Another flight and more time to cozy up with my SKYMALL catalogue. I am seated by strangers who are all plugged in to their iPhones, iPods, ebooks, hardly a paper book in sight. All devices are on airplane mode - to be sure. The announcement was made a half a dozen times. My current books are in my carry on which I had to forfeit when getting on the plane. I don't even have my notebook, just an almost blank piece of paper and a pen.
Currently I am reading The Diary of Anne Frank, which everyone my age claims to have read when they were in high school. My other book is by my favorite author of all time, Heidi Ann Mills. It's called Learning for Real.
But here I am stuck with SKYMALL. Some of the high tech gadgets are very clever. For example, you can power up all of your devices with a one-of-a-kind paper towel holder. The top is a wine stopper and there are four USB ports around the base for charging.
They have a bunch of the usual stuff like super sharp, ergo-correct knife sets, bug zappers that will attract insects from across an entire acre to kill them right in front of you, There are ultra nice headphones that cancel out 99% of ambient noise. 99%!. Cookware, cutting boards, lots of cool travel accessories like a neck brace that helps you sleep sitting up or an inflatable pillow that lets you sleep on the tray table in front of you. Wish I had one of those right now.
You know how many kids often don't go outside much anymore? Much of their time is spent on e-Devices, right? There's this special seat called a Wobble Chair that allows these otherwise sedentary kids to move around, to shift positions - actually strengthening their core muscles. How convenient is that? They can sit around exercising their thumbs and almost get the exercise of doing something real.
Have a dog? Live in an apartment or a condo? Don't feel like getting up off the couch (or your Wobble Chair) to take it out? No need! Finally, "your dog has a yard of its own!" For $279.99 you can get the Potty Porch Premium. It includes plush synthetic grass, a scented fire hydrant (not kidding here) to attract the pee right out of your pooch. For an extra $9.99 you can get a catch basin that holds up to two gallons - fake grass for $21.99 and real sod for $49.99.
Not to leave out our feline friends, how about an elegant piece of furniture that actually conceals the litter box! It looks like a big chest with pet doors at the ends. It comes complete with "elegant wainscoting" and a designer litter box - only $134.99.
In the home decor section this one caught my eye. How about King Tut and his Queen's life-sized sarcophagus cabinets? They are only $949 (each) and they actually look like the real deal. Odd, but think of the conversation piece for only a thousand bucks. Or your taste may bend toward the medieval. There is a 16th century Italian armor guy. Six feet tall, wielding a wicked looking battle ax. Just shy of a thousand dollars.
Have you ever seen one of those cute little naked boys peeing into a fountain basin just to have it recirculated? This kid could be peeing in your front yard perpetually for just $229. Hey, how come you never see a little naked peeing girl? That doesn't seem right!
Every pool owner should have one of these. A singing gondolier. it, "turns your pool into an enchanting Venetian canal." Luciano Poolvarotti serenades you with 3 songs. Over and over. And over. And over. I'll bet that would be kind of cute for about the first 15 minutes, then turn into the sort of gift you would wish on your worst enemy.
Writing the text for these items seems like it would be fun. Take a cool, ropey looking sandal and read how it becomes the absolute best sandal EVER!... "NEW! The most comfortable light weight sandal you'll ever own. (You won't just be walking around in these, you'll...) wander the planet in Nomadic State of Minds (trademark). Handmade vegan rope sandals (Nothing carnivorous about these). Perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors, traveling and a natural lifestyle. Constructed with your comfort in mind (Really? Not your pain?), the super soft polypro rope (Surely made from the all natural, vegan, polypro plant fibers) comforms to your foot...
Take something nifty, throw in superlatives, interesting colors, (available in gunmetal, cobalt...) and lists of unnecessary adjectives such as: textured, sleek, ultra lightweight, smart, roomy, handy, smooth, specially designed, compact, unique, ingenious, exclusive, original, patented (or patent pending), optimal, perfect, superior, gentle, soothing... and you will describe the ultimate whatever ever created.
Here's an example for eyeshades... Enjoy rejuvenating slumber anywhere with this cushioned sleep mask. It completely blocks out light and is specially molded to allow total eye movement... For deeper, more restful, REM sleep. it's also contoured to fit perfectly on your nose and has elastic straps with velcro closures. Available in exclusive colors. Read that without the silly adjectives and adverbs. You just have eyeshades.
Didn't Elaine Benice write this type of text for an L. L. Bean-like catalogue for a while in Seinfeld?
I thought I'd give it a shot with this pen I'm using. Let me see...
Write your own masterpiece with this uncommonly elegant, perfectly designed writing implement. Feel the comforting stream, of the ultra resinous indigo ink, as it flows in an amazingly smooth line, transforming your ordinary paper into a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. The textured grip provides a thrilling, gratifying, writing sensation...
I wonder if I could get a gig doing this when I retire from teaching?