Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sky Mall – Where Dogs are too Tired to get up on the Couch by Themselves...

On a recent trip to San Francisco I had the great pleasure of being introduced to a new publication that I cannot believe I have never read before: Sky Mall. It’s one of those freebie magazine that they stuff in the seat pocket in front of you, knowing full well that at some point on the flight, you will reach for it either to a)avoid the person next to you who may or may not be droning on about their cat’s digestive problems, or b) because there is something about being on a plane that turns us all into attention-challenged idiots: I read a book for three seconds, put it down, stare out the window for awhile, then try to read again but realize I have burnt my retinas staring out the window, then can’t read anymore. It’s a sad cycle that I seem bent on repeating throughout the duration of the flight. Occasionally I will attempt to sleep, but this is usually met with about as much success as my annual pre-summer diet.

Anyway – so there I was in my seat, with nothing to do, when I happened to notice Sky Mall in the seat pocket. And so began a very happy hour of reading that caused the flight to pass by so quickly that I was actually a bit upset when we began our approach to YYJ as I was not even close to finishing the magazine. Fortunately I was quickly distracted from my despair by the gathering storm outside my window and ensuing turbulence. I love it when the gulf islands get bigger and then smaller and then bigger in quick succession as the plane appears to drop a few hundred feet in one go, the regain it, then lose it again, and then just stay there. It’s as if the pilot has decided: ‘What the hell, not much point in going back up…"’. I’m pretty sure that flying into a pocket of turbulence and plunging toward the ocean is not how they teach them to land a plane but what do I know.

I do know that I was able to have a moment of clarity through my anxiety that allowed me to quickly stuff Sky Mall in my bag before getting off the plane. And no need to feel any guilt that I was depriving future passengers of pleasure:“Free copy – take it. We’ll replace it!” the magazine joyfully proclaims across the front page.  Well Ok, then! I will! And hey, thanks, Sky Mall!

But back to the actual items available for purchase through this fine establishment. Let’s start with the Head Spa Massager. Wear this and enjoy looking like you have been rummaging through Boba Fett’s old trunk of too-small helmet cast-offs.


Or perhaps you need a Full Head of Hair in 30 seconds? Try new Toppik Hair Building Fibres that allegedly stay on through wind, rain, and sweat. Hmmmmm. Why not just take the pepper grinder and go crazy.

DSC06042 DSC06043

And right below that is an ad for the X6 Hair Laser. Yes except this one is for thinning hair. No no, it is for improving the look of thinning hair. Does this mean it makes thin hair thinner? How could it make it thicker? Who are these people. And besides, it looks like a bomb or something.


For those of you with pets who encourage your short-legged pet to sleep on your bed, but worry about how to get your pet from the floor all the way on to the bed, today is your lucky day. The Pet Ramp and Staircase is at your service. Oh, and it is also soft on paws, just like the great outdoors. Which is where animals are supposed to live, by the way. In case you have forgotten. Which clearly, you have, if you think it is OK to buy a ramp for your cat to get up on your bed. I know I know you LOVE your dog and usually, I love your dog too. I just think this is going a bit too far.


But I’m not done quite yet. Actually, if you are the type of person who might purchase the Pet Ramp and Staircase for the bedroom, but experience angst when pondering how to help your shedding machine up onto the living room furniture, then look no further than page 46 of Sky Mall where you will find the PupSTEP Plus. Yes, this handy item will help your cat or dog or coatimundi up onto the couch for a ‘well-deserved nap’ after a hard night on your bed.


When you have finished contemplating what humankind has come to, consider investing in a little something to improve your status in the neighbourhood: the “Bigfoot, the Garden Yeti” statue. Now, I don't know about you, but personally I’m hung up on a few details here. First of all, Sky Mall claims this statue has been “hand-painted for startling realism” but then reveals that it is only 2ft tall. A 2ft tall Bigfoot? Now how realistic is that. You may as well give it a clown nose if it’s only going to be 2ft tall. Sounds more like a garden gnome gone wrong to me. Somewhere in a factory in China, someone is putting the finishing touches on yet another “Bigfoot, the Garden Yeti” statue and wondering what the hell is wrong with us over here in the West.


