For the first time in seven years, this penurious typist will be receiving tax refund instead of having to fork over a check to Uncle Sam. Yes, sometime in the next several weeks or months, the United States Treasury will mail me a check payable in the amount of $4.
Naturally, I will spend this unexpected windfall on a pint of beer.
But for those lucky enough to be getting even bigger chunks of change back from the government, there is a delightful dilemma. What to spend it on? There’s a lot of weird crap out there. We’re here to help you wade through it.
Bayraider is a crucial guide to the vast cyber flea market that is eBay, that teeming mercantile id of America. The site casts a wide net, spotlighting sales you may not have noticed — everything from movie paraphernalia like a Ghostbusters proton pack ($600) and the rubber dress worn by Pamela Anderson in Barb Wire ($2000), to music-geek gold like Johnny Cash’s black coat ($3,000), AC/DC’s ‘70s tour van ($73,500), and Elvis Presley’s numerology book ($15,000).
Let’s say you got a really big refund. And let’s say you got that really big refund because you work a ton of hours, and thus do not have a girlfriend. And let’s say you’re a total perv. In the “Readings” section of the January 2006 issue of Harper’s, we found the reprinted the instruction manual for REALdoll, a silicone, um, companion, which retails for a whopping $6,500. That may sound like a lot of money, but The World’s Finest Love Doll lives up to its name — it’s available in nine body types, 15 faces, five skin colors, and three pubic-hair textures. But caveat emptor: “For times when you wish to use your REALdoll in the ‘face down’ positions, it is highly recommended that you remove her face. This will absolutely save on wear and tear AND eyelashes!” [Shudder.] On second thought, you might just consider splurging for an online dating account instead.
Or maybe you’re not a creepy loner, but do drive people away with the unfortunate timing of your bodily functions. That’s where GasBGon comes in. For a mere $21.95, this innocuous looking seat cushion is “designed and tested to absorb the odor and sound of flatulence.” What will they think of next? Among the testimonials on the site was this Father’s Day card sent by a grateful customer. “Now that you've retired you deserve to relax, sit back and let the big ones rip.”
Or consider dropping a few bills with one of the most original and controversial directors working today, the inimitable Vincent Gallo. He’s recently opened a vast merchandise wing of his Web site, flogging everything from B-movie posters to autographed eight-track tapes (both $200). Unfortunately, you’re too late to purchase a one-of-kind inflatable Charles Manson doll, signed by Gallo himself ($100), or a “Reagan Bush ‘Campaign Trail’ Helmut Lang Parka” modified by Gallo — a staunch Rebublican — with stencils of Ronald Reagan (“legend”) and George W. Bush (“hero”). Before being snatched up, it was retailing for a modest $650.