With a name like "Wolf," you might assume that this reporter has a special love of the wild. You'd be sadly mistaken — especially on Valentine's Day.
Yes, I've loved and lost. Not to another man. But to a canine. More than once I've come between a woman and her pet and walked away with nothing but dog or cat hair on my jammies.
So when a publicist called me up, hawking a dog-fur sweater, custom-made to order from your precious pet's fur, I just had to share it with the lovelorn.
If you have to proclaim your love to your significant other and her pet, what better way to do it than with a custom-made "chiengora" sweater, knitted from Fido's own fur? Sure, you might have to vacuum like mad to gather enough fur for a genuine Jack Russell terrier cardigan. But in the name of love, why not? It's too late for me to make amends, but not for you.
Every relationship presents its own challenges. This week, The Wolf Files offers Valentine's Day gifts that speak to the special quirks of love. Musical underwear and bubble-wrap lingerie aren't for everyone. Nevertheless, here are 14 ideas for folks who need more than roses and chocolates to spice up their lives.
1. The Vanity Press: A $25,000 Lovebird Biography Can you write your own love story? You bet. If you have $25,000, you can even publish it. Five Star Publications in Chandler, Ariz., says all you need is a brief summary of your sweetheart's life, photos (preferably not pornographic), and, of course, money. The company will hire a Cyrano to ghostwrite if you can't compose anything yourself. You'll get a 150-page hardcover to present to your sweetheart and 500 paperbacks to thrill/bore your friends and family.Suggested celebrity endorsement: Jackie Collins
2. Coming to Your Emotional Rescue: A Knight in Shining Armor
Prove your mettle on the battlefield of love. Greet your fair maiden in a fully articulated, 95-pound suit of armor. Museumshop.com offers an $8,000 reproduction of a foot-combat suit made for King Henry VIII. Interlocking plates protect the entire body. But the slings and arrows of your lover's derisive laughter might penetrate the iron. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Sir Sean Connery
3. We All Shine On: Be a Star … in the Sky There is a place for you and your lover in the cosmos. For as little as $48, the International Star Registry will locate an unnamed star, send you its telescopic coordinates, and register it with the U.S. Copyright Office. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise or Madonna. These stars already have stars named after themselves.
4. A Rose by Any Other Name … Is Phyllis
Sending flowers on Valentine's Day — how trite. If you've got $75,000, you can have a unique, unnamed variety of roses bred and named after your sweetheart. Jackson & Perkins Company will fly you to its research facility in Carmillo, Calif., where you can choose your personal rose from several unnamed varieties. The company reserves the right to reject any names it deems offensive. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Kevin Spacey
5. I See the Real You at Last: A Guided Tour of Your Heart
Do you really want to know your lover? How about a guided tour of his heart … or his colon? For $800, Innovative Medical Imaging in Boca Raton, Fla., will let you and your loved one see your innards. Don't worry about some nasty little camera snaking through your small intestines. You just drink a solution and 3-D images of your bodily organs will dance before your eyes. Suggested celebrity endorsement: John Gray
6. If Your Skivvies Could Talk: Musical Underwear
Any couple could make sweet music together with these boxers. They're 100 percent cotton, and play such classics as "The Theme From Love Story," "Love Me Tender" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." They cost $13.95 per pair, and come with directions that Valentine's Day lovers are sure to understand: squeeze to operate. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Pee Wee Herman.
7. Exqueeze Me: Bubble-Wrap Lingerie
Anyone can wear a black teddy. But if you were one of those kids who liked the boxes more than the toys that came inside, here's the lingerie for you. For $145, you could can bring the pop back into your bedroom with this bubble-wrap nightie. It doubles as a life preserver and makes the perfect gift for lovebirds who want to play out their Titanic fantasies. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Kate Winslet.
8. Get Raw: Guns and Beef Holiday
What does firing big guns have to do with romance? Ask Dr. Strangelove. Your angel can pack heat this Valentine's Day. Site59.com, a Web site that specializes in last-minute vacation ideas, will send you and your honey to a New York riflery range, followed by dinner at one of the city's hottest steakhouses, for only $98. Site59 can also send you on a hot-air balloon ride or a self-guided tour of Manhattan's coolest men's urinals, depending on whether you're irrepressibly romantic or downright peculiar. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Ted Nugent
9. Is it That Time of the Month?: His & Hers PMS Calendars
A little advice to my clueless brethren: No matter how cranky your lady is, never, ever, ever, ask that question, or you are sure to get roses crammed up your nose stem-first. It's far better to give yourself the gift that will pay off every 28 days — "his and hers" PMS calendars. Your wife might not be impressed with the gift … but for $14.95, you'll have your answer. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Dr. Laura.
10. A Real Still Life Painting: Art From Lover's Ashes
Imagine Romeo on Valentine's Day after his sweet Juliet has shuffled off her mortal coil. What can ease his suffering soul? The Eternally Yours Company promises to make everlasting art of a loved one's ashes. They'll mix Juliet's remains with oil-based paint to create a professionally framed work of abstract painting. Suggested celebrity endorsement: O.J. Simpson.
11. Rocket Booster: Herbal Viagra Substitute
What does it mean when your wife gives you an herbal supplement that's supposed to increase your sexual prowess? The folks at BetterMAN say Valentine's Day is the perfect time to seek help in the form of a pill. BetterMAN is a blend of 18 Chinese herbs that apparently promotes sexual performance in rats, according to a November 2000 study in the Journal of Urology. Many women have noted the similarity between men and rats. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Elizabeth Dole.
12. When Puppy Love Turns Bad: Dog Poop in a Gift Box
If you're serving divorce papers instead of chocolates this Valentine's Day, you might want to send along a little something from dogdoo.com, a practical jokester's Web site that sells gift packages of dung in handsome packaging. You can get the 20-pound Econo-Poop special for $15 or the PooPoo Grande for $25. Selected celebrity endorsement: The Baha Men
13. Dessert's on Me: Chocolate Body Frosting
Why give candy to your Valentine when you can be candy for your Valentine? Whip out your butter knife, smear yourself with chocolate frosting, and greet your lover in edible lingerie. "You might not want to declare to a shop clerk that you're the chocolate body frosting type," says Shira Kalish, chief shopper at Maxmanager.com, an online consumer service that helps you find gifts. "That's one way the privacy of shopping online pays off." Suggested celebrity endorsement: Rosie O'Donnell 14. Wearable Mutts: The Dog Fur Sweater
Instead of complaining about your lover's pet shedding on your suits, why not embrace it and honor Fido by turning his fur into a sweater? Customspinning.com will make your "chiengora" sweater to order. You provide the hair, they provide the loom. Most people start to look like their pets anyway. Prices quoted. Suggested celebrity endorsement: Zsa Zsa Gabor
Buck Wolf is a producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is a weekly feature. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.