April 16, 2007


I've been perusing the SkyMall catalog online.

A reason that I don't specifically recall made me think of it recently (maybe I spied a magnetic eraser caddy somewhere) and I decided I had to check whether the catalog has a non-airborne website. Amazingly, it does, despite the obvious disadvantage they face when pawning their useless products to a group of people who are neither captive, desperately lacking reading material, terrified of flying, or oxygen-deprived. Needless to say the website is just full of splendor as what you've seen on flights.

I don't think we can say that these items are overpriced per se because no one else bothers to try selling electronic salt & pepper shakers to rich half-wits. Only SkyMall understands the untapped potential of the remarkable type of person who would willingly buy such a thing. I cannot imagine what their board meetings are like. Nothing is too ridiculous, too expensive, too pointless! Everything is approved!

Here are some such selected products, and please keep in mind that I was not particularly discriminant in selecting them. There is just so much there, it would not be hard to make a blog out of just these...

Inflatable Movie Screen

Bring the magic of the big screen to your backyard!
120" -diagonal Airblown Inflatable Movie Screen is perfect for family movie nights and block parties, because everyone in the party can see it all on this big screen out in your backyard! Screen can be set up and inflated in minutes, and includes everything you need: two UL-listed inflating blowers, stakes, tethers, even a storage bag.

Toothbrush Sterilizer

Did you know that you can get sick from your own toothbrush? It's true. When you have a cold or flu, your germs continue to live in the wet bristles even after you've recovered. Now you can sterilize your toothbrush daily - before, during and after any bout with a cold or flu. The OralTec sterilizes toothbrushes quickly, easily and safely using plain tap water to kill the germs and bacteria that cause colds, flu and a multitude of other infections. In just minutes the water poured into the chambers is heated to sterilizing temperature of up to 212 degrees F. You will be promoting good oral hygiene for your entire family by sterilizing your toothbrushes every time you brush. A must for every healthy home!

Scientific veracity: extremely questionable. Germs may live on for a short time in your toothbrush, but by the time you get better, you have already built up antibodies to them. It seems more likely that regularly boiling a plastic brush and bristles and then putting it in your mouth would have largely negative health effects. Then again, for $80 it must be really important.

Garage Door Threshold
$44.99 - $89.99

Pretty self-explanatory -- weather stripping for your garage. For those of us who live in our garages, or at least have a strong compulsion to make the car-hold airtight, a godsend. What kind of person doesn't go to the hardware store for this kind of thing? Oh right, the kind of person who would buy anything from The SkyMall.

See, that is the best thing about this catalog: it constantly begs the question "who is buying this stuff?" Not just rich people, not just idiots, a special combination of the two. Folks who somehow have enough money to throw it away on pointless garbage, and yet, somehow still have money. I have no understanding of this cross-over demographic. It reminds me of the Seinfeld bit about a warning on a Superman costume that says the cape cannot actually make you fly. Who can read but not figure out that dressing up as a superhero doesn't allow you to fly? Or, more appropriate to this blog, warnings that come on high-end telescopes to not look at the sun. I cannot imagine a person smart enough to balance their checkbook, but dumb enough to think they need a $200 device to monitor the temperature in the basement. Who are these people?