Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Skymall revisited

I purchased a Kindle about six months ago and I could not wait to get my hands on it. When it arrived I took it out of the box, charged it and then forgot all about it. Yesterday I really wanted to try it out, which in my case seems to be a phase with a 6 month cycle. But it is completely lost. To aggrivate myself further I decided to go on Amazon to find out what I was missing, browse through the titles I would not be able to read since I lost my poor virgin e-reader. But to my surprise I got really disgusted with the whole process. I could not find anything that really interested me. I am used to being able to read on the jacket what a book is about and I could not find a function remotely similar on Amazon. So I have now decided not to look for this Kindle contraption any more. If it resurfaces then I might have another go at selecting an e-book, but if not then what the hell.

I am probably not missing much, usually I am really disappointed with the books I buy anyway. There seems to be no syncronisation whatsoever between what I want to read and what I purchase when faced with books. The below recycled post from October 27th 2010 bears this witness. It is also about Skymall, a wonderfully crazy  catalog you find on some airplanes.

Skymall, recycled/revisited from October 27th 2010: 

Yesterday I made 3 different flights, which in itself is not interesting to anyone and I will not bore you with the details of each. What I would like to share with you is that I bought a book at the first airport to have something to read on board. The book I picked up was more than awful, it was sadly, sadly lacking in all respects. I have no one but myself to blame for this purchase since it came with a warning and I should therefore have seen it coming. You see, the title included the word Pyramid, as well as the word Doom, both dead giveaways but together, well. I don‘t know how I could have been so stupid but I am a long time sucker for such titles, despite always, always being hugely disappointed and ending up trying to hide the cover from those I meet. What did surprise me though is that I am not alone in having such a horrible taste, the book was actually on the best seller list.

The book was basically unreadable – to give you an idea the protagonist trio consisted of a very sexy female archeologist + a cheerleader who was studying archeology + an ex-special forces hunk, and the bad guy was just shy of holding a white cat and laughing evilly. The villain, although not holding a cat, was plotting world domination and get this: by opening up a bakery business selling bread baked with yeast from the Egyptian Pharos that provided eternal life. This is where I put the book down. Having nothing to do I started looking at the magazines in the seat pocket „in front of me“ and found a catalog of sorts which I have seen on numerous flights before but never opened. It is called SkyMall and is supposed to allow passengers to shop while flying. I don‘t think you get the actual merchandise onboard considering what monstrosities they had on offer but this magazine was just wonderful, it was so weird. It is also online( if you are ever bored or have the urge to see how much incredibly ridiculous stuff is available in the world. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Easter Island Head: Astound and impress guests at your next Polynesian luau with our exclusive, heavyweight, six-foot-tall King Moai, inspired by the 380 A.D. Easter Island originals. Said to represent gods, ancestors, or powerful kings, our Toscano-exclusive replica features the broad nose, strong chin and the rectangular ears of its ancient cousins. Our South Seas statement piece is cast in quality designer resin with a rough, chiseled faux stone finish.

Firstly, to hold „your next Polynesian luau“ one would have to have held one previously which I cannot believe applies to many. Secondly, sitting on a plane with your liquids limited to 500 ml and your leg space to that enough for merely the toes, a 6 ft tall head is somehow not appropriate. Unless it entices by precisely the implication of space. And how much does this cost? A mere 999 dollars. What a bargain.
But if you think 6ft is not impressive enough, SkyMAll has an even bigger garden statue available, namely, Boris the Brontosaurus, a product described as: Our most spectacular outdoor sculpture EVER wandered in from the Jurassic period! Larger-than-life and equally dramatic, our seven-foot-tall sauropod is head-and-shoulders above all other garden sculptures we've ever offered! Our artists captured every detail of this attention-demanding beast, then cast it in 238 lbs. of high-quality designer resin and hand-painted it with utmost authenticity. Though the brontosaurus originally fed in the grasslands, our sure-to-impress fellow is just as happy lounging next to your pool, feeding along your garden path or peering over your neighbor's fence. Nothing short of amazing, our imposing signature piece will have guests talking non-stop about this exclusive Jurassic giant! For easy assembly, ships in 4 pieces. Bring inside during freezing temperatures.

There is so much wrong with the text that I don‘t know where to begin. If I limit my comments I would have to mention the big drawback of having to take it in during winter and also positioning it to peer over your neighbor‘s fence. The price is nothing short of robbery, 1950 dollars. For that you would think they could provide a tail without the three joints visible in the photo.

And there is more, much more. All sorts of ramps and steps to assist your pets in getting onto the furniture or into your bed. A lamp in the shape of a woman, lifesize but with no head. In its place is a lampshade. The decapitated lamp-woman seems to be giving the homeowners the finger. Alas, no more space, no more time. I would have loved to list more but I have to stop. I need to send my architect and e-mail with the photo of the Polonesian head, pretending to want at least three installed in our yard instead of the fengshui stones presently on the drawings.

I will ask for at least one of the three to be positioned to peek into our neighbor‘s yard.

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. Yrsa, I have the kindle and go to to find books. I really like it and if I want a book it takes me to amazon.
    Really like your books :o)

  2. I'm utterly exhausted and want to go to sleep. Whenever I'm in that state I should know better by now than to read anything with your byline. You get me laughing and thinking. Two things that always keep me awake.

    Oh well, now that I'm up, I guess I might as well go back out into the Mykonos night and blame whatever happens on you.

  3. Hi Bill - thanks for the heads up - exactly what I needed.

    Hi Jeff - We have a saying in Icelandic that you should take woith you into the night: wlak slowly throught the door of happiness. It roughly menas: don't do anything rash while partying. But amke sure to have a great time!

  4. Hmmmmm, this gives me some really good ideas for Christmas gifts...

  5. Like Jeff, I am now wide awake and laughing out loud. And have no Mykanos night to soak up my energy. I'll just have to lie here and hope I can stop picturing the gift wrapped Easter Island head long enough to fall sleep.

  6. Amazing our similar our cultures, Yrsa! Back in Pittsburgh, where I grew up, we had a similar saying though it ended with, "...or you might bring a rash home with you."

  7. Kindle's are good at concealing poor book choices. I definitely encourage you to give it another go!

    Thanks for sharing the SkyMall monstrosities. I don't get that type of thing on BA flights.

  8. Ah! Misplaced apostrophe. Sorry!