Having A High Time At ‘SkyMall’

Susan Page
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Wednesday - July 27, 2011
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If it’s not a medical scientific fact that a grandchild can be more addictive than heroin, it should be. I know this because: My name is Susan and I’m a grandchild-aholic.

Unfortunately, one object of my obsession a precious 3year-old girl named Emma lives on the East Coast, meaning an interminable flight is an evil necessity if I’m to get my “fix.” That means filling approximately 15 hours including time in connecting airports with reading material to distract me from bad or no food, dead air, minimal service, a tiny movie screen, packed flights, space limitations, dry eyes and frozen feet. (Flying ain’t what it used to be!)

By choice, I haven’t yet indulged in a Kindle, Nook or iPad for downloading books, movies and magazines, but around me were several people smugly consuming media from these devices. I won’t lie, I was envious. After what felt like the longest flight on record, I wanted to be them with my own e-reader. Instead I bought a Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, People, brought a book, Devil at My Heels by Louis Zamperini, read the airline’s magazine and worked its crossword, and, finally, devoured my forever favorite alltime publication, SkyMall.


If you’re not familiar, SkyMall is a catalog of unusual (weird), must-have items like the home soda maker, the portable, packable wineglass, the alarm clock with a hidden camera, and a myriad of technologies that can spy on people, charge any battery anywhere even on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and teeny pop-up speakers for your MP3 player for sharing music on a mountaintop, too, if so inclined.

For only $199 you can order R2-D2, a 15-inch-tall Star Wars “droid” that answers to commands, or perhaps you’ll want a $300 photo mosaic of Muhammad Ali or “The Walking Crocodile Statue” at $169 to put poolside. If you enjoy watching guests have a heart attack, order the “Zombie of Montclaire Moors” statue and partially bury it in your garden like its clawing its way out. Guaranteed results.

The personal grooming and health section is my favorite, featuring unique products that can change your life.

Like me, you may not be aware that lasers make hair grow. SkyMall features several competing laser hair rejuvenation systems, such as the iGrow at $695, which includes, along with a space cadetlooking helmet, earphones for listening to music while growing hair. It just might work, but a warning: Don’t wear this helmet around friends or you will be teased for the rest of your life.


The AquaBells Travel Weights on Page 98 are interesting, too. (After 15 hours of traveling, we’re all dying to lift weights, right?) These are ingenious little inner tubes that pack flat, then can be filled with water to make a dumbbell so you can do a workout in the hotel or with your 3-year-old granddaughter. The model in the ad is well-endowed with muscles and “other things,” so it’s tempting, but I know this product would end up in the same storage place I keep the never-used dog toenail sander, and the sand-free yoga beach mat I ordered last year.

Boredom and dead airplane air have a strange effect on me.

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