Editor's note: This story is part of
three-day series on the e-tailing Internet wars. Let us know how you shop online with the poll below. And have you voted in our e-tailing/retailing faceoff yet? Vote now!
E-commerce. The domain of the procrastinating shopper.
Mainstream retailers such as
are finding homes on the Net, but it's the fringe element of e-tail that makes the Web a wacky, wonderful world.
No matter how eclectic your interests and those of your loved ones are, the Net knows the niche. Here, the last shopping list you'll ever need.
Looking for something for that overzealous co-worker? A parody of those irritating inspirational/motivational
-type posters is just the thing.
A wallhanging from
Despair.com will send a subtle message perfect for Monday mornings. The
Pessimism poster with the caption, "Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who try to find it" will convey your thoughts perfectly without you ever having to say a word. Or opt for the
1999 calendar so that jolly Julie or cheery Charles can "Experience the last year of the Millennium the way nature intended, in mounting apprehension of the coming collapse of modern society."
When being called the birthday boy just isn't enough, give the gift of true entitlement: A non-inheritable title. Lord or viscount perhaps? Sure Article 1, Section 9*, of the
may indicate a strong disapproval of the practice by our founding fathers, but, hey, it's a free country!
Elite Titles guarantees, "These titles are totally legal," and unlike Gap khakis, "they last all your life." You don't have to be landed gentry to give the gift that gets the best tables -- Elite Titles takes
*Clause 8: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
"Two of America's favorite pastimes --
and bass fishing -- join forces" (naturally!) at
USAopoly.com, where you can find a version of the board game tailored for the angler in your life. Every game played on this board is guaranteed to be a lunker!
Game pieces include the fishing hat, the bass fishing boat, the lure, the trolling motor and the tackle box. Other Monopoly editions available: the Alaska's
. Do not pass Farpoint, do not collect 200 bars of gold-pressed latinum.
Designer Doggie Diapers may be just the thing for that four-legged member of the family. This is "the only product of its kind on the market today," and a "great conversation piece" -- and it's easy to see why! The nappie made for small male dogs is available in a variety of designer fabrics. Spot will certainly be the hottest dog in town when he sports these
Superman doggie diapers. Makes any messy mutt look magnificent and the diapers are machine washable!
Why go to
for a run-of-the-mill key chain for that new driver when you can get a
Coroner Toe Tag Key Chain? It's available through
Skeletons in the Closet, the unofficial homepage of the
Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Gift Shop
. Inscribed with "This could be you ... Please don't drink and drive," the tag can be personalized for that added macabre touch! (Funds raised from the gift shop are allocated to the County Coroner's office and the Youthful Drunk Driving Visitation Program.)
Put some magic back in your marriage this year with the
Magic John -- a retrofitable foot-activated toilet-seat lifter. That's right, the easily installable seat lifter -- and seat returner -- will save your back from years of wear and tear and might just circumvent a trip to divorce court!
Wondering what to get for that lucky lady born on New Year's Eve? Don't think what, think Y -- Y2K! Perfect for the survivalist in everyone,
Woodmaster video series. "Cave Cooking" looks to be especially tasty as Karen Hood "shows you how to clean and cook fish, squirrel, marmot, maggot and some select wild edible plants." Imagine, maggots just like mom used to make. For those more accustomed to making reservations than making dinner, check out
eatrations.com, home of "MILSPEC rations, the civilian version of the popular military MRE food ration."
It's as convenient as takeout Chinese food -- except you make your own chopsticks.
And, finally, what do you get for the person who has it all? Something from someone who had it all, and lost it. The
Unclaimed Baggage.com site lets you "get your share of lost treasures from around the world" (otherwise known as goodies found in lost and unclaimed luggage). From wedding dresses to oil paintings, Unclaimed Baggage has it all. Better hurry though,
items are flying out of the overhead compartment at hyperdrive.
Staff Reporter George Mannes contributed to this story.
In the past six months, I have bought merchandise online ...
a. Not at all
b. Between one and three times
c. More than five times
If I'm going to buy a book online, I always shop at ...
b. Barnes & Noble
c. I have no brand loyalty
I use the Internet mainly to ...
a. Comparison shop for the lowest prices
b. Do research and then buy the product in a store
c. Only visit my favorite online stores
Online, I would never buy ...
b. A car
c. Prescription drugs
d. None of the above
e. All of the above