Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Huzzah! The New Hammacher Schlemmer 2016 Xmas Catalog Is Here!

Huzzah! The new Hammacher Schlemmer 2016 Xmas Catalog is finally here! And not a moment too soon! There's still time to order their amazingly unnecessary gift items in time for holiday giving!

If you've never heard of Hammacher Schlemmer before, they've been around since 1848 and specialize in exclusive and elegant gifts. They cater mostly to the One Percent Crowd. You know, the kind of people who can't sit down to dinner without chilled wine flutes, $300 table runners and linen napkins folded into the shape of geese.

This is a catalog for people with way more money than they can ever possibly spend, and is chock full of items no one would ever need that cost far too much money.

Let's take a glance at the new catalog, shall we? Don't forget to have your credit card ready! On with the shopping!

The Gentle Breeze Makeup Mirror

A stylish vanity mirror that emits "a steady zephyr" to keep you cool while applying makeup or styling hair.

Let's let that soak in a moment, shall we? It's a mirror with a goddamned fan on it, to cool you down during the grueling tasks of making up your face or combing your hair.

I freely admit I know nothing about makeup, but it doesn't seem like hard work to me. How about it, ladies? Is putting on lipstick really such a physically demanding chore that it makes you sweat?

Price: A very reasonable $199.99. For a mirror. That blows air on your beefy, clammy face.

The Perfect Ice Cube

Why use an ice tray to freeze cubes like a common peasant, when you can own a precision instrument like this that makes one perfectly formed sphere of ice at a time?

According to the catalog description, "The bottom mold accepts a preformed ice cube… the 9 1/2-lb. cylindrical top slides over the lower, compressing the stationary cupcake-sized ice cube into a perfect sphere in seconds using only its weight and thermal conductivity."

Did you get all that? Despite what they'd like you to believe, this isn't some fancy tabletop gizmo that somehow freezes water in seconds. It's just a pricey brass mold! You have to place an already frozen cube inside it, then mash it into the shape of a sphere!

Price: An astonishing $759.95. For a mold that makes ice balls for your highballs.

The ONLY Illuminated Manicure/Pedicure Set

The pinnacle of useless gadgetry, the Illuminated Manicure/Pedicure set features "a motorized wand encircled with three LEDs that shine a bright light on your work area without casting shadows, enabling careful trimming, filing, and buffing without accidental nicks or chips."

This seems like another solution to a problem that doesn't actually exist. Do people routinely injure themselves while trying to trim and buff their toenails in the dark?

Price: $149.95. For a toenail Dremmel with a flashlight attached to it.

The Phone Charging Cordless Vanity Mirror

Another vanity mirror! Boy, those Hammacher Schlemmer customers sure like gazing at themselves, huh? What makes this mirror special though is the fact that it contains a charging port, so you can charge your phone while you paint your face.

The big selling point here is that the mirror's cordless. Which of course means you'll have to charge the mirror for a couple of hours first, so you can then use it to charge your phone. 

Or you could, you know, just plug your phone into a normal charger to begin with, like a human being.

Price: A nominal $119.95.

The Single-Handed Barber

According to the description, using the Single-Handed Barber is "as easy as combing your hair." It's perfect for people with non-hairstyles that are of a single, uniform length. If you''re some kind of weirdo who likes his hair longer on the top than the sides, well then screw you.

The rechargeable battery provides runs for up to twenty minutes on a sixteen hour charge. SIXTEEN HOURS!!! That seems a bit excessive. My phone charges in two or three hours, and it's basically a miniature computer.

Price: $59.95.

The World's Best Pre-Lit Fraser Fir

It's the world's most realistic Fraser Fir, whatever that is. According to the catalog, "It is the only tree with three-dimensional, injection-molded branch tips that replicate the exact growth patterns, green and silver needles, and upturned branches of a freshly cut Fraser Fir. The tree has 40% more branch tips than typical trees… the strongest available, and easily support large ornaments."

Jesus, did Glorious Leader Trumpy write that blurb? "It's a tremendous tree, really the best tree, just terrific. Makes real trees look like garbage. Sad."

The World's Best Pre-Lit Fraser Fir contains two thousand LED bulbs that allegedly last 25,000 hours, which makes me wonder what you do when they eventually burn out. I guess you have your maid throw it in the trash and buy a new one. 

Also comes with a remote control to turn the tree on and off, which seems a bit unnecessary. Is unplugging the thing really that much much of a grueling chore?

Price: A very modest $2,000.

The Gentlemen's Whiskey Kit

I know a lot of people enjoy making their own beers and spirits, but personally I've never seen the point.

But that's just me. By all means, give the man in your life a gift that's illegal to use in most states and takes between several weeks and up to two years to properly age.

Or you could just nip down to the corner liquor store and buy a bottle of whiskey and give it to him.

Price: $129.95.

The LED Facial Rejuvenator

There seem to be a lot of rejuvenation systems in this catalog. No doubt because their clientele is mostly rapidly aging lawyers' wives who are desperately trying to halt the decay of their sagging bodies, lest they be dumped for a younger model.

This "light therapy" system (ooh, it's a system!) utilizes infrared light (aka heat) to minimize wrinkles (?) for a younger, rejuvenated complexion (??). It also uses a special blue light (which was allegedly developed by NASA) that zaps away acne and blemishes.

