Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The SHOOTING GALLERY Gift Guide for 2005
Once, in a fit of post-modern ironism, I designed a Christmas card that was in such stunning bad taste — which I failed to notice — that people actually returned them. Rather than describe this travesty, which featured a quote by — eeech — Kurt Vonnegut, I'll continue trying to do better this season.
To wit, I present the official SHOOTING GALLERY GIFT GUIDE, featuring gifts, useful and not so, that anyone in your family, if your family is even slightly like mine, would froth at the mouth to find under the tree Christmas morning.
"Froth at the mouth..." I like that. Anyway, without further ado: STUFF TO BUY!
1) FIREFLY: THE COMPLETE SERIES — Producer Joss Whedon's magnificent follow-up to Buffy the Vamprie Slayer was quirky, Libertarian, gun-friendly, sexy and far, far too good to remain on network television. Believe me, you will absolutely love this show — and pine for its demise. It'll cost you $29.95 from Amazon. Then, of course, you'll need the widescreen version of Serenity, the recently released theatrical movie wrapping up the characters. It's another $16.98, but worth every penny. Watch the series first!
2) Spyderco YOJIMBO folding knife — This is the Michael Janich/Michael Snody-designed folding version of the Ronin fixed blade knife. Yeah, it looks weird, but it's Wharncliffe-profile balde makes it stunningly efficient in cutting tasks. Buy it quick, because Janich has moved on to Masters of Defense Knives, and it's unlikely to have a long stay in the Spyderco catalog. MSRP is $179.95, but shop around and you can find it for about $110. Alternately, the Ronin — the best neck knife ever made — is being discontinued and blown out at $79.95.
3) The Non-Tactical Tactical Vest from Outback Trading Company — The oilskin Outback Overlander Vest is the ideal garment for CCW carriers who balk at photographer or "tactical" vests as cover-ups. I wear the heck out of mine, and I actually get compliments on it. It's expensive, around $100, and relatively hard to find (it's not in the current Outback catalog), but worth it. It also allows you to have Aussie fantasies, but we won't go there.
4) The SIGTAC Concealed Carry Jacket — The absolute easiest, least obtrusive way to carry a gun when the weather gets chilly, a nicely designed jacket fitted with two generous pistol pockets, right and left, with built-in holsters. Man, I use mine every day! This jacket is the solution to the "I'm running to the 7-11 for milk and I don't want to go upstairs and put on the holster" dilemma. My SIG 225 fits perfect. Not only that, I actually wear the jacket as a jacket. The tobacco color looks suspiciously like the ubiquitous working man's (and pretentious university student's) Carhart jacket, which makes it darn near invisible in the West!
5) The Custom Revolver Book, by Hamilton Bowen — This book cost me a friggin' fortune...forget the $39.95 cover price! You but this book, and you start thinking, HMMMMM, I'd really like a revolver just like...the next thing you know, Hamilton Bowen (or Dave Clements or Jim Stroh) has your credit card number and you're running up a tab that looks like a New York City taxi meter on crack!
6) Cheesy SHOOTING GALLERY Logo Apparrel — Yeah well...at least I refused to do a SG thong, mostly for fear that someone might actually order one!
7) Goddess Kali Lunchbox — I always thought there was something profoundly...disturbing...about putting a manfestation of the Goddess Kali somewhere you carry your peanut butter sandwich. Kali, as you know, kicks ass...there are vintage paintings of Kali (I have one) that are breathtaking in their violence. I guarantee you NOBODY on your gift list is going to get one of these puppies from anyone else!
8) Girls With Guns Action Figures (see photo above) — Gotta love Japanese anime's obsession of little girls with big guns. Since you can get manga at Barnes and Noble these days, I thought the next step would be collecting anime figurines. The one above is Kirika from Noir, which is pretty good as mangas go. I looked far and wide for action figures of my favorites, Rally Vincent and Minnie-May from Gunsmith Cats, but to no avail. The most sought-after anime models are from sculptor Hiroki Katayama, who apparently figured out where the money really was. Probably the only one that's readily available is Kasumi from the Dead or Alive video game. Check out Godzilla, too.
Well, that's a start!