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Humor for the holidays: A couple of gag gifts for guys

December 1, 2010 |  2:30 pm

The Image section's annual gift guide -- stuffed with all sorts of seriously stylish stuff -- will be out soon enough, but here are a couple of light-hearted items that have crossed my desk in recent days, and might be worth considering for the hard-to-gift guys on your list.

"How to Stay Out of the Doghouse" written by Josh Rubin and Jason Musante, illustrated by Jason Polan Rage_book (Partners & Spade, 2010), is an illustrated book of 50 tips designed to help a fellow stay in good graces with his better half.

At first I couldn't bring myself to crack the cover of the thin, $15 book (the title smacks of what I consider to be that particularly deplorable brand of "old-ball-and-chain" type of humor ), but once I did, I found some of the suggestions and observations to be spot-on funny.

Among my favorites:

Number 11: "Never use any kind of fruit to describe the shape of her body."

Number 41: "8:35 pm: The time when texts from other women become creepy."

Hardly earth-shattering relevations to anyone who has been in a relationship for more than six months,

but it would make a great stocking stuffer for a recently engaged cubicle neighbor or a recently divorced fraternity brother. (And, in the spirit of fairness, there's a companion book for her titled "How to Keep Him on a Short Leash," written by Jessica Rubin and Lindsey Musante -- who one can only assume are the spouses of aforementioned authors Josh and Jason).

Betabrand_pants For the fellow whose annual exercise in free speech includes wearing a hideous holiday sweater to the office party, Betabrand is stepping up to the plate and offering the ability to complete that egregious ensemble: The World's Most Nauseating Holiday Pants ($90, online only).

Rendered in Rudolph's-nose red with an all-over print of sickened Christmastide characters (a snowflake-chundering snowman, a present-puking Santa and a reindeer retching candy canes), the trousers also sport a waistband lining in an equally disturbing holly berry print.

Are they in poor taste? Perhaps. But it's hard to think of a better gag gift this season -- in both senses of the word.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Humorous options for the hard-to-gift guys include (at top) "How to Stay Out of the Doghouse" written by Josh Rubin and Jason Musante (Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times) and (at bottom) Betabrand's horrid-looking holiday pants (Credit: Betabrand).