Monday, June 12, 2017

The catalog to end all catalogs…

There’s a Woody Allen movie  – at least I think it’s a Woody Allen movie – from back in the day when WA was funny, before we knew he was a despicable creep, in which the nebbishy protagonist goes into a drugstore to buy some girlie mags. Going through a little ‘I’ll take one of these, and one of these’ routine, he picks up an Atlantic, a New Yorker, a New Republic (or periodicals along those lines) and then, as if as an afterthought, tucks in a Playboy and Penthouse into his stack.

This scene came to mind the other day when I got a catalog from Carol Wright Gifts in the mail.

Now, I had never heard of this catalog, and from the cover it looked pretty low-rent and cheesy. But I started to flip through thinking it might provide fodder for a blog post. Plus, even though I occasionally contact an array of unsolicited catalogs and ask them to take me off their list, on balance I do enjoy thumbing through catalogs. And I do order a fair amount of stuff online, often after I’ve gotten the catalog. Carol Wright didn’t look like I’d be buying anything from them. Not the cheap looking sheer curtain panels or the cheesy looking chenille recliner cover (not on my recliner, thank you) or the cheesy and dumpy cotton drawstring capris, all of which graced the front or back cover. And I don’t own an aluminum outboard boat, so I don’t need any of that waterproof Flex Tape (as seen on TV: just not by me) that will let me plug a leak.

Nonetheless, I started flipping through, just to confirm how crappy the wares on offer were. And I was not disappointed. Bored mostly, but not disappointed.

A few items gave me pause. If that MoodMatcher lipstick changes color with your mood, why would you need six different tubes with six different color lipstick? Shouldn’t one do the trick? Wouldn’t it be like having six different mood rings? I mean, what’s the point?

Some of the stuff was practical enough – pop-up food covers – and some of the stuff was whimsical enough – solar-powered flamingo lights. But mostly it was cheesy clothing, cheesy accessories, and cheesy home goods. And a lots of “As Scene on TV” stuff. (Okay, I had seen that Comfort Click belt advertised.)

I kept thumbing through and got to the old-folks stuff  - incontinence, denture, support stockings – so I figured it might have been my demographic that landed me on the Carol Wright Gifts list.

And then I turned the page and found an array of him and her sex aides, including any number of anatomically correct “massagers.” (That purple on was a little less anatomically correct, but maybe they had to tone it down a bit so that it could be seen on Oprah and Dr. Oz. Where, we were told, it had been seen on.)

Turn the page, and we’re back to the geezer (“trim toenails without bending”), the practical (“mini blind cleaner reduces cleaning time by 80%” – which would presume you spend much time blind-cleaning to begin with), and the goofy (the haircutting umbrella with the picture of a man enjoying the haircut his wife was giving him. Only it looked like all there was to him was a disembodied head sticking out of a garbage can cover. On second glance, maybe he was all there: the grin on his face suggests that, beneath the service, something may have been going on with one of the page 24-25 items.).

For some reason, I kept paging through and there, after all kinds of muumuus and the banana saver, was yet another sex toy spread, including an anatomically correct something that looked to be the color of Barney the dinosaur. (I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family…)

Turn the page, and here we are with the My Pillow guy, stain-resistant pet rugs, cobbler aprons and bunion shields.

I will not be ordering anything from Carol Wright. If I want oddball stuff, I’m strictly a Vermont Country Store kind of gal.

But what an agglomeration Carol Wright offers. Wonder how many folks are ordering cat decals, peacock wall art, a muumuu, and then, say, one of these. Maybe even in a color that matches their muumuu and sheer curtains…

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