Previously on Progressive Boink: SkyMall, Part 1.
As it turns out, SkyMall offers such a bounty of products in their "Outdoor Living" section that it warrants another look, and boy do we start off with a bang:
Pet Observation Dome, $29.95
"This clear acrylic dome opens a window to the world that helps satisfy a pet's natural curiosity while maintaining safety and security. The porthole mounts easily over a hole cut into the fence and the 9½″ diam. dome protrudes 5″ to give an inquisitive canine a panoramic view of the world beyond. The black plastic flange secures the porthole into any style of wood privacy fence. Spacing several portholes along the fence gives your pet an unfettered view of its surroundings and may help reduce barking or other undesirable behaviors."
Now let me get this straight: you buy this thing, cut a big hole in your fence, and then your dog can see into your neighbor’s yard.
"Hey Johnson, can’t help but notice you’re sawing a large hole into the fence that separates our back yards."
YES MY DOG LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SURVEY THE ADJACENT PROPERTIES WHAT OF IT.
"Well, it appears that you’re sawing this hole about five feet off the ground and your dog is a Pekingese."
SIR BARKINGTON LIKES TO BE HELD WHILE HE SPIES—ER—OBSERVES HIS SURROUNDINGS.
"Ah, very good. Carry on, then Johnson. Oh, and as you know, I like to have acrobatic sex with my buxom wife at around 6:30 every evening, so try to keep your dog inside at that time."
YOU DON’T SAY I HAD NEVER NOTICED.
Inflatable Bumper Boat, $99.99
I would have to refer to the flow chart, but I’m almost entirely positive that this constitutes child abuse.
Yes, the all-new Scoliosis Initiator, only from SkyMall!
Dummy Surveillance Camera, $29.99
WARNING! This dummy surveillance camera does not even resemble an actual security camera. The faux-metal siding more closely resembles one of those G.I. Joe vehicles where the guy with the antenna helmet drives a computer satellite dish with missiles. I would wager that this dummy camera doesn't even come with a fake glass over the lens, allowing anyone taking a close look to see right inside the cavernous box where a horde of black widows is cultivating their egg sacks. Best case scenario, you'll come outside within a week of "installation" to find Bodie Broadus has been winging rocks at it all night.
Big Foot Garden Sculpture, $98.95
Not only is this regal sculpture restrained and tasteful, it's topical as well! Who says that those three guys from Atlanta were involved in a barely-laughable hoax? With this timeless memorial to the noble Sasquatch, you can tell the world without words that in your book, "DNA derived from opossum" is just a fancy way of saying, "Who can say for certain what wonders this old Earth contains?"
Color-Changing Gazing Ball, $89.99
"The Gazing Ball from your parents' front yard now changes color while you gaze. When you were a kid, you could gaze at it, but there was really nothing to look at."
This is the first time it's really been apparent that SkyMall is not really marketed to people my age. Were the yards of our parents' generation fraught with milky gazing balls, our mothers and fathers running past them knowingly, giggling with their friends Smitty and Lulu as they played stickball and crack-the-whip? Alas, we may never know, since all of our parents are dead, and with them the memories of gazing balls long past. Thanks a lot for bringing it up, you jerk.
"Now your kids (and you) can be dazzled by the six ever-changing colors beneath the light-enhancing "cracked"-glass ball."
Hey kids, stop playing your Xbox 360 in 1080p. This "cracked"-glass ball is dazzling as shit. We got upwards of five colors here!
Handmade Copper Hose Pot, $195.00
"The Turkish cauldron design conceals up to 100 ft. of hose wrapped neatly around an interior post. Rich, subtle verdigris finis. Side exit hole allows east connection to a spigot."
Well, normally I don't go for anything that's emulating the fashion of those filthy Turks (the exceptions being their towels, baths and delights), this copper hose pot is too darling to pass up! And at a shade under two hundred dollars, why, it's an outright steal! Sure, I can go to the "wall-supermart" and purchase a hose spindle with hand-crank for six dollars, but look at that verdigris finish! Consuela, fetch my checkbook! Get the SkyMall fellows on line two! And prepare the suckling goose! We're celebrating a garden purchase tonight!
