Galley Gossip: The top five Skymall gifts for the frequent flier

Wearing your stealth secret sound amplifier, you board the flight (finally!), stow the bag in the overhead bin directly above your seat (YES!), stash the reading material and the bottle of water in the seat-back pocket in front of you (you did remember the bottle of water, didn’t you?) and breathe a sigh of relief because miracle upon miracles, there is no one seated in the seat beside you. Smiling, you think to yourself that this flight might not be so bad afterall. But then, you begin to feel anxious, as a long line of passengers slowly begin filing past your seat. While you hold your breath, chanting to yourself, please don’t sit by me, please don’t sit by me, you are unable to concentrate on the bug vacuum pictured in the Skymall magazine that your fingers are now flipping through, as you continue chanting, please don’t sit by me, please don’t sit by me, please don’t sit by me.

Ross Wolinsky wrote on about the 5 most ridiculous things to buy in the Skymall catalog (and Jamie later wrote about here on Gadling), which forced me to ask the question: are the items offered for sale inside the catalog really all that ridiculous…or are they just plain genius? One of the “ridiculous” things Wolinsky wrote about didn’t seem all that ridiculous to me. I mean what’s so ridiculous about the stealth secret sound amplifier? Personally, I find it to be intriguing. And I wonder, does it really work? Because if it does, I wouldn’t mind owning one. And if you owned one, too, you could sit in your uncomfortable seat in coach and focus on all the racy things being said behind the closed curtain in the back galley, instead of on the seatmate who, right before the aircraft door was shut, plopped down in the seat beside you. Thirsty? You can ask me for a Coke without ever having to ring your call light, or leave your seat, and I’d be able to ask you if you’d like ice with that Coke, and we’d all be happy. Like the good ole days.

When I told The Husband I had planned on writing something about Skymall, he laughed, shook his head, and said, “That catalog is ridiculous.”

What The Husband doesn’t know is that his red Jumpin Jammerz, a pair of giant footy pajamas, came from the Skymall catalog. So when I think of the word ridiculous, it’s not Skymall that I think of, it’s the sight of The Husband on Christmas morning running around the house chasing after a two-year old who just so happened to be wearing the exact same thing. Ridiculous…or adorable? You decide.

Personally, I have found a lot of great things in the Skymall catalog. Take for instance the bark free dog barking control machine. Man, I’d like one of those when the neighbor goes out of town and leaves the howling Beagle behind. (How much was that thing again?) Or how about the upside down tomato garden? When you live in LA (or NY) and you don’t have a whole lot of grass in the backyard, because you don’t even have a backyard, this is the item for you. Or was it me? And did you happen to see the litter robot, which keeps the kitty litter clean while you’re out of town? Let me tell you, my cat Gatsby would absolutely love that! And the kid, he’s got his eye on the fold out basketball game. That picture actually kept the two year old aspiring hoop star quiet in his seat on a flight from Los Angeles to New York for a good twenty minutes, as he pointed and smiled and said “Basketball,” over and over and over, allowing me to close my eyes, lean my head back against the seat for a stress free twenty minutes. I mean if the catalog can keep The Kid quiet for any length of time, Skymall, in my book, rates genius, not ridiculous.

Looking to buy a gift for that frequent flier in your life? Here are my top five Skymall gifts for the frequent flier:

1. LED lighted reading glasses: Why? Because you’re on a red eye flight sitting in a middle seat in coach and GREAT, JUST GREAT! The flight is full and the reading light above your seat doesn’t work. FIGURES! You’ve got twenty pages left to go in a really great book and you’re dying to find out what happens at the end. Man oh man, you are never going to fly this airline again. Now don’t you wish you had those LED lighted reading glasses?

2. Gripmaster – Because you’re still in that middle seat, and the flight attendant wasn’t able to fix the dang light, and now the two idiots on either side of you are hogging the armrests. Not to mention you’ve already seen the in-flight movie and the flight attendant, the one who didn’t have a spare light bulb in her apron pocket, ran out of food AND Club soda before she even reached your row. Not only are you never going to fly this airline again, you’re going to write a letter! Well never fear, the gripmaster is here! So now you can stop grinding your teeth and transfer all that anger away from the paper, the one the flight attendant didn’t have to give you!

3. Stress relief wrist band – Nothing has changed, in fact, the flight has just gotten worse, because now the two idiot seatmates hogging the armrests are snoring, and one of them is actually resting his big ole head on your shoulder. You ring the call light – again – and summon the flight attendant – again – who, after dealing with you several times already, is now wearing some sort of strange device on her wrist. Be nice and she may just let you borrow her stress relief wrist band.

4. Skyrest travel pillow – That’s it! Now the kid in front of you won’t stop crying! And you need to get some sleep because tomorrow you have a big presentation. You rip the stress relief band off your wrist, chuck it over the seat in front of you, climb over your snoring seatmate, knocking his elbow off the armrest, and stomp back to the galley where the flight attendants are hiding behind a closed curtain. Snapping back the curtain, you glare at the flight attendants, who don’t even see you glaring because…what the! They’re fast asleep on the jumpseat! With a skymall magazine in one hand, gripmaster in the other open hand, LED eyeglasses resting on the bridge of their nose, stress relief wristbands wrapped around both wrists AND ankles, snoring away like your two seatmates with their heads resting oh so gently on a cushy Skyrest Travel pillow. What kind of freakin airline is this! You rip the dang pillow away from one of the lazy flight attendants and stomp back to your awful seat.

5. Travel toothbrush sanitizer – You awake from a horrid dream about a miserable flight and stumble into the bathroom. After you splash cold water on your face, you reach for your toothbrush that has just been sanitized by your travel toothbrush sanitizer. Because there should be at least one sanitary thing in your disgusting hotel room. I mean your entire trip doesn’t have to be a bust, does it?

Ridiculous…you tell me.