While malls across America shrivel, SKYMALL magazine flies high
SKYMALL retains its strong, exclusive presence in every seat back pocket of commercial aircraft. Even in the cheap seats where I sit (in the economy discomfort section), they still find me worthy of a copy. It still offers a best price guarantee and begs me to take it home. (I elected to leave my well worn copy for the next poor schlub to occupy 27B).
I find myself flipping through the pages mindlessly when it is too early to fire up my MAC, too late to pee, or when I’m feeling fidgety with lots on my mind. (I assure you the least of which is shopping).
I always wonder who buys this stuff. Oh wait, I did once buy The Closet Organizing Trouser Rack (page 37, $69.95). Having just moved into a new home with my own man-closet, I thought it was a highly practical device. (I can’t comment on it’s endurance because I divorced six years later, lost the closet and the rack).
Have you ever purchased from SKYMALL or am I the only one in history? In case you’ve missed it all these years, you’ll find it sandwiched between the safety information card and the white barf bag. Which do you suppose gets used more?
So today I find myself flipping through SKYMALL, back to front, since there is no real order, categorization or table of contents. Kind of like the unsigned aisles of Costco. This is a mall for wandering and discovery. Perhaps a surprise awaits at every page turn – something you weren’t really looking for, didn’t really need, but thought it would be really cool to have.
And that’s what SKYMALL sells; really cool things that can’t be categorized but are ‘must-haves’. Like the brilliant new IceyBreeze ice cooler that doubles as a portable air conditioner (page 12, $395).
The “Aku Akivi Moai” Giant Easter Island Statue (page 18) is an ‘interesting conversation piece’ but I’m not convinced I need to spend a grand (plus shipping) to ‘impress my guests’ (unless they, too, spotted it in SKYMALL and would be envious).
No backyard would be complete without a life-size Zombie of Montclaire Moors (page 20, $99.95, feature picture above). It is meticulously detailed and realistic that ‘you’ll swear you can hear him groaning’. I’d set up my ’65 VW Bus Tent (page 22, $499) next to him and ‘add even more fun to the neighborhood’.
Does the Banana Beach Lounge (page 23) come with the girl in the red bikini? For $69 I’ll take two and gladly pay for rush delivery.
The paper Toweltunes Towel Holder that doubles as a device charging station does have dual practical value (page 6, $49.99). Add Bluetooth for an extra $50 and that would make a nice birthday present. (Mom I hope you are reading this).
The Pushi Pushi Pet Raincoat with retractable hood (page 30, $4.95) would embarrass my dog, regardless of color.
Page 37 offers me the most efficient use of space and is amazingly ‘the world’s largest capacity storage tower’. This monster wall unit is capable of storing over 2,250 CD’s & DVD’s. I wonder how many USB jump drives that would be? Who collects CD jewel cases these days?
I always spot the full-sized (six foot tall) Medieval Knight (page 45, $995) but still don’t feel compelled to ‘protect my castle’ in this way.
I wonder what happens to a fat mans belly when he takes off the Men’s Compression Tank Top (page 62, $24.95)? Will the 5” inches of belly fat previously compressed pop-out immediately or hold up for a short while after removal?
Today was special because I hit the jackpot on page 64. We were just beginning our descent into Baltimore and I realized I’d spend the entire hour reading (and writing about SKYMALL) but this was a big discovery for me, well worth my time. I spotted an item that I sorely needed and had no idea was even made. This product was too good for the Beyond section at Bed & Bath.
There it was, Leo Men’s Padded Butt Enhancer Brief (page 64, $35). SKYMALL says that it offers “… all the benefits of a regular brief, but with removable contour padding and a special design to lift your butt”. Perfect. Finally I could have the ass of my dreams – and no surgery required!
I went to reach for the seat back Airphone but there was none. Not even a TV screen. Damn, gone are the good old days when one could make a critical impulse buy at 35,000 feet.
Thank you SKYMALL for being the butt of so many jokes (and for saving mine).