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The Metrosexual Traveler: Beware of Sky Schmaltz

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

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Rob Jordan, our Metrosexual Editor, called the CT’s main office late the other night, saying “enough was enough.” As most of you know, Rob has been flying frequently recently, logging thousands of AAdvantage miles for the CT on trips to Bangkok, New York, Osaka, Dar es Salaam, Kolkata, and Watertown, NY.
During these flights, Rob — remember he is our Metrosexual Editor — has closely examined in-flight marketing. Here is Rob’s review.
Sky Schmaltz
For those with any lingering romanticism for the glamorous days of air travel, please consult your seat back pocket. There you’ll find the greatest single compendium of all that is useless and asinine: the in-flight catalog.
Perhaps you graze its pages after you’ve exhausted the airline magazine. You flip through the images to do something with your hands, to occupy your attention however fleetingly. But have you ever really read through it? Have you really examined the offerings? To do so is to wallow in retail misery, and to pity a copywriter who finds himself typing: “Even if you don’t need to prop a door open, a classic-design doorstop still adds a certain charm to a room”What follows is a choice selection of actual items available for actual money through a major airline’s in-flight catalog:

* Flair Hair visor with built in fake mullet: “Instantly give yourself a head-turning new ‘do and amuse friends – and strangers” ($24.99)

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* Plastic antlers to mount on pickup truck: “Sometimes one car horn just isn’t enough” ($24.99)

* Animatronic singing and talking bust of Elvis: “replicating his unique facial expressions” ($199.95

“Art print” of a NASCAR pit crew of olives with arms and legs ($139.99)

*Authentic replica of Batman’s “batarang” ($75)

* Muscle car engine ornament for Christmas tree: “Ho-ho-ho-horsepower” ($12.95)

* Mount Rushmore garden statue: “Your garden is a natural treasure” ($39.95)

* Drunk reindeer bottle stopper ($19.95)

*Marshmallow shooter ($24.95)

*Tiny aquarium stocked with mechanical artificial jellyfish ($69.95)

* Pop-up hot dog and hot dog bun cooker combo ($49.95)

* DaVinci Code cryptex ($195)

For an even closer look at Sky Malls, the CT urges you to visit www.skymaul.com, a creation of one of the CT’s preferred partners, KasparHauser.com.

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