Saturday, 29 October 2011

Rich, Dumb and Fat

I take no credit for the title of this post.

20 years ago UK broadcaster/author/TV dude Johnathon Ross coined the phrase for a documentary he made. His wry look at the USA fascinated me and has long provided another lens through which I view the place. I admit after so many trips to WDW I now add the word "fake" to the list.

The first signs of this perspective are, for me at least, when I board a US domestic flight and there snuggled in he seat pocket will be the latest issue of Skymall - the bastion of all American (made in China) ingenuity.

The Japanese have a concept known as 'chindogu'. Chindogu describes products that appear inventive and useful ... at first ... then reality sets in. But that's the point with chindogu - to invent something that fits that concept. Chindogu is never for sale.

Somehow in America they make chindogu type products but they take them seriously. Entrepreneurship is the great American dream and perhaps in the mass of products there are a couple that pay for someone's retirement. Like Shamwow Guy! I suspect there are many that fade into obscurity.

Australian sensibilities are a tad different and I certainly find all this stuff deeply curious. I sit there wondering "do people really buy and use this?" The catalogs on this trip didn't fail to dissappoint, or maybe the fail is so epic that everything is fantastic! So herewe go on a taste of Americana, and all the products about which I was wondering "retirement or bankruptcy?".

Apparently it's not good enough to send Mr Fluffy McFluffersons out into the yard to "do his business". You can't even just supply a litter box in the laundry. No! Kitteh has to have a special place in the family with you all nearby. With this delightful tray hidden inside a fake planter (with fake palm - hey, don't judge! - they can go in the dishwasher!) fluffy can keep his toes in the warm with the rest of the family

The plastic and polypropelene blends into any decor.
VOTING TIME: Glorious Retirement? or Sad Bankruptcy?

But you still have to clean it and perhaps this is a bit too manual for you. How about this automatic litter tray?!
I have no idea how it works. but it looks spacey so it must be good.
(from what I can gather there is a bag lined bin in the base and when kitty leaves something goes in the bag somehow. I don't know how the litter gets refreshed)

VOTING: Glorious Retirement? or Lonely Bankruptcy?

 Finally, here's a product for Fluffy which I post solely for the catalogue description:

"A hilarious conversation starter and pet pleaser, this unique water bowl keeps your pet well hydrated and your home cleverly decorated" (emphasis mine)

VOTING: Retirement? Bankruptcy? Launch of a new interior design trend?

Let's go out in the garden and see how we can beautify nature even more.

First up: Plastic ivy covered fences

Cause it's not like ivy is some vicious uncontrollable noxious invasive weed that grows widely unfettered.
Would it frighten you to know it also comes in fake bamboo? Which also is notorious difficult for getting to grow into a think bushy fence? (not)

Do I need to tell you that also available are plastic toparies?

VOTING : I'm going for Glorious Retirement on the basis of selling these to the beer gardens of bars and clubs
Not to leave the plastic alone:  giant 8ft plastic palm trees

These won't fit in the dishwasher
VOTING: Drinking pina coladas on the beach or serving pina coladas at the local Sheraton?

Now you are gonna need one of these palm trees onto which to hammer your fake yeti.

He looks like one of those bad photoshop disasters where someone digitally amputated his legs

VOTING: Holidaying in Nepal? or loading guests onto Expedition Everest

When you're finished outside you'll want to wash off all that plastic dirt - in your wonderful coloured shower

LED lights provide wonderful colours to choose from and you don't have to take any drugs to go on this trip.

VOTING: Awash with cash? or taking a bath?

Don't forget to clean your teeth ...

are you willing to put this in your mouth?
...with your 4  headed toothbrush that apparently cleans all sides of your teeth at the same time and only takes 30 secs to do your entire mouth. 

VOTING: Million dollar smiles? or English dentistry?

Unfortunately it won't fit inside your new toothbrush sanitiser.

zaps more bugs than those living in your mouth
VOTING: Clean as a whistle? or sinking in the mire?

Finally you can relax. Put your feet up and read a good book.

....with your special, lying down, mirrored glasses.

VOTING: Magical mystery tour? vs The opti-grab from The Jerk

I know what you're all getting for Christmas this year.

all pictures copied from skymall catalog


  1. Have you seen the washing machine that sits on top of a toilet? The idea is that the water is used to flush the toilet and hence save water! Its a front loader, so one would have to try very hard not to drop any socks...

  2. ha ha ha - wow! but how would this work? Sooooo many questions

  3. Oh dear! I lolled at the lying down reading glasses. She looks pretty awkward!