One thing I won't be buying on Black Friday
In truth, there is nothing I'll be buying on Black Friday.
I will be walking by the stores, not through them.
(I did do a bit of pre-Black Friday-ing for myself. I finally got around to getting a smartphone, a Blackberry Storm 2. Going in to the store, I figured I was a Tour-type, since I couldn't imagine not having a full keyboard at my thumb-tips. But then I got my hands on the Storm, and one thing led to another. All of a sudden, the smartphones with the full keyboards looked clunky and retro - kind of like the difference between a typewriter and a laptop. And, just as I stepped up to prior learning how-to challenges - learning to pump gas, drive a stick, parallel park - what convinced me that I could master the touch action was the thought look at all the people who know how to do it; surely not all of them are terribly bright and physically gifted.... But, as so often happens on Pink Slip, I digress.)
Black Friday or no, one product profiled in The New York Times the other day will definitely not be on my wish list. That would be a bed of nails from Sweden that one Stockholm store has declared Arets Julklapp! That would be Christmas Gift of the Year!
The modern, Swedish version of the old Indian swami mat uses plastic spikes, not iron, and comes 4,000-8,000 spikes per mat. The fewer the spikes, the greater the hurtin'. And it does, of course, hurt to take on the full-body equivalent of sitting on a tack.
"It’s quite painful initially,” said Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson, 46, a yoga instructor and writer who uses her nail bed almost every day. “The trick is, all the adrenaline rushes, after which you relax and feel nice again.”
When a person stands up after lying on the mat, she said, “the back looks picked at, as if with a fork.”
Hurtin' aside, nail mats are the rage in Sweden.
Last August, 3,000 nail-bed adherents gathered in a Stockholm park to chant continuously and simultaneously for five minutes, breaking the Guinness Book of Records marker of 1,000 simul-chanters.
The official count established by the adjudicator was 2,558 - apparently about 500 were so comfy they fell asleep.
The bed of nails started out as a yoga fad, and there's quite a bit of controversy about what, if anything, using one does, other than - at least until you get used to it - hurts.
But the wholesaler I found online - selling mats in lots of 50 (green only) - promises that:
It is highly effective for:
- Pain relieve on waist,back,neck, shoulder,hip;
- Promote blood circultation;
- Increase Immunity power;
- Body relaxation;
- Decrease Muscle Tension;
- Increase hormone secretion;
- Increase Uptake of Oxygen;
- Improve better sleep;
- Promote Digestion
No scientific proof, yet. But the maker of Shakti mats (made in India) is sponsoring a study of those who regularly lie on a bed of nails. They're not looking for miracles, just for objective data on what it does to blood pressure, heart rate, etc.
Hey, I've had sciatica, and if I still had it and thought for a Stockholm chanting one-minute that lying on a nail mat would make the pain go away, I'd be there.
But sciatica-wise, I'm good.
Still, I'm thinking Yankee Swap - if the price goes down. Or should I say when the price goes down. Traditionally made in India, nail mats are now be made in China, so it's a matter of time before the makers of the Snuggie come up with a slightly less prickly version for the masses.
It slices! It dices! It takes out stains.
By next Christmas, these will be the Aret Julklapp of the U.S.
Operators will be standing by, and you'll be able to get one - BUT WAIT, CALL NOW AND WE'LL THROW A SECOND ONE IN FOR ABSOLUTELY FREE - for $12.99.
You heard it here: if the recession lasts through next shopping season, anything that releases the well-being hormone, improves sleep, and gets rid of stress will be flying off the shelves like a magic carpet.