A while back, I had a job that required weekly airline travel. Once every four or five days I allowed myself to be sealed into a metal tube that defies gravity in order to sail to a new location so I could ply my trade.
It doesn’t take long to form preferences and pick up habits while traveling for a living. You select favorite airports (Indianapolis is underrated, LAX is a Dumpster fire) and learn to dislike certain fellow passengers (no one wants to hear your damn music in Vegas, so leave your fucking guitar at home).
Then there is the immortal choice of how to entertain yourself during that 10 to 20 minute stretch where they make you turn off your electronic devices and when you can power them back on again. Do you choose in-flight magazine or do you go SkyMall catalog?
I wasn’t a fan of the magazine. The one my airline published had a themed cover story every month of “Three Perfect Days In” some city the airline serviced. The stories annoyed me because they always had the traveler stay in multiple hotels in a three day vacation (who does that?). And secondly it really doesn’t matter how transcendental the beaches Ibiza are, when you travel for a living the last thing you want to do with three free days is take another flight someplace and stay in another goddamn hotel.
So, SkyMall was my jam. Full color pages of some of the strangest crap on the open market. Want to camp like Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation? That’s where he got all his swag. Wish the maple in your back yard looked like a heart tree from Game of Thrones? It’s in there. How about those bracelets Tony Stark wore for six seconds in The Avengers? Covered. Need an inflatable 10-foot movie screen? For $250 plus shipping and it’s yours thanks for the saints at SkyMall.
No matter how entertaining it was to thumb through, I’d never heard of anyone actually buying something from SkyMall, which is a big reason why the company filed for bankruptcy this week.
So to honor this titan lost to the march of time and in-flight Wi-Fi, here are eight of the best types of products from the SkyMall catalog:
From laser guided massage helmets to overly complicated corkscrews, SkyMall is your one stop shop for stuff that will take up space in a drawer a week after you buy it.
7. Movie memorabilia
I always turned to these pages first. Whose life is complete without a replica of Hermione’s wand or a letter opener that looks like Frodo’s sword?
6. Dog kennel/end table
Also known as the “Serial Killer Starter Kit.”
5. Bar globe
The sophisticated way to store your rotgut bourbon and Two Buck Chuck
4. Giant inflatable travel pillow
As a window seat aficionado, the thought of the person in the middle seat breaking this out is the stuff of nightmares.
3. Questionable fitness equipment
An item that earns the endorsement of Lisa Rinna, Denise Richards AND Adrianne Curry has to work, right?
2. Pet stuff
These steps are handy because you really want your old, incontinent dog or cat closer to your face when you’re on the couch.
1. Garden Yeti
Available in Sasquatch and Abominable Snowman, unless you live in Alaska or Hawaii where they won’t ship one to you even if you have the two grand to pay for it.
Craig Wack feels there is a touch of mystery behind finding a SkyMall with a page ripped out of it. Please follow his Twitter.