Give Nasty
Gross presents to nauseate and delight

If you've got kids in the middle grades -- say, age 10 to 12 -- in your sphere of influence, you've doubtless noticed that they're as fascinated by disgusting, repulsive, offensive stuff as is the average GettingIt reader. Whatever that may tell you about your maturity level (and ours), Christmas is the time that you should indulge those adorable little brats in every foul interest they've got, and help them discover new frontiers of grossness to really annoy their parents. Otherwise, those punks are likely to grow up to wear trenchcoats and carry AK-47s to school.

See also...
... by Thomas S. Roche
... in the Scope section
... from November 29, 1999

That's why every child needs the Mega Dome Experiment Pack. "Who knows what bizarre life forms may spring forth from this self-contained experiment chamber!" Basically it's the 21st Century equivalent of the old plastic kitchen bowl on a rainy Saturday when Mom's gone away for the day and you've got the run of the house. In the old days, you'd pour in molasses, flour, cornstarch, an egg or two, food coloring, black pepper, and maybe some Ivory Soap. Then you'd call it "cosmotempromandibular goo" or something and giggle yourselves sick about it. Nowadays, things are a little more high-tech: The Mega Dome comes with everything you need to manufacture mutant slime, atomic putty, lunar crystals, and bouncing comet balls. It's just as disgusting as ever, but it now has parental and societal sanction.

If you want to give a gift that's even more educational but will still make the kid's parents lose their pumpkin pie all over the Christmas tree, the gift of your (and Junior's) dreams is Gus Gutz. "I'm Gus Gutz: Reach into my mouth and pull out my guts one gross handful at a time. You'll find intestines, a pancreas, a spleen, lungs, a liver, a kidney, and a heart. Can you identify them?" Would you want to identify them? I think you'll agree, Gus is the perfect present for all those future medical examiners in your family.

What makes me happiest is that some inventive, entrepreneurial adult had to actually come up with this idea, then sell it to the tight-ass corporate suits at some enormous toy company. "No, really, boss, trust me on this one, kids are going to love it. You ram your hand down his throat and pull out his guts piece by piece..." And how many times did that genius get dragged down the hallway by security guards before some corporate multizillionaire finally said "Hey. You put your hand down his throat and pull out his guts piece by piece. That's a great idea!" I can only dream...

Thomas Roche stores mutant slime in mason jars under his bed.