DEAR HOT: I pride myself on being on the cutting edge of weird gift items. But I'm bored with dancing flowers and wind-up sushi. Anything new in bizarre gifts that I can amaze my friends with? I'm under a lot of pressure.
DEAR HOT SHOPPER: Never fear, Chicken Boy is here. Chicken Boy was the half-man, half-chicken mascot that stood atop the Chicken Boy restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Although the restaurant is no more, the Boy was rescued by caring souls who put the 22-foot-tall chicken-hunk into storage.
Chicken Boy now has a national following--and a mail-order catalogue that keeps the legend alive while the sleeping giant snoozes. The current issue features Chicken Boy as Elvis on the cover (so that's what happened to the King!) and offers such items as T-shirts and sweat shirts, a watch, fez, lapel pin, boxer shorts, an ultra-nerdy pocket protector and more, all featuring the big birdguy's picture. Some items also carry the Chicken Boy motto: "Too Tall to Live, Too Weird to Die."
The catalogue, put out by Future Studio in Los Angeles, also features non-Chicken Boy merchandise such as a toilet paper roll cover made of fake fur and pearls, a plastic pocket trout flashlight and computer covers in faux leopard and cow prints--what every hacker needs. Most items are priced under $20.
To order merchandise or get a free catalogue, call (800) 422-0505 if you're outside California; in California call (213) 660-2571.
DEAR HOT: I want to buy a birthday gift for my boyfriend. He wants fishing tackle but he needs some new ties, which he never buys for himself. Me, I hate fishing, love picking out ties. But I'm not sure whether to head for a men's shop or a sporting goods store.
MISS KRIER SUGGESTS: If you surprise him with ties, you run a couple of risks. He may hate the ties and be disappointed in his non-gift. Or worse, he may suspect you're trying to improve his appearance and conclude--correctly or incorrectly--that he's unworthy of your approval the way he looks now.
But don't rush out and buy just any old lures and bobbers. Ask him to describe his idea of the most perfect fishing tackle in the world. (Be patient. This stuff can get both complex and exotic.) Then find out who sells it and buy as much of it as you can with the amount you allotted for the gift. You'll be sure to delight the man you love.
PRINCESS STEIN BEGS TO DIFFER: Fishing tackle as a birthday present? Is this a joke? He can pick out his own fishing tackle. There's no reason on earth you should have to walk into some store that sells night crawlers or some other squirmy, hellish things. Buy him some nice ties that everyone will compliment him on and he'll still love you. And if he resents the fact that you're trying to spruce up his appearance, so what. It's what women do.
Wondering where to buy ripped jeans that look sexy but don't get you arrested? Hot to Shop answers questions based on conversations and reader mail.