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Let your fingers do the last-minute Christmas shopping through the classified ads

Thomas Stevenson of St. Petersburg is a puzzle aficionado. He has 212 puzzles for sale. For $1 each. Used once.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Thomas Stevenson of St. Petersburg is a puzzle aficionado. He has 212 puzzles for sale. For $1 each. Used once.

You have precious little time left to find that last elusive gift for the person on your list who has everything — or to find that gift that just can't be found (or afforded) at the mall.

Well, you may have to look no further than the classified ads of today's newspaper, Craigslist or other want ad services. You'll find lots of unique (read: wild and crazy) gifts.

Here are some that intrigued us:

There were hundreds of new entries on Craigslist Friday, many that would make unique or oddball gifts that recipients would certainly remember, no guarantee on how fondly.

Know someone with Size 10 feet? How about some just-like-new clown shoes? Only $10!

This caught our eye: Old Milwaukee Smoker/Grill that looks like a NASCAR Gas Can for $80! Who wouldn't want a gift that blends cheap beer, racing and smoked meat?

Another entry put up Friday began matter-of-factly enough: "I am looking to sell my fiberglass shark." And there it is: a large fiberglass shark with real fins and teeth for $650.

No?

Well, how about a sharp-looking carousel horse for $195, a like-new Brooklyn Dodgers jacket for $65 or Blue Macaw Parrot wine bottle holders for $35 each.

They were all there Friday. If you're, um, lucky, they could still be there today. And if not, there's sure to be new offerings for you to find.

The Tampa Bay Times' classified section today also is swimming with one-of-a-kind products that you can swipe up with a phone call.

For the person (or the dog!) who has everything: a cleaned up and painted fire hydrant.

Who doesn't like puzzles besides everyone under 70? Well, Thomas Stevenson of St. Petersburg is a puzzle aficionado. He has 212 puzzles for sale. For $1 each. Used once, of course. It's quite a deal, he says, as they cost $25 to $30 each new.

Don Ball of Clearwater has been collecting the iconic Highwaymen paintings of Florida landscapes for years. He's ready to get rid of the collection he spent a lifetime amassing. He gave some to his children and is selling the rest. They will cost you between $300 and $625.

For the gamer, there's a seller who buys and refurbishes Japanese slot and pinball machines. He has a slot machine for $199. Though it works and tells you if you won, it doesn't spit out coins or tokens — because it's illegal to sell them that way. The seller said all the machines are in really good shape because under Japanese law, gambling machines can only be used for two years before they are replaced so there are a lot of them on the market.

How about a working stoplight? It stands about 30 inches tall and could be a conversation piece for the bar of that special person on your list.

There are expensive birds that "bark like dogs" and rescued cats and dogs in need of a good home. Just be sure you are ready to commit to being a pet owner.

So, before you head out to fight the crowds of last-minute shoppers, you might want to peruse other people's "trash."

You might just find a treasure.

Patti Ewald can be reached at pewald@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8746.

Let your fingers do the last-minute Christmas shopping through the classified ads 12/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 10:44pm]
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