Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California, being an OC native and, of course, music.
According to statistics that I just expertly extracted from the ever-reliable Wikipedia, The SkyMall catalog is seen by approximately 88 percent of all domestic air passengers reaching more than 650 million air travelers annually. Those numbers are particularly jaw-dropping, and not because 650 million people is 10 percent of the Earth's population, but because SkyMall is the largest and most concentrated pile of printed garbage since, well...ever, maybe?
Sky Mall's existence reminds me of a Louis CK bit about how if he had "Bill Gates money," he'd open (and pay to keep open) a chain of stores called ShitAssPetFuckers. They'd be WalMart-sized pet stores, open 24 hours a day, filled with purposefully rude employees (that F your pet, hence the name), and they'd sell cans of dog food for $1M apiece. They'd never do any business, but they'd never go out of business.
How is that notSkyMall
in a nutshell? They sell ridiculous things at ridiculous prices, nobody you know has ever bought anything from them and nobody you know would ever buy anything from them, yet they've been a fixture in airplane seatbacks since 1990.
I flipped through the Summer 2010 issue of SkyMall on my flight home on Monday, for no other reason than that the Christopher Hitchens memoir I was reading was putting me to sleep. I also needed somewhere else to look other than out my window, as my mind raced with visions of a plane falling out of the sky in a fiery pile of twisted metal. (This is why I hate flying. My brain makes it impossible to not think about the worst possible scenario that I could be faced with at 38,000 feet.) While nearly every item in the magazine is a useless piece of crap, here are three of my favorites.
(Notes in regular font are mine. The italicized quotes are the quarterly textual masterworks of the fine folks at SkyMall.)
1) Bigfoot Garden Yeti Sculpture
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"Echoing the heavenly beauty of a real live newborn, this breathtaking collectible lifelike baby doll is a marvel, from her exquisite face to her delicate wisps of hair, her supple fingers, and even her tiny, wrinkled feet."
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like this ad is geared towards adults. (I'm not sure that kids require "astounding" levels of realism in their dolls. Maybe it's better to teach them realism in reality?) Show me an adult that owns a Cherish Lifelike Baby Doll, and I'll show you an adult whose handlers require him or her to wear a helmet during "outside time."