Hammacher Schlemmer catalog copy parody competion

Hammacher Schlemmer, purveyors of expensive stuff of no use to anyone, is famous for its precious catalog copy. Example:

Iphone hornDesigned in Milan, it is handcrafted entirely of slip-cast ceramic fired in Vincenza, renowned since the 18th century for its traditional ceramics that have been compared to the finest Chinese porcelain. The clay itself comes from the Tuscan commune of Montelupo Fiorentino, a prominent center of ceramics production during the Renaissance, its products reaching as far as the first European settlements in Central America.
Just for fun, let's have a contest in the comments. Write Hammacher Schlemmer catalog copy for a rubber band. The most liked comment wins a no-prize.


  1. I agree their copy is overblown, but so what? Lets make fun of something and then ask people to spend their time writing a further parody for no pay and/or reward? Wait, what?

        1. oh my, really? well…all right then. Here is my entry for the no-prize:

              The rubber band crept stealthily beneath the hedgerows, its nerves taut. Days on the run had worn it down, it was liable to snap at anything and anyone, with the least provocation.
          Not that it had been a problem lately; the last living soul it had seen was the dying, ruined paperclip balanced, literally, between life and death on the edge of the desk. Half-mad, the clip had quietly asked the rubber band to kill it, but the band was running out of time and had only given the clip one last look as it leaped to the windowsill, leaving behind not just the clip but a hundred other dead, dismembered souls forever forgotten in drawers, files, even ground to dust under the uncaring wheels of the old, creaking chair.
          The rubber band, sole survivor of decrepitude and abuse, flexible, adaptable to the end, had used its generous abilities to slide through the narrowest of gaps between the window and frame, with only a moment of outright fear; when its last quarter caught on a protruding nail head, it began to stretch and, the band feared, tear at its soft, supplicating rubber fortitude. Backing up and wiggling forward several times had finally released it, but not before the damage done, and the band knew the clock was ticking now. Freedom was measured in hours, not days, as elasticity began to ebb. The band began favoring its mid-quarters to lessen the strain, falling softly to the giving earth and just lying, quietly for a moment, resting in the deep starlight.
          Except for its early memories of the factory, the band had never been outside until now. The factory, with its warm and nurturing environment, had been the bands’ only happy home, surrounded by millions of its siblings, and thousands of other varied rubber products. Until one day, when it was boxed with a few tens of cousins and sent, jostling and boinging in the silent darkness, to the desk where they were to begin their long suffering for years of torment to come. Its peers had long since cracked and dried, fraying magnificently in their final death throes to take a last revenge against the sensitive eyeballs of their ultimate persecutors. The rubber band, silently hidden over the years in a air-tight eyeglass container, had slept the years away, only seeing the light of day when the case had been opened and carelessly left on the decaying ruins of the desk blotter.
          Now, it was on the run and searching for a last reprieve, where it would finally taste the freedom of the skies and leave behind the earth-bound entropy of over-abused office supplies. As it crept from beneath the hedgerows, starlight shining down from above, a sign in the distance offered the chance it sought.


          The rubber band began to run.

    1. I agree. That’s why I always ask for partial payment up front before I start a game of charades.

      1. Imagine my bitterness when I discovered that the plastic hotels in Monopoly weren’t like poker chips.

    1. I am so confused today.  I didn’t read Mark’s post correctly, and I thought the horn WAS a parody.
      Then I thought the “pig’s vagina” comment was an excellent joke, and it turned out to be an excellent truth.

      Then I clicked through to the “hand fitness trainer” Timothy Krause linked to, thinking it would be a parody and turns out its REAL.

      Then I thought with a name like “gyroscopic dumbbell” it must be fake, yet, real AGAIN.

      What is happening!?

      1. They used to sell a lower tech version of the gyroscopic dumbbell at Sharper Image a long long time ago (perhaps for $30).  It was actually pretty cool.  Basically a gyroscope you’d hold in your hand, and once you figured out how to rotate your wrist correctly you could get it to spin up fast enough to easily fatigue your lower forearm in a matter of minutes.

        1. Interesting, but I already have an exercise routine that fatigues my lower forearm.  And I perform it quite regularly.

    2. Did you know that the word porcelain, Italian origin, means literally “pig’s vagina”…

      Mario, your new material is a so smooth! What you a gonna call it?

    3. Almost.
      The Italian word for cowrie shell: porcellana.
      Medieval Italian porcello: literally ‘little pig’, used as a contemptuous word for vulva.

