"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Holiday shopping, already?

Judging by the many catalogs that have begun arriving in our mailbox over the last couple of weeks, retailers are going straight from "Back To School" to "Christmas". The official holiday shopping season now apparently starts immediately after Labor Day, with Halloween and Thanksgiving only minor diversions on the path to rampant consumerism.

So as a public service to any Wind In The Wire readers who might like to get a jump start on their holiday gift-buying, I've decided to present a few suggestions straight from the latest catalog I received, one of those stores that specializes in "As Seen On TV" items. The products and pictures are real, but I've taken some, er, "creative liberties" with the descriptions. Enjoy.

Note: To make this interesting, one of the items below is the actual, honest-to-goodness, un-retouched description of the product pictured. Can you guess which one?


Who needs crisp, pressed clothes? The button-down look is "out" and the casual "rumpled" look is "in". You can easily add that crinkly look to your outfit with these special vacuum bags that suck out all the air and leave shirts, dresses and suits looking like they've been slept in for a week, but they're still clean! Clothes can also be conveniently frozen for later use.

Losing your hearing and eyesight? Welcome to the 21st century, Grandma! But with this special amplified phone with extra-big buttons you can still call the Home Shopping Channel any time you like without having to put in your hearing aid. Now only $19.98, marked down drastically from the former price ($20.02).

Distant relative to the "Tribble" of Star Trek fame, this critter lives in your bathroom and eats slime for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You may never have to clean your sink again. Loves people too, in fact will occasionally jump out of the sink and attach itself to your foot (right photo), but a couple of good smacks will send it back where it belongs. Can also be trained to fetch your paper, pipe, and slippers if you have a lot of patience and are into that sort of thing.

What a hilarious prank, makes a great holiday gift. Comes in a 32 oz. tube with handy applicator plunger. Squeezes out easily and hardens to a black, rubber-like consistency, guaranteed to clog any commode ever made. Marked down 25%, so get one for all your friends!

Say hello to Fred, our idiot brother-in-law. He's not too smart and doesn't have a job, so we're trying to find him a home. (He used to be an electrician, but lost his license because the last house he worked on burned down, so that's why there's "no wiring"). As the illustration shows, he doesn't require much; just shove him in your closet, cabinet, or attic and feed him every now and then.

Have you heard? The "Geek Chic" look is IN this season, and if you think regular glasses make you look nerdy, wait until you slip on a pair of these extra-large coke bottles. You won't be just "four-eyes" any more; with interchangeable and stackable lenses, you can go all the way up to "twelve-eyes"! Special headlight included to find your way around dark basements or while holed up in the computer closet.

Too smart for your own good? Use our patented Brain Zapper to kill off brain cells faster than drugs or alcohol, with none of the needless expense or vomiting. Will lower IQ by at least one point for each zap. Successfully tested on executives of large corporations like Enron, as well as many current members of the Bush administration.

Grocery bill not high enough? Get this huge but lovable hungry freakin' dog! This monster will tear through a 40-pound bag of dog chow every day (left photo), scratch your door to smithereens trying to get out (right photo), and then poop all over your lawn (not shown). Quantities limited, order today!

Never worry about a tree jumping out into the road and biting your car again with our exclusive Tree Alarm. Simply install the receiver unit in your auto, place a transmitter on each tree you wish to avoid running into, and you'll be alerted whenever you're within 400 feet of it. Also works great with telephone poles, parking meters, and elderly persons. One 9-volt battery per tree (sold separately) required. Last chance, so stock up!

Husband often out of town on business? Boyfriend too busy watching football to call you? Who needs him when you've got the "Rock-N-Go" (formerly known as the "Rock-N-Come")! Here's just a few of the many, many reasons why this product is much better than a man:

• Always there only for your pleasure
• Won't ask you to bring it a beer
• Easy to turn on or off
• Won't get you pregnant, give you a disease, or make you watch NASCAR
• Your mother will never ask you what it does for a living
• Doesn't snore, belch, or fart
• Won't cheat on you or flirt with your friends
• Understands if you're not in the mood

Order The Orgazmatron today - "satisfaction" guaranteed!

For the guy who wants the sporty look of a beard but is "facially challenged", here's just the thing: the Hercules Hook Beard Marker™. Throughout history, men with beards have been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom, sexual virility, or high status, and some religious groups actually require one. With our patented laser pen, you'll be a dapper dan in mere seconds! Semi-permanent, but can be removed with ordinary household battery acid.

Tired of carrying pails of water around your house? Use this nifty product instead. It's easy!! Just ...

1. Haul it from the garage, pantry, or wherever you store it
2. Unroll the hose, taking care to get all the kinks out
3. Remove your kitchen sink faucet and attach the hose adapter with a 9/16" crescent wrench
4. Attach the hose to the adapter with a dual-spanner Phizzer valve (not included)
5. Turn on the water and check for leaks, re-tighten all connections
6. Water your plants (right)
7. Shut off the water at the sink and remove the Phizzer valve, taking care not to strip the threads
8. Roll up the hose, taking care to not kink it
9. Clean up the water from inside the hose that you spilled all over the kitchen floor in step #8
9. Store the hose back away again
10. Re-attach your kitchen faucet

Now, wasn't that easier than carrying a pail of water all of three feet from the sink to your plants?

