Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Just sign me up for one of everything and be done with it

This is a continuation of an earlier blog about amazing products in magazines. I had to write more because in true American style they’ve done it bigger, better and more ridiculous than us. Yey for Sky Mall magazine! Apparently a long haul flight is the perfect time and place to consider new and revolutionary ways to look after or clean up after your pet. I was a particular fan of the potty trainer for cats, which promises to train your cat to use any human toilet in eight weeks or less. Alongside the advert was a picture of a confused looking cat on a real toilet. I wonder how much he got paid for that.  
There was also a small patch of synthetic grass for your dog to use inside the house (how about taking it for a walk?) and a kitty litter tray disguised as a plant pot, complete with humongous plastic plant (clever, no one will suspect a thing).
Moving on into the generally weird and wonderful pet genre, a mini set of stairs to enable puppies to get onto the sofa, then on the next page a device to try to re-train your dog not to jump up onto the sofa. Confusing to say the least. 
There were some pet items in the magazine that seemed plain cruel. For example a cage to put your dog in, lovingly described as a ‘pet crate end table with chew proof bars.’ So a prison then? And worse than that, an ‘ultrasonic barking dog deterrent’ fake bird house. Apparently when a dog barks within a certain radius, the bird house emits a harmless ultrasonic tone that startles the dog into silence. Harmless? Did a dog tell you that himself? It’s really quite hard to determine from the list of pet products whether we actually love or hate our animals.
And if you’re not a pet lover/hater then don’t worry; there were plenty of things in Sky Mall magazine for humans too. ‘The traveler’s bed bug thwarting sleeping cocoon,’ being a favourite of mine. I’m sorry, but what kinda ghetto hotel are you staying at? Imagine the scene: a friend invites you to stay. You have dinner, some drinks, then turn in for the night, but not before whipping out your bed bug thwarting sleeping cocoon and insisting on sleeping in it on top of the bed covers. Better safe than sorry. I doubt you’re being invited back.
There’s also the portable infrared sauna that you zip up around you, leaving only your head sticking out the top like Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when she turns into a blueberry, but without the luxury of arms. Again, probably not being invited back.
Not only did I love the products in this magazine, I also loved the fact that everything starts with ‘the.’ The always cool pillow, the lady’s plantar fasciitis slides (what?), the voice activated R2-D2. Pointless and powerful both at the same time.
At the back of the magazine was a whole world of life sized stone creatures for your garden. Nothing says 'stylish' more than a bear catching fish in your pond, a crocodile coming out of the bushes, Bigfoot peering round a tree, a zombie breaking through the earth. Just wait till I get my own house…
Honestly, I have to hand it to Delta: by the time I’d read the in-flight “entertainment” Sky Mall magazine, it was nearly time to land.    

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