Joyeux Noir

By Cornelia Read


Yes boys and girls, it’s that time of year again: the advent of Cornelia’s Annual Shopping List for Those not Overly Enamored with Holidays, Generally.

1. Steampunk Taxidermy.

New Zealand artist Lisa Black has a new take on the whole “cute baby animals” thing:


Her “Fixed Deer” has been sold, but you could probably commission something equally un-Xmas/Chanukah-esque if this floats your boat.


2. When “Love” just doesn’t cut it:


A mere $19.49 from the good folks at Harnk.


3. Killer Boots


Hand-tooled “62 Muertos,” only $1995 at bootstaronline


4. Brain-Flavored Zombie Mints


A mere $2.50. What’s not to love?

5. Inflatable Fruitcake.


Reusable. Just like the real thing. $6.95


6. Trebuchet Kit

Start your own arms race… in the year 1235. This is a 1/200th scale model, for $189.

7. Hitchcock Barbie


The perfect add-on gift with a pair of budgies. Priceless.

8. Harley-Davidson Ken

Barbie’s Malibu Meth Lab sadly not included…

9. A Salt With a Deadly Weapon Messenger Bag

Come on, is this awesome or what? $46.95

10. Free Tibet* t-shirt

*this offer not valid in China. $20

11. A Jetpack. Finally.



Available in late 2010, for only $100,000. I want it.

12. I Also Want This


First edition. $136,000.

13. But I’d Settle for This:

$85. What a bargain.

14. Nouveau Retro

A limited-edition repro of a classic pulp cover–stretched canvas, 36″ x 48″. $450

15. And This Wouldn’t Suck, Now That I Live in New Hampshire


A sculpture by Peter Grondquist, who also did Chanel grenade launchers and Gucci shotguns and other groovy things for his “The Revolution Will Be Fabulous” show in LA a while back. This one is sold, but I want everything else.


What about you, ‘Ratis? What do you want for a present this year?

42 thoughts on “Joyeux Noir

  1. Mit

    Oh ! Sign me up for the boots! Man – are they made for walkin’ over bodies or what?

    Also – I giggle every time I scroll up and look at A Salt w/ a Deadly Weapon. Bwahahahah.

  2. Alafair Burke

    And to think I asked for a tivo upgrade.

    I compile one of these lists every year, too, and plan on stealing your "a salt with a deadly weapon" bag for my list. After I buy one for everyone I know.

  3. R.J. Mangahas

    Hmmm. I’m kinda liking the Superfriends lunchbox, seeing as I lost the one I had when I was a kid. The Hitchcock Barbie is neat, just because I’m such a Hitchcock fan. Maybe Psycho Ken dressed as Mrs. Bates will be available soon?

  4. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    I’ll take some peace of mind and a good night’s sleep.
    I might settle for Barbie and the Meth lab, however.

  5. Louise Ure

    Do you have any idea how much I look forward to your Holiday Hit List, Miss C? And you found a hidden gem with "A Salt." Truly, you’ve rocketed that messenger bag into the stratosphere in sales today.

  6. judy wirzberger

    Your brain goes to places seldom visited by other humans, truly humbling us mortals who merely gape in silence.

  7. Cornelia Read

    Stephen, you are funny. And I could use some sleep myself.

    Chris, was that really Ted Knight, back in the day? Awesome.

    Louise, maybe they’d give me a salt bag? I WANT it. Hope your week has been better.

    Judy, obviously my brain has been turned into mints by some roving zombies.

  8. PK the Bookeemonster

    Although the jet pack is tempting ….
    I’d be very happy if Santa brought a Kindle (sigh, I’m afraid it’s not to be cheri)
    Second on the list would be the keyboard that lights up when you type (
    Also from thinkgeek is the sleeping bag that’s a tauntaun — you sleep inside it. THAT makes me laugh therefore worthy of a gift.
    A bookcase is always welcome and my favorite-est thing is a gift card for books.
    When I GIVE gifts, I usually give books (I promote reading wherever I go) and I’m pretty good at figuring out what family members would like. I got nearly all my shopping done last weekend at Barnes&Noble. My dad is the most difficult to pin down – his taste is all over and nowhere – so I got him a journal and for each day of the coming year I’ll have a question about his life (he’s now 73). So this year he will be *writing* a book, so to speak.

  9. Cornelia Read

    Pari, I want the jetpack too. And I’ll be thinking of you when I have latkes in New Jersey tomorrow. Good luck with the husband!

    PK, you are awesome. I think I’m buying everyone books this year, too.

    Off to Hartford to see my friend Andi, will check in tonight.

  10. berenmind

    I fell out of my chair on the Tauntaun, PK. I want one. That and the new audio book of epic length erotic stories narrated by Lee Child.

  11. berenmind

    Cornelia thank you for my Chanukah gift list. You are hilarious. I have a friend who has a hovercraft that folds up into a car when he lands. Not a jetpack but still handy in airport traffic. Careful driving today. Maybe you should stay over……….find a warm sofa to crash on so I won’t worry about you …..Hmmmmm????

  12. john vertigan

    I’m currently modifying the JetPack to run on hot air. New model is called "The Cheney v.1". It will reach space and permanent orbit in 11 nanoseconds. Guess who I’m giving the first production model to ?

  13. toni mcgee causey

    First person to show my husband that trebuchet is in serious trouble. He already launches taters from a tater gun and has been talking too damned much about pumpkins lately for me to be comfortable. Our poor neighbors.

    I have to have those boots. And the messenger bag.

    Great list, C!

  14. Catherine Shipton

    So many things I never knew I needed. Thanks Cornelia.

    I do want at some stage a set of the Seven Deadly on vintage china ….from an etsy seller out of Auckland NZ.

    ‘Reworked English vintage 6" bone china saucers assembled to form a set of Deadly Sins.
    Text is hand painted in heat fused ceramic paint, is non-toxic, food safe and all plates come with hangers for instant display.
    Hand wash with care.’

    For once living in the southern hemisphere is an shopping advantage, as sadly they’ve closed their Christmas shipping for you guys…although I did think that Allison (with her sin series) could do with something like this for Valentines.

    Or maybe the ‘Crap’ plate is a year round gift that keeps on giving…

    ‘You know you need more crap in your life…
    Reworked vintage English 5 1/2" Queen Anne bone china saucer with a large daisy pattern on a mint green background.’

  15. Mit

    I have a friend much more clever than I. When I showed him the messenger bag he said,

    "Ahhh – ‘Ass-salt’ what every murder mystery needs."

    I am lol’ing.

  16. Fran

    Toni, then I suppose we shouldn’t send these websites along? or

    We luvs us a good trebuchet around my house, which may explain why we don’t often have company.

    The deer kinda creeped me out, but I loved the lunchbox and the chainsaw!

    PK, the thinkgeek website quickly turned into a household favorite.

    Pari, those latkes sound beyond yummy!

    Ms. C, thank you, as always, for a truly inspirational wish list!

  17. Naomi Johnson

    I want the trebuchet kit, fo’ sho. I used a trebuchet in an adventure story I wrote several years ago, so it’s just a sentimental thing with me. Plus, I’d love to fire that sucker up every time the neighbors’ dogs start that infernal howling!

  18. inkgrrl

    Steampunk taxiderm – I love it! And I can’t believe Ken has stubble. Wonder if he’s packin’ now too?

    Toni, your husband and mine should never meet in the presence of vegetables. Stephen’s already a little too happy about all the weapons I keep around the house.

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  20. john mish

    I compile one of these lists every year, too, and plan on stealing your "a salt with a deadly weapon" bag for my list. After I buy one for everyone I know.
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