clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SkyMall, Part 5.

New, 22 comments

Welcome to the fifth installment of our examination of the wonderful, weird, stupid world of the SkyMall catalog. Perhaps you missed the first four articles. Never to fear! We'll link them for you.

Now you're up to speed on everything you need to know: SkyMall sells crazy stuff to crazy people. But you knew that already. Let's do this thing!


Ab Radical Abdominal Optimizer, $19.99

Billy Zane just won't stop working out in preparation for his role in The Phantom 2. No one tell him the movie's not actually happening. It would break his tiny little weird-headed heart.

Yeah, I can't figure out what the hell this guy is doing in the picture here. Putting on a backpack while getting out of a sleeping bag? Affixing suspenders to his baggy Charlie Chaplin pants? The description of this item seriously does not say what this is supposed to do or what you're supposed to use it for. Perhaps the alternate photos will help!

Well , shit.

iRestore Hair Laser - $599

I'm not really sure what this is supposed to b-five hundred bucks?! What the shit

Maybe some of these other pictures can shed some light on


hahaha what

Let's see what the SkyMall description has to say about this:

"The World's First Hands-Free Home Use Laser Hair Therapy Treatment to Combat Hair Loss."

wait there was a handheld laser to combat hair loss

"Thousands of hair loss sufferers for the past 25 years worldwide have experienced the benefits of this non-invasive and pain free treatment. Laser Hair Therapy gained increased notoriety over the past decade through its wide acceptance of usage by hair loss industry professionals and through positive news coverage about the technology from well-respected media outlets. Many users of the low-level laser hair therapy report that it promotes the appearance of fuller, thicker, and healthier looking hair."

A small amount of users of the low-level laser hair therapy report that it promotes medium-sized holes in the scalp, a distinct burning-flesh smell, extra arms, and MASSIVE BRAIN TUMORS

"(27) Low-level 650nm lasers and (27) red luminous optical lights... "

That's a lot of those!

"provide phototherapy, a scientific process providing stimulation to cells in your hair follicles. iRestore's lightweight patent pending moveable light dome design is equipped with separation barrels, which part obstructing hair for adequate light energy coverage and stimulation."

Fuckin' SEPARATION BARRELS! Now I'm sold! This certainly all sounds completely on the level. Why, just look at this lady here, she's certainly enjoying the iRestore!


See, even people with a spectacularly full head of hair, who are thoroughly perplexed by books can enjoy this fun and easy laser treatment. You'll be having so much fun, you'll want to pop one of your shoulders out for some air. Saucy!

But lest you be scared off by the thoughts of bare-shouldered ladies and book-learnin', we've got you old-fashioned fellas covered, too.


"Just watchin' m'sports, regrowin' m'dang hairline. I sure hope Sports Team wins the Big Game."

If there was ever a doubt that SkyMall's specific demographic is weird single people with loads of disposable income, I think we've helpfully removed that doubt with our work here today. A breakthrough!

Go Away Gray Supplement -
$29.99 - $59.98

As a sports fan, I have to sit through at least 400 commercials a year for "Just for Men." These ads feature, alternately: children telling their dad how ashamed his dead corpse of a wife would be if she could see his unsightly old-man hair; the insinuation that you'll never get a job (particularly not one with a sexy LadyBoss) with that salt-and-pepper bullshit you've got going on; or Keith Hernandez screaming about how the only way you'll get your dick sucked is if you slather grease paint into your hair, beard, and pubes as soon as possible.

Given all of this insidious advertising, a product simply labeled "GO AWAY GRAY" is somewhat refreshing. No pretense, no bullshit. One wonders whether SkyMall nixed the original product name, "THE FUCK OUTTA HERE, GRAY."



R.E.M. Spring Hair Remover - 19.95

You can't fool me, this is a stock photo from a metal-smelling fetish site. So this is a product where you stretch a spring, get your "unsightly" hairs caught in it, then tear them out. It's 20 bucks. Can you imagine spending this amount of time on hoping this catches all your mustache hairs? It's like tweezers, but less control, and assumedly more painful. Here's a short list of things more practical to use than this spring hair remover:

- tweezers

- nail clippers

- a razor

- wax

- your own fingernails

- fire

- sandpaper

- being secure in your own appearance

- rubbing your face against the wall super hard


Vibrating Head Massager - $23.95 / Tingler Head Massager - $12.95



AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH look out, Jamie Kennedy Experiment! Someone is trying to capture your head a la a claw machine!

Toothpaste Tablets - $12.85

"These great tasting, chewable Toothpaste Tablets aren't liquid or paste, so they can be carried on planes in your 3-1-1-kit. Lightweight, compact and convenient, just chew one tablet, brush, and rinse for the same benefits as traditional toothpaste."

So everyone who buys these just chews em up and swallows em and assumes they just brushed their teeth, right? In what world is there a person that sees this 13-dollar bottle of "toothpaste tablets" and is like "Oh yeah, that makes way more sense for my trip than going to Target and picking up a $1 travel-sized thing of Crest"? Simple, friend ... in the world of SkyMall!

By the way, there's a "Select A Flavor" drop-down menu on this item. The options?


That's it.


DaVinci Tool Massager - 19.95

"Simply place the DaVinci Tool wherever you are experiencing pain, such as at the top of the neck or the base of the skull, then just lie back and relax."

Trepan yourself in the comfort of your own home, just like Da Vinci would have! Simply expose the dura mater of your brain or spinal cord, and allow those pesky demons to get out. Also recommended for: female hysteria, rickets, scurvy, and leprosy. Leeches and blood-letting pan sold separately.

Select hard or soft firmness.

Select instantaneous death or a lifetime of unending, waking nightmares.


Epiphany massager - 69.99

I've had an epiphany - this thing sucks!

"It can be anything but relaxing when you're contorting every which-way just to massage sore muscles in hard-to-reach places."

I'm contortin' every which-way! Massagin' these sore muscles has me tireder'n a pickled hen! I'm carryin' more stress than a government mule! These places are harder to reach than the devil's stink-box!

"But thanks to the Epiphany Massager's unique pantented curved design, delivering 5,000 RPMs of deep, invigorating theraputic relief to those impossible-to-massage places is easily within your grasp."

You know, very few - VERY few - "personal massager" manufacturers make it so you can't figure out by looking out just exactly how you're going to pleasure yourself with the thing. And believe me, I'm trying to figure out how this thing would work out and not be simpler than the standard "vibrating wand" setup. I think we've finally found the first "personal massager" that the manufacturers earnestly intend to be used for massaging muscles. They will sell two.

"As light as a bottle of water, it's most intuitively shaped handheld massager ever invented."

I don't think "light as a bottle of water" has ever been used as a selling-point simile before. Breaking new ground in all sorts of ways here, Epiphany massager! Also, as for being "intuitively shaped," no.


Original Backnobber II - 28.95

Someone's probably going to PhotoShop this in an exceedingly inappropriate way, but I'm personally enjoying imagining that this lady is strong as fuck and just bending steel bars for the hell of it. Which is all a roundabout way of getting to my central point: haha "backnobber"


Massage Star - 17.95

That ain't a star, bro.

"Invented by renowned pro sports therapist, John G. Louis, CMT, the Massage Star is coveted by pro and college sports trainers worldwide -An instructional DVD makes it easy to use."

Thing's 18 bucks, dude, I don't think you need to "covet" it.

"The patented soft skin-like coating "


"makes the weight of the product (11 oz) feel so natural, helping you perform acupressure, reflexology and deep tissue massage while relieving stress on everyone involved!"

Yes, literally everyone involved - from the salesman, to the cheap labor assembling the product, to the dead-eyed SkyMall phone operator, will have their stress relieved by the Massage Star! Why, just look at the two gentlemen below, having the time of their god damn lives with the product.


Personally, I'd be more relieved by the tender inner-thigh hand placement demonstrated by Flopsweat McGee than ... wait a minute ...



PhotoShoppery! PhotoShoppery most foul. Jesus Christ, what was this image originally used for? Judging from this apparatus on the shelf back here


I am going to go with "weird ultrasound/massager thing." Either that, or "tattoo machine." Either way, these guys look to be just having the time of their lives. It's just not due to the Massage Star, is all I'm saying. Also, it appears that all Certified Medical Trainers - including people just playing CMTs in stock photographs - are required to wear a fanny pack at all time, lest they risk being stripped of their certification.

By that same stock footage token, is there anything sadder than a buff former athlete who blew out all of his various ACLs and thought he could make a go at modeling, but just ends up being a stock-footage guy, forever PhotoShopped into whatever product can be placed against his knee in a delightful manner? I suggest that no, there is nothing sadder.


Personal infrared Sauna - 499.00

Okay, putting aside for a moment the head from a different photograph that was dropped in here as an afterthought (pretty sure that's Natalie Portman), this is more "Fleet Captain Pike" cosplay than anything else.

Assume for a second that you're the type of person that would spend $500 on something from SkyMall. (That's right, a white person.) Now, you plunk down five hundred smackers on a personal infrared sauna. You use this thing, what? Three times? Maybe? Perhaps you use it once, and you say, "hey, that was better than I thought it would be." You say that, because you were expecting it to be shitty. But you still bought it.

That's the SkyMall customer. That's their mindset, and that's their level of disposable income. They'll spend $500 (plus shipping!) on this shit, not even really hoping for anything great. They'll use it a couple times, decide they'd rather watch, I dunno, "Franklin & Bash" with their hands free to mute the TV if it's any commercial but that hilarious E*Trade baby, and they DO NOT GIVE A FUCK about where that money went off to. These are the people who use SkyMall. They have to be. There's no other explanation.


Portable neck traction - 69.98

Seventy bucks. Look, we al l like to be choked, but I'm not paying $70 of my hard-earned money to get my rocks off with a squeeze-bulb and an inner tube. This isn't for people who have legitimate neck issues, right? This is for people who want to sweat and eat Nutter Butters while they watch reruns of "Xena" and don't want to go through all that god damn work of holding their swollen heads upright while they do so.


