Friday, July 14, 2006

Fly-By Shopping

I just came back from visiting friends in Charleston, South Carolina, and after reading Mine Eyes have seen the Glory by Randall Balmer, and Sue Careless's latest on the Book of Common Prayer, I thumbed through the inflight Skymall magazine for a little light reading.

For anyone not acquainted, it's essentially a shopping mall -- in magazine format -- full of inventive items designed to bring ever greater ease and comfort to life.

It also provides comic relief. Check out the following highlights:

1) Ultra Mini Air Supply, which claims to be the world's first wearable air purifier. I guess this is in case your seat mate has either bad breath or bad gas. (Only $129 USD)
2) the new "intelligent" chair alleges to focus its therapeutic massage where it detects muscle tension and stiffness; offers shiatsu, tapping, stretching and rolling, and a footrest for deep massaging feet and lower legs; the armrest panel has 20 programs -- a bargain at $4000-
3) motorized tie rack for dozens of ties you never wear
4) my personal favorite is the pop-up hot dog cooker, with space for two buns and two dogs, ensuring your kids can stuff hot dogs into their overweight little faces at any time of day
5) fold-flat pet stroller with lots of storage for accessories -- isn't the point of walking for you -- and your pet -- to get some exercise?
6) million-germ eliminating travel toothbrush sanitizer -- need I say more?
7) upside down tomato garden allows vines to hang down in mid-air and not rot on the ground
8) the inflatable movie screen (120" diagonal) for watching movies at your backyard pool parties. Can be set up and inflated in minutes!
9) tailgate chair (resembling an infant's jolly jumper) that hooks up easily to the trailer hitch of your Chevy Blazer
10) a carpeted ramp to allow your grossly overweight dog to clamber up on the sofa for a snooze
11) the fish finder watch, with a sonar sensor for transmission of fish info

That said, there are some items I'm tempted to buy, like the world's largest crossword puzzle -- at 7'x7', with 28,000 clues and over 91,000 squares, it hangs on the wall and takes months to finish; the instant soft ice cream maker; and the back to basics egg and muffin toaster --- now if only that robot could whisk up some hollandaise...

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