Holiday Gift Guide: Things That Go Fast, Things That Go BOOM
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because getting out of trouble as fast as you get into it sometimes saves the day.
By Eugene S. Robinson
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.
Editor-at-Large Eugene S. Robinson, once described by OZY cofounder Carlos Watson as our sous-chef, adds flavor, grit, flavorful grit and twisted takes on everything from MMA and the EUGENIOUS video series to the “Sex With Eugene” advice column. When he’s not singing for Oxbow, he’s strangling his friends and calling it Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Give: Making Quick Time Across Town? Drenched in Sweat? You Betcha
The X580 Space Scooter ($149) does your old Razor Scooter one better. It takes the packing righteousness of the Razor and combines it with the ankle-ease pumpability of some of your most loved/least favorite fitness gear by having a self-propelled mode that has you rocking back and forth to generate locomotion. The best part about it, for those who like the unique ride? You don’t see a lot of them on the street. The bad part? It’s actually work. Which is what the gym is for (though you can ride it in fixed mode). However, the sine qua non of the former? That is: having the only one on the block? Makes it the gift to give for anybody who doesn’t weigh more than 200 pounds and who sees themselves as a unique kind of flower. And, realistically speaking, when you get good at this? It is a certain kind of bitchin’.
Give: The Long and Short of It
Which would bring us to BoardUp ($174), so friggin’ new that the ink’s barely dried on their Kickstarter campaign, but the reality of it is, if it is, as they want us to believe, the world’s first folding longboard? We’re in. How in? We’ve got one in the office and are cruising to the store on it. Well, we did before the tech inventor, Bin Lu, sent someone to come fetch it. Is it better than my Seaflex Boomcat? No, but that’s like asking if “really good” is better than “very good.” They’re different and used differently, but like they said in Jurassic Park, once you get it out there, who knows what will happen. BoardUp on a ramp? Could be.
Give: Pygmalion’s Gambit
If you’re prone to a certain type of mania, specifically the one where by analyzing every single aspect of human endeavor you develop a belief that you can control every aspect of human endeavor, then this is for you. What’s “this”? Simply called Skulpt ($99) and described as a performance training system, it adds on to that Fitbit fitness-monitor lunacy by letting you measure your body-fat percentages. After it does that it kicks you back a workout plan for both building muscle and burning fat. Whereas in the old days you had to go to one of those pesky mirrors or a tactless friend to tell if you were fat or not, Skulpt does it for you. When I snarked a little at the rep about complexity, as is my wont, she said, “The muscle scanner accurately measures the quality of 24 muscle groups using Composition Myography. It can then convert the raw data into actionable advice tuned to each person’s unique physiology.” I have no idea what this means, but it’ll impress the person I give it to.
Get: A Bead … on the Competition
Yours is not to question why, yours is just to pony up the dough and get me a Bergara B14 Hunter ($825) rifle. Super accurate, built in Spain out of, like, space-age polymers, the B14 Hunter is a beautiful rifle for thems of us that like rifles. Really beautiful. Though, since I’ve become a pescatarian, it’d be kind of hard to justify giving it to me since no sane person really gets involved in shooting fish, and even if they do, they probably don’t do it from over 100 yards away, there’s still the zombie apocalypse to consider. And it goes boom and, realistically speaking, you can take the boy out of boyhood, but you can’t take boyhood out of the grown-ass man.
Get: Clutch Moves
Whatever floats my boat right? In this instance, it’d be a Centerforce Dual Friction Clutch ($1,715). Because: my 1965 Chevy. With its 502 crate motor combo with a Tremec five-speed transmission and the fact that this car is so fast that there are no seriously legal public venues on which to make use of this speed, naturally I want something that can handle the horsepower. Versus? Versus not handling it and looking back on a freeway full of jettisoned engine parts as I skid to a horrible screeching stop and contemplate how and where it all went wrong. “You really need this,” said Bill Pappas from Mobill Restoration, premier muscle car pimpers. “They make them with nylon and those burn up, the metal ones rattle like a tow truck and getting what you pay for is definitely the deal here.” So if you really want to exhibit speed in style? “Go for it!”
Get: A Hatful of Reign
There are often words to describe people like me. No. Not THOSE words. Words like eccentric. Words played purely on the grounds that I just thought of it, a great idea like this one, first. And what I’m thinking about now? Hats are making a comeback! Not the mystifyingly long-lasting crippling global addiction to baseball caps for people with no intention of ever playing baseball. No. Not these. REAL hats. Like the Homburg ($52.95; I wear an XL, if you must know). If you’re close to giving up on this decade and long for, if not a simpler time, then just a different one, the Homburg is for you. Or me. I mean, this was HOT from the 1890s right up through the 1960s, and it’s just what men wore when men were wearing stuff that said that they were not baseball players. And I’m going to rock one come hell or high water.