Hm, pity there is only an east connection option. I will have to check Crate & Barrel to see if they accommodate my westernly spigots.
Gutter Cleaning Robot, $129.95
"This is the only remote-controlled robot that removes leaves, small branches, and dirt from gutters, eliminating the need for ineffective and laborious manual methods."
Finally! For years, the only remote-controlled robots I had only removed individuals with the mutant gene, or in some rare cases, Jews. I must say that cleaning the gutters out with my clumsy hands certainly is ineffective. I'd much rather have my yard and roof covered with leaf pulp as the in-laws marvel at my immaculate, propeller-scored gutters.
I should note that the Home Depot offers a cheaper alternative to the Gutter Cleaning Robot. His name is Raoul and his going rate is under $50 per day.
28 Gallon Pop Up Pond, $89.95
"This PopUp Pond is the perfect way to add a small pond or fish tank to your patio, deck or balcony! The semi-translucent sides allow you to view the fish life through the side as well as downward from the top."
I call bullshit on this. There is no way that those sides are anything resembling translucent, let alone semi-. Now, I don't mean to question the aesthetic tastes of the esteemed editors of SkyMall magazine, but this pond seems to me to be egregiously tacky. It seems like the type of accoutrement that would be placed awkwardly on the shimmering asphalt of a parking lot being used as the locale of a swap meet, placed there by the proprietors to attempt to distract you from the merchant with one eye sitting behind a table of assorted shards of mirror.
And if you like the 28 Gallon Pop Up Pond, you'll love the 45 Gallon Pop U
Don't touch that, honey. It's filthy.
Bionic Rose Glove, $41.95
"Buy the Bionic Rose Gloves from ActiveForever and take control of your rosebushes!"
At long last, the oppressive regime of the Touch of Class rose shall come to an end!
"Working in the garden when you have arthritis can be difficult enough; when you have to contend with roses it becomes a real challenge."
Oh, my poor gnarled hands. Welp, off to trim back the rose heads and spray for aphids!
"Stylish and tough, these Bionic Rose Gloves are made of butter-soft sheepskin and cabretta leather and reinforced where it matters -- palms, knuckles and along the vulnerable forearm."
They sure aren't whistling to the tune of "Dixie" about that vulnerable forearm. Just ask Tim Sylvia. To be fair, if my grandmother had owned a rose glove like this, I would have had considerably more fun as a child while she tended to the church's rose gardens. "NYOWMMMM," I'd say, waving my arm about as though it were affixed to some type of energy sword. "ZHROORRMM"
Personalized Life Preserver, $49.95
Does this type of accoutrement instill in your pool party attendees a sense of safety, or one of impending dread? Only one way to find out, I say! The personalized life preserver offers two spaces for text, as shown above. May I suggest such soothing messages as
"Think of it as an underwater surfboard."
Well I guess I pretty much have to.
"Made of soft, buoyant EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), it sinks when a youngster stands on it in the pool, then it tries to surface-and that's when the fun begins."
Wow, terrifying. We teach your youngster the valuable lesson of moving their body violently and panicking when submerged in water. Watch them flail about and hold their break for far longer than is safe. Fun for all ages!
"Teaching coordination and balance and offering hours of (literally) good clean fun"
Ahhahahaha oh you wordsmiths at SkyMall! How do you do it, season in and season out? I also submit that there is no way this thing teaches coordination underwater. I think young Mark Wahlberg is actually suffering from the bends in that above picture.
Spa-N-A-Box Portable Spa, $999.00
"Buy Comfort Line Products' Spa-N-A-Box Portable Spa and you can enjoy having a totally portable spa that fits easily into those hard to get to locations - both indoors and out!"
How many times has this happened to you: You're at your doctor's office, and the wait is taking forever! Don't you wish that you could be waiting, instead, in a nice, relaxing spa? Well, dream no longer! Finally, with Spa-N-A-Box, you can set up a personal Jacuzzi any time, anywhere! All you need is thirty square feet, a reliable outlet, several dozen gallons of water, and a scant twenty minutes! Invite your doctor in to join you! Spa-N-A-Box! It's Spa-Tastic!
Branding Irons, $79.95 – $89.95
"Create a personalized iron to brand your steaks, chicken and burgers and show your guests the pride you take in being a great chef!"
Actually it seems like you take pride in being an enormous douchebag.
"Heh, here y'go, Pete. One medium well ribeye, just how y'like it!"
"Thanks, Ron. This looks gr— uh… did you… did you brand this steak?"
"Heh, y'like that? Just a little 'personal-touch' from the Ron-meister!"
"No, uh… yeah. I was just thinking that I wish… more of my steaks would come… branded."
Copper Log Bucket, $149.99
"Forget about ordinary log baskets - this handsome solid copper bucket stores logs and kindling and adds a rich, old-world look to your fireplace."
Finally, a place to store four to six of my logs! Before now they would just lay about, uncollected, cluttering up my general areas. Thanks, copper log bucket! I'm putting you next to my handmade Turkish hose pot!
Collegiate Grill Covers, $44.95 – $49.95
Ever grasping at what you could possibly buy for Jim Ross for anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmases? Look no further than our special Collegiate Grill Covers!
For the rest of us, it's a welcome opportunity to tell the world that you may not have gone to college, but darn it, you like sports! And you make enough to at least rent your own grill and care about it enough to not leave it out in the elements. Curse those harsh elements, always ruining my out-of-doors material possessions.
Kabob Basket, $7.95
I'm so sick of my kabobs always falling through the grill onto the...uh...Connect Four board underneath. Thankfully, the geniuses at KabobTech, LLC saw fit to provide us all with the Kabob Basket, a currogated iron cell from which there is no escape, unless you happen to also be there with a mathematician and a developmentally disabled man.
Natural Palm Tree, $229.99 – $599.99
"Whether you're from Kenosha or Key West, we've got the perfect Christmas tree for you. Lifelike indoor/outdoor Natural Palm Trees are sprinkled with breathtaking white lights and look just as stunning in the living room as they do in the backyard or pool area."
Whether you're from Kenosha or Key West, one of you is bound to be a tasteless-ass motherfucker, so buy a few of these trees, would ya? They're somewhat under a thousand dollars, so why wouldn't you buy a whole mess of them. They're the perfect Christmas tree!
"This holiday, break from tradition with a single tree, or buy several for a total environmental makeover."
This holiday, break from tradition and make your family ashamed and your acquaintances uneasy.
oh wait that is pretty standard christmas stuff
Panda Rain Gauge, $24.95
"Our playful panda features beautifully handpainted colors over sturdy, weatherproof polyresin. Leave him in an open area to collect the rain then read the results as he sizes up his bamboo dinner."
Why would you need to sell someone on what the rain gauge looks like when you have a picture of it right there? Are you trying to assure everyone that this is a panda eating bamboo on a rain gauge and not in fact Ganja The Panda tripping balls on the sticky-icky on this "water-tobacco pipe."
"In times of dryness, the gauge slot can also hold a candle to create a centerpiece for your patio table."
In times of dryness, buy some K-Y and let everyone know you're a tacky motherfucker.
Baseball Bat Pepper Grinder, $59.95
Yep, outdoor living. Before I move on to the jokes, take a moment to drink in the above picture, because nothing I could ever write would be half as absurd as that, let alone that SkyMall not only believes this is a worthwhile purchase to feature in their publication. Please note that this is a peppermill shaped like a bat, and it costs sixty dollars.
This elegant piece of kitchenware apparently had it's copy written by the Hangin' Out Gang:
"Hit one out-of-the-park as a gift for your Dad who's MVP of the grill."
Grindin' up some pepper with yer pepper-grindin' bat!
"Feels and looks just like a baseball bat but professional quality grinder delivers effective spice control."
That's exactly what I look for in a pepper mill. Effective spice control. Many's the time I've purchased a subpar pepper distributor and ended up with spice higgledy-piggledy all over my filet. You've got to keep that shit in line.