But I digress. I am also questioning the authenticity of this item. I mean, really, can I trust someone who refers to Bigfoot as a “Garden Yeti” to have the details right when they have clearly gotten their Large Mythical Creatures mixed up? Hey, Sky Mall, Yetis are from the Himalayas and Bigfoot is from the Pacific Northwest. Duh.

OK Let’s move on to my favourite item in the Sky Mall catalogue: the “Zombie of Montclaire Moors” statue. Unlike our friend the Garden Yeti, this baby is life-sized. But it gets better! Sky Mall actually suggests that this would be a good addition to your family room, garden plot, or office. I can see how that one would play out:

Me: “time for bed honey”


Me: “now honey we’ve been through this already – the Zombie is not a REAL zombie, just a statue captured in meticulous detail in quality designer resin”


ME: “Hello, Sky Mall?”DSC06147

And again, the details, SkyMall – it’s all in the details so sit up and get a pen cuz a) Zombies don’t plead for assistance and b) they can’t breathe. I’m feeling my confidence in Sky Mall slip away with this obvious disregard for facts. First the Garden Yeti, and now this. Whatever, Sky Mall, Whatever. As partial as I am to Zombies, I think I’ll give this one a miss.

Now I’m sure some of you would have just blipped right over the statuary section but I feel sure you would not have missed this next item. 


Ok Here’s the thing. PUT THAT AWAY. And put away those pyjamas too. Can you imagine actually using this? “Excuse me while I just set this bouncy castle on my fold-down tray…sorry did I elbow you?” And how, I ask you, will your face look after being jammed up against this puppy for any length of time. You may have gotten a few minutes sleep, but you will appear to have suffered a stroke for some hours post-flight. Whatever people, whatever.

This last item leaves me speechless. Now I like cats, and have had several as pets. But as far as I’m concerned, IT’S A CAT. IT DOESN’T USE THE TOILET.  I don’t care if you live in an apartment. If I visit someone at their place, use the bathroom and discover that the CAT ALSO USES THE SAME TOILET I’m gonna FREAK. That’s GROSS! I don’t care if cats are “clean” or whatever, they still lick their own bums. NO CATS ON THE TOILET.


Let’s look at that again:


I’d challenge Litter Kwitter’s claim that they have actually had the success they claim with this product. Cats don’t typically like to be told what to do. And I’d actually like to watch someone try to train a cat to use the toilet:

Owner Irene: “Come on, Fluffy, up on the toilet with you…Up you go..that’s it good Fluffy, go…now, Fluffy, no biting!”

Fluffy: (In her head) “Like I’m going to get up on that thing. Just try that again and I’m gonna stick you with my claws”

Owner Irene: “Good Fluffy, Come on let’s try again…Up on the toi…Ouch! Oh I’m sure you didn’t mean that did you, Fluffy…”

Fluffy: (In her head) “Yes I meant it and I’m not ‘getting on the toilet’, I told you. Catnip flavoured toilet paper or otherwise.”

Owner Irene: “Fluffy just get on the toilet and give it a try, please? How about a treat?”

Fluffy: “Yeah how about you treat me like a cat and let me out of this stupid bathroom"

Owner Irene “I paid $60 for this stupid video so just do like the man says and get on the toilet”

Fluffy: “If you keep trying to get me to get on the goddamn toilet, I’m gonna scratch you a new one”

Owner Irene: “I don’t know, Bill, She’s got that same look in her eyes when you tried to get her to wear that bell…do you remember that, Bill? When we had to go to cancel our holiday? I think I’m just going to leave it. It’s not worth it…”

Fluffy: “You’re so right it’s not worth it, Irene. Now leave me alone”

So many questions, I have so many questions. Like, WTF? for one.

Well that brings my rant to an end. I could have mentioned so many items. Like the underwater pogo stick (“perform a variety of waterborne stunts!”), or the bug vacuum, or the ceramic pet fountain, the telekinetic obstacle course, the indoor dog restroom (for “times of harsh weather”). But I have to stop somewhere. For now. In the meantime, I can’t wait for my next flight and the next issue of SkyMall.

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