There’s been a whole lot of flyin’ goin’ on since The Move—which means there’s been a whole lot of waiting and wondering. (When will the flight take off? What’s the problem now?) Seems like the only happy time in air travel these days is the time you spend at the SkyMall.
If you haven’t flown lately, SkyMall is the mail order catalog in the seat pocket in front of you on the airplane. Numerous vendors select products to contribute to the catalog—Hammacher Schlemmer, Improvements, Wireless, Toscano—and then at the back are a group of items in the “SkyMall Collection. Going Beyond the Ordinary.” At first it looks like any other mail order catalog–they’ve got some neat jewelry and cool toys. But SkyMall is not like any other catalog. Its audience is a captive audience, and most of them would rather be Some Place Else. It’s a tough crowd.
So I know that SkyMall means business. These products are carefully chosen for the target audience. No doubt there are Experts who labor over these selections. Which brings me to the most intriguing questions about the SkyMall Experience: “Who do these people think we are?” and the even more troubling, “If these people know what they’re doing, then who am I flying with?”
I’ll show you what I mean by offering you a sampling of the many Wonders of SkyMall.
As you’d expect there are the usual travel organizer and comfort items for all those people who are thinking, “Next time I fly I’m gonna get one of those (fill in the blank).” There’s a Stealthplug USB cable and software package so you can record your electric guitar directly onto your laptop if you make it to the hotel, and there’s a “Mini Motel” Portable Tent for the times you get stuck overnight in the airport. SkyMall has a lot of items to help you throw the party you’ll be having if you ever get home: wine chillers, speakers for your iPod, pool toys, and even the Dough-Nu-Matic (“Great for large parties and ideal for fundraisers since this machine makes easy-to-sell treats for pennies apiece.”).
There are delightful products for the pets you’ve left behind, including the Pet Crate End Table (so your pet can truly become part of your decor)
and the Pet Observation Dome
for all those dogs frustrated by privacy fences. (I wonder how my next door neighbors would feel if one of these appeared in the fence between us.)
SkyMall has products for the suspicious and the unhappy: consider the Cam Color Video Spy Camera (“What happens while you’re away? Let’s face it. Our vision is limited to what we can see in the moment.”) and the HairMax Laser Comb, a “revolutionary handheld Laser PhotoTherapy device” that will free you from the “misery of thin, weak-looking hair” for only $495.
And then there are the Lawn Sculptures for customers who want to make a statement. Come on, you would love to put some of these up around the house. Maybe the Meerkat Gang Sculpture
or Big Foot the Garden Yeti, or perhaps your tastes go more toward the Risen Jesus Christ (nearly 5 ft. tall and 92 lbs.) or the Sister Gloria Nun Sculpture. Or maybe just a simple Sumo Wrestler.
There’s the NoseAid (pictured above) in case you ever need to drive the car while your child is having a nosebleed, and the InnerScan Segmental Body Composition Monitor Scale which “will accurately determine individual composition reading for each body part—trunk, right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg” (because knowing that at least my left arm is losing weight would be a comfort).
And at the end of the day, you can be safe and secure in your Bright Feet Lighted Slippers—“slippers with headlights that light your way in the dark!”
What more could you possibly want? Okay. Maybe lots of things. But SkyMall is great. It’s part shopping, part in-flight entertainment, part anthropological study. It won’t make up for the tasteless, expensive food or the lack of leg room, but trust me, and next time you fly take a few minutes and escape to the SkyMall.