SkyMall Monday: Products rejected by Skymall

skymall monday frank former hot dogs rejected productsObviously, we love SkyMall and celebrate it every week right here in this space with SkyMall Monday. We enjoy everything that SkyMall has to offer (with only one exception). It’s no wonder, then, that I was recently quoted in a CNN.com article about SkyMall. Despite being a world-renowned expert in all things SkyMall, even I can learn a thing or two about our favorite in-flight catalog. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the article included a few examples of products that SkyMall has rejected. What horrific inventions would offend SkyMall’s sensibilities so much that they would refuse to peddle such wares? This week, SkyMall Monday takes a look at these rejected items to determine if they truly deserved to be exiled from the skies.

The Frank Former

Pictured above, the Frank Former “turns your favorite hot dog into a smiling “hot dog man” that comes to life before your eyes.” Firstly, I once saw a film entitled “Hot Dog Man” and, let me tell you, nothing about that movie was appetizing. Secondly, unless Dr. Frankenstein is cooking these hot dogs in his laboratory, I highly doubt that they will come to life. Lastly, people love hot dogs because they are simple. Throw one in a bun and eat it with your hands. Cut them up into bite-sized pieces for the kids. No muss, no fuss. The Frank Former appears to be mussy, fussy and full of lies.

Chuck the Yuck

It’s never fun to get airsick (or seasick, for that matter). Thankfully, airlines still provide barf bags for passengers who can’t handle the turbulence and/or “chicken” with “cream sauce.” In fact, those airsickness bags might just be the last free items that airlines still provide. Why, then, would you want to spend your own money on Chuck the Yuck? Perhaps if you wanted to show your style with a “hip line of barf bags, designed to dispose of all pregnancy and kid-related garbage and yuck.” At $4.95 plus $1.25 for shipping for a five-pack, the total works out to more than one dollar per bag. That’s a lot of money to literally throw in the garbage.

GoGirl

Ladies, how often have you envied the fact that men can urinate standing up? We pee on the side of the road when rest stops are unavailable, in the woods on camping trips and in alleys when the line at the bar is just too long. Sure, you can squat in all of those places, but that’s a risky maneuver. Thanks to GoGirl, however, you can now urinate standing up, too! As we typically do, let’s take a look at the product description:

GoGirl is easy to use. Just lower your panties, and put GoGirl against your body, forming a seal. Aim and, well, pee. Pretty simple, huh? GoGirl fits easily in your purse, pocket, or glove compartment…While the concept may be new to you, European women have used female urination devices for years.

So much wrong there. Sure, when you first purchase it, you’ll be caring around a clean GoGirl. After you use it? Why yes, that is a pee-soaked funnel next to your unfinished bag of Combos in the glove compartment (or worse, your purse – as if you don’t already have enough stuff in there). Also, Europeans have done plenty of things for years – ignored personal hygiene, expressed racism openly, kept the mullet alive – that I don’t recommend we embrace as Americans.

The upside to GoGirl? They created a promotional video. Their product may not be good enough for SkyMall, but their video (and the woman in the blazer with some epic 1980s shoulder pads) sure did make my day.

So, at least we have that. And, thousands of products that SkyMall does sell so that we can improve our lives. These products might not have made the cut, but we’re all better off because of it.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Gadling Take Five: Oct. 17–Oct. 23

Each time I read through posts for Gadling Take Five, I look for those that may have been missed by readers. I also look for posts that may fit together in some sort of cosmic theme. It’s often hard to choose five. While browsing the offerings this week, it seems this was a week of great ideas. This week I found a gold mine.

Here are ten great ideas:

  • When Alison was at Litquake in San Francisco she discovered The Bookmobile, a former actual Bookmobile that has been turned into an experiential gathering place for readers, if you will. If you see the Bookmobile somewhere along the Lincoln Highway this year, step inside. You might encounter a famous author driving it. The material being gathered during the Bookmobile’s journey will be turned into a documentary.
  • A good idea worth considering is reducing the number of traffic signs. Although Aaron is a swell driver, he’s given some thought to how he might be better at it if there were fewer signs to distract him. There is research to prove him right. Fewer signs have been shown to decrease accidents.
  • As world travelers, we’re often introduced to problems we wouldn’t have been otherwise. In Tibet, blindness is a problem. In Sean’s post on the Planeterra Foundation, you can read more about the organization’s wonderful idea to tackle blindness and how you might get involved.
  • Kraig, who knows a thing or two about adventure travel, highlights the reasons why hiking the Continental Divide Trail is a good idea. In the case of hiking this trail, Kraig suggests a good idea is to plan for extremes. For example, on one section there’s a lack of water. On another, you’ll be on the look out for grizzles.
  • Here are two airlines with great ideas. KLM is giving away personalized luggage tags. Scott tells you how to get them. Virgin America is considering testing out this good idea. Those without carry-ons can board first. Alison did think about how this good idea might not be so good after all.
  • If you’re on a long flight, Tom has come up with great ideas for how to be more productive. Since one of my favorite things to do on a plane is zone out, Tom’s tips are extra handy.
  • For anyone looking for where to have a destination wedding. Look no further than St. Maarten. Katie has the scoop on why having a wedding on this island is a great idea. It’s free.
  • You probably came across Annie’s post on 10 things not to forget to pack when you go on a trip. Pajamas is one of them, something I consistently forget.
  • Here’s a good idea that might be a bit weird. I found out about GoGirl, a device that helps women pee like men.
  • And here’s a shout out to Heather’s grand idea even though it’s already found great press. It’s such a great idea, I had to include it. Heather has turned Laviator into a household word. I still have yet to become a Laviator. It’s probably because of my tendency to zone out on a plane. One of these days, though–one of these days.

Device helps women on the go “go” in the woods or elsewhere

If you’re a woman traveler, you’ve probably been in a quandary at one time or another wondering how and where you might pee. Gazing about, it seems that no bush is big enough. Trees seem skinny. Where is the best angle to squat to be the most discrete in case someone unexpectedly rounds a corner?

If in a vehicle and nature calls, the nearest gas station or fast food place may seem like the only solution.

For a guy, it’s a different story. I mean, really–don’t guys just seem to go any old place?

Here’s a new solution for women that’s better than the portable toilet that Catherine wrote about two years ago–no offense to the portable toilet. It may be a swell idea for a car trip, but it’s not as if you’ll lug one along on a hike.

The GoGirl, however, looks practical. According to the description of how it works in Hilary Howard’s New York Times article , it could be fun. The contraption allows women to pee in “an arc-like penile stream” while standing up.

Sarah Dillon, the president and founder of GoGirl, is currently focusing on the women hikers and women traveling with young children market. Another market Dillon might consider tapping into big time is women who are traveling to countries where squat toilets are widely used. Squat toilets create another dilemma.

Squatting and peeing straight down takes practice. GoGirl might be a perfect solution to keeping shoes pee free. With its small size and affordable price of $6.99, GoGirl could be easily added to Annie’s Top 10 things not to forget on a trip. For women, make the list a Top 11 list for peace of mind.

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