care
Because absurdity is the spice of life.
Part of OZY’s 2016 holiday gift guide, in which our staffers and contributors clue you in on what they want to give and what they want to get.
M.D. Reynolds is a filmmaker and writer from Washington, DC. He spends his time gobbling vegan baked goods, making really esoteric “art films” he tries to persuade people to watch and supporting Arsenal FC. He lives in Los Angeles.
Give: The Suitsy
Let’s be honest: This is a ridiculous and slightly idiotic item. But that’s also what makes it amazing. It’s a business suit onesie because, well, onesies are a thing right now. Perfect for the George Costanza in your life (the kind of person who wishes he could wear draped velvet to his financial services job), the Suitsy will also guarantee you a life of celibacy and a reputation for eccentricity people will find initially charming … until they turn on you like you’re Paul Reubens. But for a mere $378 — or $36 a month — oh, what a ride!
Give: An Unstable, Underpowered Way to Commute
I want to gift this three-wheeled, street-legal death machine to the first newly minted 16-year-old driver I can find. Nothing says “sexy” like pulling up to “the big game” or prom or every day of your life in a battered, adult-size version of the Power Wheels toys you drove as a 5-year-old. I used to own a Truckster so can attest from personal experience that the only thing more dangerous than a Cushman on America’s highways is a man with a grenade in a Cushman on America’s highways. They’re unstable and underpowered, and they fill your brain with visions of an unspeakably horrible death at 7 mph. All yours for roughly a grand to $5K, depending on age and condition.
Give: Snowden for the Home Office
Assuming Barack Obama doesn’t pardon him on the way out the White House door, or that Trump doesn’t negotiate a nefarious, Reganesque “Tehran hostages” deal with Putin, this might be the closest Edward Snowden gets to American soil. Sure, you’ll have to explain to your friends who the dweebish action figure is supposed to be (he looks like a bespectacled Papa John circa 1985 to me), but that’s OK. After all, if you buy into the G.I. Joe slogan/theme song, “G.I. Joe/a real American hero,” at least this action figure’s true-life likeness, from $99 up, really is one.
Get: Home Sweet Modular Home
It was during one of many memorably terrible jobs that I stared out into the middle distance and contemplated “packing it in” and fleeing to West Virginia to live in the woods. Minimod, the brainchild of Uruguayan and Brazilian architectural firm MAPA, was the key to my plan, offering a highly customizable set of modular housing pieces. With the $30K I didn’t (and don’t) have, I could have theoretically built myself a tiny but aesthetically clean, bright, inviting Minimod home with big windows, warm wood accents and the kind of efficient use of space Japanese capsule hotel owners and yours truly dream of.
Get: Whimsical Victorian-Grunge Cushions
They’d probably work best in a white-walled, 2,000-square-foot open-plan loft … but I’d happily cram several of these whimsical Victorian-grunge cushions into my sad little studio anytime. They’re designed and printed by Scottish design duo Timorous Beasties, winners of two Walpole prizes and featured in the collection of the V&A Museum, London and Cooper-Hewitt in New York. “The initial drive that formed our identity was a passionate hatred of many of the ‘twee’ and boring fabrics and wallpapers that flooded the market in the 1980s-’90s when we were getting going,” says Hannah Mitchell, a spokesperson for Timorous Beasties. What they do, she says, “is an irreverent reaction against what is out there.”
These pieces (from $80) are certainly irreverent — a unique fusion of traditional textile patterns (damask, toile de Jouy) with a heavy sprinkling of urban decay, human degradation and encroaching modern technologies. Minimalist they’re not, but they make one hell of a statement piece.
Get: Beaucoup Baklava
These delicious little guys are crisp, flaky, sweet. The experience of taking a number and ordering them in person at the shop in Istanbul (sort of the Turkish capital’s version of Manhattan’s Katz’s Deli) certainly adds to the enjoyment, but if you can’t make it down to Karaköy, the website will ship anywhere in the world. I’m contemplating gifting myself a sampler box so I can stuff my face to the point of sickness while lighting a road flare and watching Besiktas vs. Galatasaray.