Junk Mail

December 1, 2000

Every year around this time mailboxes fill up with catalogs. Catalogs are a wonderful way to shop–they provide you with products you never knew existed, products you didn’t want until you knew they existed, and products that, once you knew they existed, you still don’t want. Here’s a selection of some of the nuttiest things I’ve seen this holiday season. Disclaimer: I have been denied financial compensation for mentioning these products. (Translation: the cheapskate companies won’t pay me.) All the products I mention really are real – but I won’t be giving out any brand names or locations where you can acquire them (assuming you even want to). So:

Punching bag with Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" on it.
Nothing relaxes you like being able to beat the crap out of a masterwork of 20th Century art, but one wonders, why this painting? The bald, round-eyed screamer in Munch’s painting looks like he’s having a bad enough time without being punched. Why not put the Mona Lisa on a punching bag and let us see whether we can wipe that stupid grin off her face?

Fake fur dog coat.
Forcing a dog to wear another animal’s fur would be, of course, humiliating. So make your dog wear a specially processed synthetic fabric that only resembles fur. It’s often said that pets resemble their owners. Since people who buy fake fur coats for their pets probably also buy fake fur coats for themselves, they can be happy knowing that they and their pet will appear arrogant, pathetic, AND cheap.

99 Flatulence Noises (Audio CD).
I’m not kidding. I only wish I were making this one up. The only thing I can say about this CD is that, according to the cover, it comes with instructions for "a hilarious party game". The sad fact is that anyone who would buy this never goes to parties. Anyone who would buy a CD of flatulence noises doesn’t have friends.

Aqua Home.
Complete with two beds, bathroom, shower, mini-bar, desalination unit, and other comforts of a real home, the saucer-shaped aqua-home is the perfect gift for that special person who has everything and needs a place to get away from it. Since the price is just under US$100,000, this is really the kind of gift you would buy for yourself–three days before your internet stock nosedives. The price doesn’t include helicopter-delivery, and, to make it even more appealing, the aqua home does not have any means of locomotion. That’s right–you put it in the water, anchor it, and pray that a hurricane doesn’t come along and throw you, the mini-bar, and the deluxe surround-sound speaker system against the nearest hotel.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


(Note: the holidays seem to be a time for increased consumption, so I thought this would be appropriate.)

ALCOHOL LABELS

Due to increasing product liability litigation, American beer brewers have accepted the FDA’s suggestion that the following warning labels be placed immediately on all beer containers:

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an idiot.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN!!!

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your pants.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with other members of the opposite sex without spitting.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers, resulting in you getting your ass kicked.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and or name you can’t remember).

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter and more handsome than some really, really big guy named FRANZ.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause a disturbance in the time-space continuum, whereby small (and sometimes large) gaps of time may seem to literally disappear.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy. (In other words, Don’t drink and drive–most people in this world are caused by accidents.)

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