My grandmother always has several different gossip magazines, newspaper clippings, cartoons, articles, etc., etc., in her purse that she can take out at a moment's notice to show you. Recently, she showed me the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, which I had never seen before. This is actually very surprising since when I looked up the catalog on Wikipedia, I learned that it was founded in 1848-- the year of my birth.
What makes the catalog great is that it has even more ridiculous overpriced crap than those SkyMall catalogs on airplanes. Here are the Top 10 Products for sale in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, or simply the Top 10 New Products, since there really can't be any products better than these. And when I say "better", what I really mean is "worse".
10. The Zippered Vents Sleeping Bag ($119.95)
With this special sleeping bag you can cover specific parts of your body instead of your entire body. I just do not understand why you would want to cover, for example, only your feet and neck. A special bonus feature of the sleeping bag: It "can also be worn indoors to help one keep cozy while watching television or reading."
9. The Ultrasonic Barking Dog Deterrent ($49.95)
It might look like a birdhouse, but don't be fooled! This device is really used to "restore peace and quiet for those vexed by a dog's barking." The Ultrasonic Barking Dog Deterrent (catchy name) gives off a ultrasonic noise that humans can't hear, whenever a dog barks within a selected radius. So, you can blame the fake birdhouse when your neighbor comes to beat you up for zapping his dog.
8. The Only Complete Swiss Army Knife (on sale for $999.95)
This Swiss Army knife has a whopping 87 tools. It has everything from golf tools to blades to a combination fish scaler. It also looks like something right out of one of the Saw movies.
7. The Upper Body Aerobic Exerciser ($129.95)
This was in the special Gifts for Father's Day section of the catalog. It might look like two tambourines, but this device (somehow), "promotes strength, increased endurance, and an increased calorie rate burn." Increased calorie rate burn-- what dad doesn't want that?!
6. Canine Garden Topiaries ($349.95)
I have been looking for years to buy two large bushes shaped like dogs. Just kidding! If you have one of these dog shrubs on your lawn and I see it, I will burn it to the ground.
5. The Password Vault ($49.95)
You are probably wondering why you'd need to use the vault instead of just saving all your passwords on your computer. Well, as the product description explains: "Your passwords are stored offline in the vault's memory, ensuring sensitive information can never be compromised." And don't worry, if your device is stolen, thieves can't get into it without the password-- oh, the irony!
4. The Only Audio Restoring Cassette To CD Converter ($499.95)
Do you know why this is the only machine on the market that converts audio from cassettes to CDs? It's because if you really liked a bunch of the songs on a cassette, over the past 25 years or so you probably bought a CD that has the songs. This invention is also great because CDs are now dying out. After you convert the cassette to a CD, you'd have to convert the CD to an MP3 file. Or, you could buy the songs you like on iTunes for 99 cents.
3. The Canine Shower Stall ($1,250)
People in other countries have to wait in line for hours for a small bucket of water.
2. The 85 Foot Inflatable Military Obstacle Course ($12,500)
If you've got 12.5K burning a hole in your pocket and want to waste it on something that will take up lots of space and provide you with roughly 2 hours of fun, allow me to present the 85 Foot Inflatable Military Obstacle Course! This course is great for small children with rich, yet dumb, parents, or grown people training to actually be in the military. (Note: If you are using this to train for the army, you will not survive boot camp.)
1. The Child Piloted Tumbler ($79.95)
Don't worry, the child pilots the "rolling tumbler" from the inside, so it's 100% safe. If your child was an "accident", and you really only wanted a pet hamster, then this is the product for you!