Do you have a a Negro friend and are you having trouble finding just the right gift to get him dancing and singing on Christmas Day?
Well, the New York Times has come up with one of the great ideas of the 1950s: a holiday gift guide for the colored folk.
You’ve probably struggled with what to give your doorman, or valet, or housemaid as an appropriate present. You want something not too expensive but something they can really use. This colored folk gift guide takes the worry out of your holiday shopping for servants and others who are complexion-challenged.
Don’t let the fact that this is the year 2009 fool you. The Times is just a little late, that’s all. A good idea is a good idea no matter what decade — or century — it is conceived. And when you think about it, the idea of giving our many-hued minorities their very own catalog of special gifts chosen with them in mind is probably long past due. After all, it’s been a few years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, and many lunch counters actually don’t mind serving non-whites.
Thank God we have the New York Times to help us measure racial progress in this country.
What is interesting about the guide is that it features gift ideas for many different shades of off-white. Not only Negroes will benefit from this ultra-modern idea, but the Latins, the Wogs, and even our friends from the inscrutable Orient can be inspired by these exotic and race-specific selections. It’s like taking a trip through an international bazaar — or getting in a time machine and traveling back to the good old days when everyone knew their place and Macy’s didn’t feature Kwanza displays.
Just look at some of these tasty gift ideas:
The Mocha Manual to Military Life: A Savvy Guide for Wives, Girlfriends and Female Service Members by Kimberly Seals-Allers and Pamela M. McBride
$14.99 Buy From Amazon
Do you know an Army wife, or someone who is dating a person in the military? Do they need advice on how to manage a long-distance relationship? This handbook may help. The authors cover a range of topics, from how to cope during deployment to mastering military protocol. (Harper Paperbacks, $14.99)
Isn’t our modern society wonderful? Who would have imagined an integrated army just a couple of dozen years ago? I guess if they’re good enough to fight for the good ‘ol USA they’re good enough to get their own gift guide in the New York Times.
Ash Kumar’s Bollywood Henna Kit
$24.56 Buy From Ash Kumar Products
You can emulate your favorite Bollywood star or come up with your own ideas with this henna kit for body and hair. It’s a perfect do-it-yourself gift for those wanting to satisfy a creative itch and is certain to add a glam touch at holiday parties.
How quaint! They really should have employed a spell checker, though. It’s inexcusable that no one at the Times can spell “Hollywood.” Then again, they are New Yorkers.
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
$16.99 Buy From Amazon
Why give your kids yet another video game when you can open their minds? Nikki Grimes’s children’s book about President Obama comes with an educational guide and colorful illustrations. (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, $16.99)
Personally, I would prefer the video game. Here’s Barack catching a football. Here’s Barack with kids all around him, dispensing wisdom. Here’s Barack, the sun framing his head giving off a distinct halo effect as he speaks to the masses, hypnotizing them with the brilliance of his rhetoric. It’s enough to turn a kid into a full-blown Obamabot — which, I suppose, is the point.
But somehow, although I think that the gift guide is a great idea, it seems a little thin. There are few things missing that I would like to see included. For instance:
Barack Obama Official Birth Certificate
Hot off the presses from the state of Hawaii, this is a gift sure to entrance your friends. The officially embossed seal of both the state of Hawaii and the Republic of Kenya grace the expensive parchment. Suitable for framing or using in court. (State of Hawaii, $15.00)
A gift that keeps on giving. The beauty of this is that we can observe the spectacle of the ultimate flip-flop in politics; Obamanauts will deny it’s authenticity while birthers will celebrate their victory.
Ground White Rhinoceros Horn
Is your man having “problems” in the bedroom? This ancient Oriental Viagra will fix him up in a jiffy. Perfect gift for the Oriental gentleman of wealth and leisure. (Note: Supplies are extremely limited. Product offered for a limited time.)
($35,000.00 a half ounce. Jimmy Chang’s Tea Palace and Sex Emporium)
I doubt whether Tiger testicles are any better. Not “Tiger’s testicles,” dope. I imagine he might be reluctant to part with them any time soon considering how much fun he’s having with them attached.
A Handy Guide to Driving While Black by Jaybey Sommers
Everything you need to know if you’re a black male and plan on getting behind the wheel. This comprehensive volume tells you places to avoid (suburbs, rich neighborhoods), how to give the cops a hard time without provoking them, how to goof on white people while scaring the crap out of them, and other fun and vital facts that will make your driving experience less stressful and more enjoyable. (Che Press, $8.99.)