Clear and Present Danger

Relational Advisory for Guys: Giving these gifts can be hazardous.

Men, listen up. You may not know exactly what the little woman really wants for Christmas this year. In fact, we're pretty sure you have no clue. We don't, either. But we know 10 things she doesn't want. Before you buy anything on this list, use the rating system to assess your risk of sleeping a corresponding number of nights on the sofa.

Cheap cologne.

Trust us. She will not melt into your arms when she opens that gallon-sized decanter of "Minerva" you bought for $8.95 including the miniature stuffed basset hound. Even if it could multiply its value by doubling as either insect repellent or charcoal starter, this one stinks.

The Christmas sweater with snowmen and reindeer and ornaments.

When Grandma gives her this, it's cute. Coming from you, it says "Mrs. Claus." , but add more if there's anything attached to this sweater that lights up or plays music.

A floor-length, down-filled, magenta winter coat.

It was on clearance, and it sure looked warm. My wife never had the heart to tell me she hated it. I started to get a clue on below-zero nights when she'd leave it in the closet in favor of a windbreaker.

Moral: Think twice before giving her something she will be seen wearing in public, day after day. Who'd have guessed that some women don't yearn to look like a pink sleeping bag?

Remote-control house lights

she can control from the car. This one was reported on talkaboutcollegefootball.com. Not a horrible present in itself, but the guy wrapped each component in separate tiny boxes. Imagine the wife's gasps of joy by box number 10.

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May 25

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