SkyMall catalog: consumer whoredom at 50,000 feet

airplane
The SkyMall Catalog. It’s one of the few constants in today’s uncertain airline industry. The carriers can reduce the number of blankets and take away the meals, but travelers can always count on the SkyMall Catalog, a beacon of consumer whoredom, to be waiting for them on the plane, conveniently located in the neighbor’s seat-back.

Imagine every silly catalog you’ve ever received aggregated into one lifestyle-enhancing meta-directory. Do you have problem areas in your yard? Sore calves? Insect bites? Small mailbox? The SkyMall Catalog can help!

It all makes sense at 50,000 feet. Flying is so surreal, with the constant drone, the lack of cell phone chatter, and the people in navy blue demonstrating emergency oxygen procedures before passing out little bags of peanuts, that it doesn’t seem strange to consider spending $895 on Mombasa, the eight foot tall garden giraffe. “Your neighbors are sure to be surprised when Mombasa moves in!”

SkyMall rules, though it does lose some of its luster once the plane has landed and you’re safely back to reality. Below are some fascinating items I discovered on the trip to Montana. Next week, we’ll learn about the “As Seen on TV” store.

From Femail Creations: a glow in the dark pillowcase.

By night the pillowcase glows with empowering messages like; Dream Big, Have Courage, Girls Rock.

From the Ex Officio section: insect-repellent clothing:

Protect the whole family from mosquitoes, ticks and UV rays.
BUZZ OFF Insect Shield Insect Repellant Apparel by Ex Officio is the only insect repellant clothing registered by the EPA. BUZZ OFF apparel gives you the protection of insect repellent spray without having to keep reapplying oily chemicals to your skin.

From the Diversions Catalog: Presidential figures. Collect all six!

At the push of a button, each president’s oral history comes alive with one of 25 authentic phrases in their [sic] actual voices (except for Lincoln).

From Plow and Hearth: the infamous Mock Rock.

Hide unsightly or problem areas in your yard with the Mock Rock. Lightweight and durable, the hollow design is a great solution to pipes, meters or landscaping problems.

10 responses to “SkyMall catalog: consumer whoredom at 50,000 feet”

  1. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    I love reading the SkyMall Catalog, I get a chuckle about the 2 million Miami apartments that are advertised.

    I wonder if the Bush figure will say this. It will make you feel proud to be an American.

  2. Dave

    I *love* SkyMall. It’s the little pleasure I get mid-flight, and it’s nestled between the soiled Attache magazine and “sick bag.”

    Just this weekend, I stumbled upon the best SkyMall item yet — Custom-made Temporary Tattoos. :-O Make your own temp tattoos! Isn’t that the greatest thing since sliced low-carb bread?

  3. Becky

    Wow, international travelers must get a better version of SkyMall than those merely traveling within the US.

    Custom-made temporary tattoos are the best SkyMall thing ever!

    “Nestled between the soiled Attache magazine and “sick bag.” Damn, I wish I’d thought of that line!

  4. Becky

    Bernard–nice mp3 link. I wonder what the Bush doll says.

  5. Suzette

    Was there nothing from the Lillian Vernon section that appealed to you? I am always tempted by the personalized floating cooler. Even though I don’t have a pool, I like to ponder life’s possibilities and if I ever get one, I will know where to get a floating cooler.

  6. Becky

    Suzette, I took another look at Lillian Vernon and did find a personalized shot glass rack, which seems like the adult version of putting your empty beer bottles on top of the kitchen cupboards.

    Obviously, I should take more time to ponder life’s possibilities.

  7. Square Zebra

    Have you read your SkyMall today?

    The SkyMall Catalog. It’s one of the few constants in today’s uncertain airline industry. The carriers can reduce the number of blankets and take away the meals, but travelers can always count on the SkyMall Catalog, a beacon of

  8. whitebait

    You’re so on to it in addressing this topic Becky. (‘It’ in this case–for me, anyway–is ‘blogicules’, or ‘blatter’, or ‘BNA’ … or some other equally ridiculous neologism to describe the weird commodity-culture fabric constituitive of a blogger’s world and writing). When I was in the US earlier this year I *so* thought SkyMall catalogue was the most amazing cultural document. I ripped bits out to bring home and blog about eventually but lost them somewhere in the hazy spaces of my disorganization. Hope this isn’t too provocative but I think I’m safe in saying that SkyMall is possibly the only fun thing about US domestic air travel (but I’m happy to be convinced otherwise).

  9. Becky

    “…I think I’m safe in saying that SkyMall is possibly the only fun thing about US domestic air travel (but I’m happy to be convinced otherwise).”

    Yeah, I think you’re pretty safe in saying that.

  10. shawn

    my favorite was on some airlines before they got rid of the air phones you could call from a sky phone for free… I always wanted to do that, but could never find the right useless item to buy.