Opening your life to someone you hardly know brings with it a host of situations that require a good dose of humour and subtlety, and turning a gift-giving occasion into a bit of a hint towards household harmony is a great way to apply a little sugar to let the medicine go down. Hence, funny flatmate gifts (that are also hints).
Giant Microbe Plush Toy
Having a flatmate can sometimes be a challenge, especially if their level of household cleanliness differs significantly from your own. A hilarious way to remind your roomie about the health benefits of scrubbing the dishes in the kitchen sink and properly disposing of all those rotting pizza boxes is by giving them a plush toy version of a dangerous microbe. Sillyasstoys.com carries a wide selection of the cutest microscopic killers rendered thousands of times bigger than real life and expressed in coloured fur and googly eyes. Choose from household pests like the fuzzy pink Bed Bug or the grey Dust Mite, or opt for global pathogens like the corkscrew Ebola virus or even the dusky Black Plague. Gently placing a tentacled E-Coli microbe on top of your flatmate's pile of dirty clothes is a fun way to give a hilarious gift while at the same time giving a not-so-subtle kick toward cleanliness.
Bacon Air Freshener
If subtle hints about overall household cleanliness don't work for a messy roomie with a birthday coming up, there is always bacon. For some reason, the once-lowly form of pork that had been languishing on breakfast plates for years has now been elevated to the level of cultural hero of the common man. Bacon is everywhere and nearly superhero benefits have been attributed to it, so finding a bacon-related gag gift is easy. Give that stinky roomie a hint with a nice Bacon Air Freshener from the folks at Archie McPhee, which has a huge treasure trove of witty gifts from all over the world. The Bacon Air Freshener is infused with the scent of freshly-cooked pork strips, and they are strong enough to overwhelm the reek of dirty socks or spoiled milk.
Butt / Face Soap
In the end, perhaps the best hint at roommate cleanliness disguised as a gag gift is a bar of soap, but not just any bar of scented soap or bath gel will do. Why waste your time with frilly lilac bars or manly bottles of liquid suds when you can cut right to the chase with a bar of soap labelled Butt on one side and Face on the other? And to make the specific sides of the soap even easier to determine, each side is colour-coordinated to remind the user of the proper body parts to which it should be applied: the Face side is white, and the Butt side is, well, not white. The dual-use soap is available through Stupid.com and comes with detailed instructions about the proper use of the bar.