A SkyMall Christmas: Bizarre Gifts for the Perfect Flight
As I point out in my latest column for ABCNews, you can really get creative with some of those wacky gadgets from SkyMall, the famous catalog found in most airline seatback pockets. So that's what I did. Now sit back, relax and read all about an imaginary trip filled with odd but useful gifts most travelers don't even know they need. Maybe I should have titled this, A Visit from St. SkyMall. Maybe not.
Before the Flight: Armadillo Beer Can Holder
Every product mentioned is real (as is any quoted advertising description) and can be found at SkyMall, either online or in the actual catalog.
Oh what a night! Although the realistic looking "Armadillo Beverage Holder" ($19.95) can only hoist a single can of beer, it sure feels like more to business flyer Joe Doe. Poor Joe doesn't like what he sees in the mirror – his hair is somewhat askew – but he figures a quick once over with his "Single Handed Barber" ($59.95) will put things right (and if you can't picture this palm-sized gizmo, imagine a Roomba for your head). Now Joe is ready to head for the airport but wait, is it raining? Joe sure hopes it's not a malfunction with the hotel's "Peeing Boy of Brussels" fountain ($299) but either way, he's covered with the "World's Smallest Automatic Umbrella" (just $34.95). He can't wait to get home to help with the Christmas decorations including his brand new "Pierogi Tree Ornament" ($9.95). He's always had a thing for dumplings.
In the airport, Joe removes his wing tips and not a single TSA agent faints. That's because Joe travels with his "Ultraviolet Shoe Deodorizer" ($99.99). Once past security, Joe stops to greet one of those airport therapy dogs (they wear little vests saying, "Pet me") but that puts him in a wistful frame of mind, since his own mutt recently ascended to that Big Bone Yard in the Sky. Then Joe cheers up, remembering he keeps Fido's photo in a "Pet Memorial Frame" ($22.95), which is laser-engraved with the words, "Thanks For Everything, I Had A Wonderful Time!"
During the Flight: Bizarre Disguises and BigFoot
Now Joe is onboard and has a decision to make: Should he wear his "HoodiePillow" ($19.99), a donut-shaped neck pillow and attached hood-with-drawstrings for "privacy and comfort on-the-go" or does he wear the "iGrow Hair Growth System" helmet ($695) for the low-level laser therapy to reduce thinning hair? In the end he opts for his "Beard Hat" ($19.95), a knitted cap with attached black knitted beard-and-mustache because it supposedly will "bring out your inner longshoreman." All it seems to bring out is Joe's inner weirdness and after one look, the flight attendant decides to notify the captain. Lucky for Joe, the pilot turns out to be a SkyMall fan and they spend a few minutes discussing the merits of owning the "Garden Yeti" (life-size, $2,250) versus the "Abominable Snowman Statue" (life-size, $2,350). It's a draw, they agree, since Bigfoot with dark hair and Bigfoot with white fur look enough alike to be brothers and probably are.
After the Flight: Bacon and Brownies
At last Joe is home. He curls up on the couch with his "Bacon Sofa Throw" ($44.95) and settles down with a delicious snack, the "Regal Brownie and Cookie Tower" ($89.95) which is "fudgy deliciousness and buttery goodness."
It's been a long tiring day, thinks Joe, "But thank goodness for SkyMall which made it all so much easier." Then he looked at the pierogi on his tree. "Maybe next year they'll come out with a matching kielbasa ornament," he added thoughtfully.