If there are fifty ways to leave your lover, surely there are at least a few methods to make miserable and humiliating the life of your arch-nemesis with the aid of gadgets. If you've got a chip on your shoulder, maybe you'll find a few things in our Holiday Gift Guide for enemy that really are better to give than to receive.
$0 - $100
Zune tattoo - They've got a Mac, they love their iPhone, but a drink and a rufie later, boom, they're branded for life. (We suspect this is what happened at least two or three times to Zune dude up there.) This has got to be completely illegal, so we recommend you exercise extreme caution in branding your foes -- and especially when deciding whether you go for the Zune logo or the Zune bunnie.
$50+, depending on the tat parlor and tattoo
Sonic grenade - All's fair in love and psychological warfare, but we'd suggest you don't toss one of these into the general vicinity of that especially unstable type of coworker -- the crazy blaring noise might just make them snap. Look out for the red staplers, that's the telltale giveaway.
$13 - buy from Think Geek
$101 - $250
Etymotic ety8 - They're touted as yet "another first" for the company, and let's hope for Etymotic's sake, that its ety8 Bluetooth headphones are the first (and only) ones with such shoddy engineering and awful design. With their boxy shape and frequent problems of bricking, these wireless cans will surely send the right message to its recipient.
$199 - Buy from Etymotic
Chintendo Vii - Sure, at best it only offers a handful of built-in games that amount to pretty janky knockoff of the Wii gaming experience, but the Chintendo Vii does win points for style and for ripping a product not made by Apple -- for once. Other than that, if you're looking for an absolutely useless present that's sure to let them down not-so-softly after they realize it's not an actual Wii, the Vii definitely fits the bill.
Cheap, but also only in China
Early production Sidekick Slide - Unfortunately for your nefarious plans, T-Mobile has already replaced all of the defective first-gen Sidekick Slides with models that actually work, but we're pretty sure that a bit of research will turn up one of the rarer, crappier units. Since your unsuspecting frenemy won't know that you picked 'em up an older Sidekick, he or she will spend hours and a good deal of sanity trying to figure out why the damn thing won't open without powering down. Good times for, well, you.
Found on eBay and in many a teenager's closet
Palm Phone Jammer - Nothing takes the wind out of someone's sails quite like a broken cellphone, but imagine how frustrated you could make an entire household of jerks (like the ones next door, for example) when all of their handsets mysteriously stop working simultaneously. Yes, that's the fun of a portable phone jammer, which, being completely and totally illegal all over the country, you'll want to discreetly place outside their home instead of keeping it in yours or taking a risk and sending it in Trojan Horse-style.
$166 - Buy from Brando
$251 - $500
PS3 and Transformers HD DVD - Imagine the look of delight on their not so technically inclined face as they open the Blu-ray-friendly PS3. Then imagine it later when they pop in Transformers on HD DVD and can't figure out why the crap it's not loading. They'll scour the internets, they'll call tech support -- and they'lll be roundly laughed at. And if that doesn't get them riled up, let them know all about Michael Bay's latest conspiracy theories, that's sure to do the trick.
$399 + $30 - Shop for PS3 and Transformers
SMS M500 GSM Watchphone - The beauty of this one is that your enemy's going to feel like Dick Tracy reincarnate for exactly 12 seconds, before they realize how much harder life is with a supremely underpowered watch-phone that's probably giving them wrist cancer. That's when you make your move.
Unknown price - Available in select stores
Brand new iPhone with 1.1.2 firmware (for anyone not on AT&T) - Granted, your average enemy would be thrilled to receive an iPhone, but spring a new locked-tight 1.1.2 iPhone on your wannabe hacker nemesis and they're going to have a terrible time trying to jailbreak it for use with third party applications -- and even then they won't be able to unlock it for use on their carrier, even with iPhoneSIMfree.
$399 - Buy from Apple
$501 - $1000
Lunch with Ed Zander (your treat!) / signed ROKR - As a special treat to the lucky individual who has courted your wrath this year, we suggest a pricey, five-star lunch with Ed Zander, former CEO of Motorola -- known mostly for punishing mismanagement, generally unwelcoming disposition, and money quote that he "loves his job, but hates his customers." Ed will be gifting his lunch partner with a signed, pristine ROKR, totally loaded with 100 of his favorite Celine Dion tracks. In addition to the phone, Mr. Zander will conveniently receive a call which leads him outside to his waiting limo -- leaving the victim of your scorn with the bill, and a healthy serving of humble pie.
Unknown price, though we understand Zander is a big eater
Samsung / Maytag faulty washing machine - Hey friend, enjoy this brand new washing machine! Dirty garments will be a thing of the past. What's that you say? The gift has a freak malfunction which causes water to leak onto internal electrical connections, setting the whole contraption ablaze? All your socks are gone, huh? That is truly a bummer. If only I had known about the recall of 270,000 units last year.
$650-730 - Shop for recalled washing machine
Window air conditioner mounted to car roof - We're not going to pretend to know exactly how to mount a standard window air conditioner to the roof of your '89 Pontiac Grand Prix, but we have a crew down at the local garage who are more than happy to do it for about $75 an hour. Yes, the target of your venom will be rolling in style -- and by style we mean they will be driving a vehicle with a heinous, 12,000 BTU Haier strapped above them, which will be painfully venting ice-cold air onto their face, neck and body -- as well as preventing them from pulling into many drive-thru food establishments. Happy holidays.
Unknown price - check with local body shops
Arm Spirit arcade game (aka The Widowmaker) - Remember how Tom Hanks got all those arcade machines in Big and it seemed totally amazing? Well, imagine if one of those machines snapped his scrawny arms like a twig when he tried to play it. You're probably starting to get the idea. Enter "Arm Spirit," a hazardous (and recalled) game from Japan which has resulted in a number of hospital visits concerning split bones and crushed, Over The Top-style dreams. Regardless of the recorded carnage, we're confident your "friend" will be none the wiser when this gets dropped off at the homestead.
Price? We hear they'll pay you to take it off their hands (if you sign a waiver, of course)
Dell XPS M1730 - It's big, it's ugly... and now it's under the tree. The Dell XPS M1730 is the kind of hideous monstrosity you wouldn't be caught dead with -- but the same can't be said for the unlucky dupe who's in your sights this year. If ostentatious, gigantic, back-breaking LED-studded laptops are your thing, this is just what the doctor ordered. For the rest of us, it inspires the deepest fight-or-flight response we've ever known. A guaranteed hit at your enemy's next meeting... not.
$2,399 - Buy from Dell
Palm Foleo - What could be a more apropos gift for your arch-nemesis this holiday season then perhaps the saddest and most useless (though certainly rarest) gift you can find: the Palm Foleo. Yes, your rival will feel an endless burn as he or she hopelessly attempts to be productive with this stillborn wonder. While they dream of corrective software updates -- never to come, of course -- which will right the wrongs done to their gray brick, you can congratulate yourself on this bizarre mix of dis of the century and luckiest find in a decade.
Priceless? Good luck on this one