For those who might need a little more fiber in their diet, try a tasty brick for dinner with some flava beans and a nice chianti. Special Tungsten Carbide blade quickly cuts bricks into thin easy-to-serve slices with no muss or fuss. Also works well on overcooked meat loaf and holiday fruitcake. Makes a great gift!

Get a jump on that next school or craft project with this huge 6' x 6' poster board. Can be stored under the mattress until needed. 25% off! (Extra shipping charges may apply.)

Yes, you too can have the Britney Spears "look", as seen on the recent MTV Video Music Awards! This video details all the steps necessary, including gum-smacking, partying until dawn, shaving your head, and flashing your private parts for the camera. Special cheese-puff and margarita diet guarantees fast results!

Tough-skin mitts remove a very thin outer layer of potato so there's more for everyone to enjoy! Peels a potato in eight seconds! Thick, waterproof rubber gloves are safe to use and won't result in nicks or cuts.

If you have a child who's been "grounded" but sometimes sneaks out of his room, you need this item! Keeps the door locked securely so he can't get out, and will sound a loud alarm and jolt him with a 120-volt shock of electricity if he tries to grab the doorknob. For complete protection, all you need to do is board up the windows. Also indispensable for keeping your teenage daughter away from that nasty thug of a boyfriend she hangs out with.

MP3 players keep getting smaller, and this one's so tiny it fits right into your ear. Huge 128 byte "giga-memory" will store portions of many of your favorite songs! Buy two for stereo.

Unique one-of-a-kind item, and what a bargain too! You'll save 60 percent when you order Gladys, our annoying next-door neighbor who thinks it's OK to just "pop in" anytime she feels like it as long as she brings a couple of glasses of her lousy watered-down iced tea. She'll yack and yack and won't shut up, and is harder to get rid of than a toenail fungus. But we'll be more than happy to stuff the old bat into a box and send her to whoever ponies up $14.98. First come, first served!

Mornings can be hectic, and often you're in such a rush to get to work that you don't even have time to drink your coffee. Instead, just plug in this Good Housekeeping coffee sprayer, and in seconds you'll have a fine mist of 100% Arabica coffee ready to inhale the caffeine directly into your lungs. Ladies, give your man a quick snort o' Joe as he runs out the door on the way to the office, just like in the photo. Also perfect for college students! Now 20% off!

Can't figure out how to get rid of that pesky mother-in-law or irritating co-worker? There'll be nothing left but her hat and shoes (first photo, right) when you stuff her into the Patio Body Trunk. Patented secret chemical formula speeds decomposition with no messy dismembering (second photo) required. Note: offer void where prohibited.

Spontaneous combustion, nasal blockage, toxic contamination, ultrasonic radiation ... who knew ordinary dryer lint could be so dangerous? You don't want to touch that shit with a ten-foot pole, so here's the next best thing: a 3-foot vacuum attachment that sucks lint and swallows too! Can also be used to remove chrome from trailer hitches! Only $9.98!

So which one do you think is "real" ... hard to tell, isn't it?


  • At 9/20/2007 05:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As an experienced catalog (we call them "bookies" in my neck of the woods) shopper, I can assure you that the real deal is the "Tater Mitts", which I admit I could use. The last three times I have prepared a dinner, I have cut myself :-( so now we eat orange sherbet.

  • At 9/21/2007 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Janelle said…

    Those are just hilarious. I have seen a lot of those advertised in the Harriet Carter magazines that my grandmother gets...it is sad that I even know the name of the catalog. My favorite is The Orgasmatron. It reminds me of the song I Need A Lover by Pat Benatar.

  • At 9/21/2007 09:41:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    its the tater mitts. Although all of those inventions would sell, I believe this is the real one

  • At 9/22/2007 09:57:00 AM, Blogger Synchronicity said…

    tell us tell us! i am anxiously awaiting the answer!

  • At 9/22/2007 12:06:00 PM, Blogger Sphincter said…

    I think I have to join the Tater Mitt camp. But I do think there could be a brisk market for all of the "products" mentioned.

  • At 9/23/2007 08:00:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    You guys are just way too smart for me. (obviously, I've been using the "Brain Zapper" again.) Yes, the real product is the Tater Mitts, something no well-equipped home should be without. Won't you be thrilled to have your spouse give you a pair of these for Christmas?

  • At 9/26/2007 07:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mr. T., those mitts are nice, but I'm holding out for a Lava Lamp for Christmas this year.

  • At 10/12/2007 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Chandira said…

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!! Haven't laughed so much in forever. Those are truly inspired. And I had no idea which one is the real one, either..


  • At 12/08/2011 06:20:00 AM, Anonymous wmv player said…

    I love shopping so much! Sometimes it doesn't even matter what to buy just do it!Not smart I agree. I think above of these thigs are usefull. Want them all!

  • At 8/21/2012 04:22:00 AM, Anonymous mac converter mts mov said…

    I think I have to join the Tater Mitt camp. But I do think there could be a brisk market for all of the "products" mentioned.
    I'm working with a Canon Vixia HG20 HD camcorder, Mac 10.4.11, and iMovie HD 6. The camera is not recognized by iMovie, but I figured that would happen. So I'm left with a bunch of .mts files on the camera.

    I've tried all the free trials I could find, they either put a giant watermark over the video, or have a time limit, or just plain don't work. There MUST be some program out there that can completely and freely convert MTS files into MP4, MOV, MPEG, etc.


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