      1. Little pig, little pig, let me in!
        The usual response is, predictably, not by the hair on her chinny chin chin :(

  2. The subject of extensive design research by the Ergonomics For Creature Comfort and Health initiative (ECCH) at Dartmouth University, this band is optimized for professional implementation. Recommended uses range from the fantastic, as the band is aerodynamically sound and capable of being flung at 1.5x the speeds of traditional bands, to the practical. Constructed on a molecular level for resilience and flex far exceeding that of rubber, this band far outperforms traditional bands across every category of use. Available only in packs of 5, we recommend orders of 10 packs or more in order that your band collection will remain hermetically sealed when not immediately required for use.

  3. Forged from Malayan Rubber, the bande is a   hand operated kinetic  storage system in a variety of colours – Postal Red, Administrative Yellow and Hipster Buff. The Hookes rating is insufferably high for a product exclusively made from natural materials. 

  4. The mold is smooth bored with dragon diamonds ensuring that, with age, this band becomes more elastic, not less. Tested on the biceps of Serbian body builders, the rubber originates from the Byan-Byan trees of Las Mordrigas. An island so remote, it does not, in fact, exist.

  5. Authentic Replica of Mid-Twentieth Century New York Times Delivery System. 
    Deep in the Amazon rain forests grow Hevea brasiliensis, famous not only for being 100-foot tall home to various rare insects, bacteria and fungi, but also the source for our genuine Rubber Band. Your band is available in 4, 6, or 8-inch diameters, each of which has been handcrafted mere seconds after the tree, grown in our exclusive environmentally-controlled Brazilian forest, is tapped. Once cured, each band is boxed in bark hewn from its parent tree and shipped via climate-controlled barge to our distribution center. 4″-$25 6″-$30 8″-40

  6. Designed in That Place, the actual rubber comes from a strain of fair-trade, organic, free range rubber trees grown in El Salvador for the last 80 years by a family with Hypertrichosis.  The family makes it’s money selling industrial curling irons they are forced to hand craft at gun point by an administration that White Dudes in the US put into power in the 70’s; and now violently oppose. This catalog copy editor finds putting the device on the wrist, and gleefully snapping it against the tender flesh is a great substitute for suicide during busy days selling crap to idiots with too much money while children starve in Somewhere Horrible.

  7. Constructed only from the purest all-natural plant extract, the Compact Banded Organizer is our most versatile organization tool. Despite compacting to a convenient handheld size when not in use, the Compact Banded Organizer can expand up to four times its original size in order to hold virtually anything you can imagine. The Compact Banded Organizer is especially suited for office use, and aside from our Compact Trumbone Wire Holder, is the only organization tool used by all five-hundred Fortune 500 companies.

  8. The elastic properties of this magical ring make it an incredibly flexible, durable and versatile device. There are nearly limitless practical applications for our product, and it can be used individually or combined with others of its kind for binding other items, as a hair accessory, as a short-range weapon or even to make a funny bouncing ball! Combined in great numbers, it makes an engaging tourist attraction. One creative adolescent severed the product with scissors, and used it as a fake string of snot. Your imagination is the limit for putting these inexpensive, reusable little guys to work.

  9. Thermodynamic stretching loop

    The Thermodynamic Stretching Loop offers an astounding variety of applications without the pain and scarring associated with electrolytic hooks or affriction pads.

    Hand-crafted using isoprene elastomers, the loops are naturally-sourced from fair-trade poplars and eucalyptus trees. In independent clinical trials, our technology helped participants achieve a 50% improvement in friction and collation, even in urban canyons, heavily forested environments, and underwater.

    The solutions are as unlimited as your imagination. Whether binding celluloid business sheafs or maintaining the structural integrity of exhaust systems, thermodymamic loops provide an invaluable yet inexpensive alternative to overpriced proprietary folders or the services of automobile mechanics. Larger loops can slow the progression of osteoarthritis through compression therapy; smaller loops can slow the progression of insects through kinetic energy transference. 

    Charm children with the amazing artistic applications; elastrate livestock without bloodshed or pain.

    Heat-resistant and hypoallergenic, our Thermodynamic Stretching Loops are designed by expert napthalogists to store energy 100% efficiently, so as to provide unlimited re-use without refills, subscriptions or onerous licensing plans. Requires two AAA batteries.

        1. The Elastrator is also a sex toy; it’s used for stretching nipples, foreskins, clitorides, etc.

  10. Caoutchouc loop represents the endless luxurious circle of a universe only attainable to the elite few.  Expandable to many times its original size, it derives its properties from the precious gifts of the Amazon, painstakingly processed by artisanal  automated methods of curing and molding these one-of-a-kind utilitarian bracelets.  Finished in a soft earth tone beige carefully balanced to induce deep calm, the band has finally reached these shores ready to serve only the best and deserving.

