EDITORIAL

Christmas catalogues deliver the laughs

Posted 11/25/21

The mail can make you laugh at this time of year. We get tons of catalogues starting in September and not subsiding until after Christmas. It all ends up on the dining room table where occasionally it spills out on the floor if we're not careful. Even

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EDITORIAL

Christmas catalogues deliver the laughs

Posted

The mail can make you laugh at this time of year.

We get tons of catalogues starting in September and not subsiding until after Christmas. It all ends up on the dining room table where occasionally it spills out on the floor if we’re not careful. Even then, however, it doesn’t get tossed into the recycling bin until we share a laugh.

I’m not sure what compels Carol to go through them all – the surprise of a bargain; pictures of the models that she is convinced have been photo shopped to give them long arms and legs; a vest she would like me to put on her Christmas list or simply because they’re there when we sit down for dinner? Regardless, they are a source of conversation and entertainment, an unintended consequence of the reason they were sent to us.

Carol can zip through the variable books from LL Bean, Talbots and Soft Surroundings. Every so often she’ll pause from flipping through the pages to ask “would you consider this fall colors,” or “who do you think could wear this?” The latter of the questions often evoke laughs, for clearly Carol thinks the outfit is too outlandish to be worn.

And then there is truly the unexpected if not unimaginable.

I recommend at least three catalogues – What On Earth, Bits and Pieces and Whatever Works.

Surely you could find an octopus light, a taco shaped pillow, a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle or a stash of toilet paper on the internet if you knew what you wanted.  Those three items are among the more than 750 gift ideas in the 100-page What On Earth catalogue. Whatever Works offers a wide selection of items you may have never thought of but could be of use such as the quick fix for chipped crystal and china, a diamond studded file for $14.50; the power plunger to “blast away tough clogs” in your sink or toilet for $44.99 and the ear-splitting personal alarm for $17.99 with a light for your key chain to deter “the wrong kind of attention.” Then from the gifts for home section, Carol zeroed in on the tiered display with removable trays with a built-in wine glass holder.  The contraption resembling a four bladed airplane propeller is pictured with cheeses, grapes and dates.

“Just think what’s going to happen when you start spinning it,” said Carol. She didn’t need to say more, we started laughing, turning the pages looking for the next hysterical gift. We found in the “black kit-cat klock,” a wall mounted timepiece the we are told is the “world’s most popular clock.”

This is the first time I’ve seen it, but then I don’t get around that much.

The clock makes up the body of the cat on which a long plastic tail hangs below. On top is the cat’s head. It wears a bow tie and a smile. The irresistible features of the clock, making it worth every penny of $59.99 is that the eyes and tail move from side to side.

Bits and Pieces offers a novelty tee collection with a variety of sayings printed across the front from, “I may be wrong but it’s highly unlikely,” that seemed appropriate for some people we know, to “I do not scare easily, I have daughters.”

But for the best laughs it was definitely the What On Earth catalogue. With its shark attack platter, a cheese board with the open mouth of a great white at one end and a tail at the other for $39.95, and kitchen timers in the shape of Mozart and Beethoven busts that play music for $19.95.

I imagined we’d exhausted the bizarre until I picked up the holiday preview catalogue from Shaper Image displaying a turkey being sliced with a chain saw.  It had my attention. I turned to page 39 and there it was, a trigger activated meat slicer in the shape of a chain saw with stainless steel blades that plugs into an AC outlet.

Of course if it gets away from you and nicks your crystal glassware or chips your heirloom china, just order the diamond-studded file from Whatever Works.  

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