I'm 99.9% sure that at some point this quackery was hawked by Dr. Oz on his "medical" show.

Price: $349.95.

The Desktop Light Therapy Lamp
Hooray, another pseudoscience product! This time it's an iPod-shaped lamp you shine on your face, that allegedly prevents Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or you could just go outside for half an hour for the same effect.

According to the catalog, the lamp features "flicker-elimination technology that prevents electromagnetic fields." Um… that's not possible. Every electrical device, from a TV to a pen light, generates EMF fields.

Price: $99.95.

The "My Cocoon" Personal Day Spay

The Personal Day Spa contains a whole host of features: Sauna-like heat that penetrates deep into tissues to improve circulation and reduce swelling, vibrating message, and aromatherapy.

So despite the fact that it looks like some kind of sci-fi rejuvenation chamber, it's basically a giant, vibrating heating pad that stinks.

Oddly enough, they list the fact that your head sticks out of the top of it as a feature.

Price: Best of all, it's only $8,000.

The Award Winning Nueske's Spiral Sliced Ham
I've never much liked ham, but even I have to admit this one looks pretty darned good.

The problem here is its size. According to the catalog, each Nueske's Spiral Sliced Ham yields about SEVENTY FOUR servings. Jesus Christ! You'll be eating that thing until St. Swithin's Day!

Price: $109.95. That seems a bit excessive for a slab of meat, no matter how good it may be.

The Hands Free Hair Rejuvenator
Another rejuvenation product! This time it's a futuristic bike helmet that allegedly regrows hair!

Oddly enough the catalog bends over backwards to never actually promise the helmet will restore your decimated scalp. Instead it says things like "...employs low level laser therapy that provides pain-free light stimulation for cells in hair follicles, encouraging them to repair themselves," and "the optimal wavelength used in LLLT for increased cellular activity within hair follicles."

Those are just fancy ways of saying, "This thing won't grow hair, but we've worded it vaguely enough so you can't sue us."

But hey, at least it comes with speakers, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while wasting your time wearing it!

Price: An economical $699.95, for the ultimate in quack science that looks ridiculous while doing absolutely nothing.

The Only Laser Guided Precision Trimmer
The ONLY facial hair trimmer with an integrated laser guide for precise grooming! Because what could possibly go wrong when using a powerful laser around your face and eyes?

Price: A steal at only $89.95.

The Twelve Foot Inflatable Clarice
Seriously? Who the hell would want to put Clarice in their front yard instead of goddamned Rudolph? How many people even remember who she is? It's Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, not Clarice, The Normal-Nosed Reindeer, Who's Also The Significant Other Of Rudolph.

I have a suspicion there was originally a whole line of these inflatables, including Rudolph, the Bumble and possibly Yukon Cornelius. No doubt the others rapidly sold out, leaving Hammacher Schlemmer with a warehouse full of unwanted Clarices.

According to the catalog, "this impressive rendition of Clarice stands taller than a Clydesdale." I would think so, since they generally clock in at around six to seven feet. If you ever see a twelve foot horse galloping toward you, shake your head, throw the bottle of booze you're obviously drinking into the trash and say, "Not another drop!"

By the way, there's some heavy-duty Photoshopping going on in this image. If Clarice is indeed twelve feet tall, then that boy in the photo is less than three feet high. I guess it's not impossible. If he's a hobbit child, that is.

Price: $349.95. For a leftover inflatable character from a beloved holiday classic.

The Gourmand's Mac & Cheese
Here's the official, over-wordy and positively orgiastic description from the catalog: "Putting a gourmet spin on a favorite comfort food, this is the macaroni and cheese handcrafted with award-winning artisanal cheese. The flagship ingredient— a medal-winner from the World Cheese Awards— is a cross between a sharp cheddar and a rich gruyere, made with antibiotic-free milk from a local dairy in Duvall, WA. It is blended with jack cheese for the ideal fusion of savory flavor and decadent creaminess, then combined with penne pasta and a touch of spice, creating a delicious side or main dish that isn’t just for kids."

Jesus, Hammacher Schlemmer, it's just a bowl of macaroni and cheese. You gonna eat it or you gonna f*ck it?

The catalog goes on, saying, "Simple to prepare and ready to serve in 30-45 minutes, the mac and cheese bakes in the oven while you relax with a glass of wine." Which of course translates as, "OK kids, your mac & cheese'll be ready in half an hour. So don't bother mommy while she's drinking her medicine!"

According to the catalog, the Gourmand's Mac & Cheese "ships frozen." So for all their talk about "artisanal cheeses," this is basically a $40 frozen dinner.

Price: $39.95 for two twenty ounce trays.

The Hand Fitness Trainer

A recipient of the prestigious "Medical Design Excellence Award!"

According to the catalog, this hand fitness trainer can mitigate the effects of repetitive-motion injuries to the hands, by… using a device designed for repetitive motion.

By the way, see that extra hoop below the pinky? At first I thought it was for people with six fingers, but it's actually so you can use the device with either hand.

Price: $19.95, marked down from $29.95. Hmm. It's probably not a good sign when H-S discounts an item. "One size fits most." Even Glorious Leader Trumpy's hands?

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