Headache relieving wrap - 49.95

"Developed by a neurologist,"

There's no way that's accurate. Unless they mean a neurologist was fucking around and was like, "People know so little about the human brain that I bet I could sell a headband and call it a ‘headache relieving wrap.' I could probably sell them for - I dunno - fifty bucks a pop?" And quickly drew up a sketch ... probably kind of like this:


Then he called the patent office, but they told him there were already like a hundred items like that, all in various stages of the patenting process. So he just called SkyMall and they were like "WE'LL TAKE TEN THOUSAND."


The big pitcher - 229.95

Haha, get it? It's like a joke, but with words! Here at SkyMall, we call those "word-jokes!" Here's what the description has to say, which is basically just a big long string of lies:

"Oxygen in the blood stream is a cleanser that helps rid your body of waste and toxins due to lifestyles that include lots of stress, processed food, impure air and over-treated water."

You know what would help that over-treated water? Blasting it with air!

"The Big Pitcher helps to solve this problem by raising the level of oxygen in any water (tap or bottled) from the typical 2 parts per million to 11 parts per million, while improving taste and costing only about $5 per year to operate! Solids and gases (such as chlorine, radon and sulfur) are removed and harmful bacteria are neutralized, while health-improving oxygen is added to help provide the energy to help your digestive and immune systems operate at peak performance levels."

Health-improving oxygen! That shit gets rid of everything. Chlorine, radon, sulfur. Heck, I even use oxygen to blast the leaves off of my driveway and out into the street! Those suckers are the city's problem now!

"Health benefits include increased energy and metabolism, improved sleep patterns, reduction in circulation problems and healthier, younger-looking skin and hair."

It'll make your dick bigger! It'll cure your cancers! Why, I even heard tell it would improve your abilities at math! Step right up and get yourself a taste of air-blasted tap water! You'll swear it was poursed straight from God's own asshole!

"This counter-top appliance operates anywhere there is an electrical outlet, so it is perfect for home or office."


Say, uh, Johnson.

Yeah, Ted?


I notice you've got some sort of uh ... I guess, blender or something on your desk there?

Huh? Oh, that's just my "Big Pitcher," heh heh.


Well, I notice that it kind of ... oh, what's the word? "Makes incessant noise."

Well, sure, Ted. Y'gotta keep blastin' your water with air. Whaddaya think gets the radon out?




"You'll love your water's new fresh taste - so you'll drink more of it! Just what the Doctor ordered!"



2- person outdoor sauna - Price: $1,499.00 NOW: $1,199.97

Oh shiiiiiit. Prices are slashed. Ever wanted to get freaky with a pair of PhotoShopped babes in your PhotoShopped backyard? Well, get ready to press the "fulfill life dreams" button on your wish-granting machine! This two-person sauna is everything you'll need: a three-foot by three-foot, five-foot tall box that plugs into the wall and probably features three space heaters.

This is easily the most terrifying backyard I've ever seen. WHAT IS THAT RAIL GOING TO? Is that a bike rack? Judging by the view, it appears that this property abuts THE EDGE OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE. The pool appears to end in one corner that is a terrifying crevice of what must surely be stagnant water. Nothing in this backyard Is presented at a right angle to anything else. Was this supposed to be convincing in any way? Was this supposed to convince me to buy a sauna? You've got an eight-foot-tall woman inside the thing, a three-foot-tall woman outside it, and the entire inside of the sauna is filled with IKEA dish-drying racks. If the door is make of semi-opaque glass, WHY AM I SEEING THE INSIDE OF THE SAUNA IN IT. Is the door even attached to the sauna?! This is not the work of an incompetent SkyMall catalog boob. This isn't even some sort of True American Dog-style troll. This image is the legitimate handiwork of a WARLOCK.


Spy Bug Detector - 199.95

this is under first aid and safety

You may be fooled by the name of this item, but don't be. It really is what you think it is. It's a $200 box that tells you whether someone has placed a "bug" in your house or car. Like, to spy on you. And it's under the "First Aid and Safety" section of the SkyMall online catalog. Again, let's think of our theoretical SkyMall audience: older; white; stupid; gullible; tons of disposable income; lazy; weird; impulsive. Sounds pretty good. Oh wait, we forgot PARANOID. Yep, the average SkyMall owner is a paranoid, hypochondriac weirdo that is convinced their ex-wife (or the government) is spying on them and determined to bring them down. Be warned: if a guy in an inflatable neck brace is outside his house waving around a Spy Bug Detector while drinking a glass of oxygen-blasted water, you live in the wrong neighborhood.

Well, that was quite an adventure. Thank you for joining us once again. And stay tuned for another installment of SkyMall, because SkyMall is a world without end. Much like the backyard in that sauna picture.


See, the dog looks ashamed because the water isn't oxygen-blasted.