  11. Designed in Florence and inspired by the enigmatic Mobius strip, our flexible bundler is handcrafted of raw latex harvested from young rubber trees in the temperate central regions of Thailand. The latex colloid is processed by an ancient order of eunuch medicine men in Senegal using methods passed down through millenia. Sheets of the processed but still supple rubber are sent by ancient sailing skiffs manned by rehabilitated Greek pirates to the Benedictine ancient iron rolling apparatus in the highlands of the Portuguese coast. The original purpose of these metal machines dated back to 1000 BC is unknown, but here on the coast near Portimao, Benedictine monks will roll out the rubber sheets into the sensual ellipse that is our bundler.

  12. Stretch your imagination!  This versatile device, invented by the celebrated Victorian Stephen Perry, came to symbolize the British Empire it literally held together. Now 21st century science has enabled us to lovingly recreate and improve upon it, by combining the finest natural rubber with a space-age stable dispersion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. Yours for only $9.99. Y’know, for kids.

  13. This is the rubber band that leaves your hand feeling like Lake Titicaca after a summer storm.  Since Archimedes, the simplicity of the circle has been a recurring touchstone for the meeting of form and function; now, crafted from sustainably grown Bolivian natural rubber and sporting the self-assured lines of Austrian designer Emil Üss, we have managed to source this unique storage solution for the modern kitchen, hand-braided and kiln-dried to ensure years of reliable use.  Self-retracting, three adjustable sizes (6″, 9″, 15″), guaranteed topologically equivalent to a coffee cup.  Eggplant, walnut, and puce.

  14. The band that organized the Industrial Revolution. The Moleskine elastic is made of  vulcanized rubber grown on an plantation in the Western Ghats region of Kerala India. The elastic is formed on molds that are  faithful reproductions of the first bands created by Stephen Perry in 1845.  It is available in Pantone 466C. The elastic is the perfect companion for binding notebooks, mail, creating slingshots, and emergency iPhone case splinting. 

  15. No mere humble rubber band, the Kew Original Latex Binding is sourced from Sri Lanka para rubber trees with lineage tracing back to the original seeds germinated in Kew Gardens by Henry Wickham. The golden hew of its 99.97% pure latex assures you of a lifetime of wrapping documents free from cracking, breaking, or residues. The rubber from the Fair Trade certified plantations is sent to the Kew Original factory in England where the rubber is processed and formed using century-old steam-powered presses. Each band is hand cut, giving every band a unique, organic shape while maintaining exacting properties of compression. Available in three different diameters (1 inch, 2 inch, and 2.5 inch, measured in resting state).

  16. This Cachuchu Collection Circle is  spun by  Native American artisans in a traditional process that has been noted since the time of Christopher Columbus’s initial contact. These organic plants exude a sap which is harvested once a year, in accordance with regional tradition. Despite the deep history of this tool, it is the same model that was later used by NASA scientists during the Apollo 11 mission. It is a rare technology that is so well-designed that it survives from the stone age to the space age, unchanged. Approximately 5” diameter, 1/2” width, 3mm thickness.

  17. A scientific miracle of self-reshaping matter and a device that boggles the mind in its endless household uses and undeniable ability to defy scientific explanation, Stephen Perry’s Elastical Wonder Circle. The unexplainable begins with the most incredible of plants, Hevea brasiliensis, grown in the wild, natural hermetic plantations of British Malaya. Sap is harvested by local, highly-skilled laborers and transported with delicate care to our immaculate facilities, owned, managed and lovingly supervised by Liang Hah Heng International
    Rubber Company Limited. Stephen Perry’s Elastical Wonder Circle is strictly for those who suffer the requirements of everyday tasks, but wish to utilize only the finest products to alleviate the difficulties in the standard household chores one cannot properly delegate to housekeepers or domestic side-staff. The Wonder Circle expands, amazingly, up to ten times its own natural “loop state” and its uses range from the binding of frozen comestibles to ensuring cylindrical stability of wrapping paper. Further, utilizing the Immelman Technique, one can double the strength of the Wonder Circle for the purposes of constraining items. WARNING: The Immelman Technique and EWC should not be used on the self or any appendages. The Wonder Circle provides further utility in its accredited appliance towards pest control (simply stretch one end of the “EWC” around the thumb, and pull backward, directing the thumb toward any undesirable nuisance). WARNING: Stephen Perry’s Elastical Wonder Circle should NOT be directed in this manner towards human faces, irritable toddlers or loved one’s pets. Unless of course, the loved one’s pets were purchased from Hammacher Schlemmer, as their impeccable breeding and stature should repel the directed assault of an Elastical Wonder Circle. The “EWC” is compatible with mp3 players, digital cameras, HDMI/Coaxial/Fiber Optic/USB cables, all digital storage devices, PC, Apple and Linux based systems, AC and DC power cords and can be measured in both the Standard and Metric systems.

