Technology is a wonderful thing but boy, does it give the trolls and spammers a platform for doing what they do. There’s a small banner on my website that tells me every day how many unwanted messages have been blocked – the total is up to 1025. I’m thinking, gee, if those message-senders were actual blog readers and they were interested in my writing and became fans, building an author platform would be easier. But they’re purveying designer sunglasses, Eastern European young women and a few men who want to be my friend as well as shoes, boots, cosmetic surgery, boob and butt enhancements and assorted other fakery (probably used by said young folks).

I am undeterred, however. Not feeling too serious, either. For your delectation, today I’m delivering a selection of items you probably didn’t know existed and that you had no idea were essential to your existence.

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As I scanned the shelves before Christmas searching for interesting yet tasteful gifts for family and friends, I stumbled across items I’d never buy even if I won the lottery and had six million dollars to toss around.

First up is an insulted mat you top your washer or dryer with so that you can pull the clothes out of the wash and get them ironed without leaving the soap-scented confines of your laundry room. Ah, scullion heaven. Just what I’ve always yearned for.

The second treat from Hollywood Hills was an all-in-one fake nails decorating machine. The third was insulated plastic shoes in a multitude of sizes – just what the hardy Canadian leisure-taker needs when shovelling snow. They even come in camouflage patterns. Who knew?

There’s a tie for first place, though. There’s a toaster sold by Staples that will bake the name of your favourite sports team onto your squares of white bread. Ingenious, especially when they tank around Christmas and cause you to gnash your teeth helplessly as your Pro-Line picks go into the dumper. Now, when you’re frustrated, you can actually chew on something besides your arm.

The little gizmos that look like pretty espresso cups in a coffee machine are actually portable Bluetooth speakers. The faux hot plate is actually the charger stand. Just my luck. I’d be cleaning up the kitchen, forget that the little baubles are actually electronic and toss them into the dishwasher, muttering under my breath about people not picking up after themselves when they dirty cups and saucers.

Yes, I know it’s all silly. But all we’ve heard the last week are reports that make us wonder if the human race is really racing to perdition at breakneck speed. I’m escaping reality by creating an alternate one.