Writing for SkyMall: The innovative and questionable products we love to hate

by juli boggs

Let’s talk about SkyMall Magazine. No matter how prepared one comes to blasting in-flight boredom, one will inevitably spend a sizable amount of time attempting micro-yoga in the forward lavatory or mixing several separate Pepsi products to make one bigger, better, experimental Pepsi product, usually topped with orange juice and single servings of vodka. It’s when these avenues are exhausted¹ though that one finally turns to SkyMall magazine in order to lose themselves in the depths of mind boggling consumer speculation. Scanning the descriptions myself, I have come away with a new-found desire to be a caption writer for the many dubiously-innovative products that SkyMall specializes in.² Following are a few of my favorite products offered:

The Slanket – “not your ordinary blanket.” Thank god because I am so tired of ordinary blankets. At first look, this product would appear to be a re-packaged Snuggie (that “as seen on TV” hot-sell available in grocery stores nation wide) except that it’s not. It’s a Slanket. What two words were they possibly combining to come up with that? Scarier than the idea of one Slanket per person is the “Slanket Siamese for two” which turns the wearers into a four-armed two-headed amorphous blanket blob.

Super Warm Wish Wrap (Jacket) – I know what you’re thinking: “when have my trampled wishes kept me anything but cold and alone?” Well weep no more because this innovative technology uses the power of WISHES to heat it by insulating all your hopes and dreams in its newly featured “Wish Pocket™ that lets you carry your fondest wishes wherever you go.” Don’t question it. Simply allow your cockles to be warmed. One size fits even the most disillusioned.

The 40 Second Electric Toothbrush – “Reduce brushing time by 66%.” I ask you, is this really the sort of time we’re willing to pay $100 to regain? Could I not just quit brushing my teeth after 40 seconds with any other toothbrush? What will I ever do with that extra 20 seconds an evening besides floss?

The Children’s Electric 1948 Indian Motorcycle – “Ages 3 to 6. Warning: Choking Hazard.” I am neither a mother nor a biker, but if your child is still putting foreign objects in their mouth and choking on them, they’re probably not ready to assume the responsibility of riding a motorcycle and the myriad dangers therein.

The World’s Best Tabletop Pre-Lit Nobel Fir Tree – The judges have concluded, of the many, this one is the best in the world.

The Freedom Leash – Logically speaking, a hard sell.

Vintage Express Aging Accelerator – A device which takes a bottle of wine and ages it prematurely for a faux vintage taste. However, “the longer a beverage remains in the Vintage Express, the greater the effect.” I can only assume that this is because over a longer period of time, the beverage is actually aging. Nice try, SkyMall.

¹approximately 2.25 hours

² Second choice: Delias. Third Choice: UrbanOutfitters.com guest blogger

³ not to mention the complicated socio-political implications that arise from sharing a wearable blanket with another person. How does one define that relationship without implying an unorthodoxly comfortable physicality between two neutrally aligned Siamese Slanket wearers? “Blanket buddies?”