Monday, October 06, 2014

Brookstone to the rescue

Pink Slip has been a long-time fan of Sky Mall, and was quite disturbed last spring when the rumor mill had it that they might be closing up their highly entertaining and eccentric shop.

Since that terrible news broke – say it ain’t so! – I’ve flown a few times, and was very grateful to see that fabulous catalog tucked in the pocket of the seat in front of me. Not that I’ve ever actually purchased anything from Sky Mall, mind you. But just to see what I’m missing. Oh, what a relief it is!

I was also relieved to get a Brookstone catalog in the mail the other day.

Actually, it came addressed to my husband, who was quite a Brookstone fan, especially when you take into account that he was one of the least materialistic, least shopaholic people I know. (I would say that he was the least, but then my brother Rich comes to mind…)

Over the years, we got a few items from Brookstone.

Our Tempur-Pedic mattress and pillows. A couple of fans. A clock-thermometer combo. A tiny ceramic heater. An air filter gizmo. The occasional gift item. And, quite infamously, a massage chair that I finally made Jim get rid of.

Brookstone was one of the few stores that Jim actually enjoyed browsing around in.

And I always considered it fairly high end.

Then I opened the catalog…

All I can say is that they seem to be giving Sky Mall a run for its money.

No, I’m not talking about those plushy robes that look an awful lot like a Snuggie. Or all those, ahem, “personal” massagers that I don’t remember ever seeing on the shelves when Jim and I strolled around a Brookstone store. That stupid looking wine and snack tray. Or even the cordless, Pre-lit Cone and Berry Kissing Ball with Hanging Chain.

No, what I am talking about is the Drop Shots Magnetic Beer and Shot Glass Set.

What, you may be asking yourself, is this one for.

Well, if you really want to know:

Finally, a way to drink boilermakers, depth charges and other shot-infused drinks without having the shot glass fall back and hit you in the face.

How do they do it?

The shot glass has a magnetic bottom that sticks to the magnetic bottom of the beer glass.

Only $29.99 for a set of two. (Come on, who wants to drink a boilermaker on their own?)

Seriously, is this really a problem?

Seems to me that if you’re drinking boilermakers to begin with, you’re probably not all that concerned if a shot glass drops out and smacks you in the nose.

Use Drop Shots to make: Boilermakers, Sake Bombs, Skittle Bombs, and More…

But don’t forget to:

Drink responsibly.

Sure thing.

Then there’s some kind of apparatus (also $29.99) that lets you chill a single bottle of beer. And for those beer drinkers of the can persuasion – and with a few more bucks to indulge their drink accoutrement needs – there’s the Outlaw Beer Holster ($34.99).

Clips to pants. In Black, Brown, and Pink.

Oh, sure, thanks for the pink version. But no Hello Kitty?

Then there’s something that I’m not quite sure what it’s used for.

It’s called Slot Shots, and it’s a divided shot glass (two slots or three slots), enabling you to “pour different ingredients into separate compartments for amazing drink infusions.”

I’m all in favor of oddball mixed drinks, and love looking at the oddball mixed drink menu when I go out.

But do you need a divided shot glass to make one?

And what do you call a drink that combines scotch and gin in equal parts, which is one of the “recipes” on the coasters that come with the divided shot glasses? Sounds pretty nauseating to me.

I don’t mean to be picking on the drink-related items. Not at all.

It’s not as if I’m some sort of Carrie Nation.

So I’ll move on to Perfect Bake, a $69.99 baking set – three bowls, a scale, an oven thermometer, and a tablet stand that comes with a free app that coaches you through the baking process.

The recipe being demonstrated is the one for chocolate chip cookies that comes on the back of the Nestlé's chocolate bits package.

I have three bowls, a scale, and an oven thermometer that I paid nowhere near $69.99 for, and, seriously, who needs “real-time baking instructions” for chocolate chip cookies. Just follow the recipe on the back of the package.

And I don’t see the point of the Hickies Elastic Lacing System that “turns your shoes into slippers” by replacing the laces with multi-colored elastics. Seems to me that, if you don’t have your slippers with you, you can just uses those sneakers as sneakers as, well, slippers. (Or is this just another way for grown-ups to weasel 3Doodleout of teaching their kids to tie their shoes?)

I will say that the 3Doodler, “The World’s First 3D Drawing Pen”, 3D bikecaught my eye. Looks like a lot of fun – and only $99.99.

Why do I think that my personal 3Doodles would look nothing like the scooter, dog, glasses, or bicycle?

Mine would, no doubt, look like a messy blob of melted crayons.

Still, it was the one Sky Mall type item that was actually of interest.

Not that I’m going to order anything, but note to Brookstone: please keep sending that catalog along.

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