Monday, May 16, 2005

Old People Have Needs Too

Bet you thought I'd be writing about my own needs, but you're wrong. And I'm not old!

Julianna ended up on The Mailing List From Hell recently by ordering plants off the internet. So today we received a Carol Wright Gifts catalog. You know, the funky catalog with all the goofy shit in it like "Slimming Shapers (tm)," the allegedly comfortable and lightweight garment that looks like an elastic mummy costume and is meant to smooth out those "unsightly lumps and bumps." They show saggy before and perky after shots of roly-poly middle aged women whose lumps and bumps are to the naked eye less noticeable in the after shots but who are probably hypoxic since they certainly can't breathe swaddled in that tight gidle. You know this catalog -- chenille bedspreads, country lace curtains, kitchen rugs featuring your choice of lighthouse or barnyard scenes, vinyl hanger covers, and (among my favorites) "Spring Fancy Clamdiggers."

Some of the items are rather intriguing, or at least would seem to fill a need you may not be able to fill elsewhere -- I don't know of anyplace else you might be able to get a sturdy, polystyrene shelf for the top of your tv, with adjustable legs, to hold your vcr or similar. Nor a slug & snail trap "shaped like an adorable frog." Or -- and try to deny you want one, go ahead -- a "Tighty Whities Farting Key Chain."

But where it gets interesting is a page near the back. They segue into it by having some fairly benign personal care products on the page preceding. Hair growth cream, ear wax removal tool (lighted, no less), fingernail strengthener polish. Then they hit you with -- gasp! -- the Sexual Aids and Videos.

I dig the three different types of vibrators, two of which feature photos of women using them to "massage" their neck areas. (Good heavens, where do they get models for this? "Okay, now, use the vibrator to massage your neck. That's what it's for, after all. And try to look insipid!") They evidently "stimulate circulation and soothe tired, aching muscles on your neck, back, shoulders, arms and legs," and to suggest otherwise brands you as the perverted sicko that you are! For shame!

One, however, actually comes right out and states graphically that it is designed to serve "dual pleasure points," and is shaped accordingly. Probably couldn't really be coy about something that specific and obvious.

So my theory, and this both amuses and saddens me, is that a person could be in deep denial that they were purchasing a marital aid. See, it's for my neck! But you know that they would be stocking up on batteries and checking the mail twice a day for four to six breathless weeks, then drawing the curtains and taking the phone off the hook when it finally arrived in its plain brown wrapper...

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