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Usually, this column includes an annual Christmas gift guide based on the more nut-jobby of the real gadgets, gewgaws and experiences at such websites as McPhee.com and Uncommongoods.com.

This year, the Talkmistress has decided to do a little wishful thinking to come up with offbeat gifts that haven't been invented, but should be. Things that might well hit the market in the near future, which of course will leave me depressed over lacking the smarts or the connections to have steered them into existence myself so that I could benefit financially.

No further ado. While the music from this season's Christmas commercials dances in your head ("Can You Feel It?"), I bring you:

The Let's Talk

Needful Things

Christmas Gift Guide

• Social Media RoboCop

This electronic gadget will keep you from posting dumb stuff, especially dumb stuff that might keep you from getting a job down the road (photos of you scantily clad, drunk or high; pictures of getting-drunk-or-high aids, cussword-riddled rants and the like). Settings would range from a gentle "Are you sure you want to post that?" to "Fool, you'll never work/be taken seriously/recover your dignity again if you post that mess!"

• Obnoxious Person Speaking TV Auto Muter

After seeing hubby mute the TV when there's someone he doesn't want to hear -- and hearing about how his friend literally wore out the mute button on his remote doing the same -- I'd love to give them both this gadget. Hook it onto your TV, program in voice samples of your least favorite politician, sports analyst, Hollywood celebrity or broadcast-news reporter, and when that person comes on, the TV automatically mutes. When that person goes off, the sound comes back. No wearing out mute buttons. No forgetting to unmute and missing hearing something you wanted to hear. No turning the channel, forgetting to turn it back and missing part of your show.

• Talking Wardrobe Adviser

Something akin to Alexa, this thing will get a load of you in the outfit you've put on to wear to an important party, gala, conference or interview. Unlike your spouse who doesn't want to rock the boat, the store associate who wants to make a sale or you are in denial, this thing will tell you if you look fat in that suit, need a body shaper under that dress, need to refrain from wearing the red cardigan sweater with the pink dress or are too old to be rocking a skinny tux, with highwater pants, no socks and shiny spiked shoes. But it won't just be a Negative Nelly. The Talking Wardrobe Adviser will also do body-shape and skin-color analyses to let you know what silhouettes flatter your body, which colors are best on you and the best colors to combine.

The Book of Unusual Excuses

This idea is inspired by the man who -- when arrested for driving while intoxicated and found to be in possession of other abuse-ready substances -- told police he got wasted because, to put it delicately, he was disappointed with the New York Jets football team's performance this season. Updated each year, the book will feature excuses that can be used when you're pulled over for speeding; late for work; late (or a no-show) to an important celebration, especially one that involves you; when you don't have your master's thesis ready by the deadline date; haven't paid the bill, etc. The book would be broken down into categories and brimming with excuses that wouldn't be the old "dog ate my homework" fare. We're talking:

"The Dow just fell, and I'd just invested all my money in (whatever company caused the stocks to fall)."

"I haven't had any Kardashian family news for the last several days. The withdrawal symptoms are messing with my equilibrium."

"I was waiting for the president to Tweet something."

"Listen, I had to work to get 'Let It Go' out of my head. Now I've had to put all my energy toward getting the 'Baby Shark Song' outta there, too!"

"The Raiders are lousy, too!"

The excuses may not get you out of trouble, but may get you on the news.

• Jimmy Fallon Stupid Games Cruise

Hey, we've got all these other themed cruises ... various music genres, Zumba, Star Trek. The Jimmy Fallon cruise would include all the crazy competitions that go on during The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon ... Lip-sync battles. Drinko. Egg Russian Roulette. Kid Theater. Virtual Reality Pictionary. Dance challenges. Ancillary activities: Thank-you note writing contests, in keeping with Fallon's Friday-night show feature, and dumb-but-hilarious games stolen from other late-night shows, including Car Karaoke (with a fake, stationary car).

Visions of email dancing in your head:

hwilliams@arkansasonline.com

Style on 11/25/2018

Print Headline: LET'S TALK: Christmas gift guide of items that don't exist, but should

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