Whatever Works

About six weeks ago the deluge of Christmas catalogs began.

Over the years we’ve bought a lot of stuff online and by mail order. Do that once and you’re guaranteed to get catalogs from that company from now until the heat death of the universe. You’ll also get catalogs from all of the companies that they sell their mailing lists to, and the ones that they sell their mailing lists to, ad infinitum.

Most are just chucked straight into the recycling bin, but occasionally I’ll flip through one of them that catches my eye. Thus it was that I started going through the “Whatever Works” catalog last month.

Lots of nifty little bits and bobs. On the cover we see a humidifier, a collapsible luggage design, a portable emergency battery power source, a miracle device that will charge up to seven portable devices at the same time, and a nylon gizmo for dragging leaves across the yard and making lawn cleanup faster and easier than ever!

Cool, right? What else can we find?

An ultrasonic noise maker that will keep small critters out from under your car hood. Lava lamps. A “stealth sound amplifier” that will let you hear up to fifty feet away! A realistically detailed plastic parrot that records your voice and talks back to you – and it’s also a pen holder! A container for pouring bird seed into those tube feeders without spilling! A “retro” boom box! (Wait, I’ve got two or three of those in the garage already, complete with a decade or two of official retro dust!)

The mind boggles at the wonders to be found.

On page 38 we start a section of pet related gizmos. On page 40 it’s an assortment of “tactical” flashlights and other illumination devices and security accessories. Page 46 has techie things for storing batteries and labeling plugs and organizing computer cables. Page 50 starts a section on household cleaning brushes and gels and things to put into your washing machine and dryers to clean lint and keep your toilet seats warm. Page 52 has a wide assortment of nail clippers and eyebrow trimmers and electrolysis wands. Page 54 has a Kagel exciter and a “Butterfly Dreams” mini massager…

Sorry, what?

The “Tease Me!” The “Torro!” is waterproof. The “Wild G” is a “waterproof, top-of-the-line, bead studded, triple-prong massager” with three speeds of shaft vibration, 3 speeds of bead rotation, and reversible head rotation! It’s pretty obvious what the “Adonis Extender,” “Love Vibes,” and “The Climaxer” all are designed for. If it’s not obvious, there’s an “Art of Orgasm DVD.”

Then on page 54 we start the automobile accessories to help stuff from falling between the seat, fix dings and dents ourselves, eliminate blind spots, and clean our side mirrors. We can even get a digital tire gauge that will talk to us if we don’t want to actually read the dial.

Am I missing something vital about the Heartland of America, Ma & Pa Kettle, red-blooded middle-class folk that these products are all intended for? To be more blunt, HOW IN HELL DID PAGES 54 AND 55 WIND UP IN THIS CATALOG?

It’s been weeks and I’m still trying to get my head around it.

Mind you, I don’t object to anything shown on those pages. Not in the least, especially since they all seem to come with solid warranties, decent prices, and free shipping! I’m just a bit gobsmacked to find them without any warning, smack dab in the middle of this particular catalog.

It’s special. I love it!

As they said, whatever works!

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