It's a blanket, it's got sleeves, and now our resident gadget guru is taking the Snuggie out for a test drive.

I'm probably one of the few writers here at Alive who can quote most of the lyrics from the Dean Martin songbook. As a big fan of his '70s TV show, Dino holds a special place in my heart.

And so do the lyrics of one of his least-known but most-quotable songs - a duet with Nat King Cole titled "Open Up the Doghouse." I hum that tune every time I think about my recent experience with the Snuggie ($20; buy one and get another free at freesnuggie.com).

I'm hooked up with a wonderful lady who gets cold just watching me drink a Diet Coke. I thought I'd picked the perfect birthday gift for her when I saw those roasty, toasty folks wearing Snuggies in the company's omnipresent TV ads.

The Snuggie is basically an oversized fleece blanket with sleeves. It's tailored like the robes you see in Star Wars.

Snuggie wearers have their hands free to snack, read, surf the web on a laptop or hug their honeys without exposing anything other than their hands and heads to the elements around them.

Snuggies come in sage green, royal blue or burgundy. I chose burgundy. That was the second mistake I made after deciding to order this product.

The manufacturer points out that Snuggies are machine-washable. They don't tell you about the blanket's industrial-grade lint issues.

My birthday gift was a hit at first. My sweetie and I were in our jammies when I offered the Snuggie; in the time it took to watch a half-hour sitcom, we snuggled and generally enjoyed one another's company.

Once the show ended, it was off to the bedroom, where I learned that lint can be a real turnoff.

Did I mention my sweetheart was wearing white PJs? As she let her Snuggie drop to the floor, I noticed her jaw follow suit when she realized she was covered from shoulders to ankles in red fuzz. I had a fleeting image of Yogi Bear, until I saw the anger in her eyes as the result of my gift malfeasance.

I slept on the couch that night. As I did, I hummed Dean Martin's tune: "Open up the doghouse, open up the doghouse/ Rover Rover move it over, this cat is coming in."

Weeks later, I'm still in that doghouse. I hear jewelry might a possible ticket out.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com