I'll try to correct that a bit because a great yearly event has now occured, I have received my annual copy of Hammacher Schlemmer's famous catalog of "must have", "almost impossible to get" stuff. It comes to me under the "Joe M Vaughan" mailing list. For the few of you who follow these blog posts, you know that the M between my first and last name stands for MONEY, and the catalog sender probably thinks that I am rich, because I once subscribed to Forbes Magazines, using that name.
However, you don't have to be rich to buy many of the great things shown in this catalog. I highly recommend it to you, if you don't already get it. In our materialistic age, Christmas is the time to wish for stuff that we probably don't really need, but hope that someone will give us, and this catalog has lots of stuff to stimulate our hopefulness.
So, for now, I will make an upbeat list of Hammacher Schlemmer things I might like Santa to bring to this household, if he also has access to the catalog. (However, make no mistake, being naughty as usual, I don't think Santa would even consider climbing down our chimney, even if we had one.)
01. Barking Dog Deterrent. This Pablovian device emits sound that is irritable to dogs. One sets it to make the bad noise whenever Fido barks and disturbs your peace. (I wish they had this 20 years ago when the only way to get a dog to shut up at 3 am was to hit it with a big rock.)
02. Flying Car. This vehicle converts from a regular type automobile to a flyable aircraft. HS' price is $350,000, but is certainly well worth the price.
03. Gyroscopic Dumbbell. This is a tennis ball sized device that is used to almost effortlessly build up your wrist, biceps, triceps and deltoid muscles. (I wish I had also known about this 20 years ago, when I was spending hours lifting tons of weights, trying to look like Big Arnie Schwartzenegger.)
04. Finger Drum Mouspad. This device allows you to play all kinds of drum sounds by using your finger taps. For less than $40 you can be your own Gene Krupa.
05. A wall crawling arachnid. This is a remote controlled spider that can scurry up walls and across ceilings. (Wouldn't this be a great thing for High School boys with which to scare the girls!)06. Aviator's hat. This is an exact replica of the ear-flap cap worn by my friend, Sid Simon, as he sat in his Flying Fortress and bombed the hell out of Aachen, Germany.
07. Marshmallow shooter. This is a pump action device that can shoot edible marshmallows up to 30 feet. You can also get a target to go with it that plays a sound whenever it is hit, even by those soft white things. (Parents should get this for their agressive children who are now engaged in hitting other kids with bruise-enducing rocks.)
08. Cell phone watchdog. A great idea. One puts the "watchdog" on your keychain and whenever the cell phone and you are more than 30 feet apart, it beeps. (Now, I have to dial a lost cell phone and hope that it is close enough for me to hear the ringtone.)
09. Turtle astronomer. This is a soft cuddly turtle that projects the image of 8 constellations upon the ceiling when you go to bed. The whole thing shuts off after 45 minutes so that you can fall asleep.
10. Bug vacuuming breakthrough. This is a light weight cordless vacuum tube that sucks up stinkbugs from almost 2 feet away and kills them humanely. Using this would probably be a lot easier than plugging in and lugging your 200 pound vacuum cleaner close to the bug and trying to get the little stinker sucked up before he scurries away.
11. Colorful snowman set. This is a set of paint that does not melt when it is squeezed onto Mr. Snowman. We should no longer need to find buttons for eyes, coal for teeth, or carrots for noses. They can now just be painted on. In fact, as a catalog picture of a painted snowman shows, one can paint the snowman's name right on the snow-white snow.
12. Yankee Stadium Seats. This is amazing and I can think of a guy who would pay a lot more than the asking price of $1,500 for these authentic Yankee Stadium seats. Two seats are attached and sold together.
Santa, if you can't bring us any of these items, we will understand. But would you please deliver Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs to each of the persons on our Christmas card list, so they can take a look at all the wonders contained within that good old American ingenuity has come up with for the 2010 Christmas season..