Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hammacher Time!

Hammacher Schlemmer came in the mail last week. Last year, I was angered by all of the catalogues we receive now that Kyle's contact information has been "rented". This year I got excited when I saw Hammacher Schlemmer because I knew that I could use it to get Kyle going. I laid in bed one night reading aloud to Kyle the descriptions of my favourite Hammacher Schelmmer treasures. I laughed out loud when Kyle rewarded me with an emphatic, "I wish there was some way I could punish that company!"

One of my favourites was the Only Stainless Steel Wallet. This beauty is woven with 25,000 steel threads. Thankfully, it is resistant to corrosive materials such as salts, acids, and seawater. It is the perfect gift for your elderly loved-one who fears identity theft - "the tightly woven steel also passively resists radio-frequency hacking--the latest identity theft technique that attempts to scan newer credit cards." Identity thieves are now scanning people's pockets? Whoa! The problem of identity thievery is much worse than I thought. Peace of mind for only $89.99

With the Keep your Distance Bug Vacuum, you too can kill bugs from a distance of up to two feet. "The lightweight plastic design allows complete control while chasing flying insects." It's only $49.99! If I had this little lovely, I could avoid picking up crunchy bug bodies without making Chaz eat them off the floor.

One of the most impressive items was the 14 M.P.H. Cooler. For those of us who live and think metric, that's the 22.53 km/h cooler. It is the world's only rideable three-wheeled cooler. You can travel almost 25km on a single charge, carrying up to 24 pop cans and 9 pounds of ice. Apparently, it handles similarly to a golf cart but has a handy cup-holder located between the drivers' knees. This can be yours for the low, low price of 499.95 US.

Just in time for Christmas, Hammacher Schlemmer sends out the catalogue in which you can find the gift for the person who has everything. Kyle and I are people who have everything...more than everything we want and need. Though it's easy to laugh at the useless Hammacher Schlemmer gifts, my consumption is only a shade less ridiculous. I find Christmas gifts stressful - I get anxious about giving people things they like and feel guilty when I receive things I don't want. For the past few years, our families have gone Grinch-style and decided not to do gifts. Avey has included some great alternatives from World Vision on her blog. Oxfam and Samaritan's Purse have other fun Christmas donation catalogues you may enjoy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

PB Slices

A friend of mine once told me that the secret to successfully marketing a new product is to appeal to the customer's laziness. All you have to do is create a product that will eliminate a simple but mildly annoying task. People will be all over that.

Example: bags of shredded cheese. Is it really that hard to shred your own cheese? No... But I'm still occasionally tempted to lay down six dollars so that I can just pull shredded taco-spiced cheddar out of my fridge on a whim.

The inventor of this product has gone too far. Much too far. The P. B. Slices web site actually says "PB Slices makes peanut butter easy to eat."Hmm...what a conundrum. Easy to eat but difficult to peel. I'm also guessing it's difficult to digest and eliminate from the body. I think I'll choose to go to the massive effort of fighting open a jar, wrestling the peanut butter out with a knife and tearing up my bread as I try to spread it.

Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream