Last week I mentioned our trip to the east coast for the 2to1 Conference in Virginia. In my attempt to pack light, I forgot to bring any airplane reading material (not that reading ever gets done, because I love love love to sleep on the airplane and cannot remember my last take-off).
With a lack of quality reading, I decided to skim the Sky Mall catalog. Frequent travelers are familiar with this catalog of non-necessities. I consider it the print version of the late night infomercial. Know what I mean? A darkened room, late at night, with a glowing television and a belly of Doritos can cause you to make very bad informercial purchases ("Why yes...I would like to lose weight while I am at work!"). Similarly, there is something about high altitude plane trips that can make you actually consider purchasing crap things out of the Sky Mall catalog.
To better illustrate what I mean and to save you the cost of a plane ticket, I collected a few of my favorites from our recent trip. Ignore the quality of my iPhone photographs. I was told repeatedly by the flight attendant to turn off my phone, so I entered stealth mode for most of the photos.
1. WATCH STORAGE CASE - $89.95 (or $69.95 if you aren't dripping in timepieces)
Seriously, I own one watch. Who has this many watches that they need an entire case? And then, who wants to display them? I can imagine having a guest over: "Hey thanks for coming over for dinner, but before we sit down to eat...how'd you like to see something real special, because I have a collection of Casio watches you need to see..."
2. SLEEPING COCOON - $79.95
This is on the borderline between awesome, stupid and creepy. I was very disappointed to find this on my trip home, because this is how my wife thinks we should sleep in every hotel room we've ever stayed in. In any other catalog, this would be labeled "sleeping bag." At the same time, Sky Mall stopped short on their guarantee and full advertising potential. Yes, this will prevent 100% of bed bugs, but sleeping in a cocoon will also prevent any possiblity of starting a serious relationship with someone of the opposite sex (and you can rule out any form of procreation as well).
3. THE LED MATRIX WATCH - $129.95
I have never seen a more confusing watch. I only use the light on my watch in the middle of the night. The last thing I need is a complex series of lights and grids for me to calculate that it's still time to sleep. Why not just create watches with mini sun dials on them? Maybe it's just me, but I think our culture has been pretty successful with the whole "short hand/long hand" system. And, if "telling time" isn't your thing, I think the digital format of "hour:minute" works really really well too. This watch appeals to a very small portion of our population who can do algebraic equations and evaluate geometric patterns while wearing a ridiculously large faced watch (seriously, is this for your thigh or wrist?). *Note: the one good thing about spending the money on this watch...you can put it in your custom watch holder (See #1).
4. CAST IRON GIRAFFE TOILET PAPER HOLDER - $29.95
First, this is stupid. Second, it seems disproportionate in size. Shouldn't the giraffe be used ONLY for the paper towels and then a shorter necked creature for the toilet paper? I think the ostrich is better suited for the toilet paper. Again, did we need to improve on the toilet paper roller on the wall? Some things just work and we should all agree as a society to leave them alone, because I guarantee that if we bought this giraffe it would never hold toilet paper. It would be played with by the two smallest mangoboys and that's just what I want...Christian and Joe playing with toilet paper, bronze giraffes and toilet water.
5. STEP STOOL/LADDER COMBO
I'm sorry, I didn't get the name or price on this little treat. First, this looks ridiculously dangerous. Second, I've created something like this in my kitchen with my existing chairs when I want to reach a light bulb (so I can confirm this is stupid). Third, this picture looks weird, like the furniture is alive and having sex with one another.
6. THE PEEING BOY OF BRUSSELS STATUE AND FOUNTAIN - $199
I only included this, because since I was a little boy we've had this same exact statue in our back yard. When my parents moved out to the valley with us. This statue came with them. Yup, there is nothing like a statue of a little boy peeing to encourage our own little boys to pee freely in the great outdoors. This photo has spurred on a brilliant idea for theMangoTimes blog (keep your eyes open for a new series called "Stuff My Dad Owns").
7. LITTER KWITTER - $49.99
To fully appreciate this gem, you need to read the description. First: "You can teach your cat to use any human toilet in eight weeks or less" So, let me see if I am reading this correctly, I spend 50 bucks and then spend 8 weeks training my cat to poop in a toilet. Could I? Please! Sign me up for "Cat Poop Training" and let me give you 50 bucks at the same time. Second: "It works in multiple cat households" I apologize. People who have a lot of cats, probably have 8 weeks of free time to train their cats to poop in a toilet. But, unless these cats learn to flush, I don't want to know what a house smells like that has multiple cats pooing in a toilet. Lastly, and this is just a side note, even the cat in the photo has a look that screams: "Are you kidding me?"
8. BIGFOOT, THE GARDEN YETI STATUE - $1,495 (lifesize)
Buy this and then book time with Dr. Phil, because your younger kids are going to be in therapy for the rest of their lives. Notice that this is "New Life Size" which I assume means that there were many disappointed owners of the smaller version who begged this company to create a life-sized model! This is also "hand painted for startling realism." Does anyone else see a problem with the phrase "startling realism?"
9. BIGFOOT, THE BASHFUL YETI TREE SCULPTURE, $69.95
What is with Bigfoot? This sculpture is for the people unwilling to fork out $1500 for the lifesize walking version above. "If you've never spotted Bigfoot, perhaps it's just because he's been hiding behind the nearest tree!" Uh, yeah, or perhaps it's because he's NOT REAL!" I actually believe the advertising on this one, because you will make passers-by look twice. Believe me, after looking twice they will begin to slowly move away from you and never return. Believe it or not? I choose to "believe NOT."
Let me know if you buy any of these or already own them (especially the cat poo training system), so I can end our relationship officially.
Quietly making noise,