Looking in

I have had many experiences of being on the outside. I am socially awkward, so almost any gathering has me feeling out of it at some point. I have traveled in places where I don’t understand the spoken language well, in some cases at all, and the customs are different. To try and figure out one experience to focus on is difficult. I could almost do a series on this topic.

But the Christmas season is creeping up on us. So I am going to write about the Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog, since it arrived yesterday. It offers many different products, some which are great ideas and sound like they are high quality, and some that make me feel like an outsider in my own culture.

I remember one year laughing until I cried about the alarm clock that would go off and then jump off the table and run away so you had to get out of bed to catch it! It seemed like a great idea and I thought about getting one for my son. But he has always been good about getting to where he needs to be on time, even when he grouses about early wake ups.

This year there are a couple items that I am not quite sure I get:

One is the $95,000 “Hippopotamine Sofa”. I am not saying that if you have a stray $95,000 there is anything wrong with it. I just wonder why someone thought to create “a handcrafted sofa that is a life size majestic hippopotamus”. I like hippos and enjoyed watching them in real life during my safari a few years ago. The safari cost a lot less than the sofa and I think I would go on another one long before I would buy this sofa, which “requires over 400 hours to make due to the intricate design and the artist’s painstaking attention to detail, including the barrel-shaped body formed by a steel frame, massive snout, and short legs.” Just as well I don’t feel a need for it, the 117″ length would be an awfully tight fit in my modest living room.

Another one is the “Selfie Toaster”. “This is the appliance that indelibly brands its owner onto a slice of bread.” Last thing I want to see at breakfast is my own face. Pretty toast would be fine (although I don’t think I would pay extra for it). A flower, a snowflake, or maybe a mandala to deepen my breakfast experience, any number of designs could make sense to me. Having my “full facial details converted into twin removable stainless steel inserts…allowing heating elements to brown light or dark likenesses…onto one side of toast” wouldn’t help my appetite. The rational: “removing any question as to the ownership of the next two slices”. It all makes sense now. My cat, The Empress, the only other “person” in the house when I fix breakfast, will not be able to claim my toast.

Aside: The other day I misspelled Christmas and my handy-dandy spell checker suggested: “Christmas” and “masochist’ as the two options for what I meant. That tickled my funny bone.

Happy winter to all. I hope you can find something to chuckle about during this season of cheer.

Inspired by the Daily Post Prompt: The Outsiders but a day late, and, if I succumb to anything in the catalog (especially the Hippotomine Sofa), way more than a dollar short!

4 thoughts on “Looking in”

  1. Looking in is a favorite pasttime of mine. It’s great to hear about your amusing episodes of catalog browsing and the eccentric items for sale in the Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog. Enjoyable post!


  2. Hi, I just ran across your post and really enjoyed it. You also inspired me to google the Hippopotamine Sofa — all I can say is… Wow. Although it looks to me more like a Hippopotamine Loveseat!


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