11 January 2008
Crazy for Elvis Tote Bags!!
On any given day I get between 3,000 and 5,ooo catalogs in the mail. I estimate that I personally invited around five of those catalogs to be sent to me; the rest I assume are being sent by terrorists.
Now, don't get me wrong. Terrorist-sent or not, I love me some catalogs. I've loved leafing through them since I was a tot; it's an obsession that haunts me and my mailbox continually. I get a strange sense of satisfaction when I've been able to go through an entire catalog without wanting anything contained therein. It's comforting to know that I'm not missing anything essential (or more likely non-essential) in my life.
When I picked up "The Lighter Side" last night, I was relieved to know that I would be satisfied by the end of it even before I opened it (much like my level of confidence before browsing through "Lamps Plus."). "The Lighter Side" is a new company to my collection, but not unknown to me entirely given my lifelong affair with the catalog industry. Their particular collection of products is eclectic, but at least they all have one thing in common: they're pure crap. John Wayne throw blankets, light-up Shamrock hats, Hillary Clinton nutcrackers, "Future Redneck" toddler t-shirts, Elvis bobbleheads, home pole dancing kits, illuminated pink corset lamps, and animated "deer with a target on its chest" hitch covers that move their legs while you drive: all these products and more are to be found in "The Lighter Side."
The trainwreck that I can't ignore is the novelty t-shirt section. With printed sayings like "I get enough exercise pushing my luck!" and "Only 1 shopping day left until tomorrow!" I fail to see how they ever sell any t-shirts at all. One t-shirt caught my eye though: "Am I getting older or is the supermarket playing really great music?" I've thought my supermarket has been playing great music for a long time. So just how old am I?
This catalog also sells a "Red Carpet Runway With Lights, Applause, and Music." I should also mention that it comes with a tent designed to look as if your obviously deprived child is emerging from behind her (or his I suppose) red curtain-draped dressing room. First of all, who would buy this monstrosity? How spoiled does your bratty child have to be to need this product to lift his or her tiny little self-esteem? And exactly how many times is your kid likely to even use it? If your child is normal, once to try it out, and perhaps two more times with her friends (a boy would not use it with his friends because they would beat him if he even suggested it) before they tired of it. That was a waste of your $50, plus added heartbreak from discovering that maybe your child will not turn out to be that runway model or film star like you'd hoped.
Finally, my favorite products, the "The ORIGINAL Founding Fathers" line of goods. In case you're having difficulty imagining what that involves, it is a picture of Mount Rushmore overshadowed by the heavenly apparitions of Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Red Cloud. Now, that's a perfectly nice sentiment and all, but who exactly is purchasing throw blankets and t-shirts with that picture on them? Are there that many Indians in the U.S. who actually buy these things? Or are they progressive/guilt-ridden crackers who want to show the world how sorry they are for slaughtering the Native Americans 200-300 years ago? These are the things that keep me up at night.
In summary: if you need a doormat that tells your visitors that Yorkies are proof that God loves you and wants you to have a happy home, or a set of personalized angel car mats, then boy howdy, do I have the catalog for you.