  18. Okay, I’ll play!

    Hammacher Schlemmer’s newest offering challenges shoppers to step back and reconsider the simple rubber band. A weapon to some, an organizational tool for others, this versatile item can be found in any office, school, or home.

    Wrought from repurposed vegan rubber, and using 18th century moulds recently discovered in an about-to-be-demolished Italian warehouse, our vintage rubber bands will excite the senses and soothe the soul. Even Minimalists will want to keep a selection of these milli-tasking beauties on hand.

    For each bundle of bands purchased, Hammacher Schlemmer will donate $50 to The Rainforest Foundation.

  19. Along similar lines, anyone else remember ‘Items from Our Catalog?’ It was a parody of the L.L. Bean catalog. It was hilarious on its own, though, because at the time it was published I had never heard of L.L. Bean.

  20. “No, it’s not the latest Rock music craze! Dad will love our new Rubber Bands when he’s in his den handling the family’s important papers. Keeps kids entertained on rainy days. And you’ll want to keep a box near the “porcelain throne” in case of emergencies.”

    Oh, wait. You said Hammacher Schlemmer. I thought you said Lillian Vernon.


    Used by Peruvian climbers on journeys into the cold of snow-topped Andes peaks, this warmer can apply heat to chilled lips.  The lip warmer generates heat through thermodynamic and entropic properties found in natural rubber, and requires no batteries or auxiliary power. Manual deformation of this exactingly crafted elastic loop causes heat generation that warms chilled lips.  Activation of the heating process also strengthens the wrists, biceps, triceps, and deltoids. A study performed by Southern Utah University proved regular use of the Peruvian Lip Warmer increased maximum handgrip strength by an average of 11%, and this low-impact exercise can also increase the range of motion in your hands and help rehabilitate carpal tunnel and tennis elbow injuries.  Ingenious design also allows for lip cooling in warmer climes by reversing the warming motion.  A docking station with integrated calorimeter measures and displays the current calories generated, highest achieved, and average lip temperature increase when you enter the mass of your lips.  Docking station requires two AA batteries.

  22. Wars have been fought for this. Empires have been built and destroyed to control it. Intrigue. Conspiracy. Glory. Despair are just some of the words used to describe its history. It has been  a vital part of the lives of kings, queens, emperors, dictators and generals. The most epic events from the D-Day landings and the Manhattan Project to the result of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ could not have taken place without it. Now you can be part of this epic story. 
    Handcrafted from the finest Brasilian latex tapped by only the most indigenous of indigenous workers, this beautifully crafted item will delight you and your friends for years to come. 

  23. For memory activation, we know of no device that rivals the H-S Brain Band™.  Moisture-resistant and expandable, simply place around your wrist to provide instantaneous awareness of any forgotten chore, name or child whereabouts. To operate, just silently input the information to be recalled, stretch the Brain Band™, let go and, in a snap, your vital intelligence is locked in until you retrieve it by repeating the input sequence. Available in coral or taupe. One size fits all.

  24. There’s good reason for this glistening Rubber Band. And how it shines. And how its surfaces are so clean and clear. This is Rubber Band. It keeps you young. It keeps you light on your feet. It springs from activity to activity. You love your job. You love your life. When you use Rubber Band, you’ll wink, and nod, and hug, and high-five each other with great enthusiasm. This is a special time.

    Camel, Malachite, Gamboge, Fallow, Parmesan, Sconce … $436

  25. ELASTIKON [note: name should always be in all-caps and should have a font custom-designed for it and it alone that is reminiscent of all Euro sans-serif fonts, but not exactly like any of them, and used only for this product name from now on] is not like any trite “rubber band” that you’ve ever seen before; indeed, it’s not a “rubber band” as you understand the term. Mere elastics are known for stretching in one dimension, and occasionally in two, but 
    ELASTIKON stretches not only in three dimensions but in four, as its characteristics change subtly but noticeably over time, particularly with use. 

    ELASTIKON was invented, or perhaps discovered, by Joachim von Pflügerheim, a brave yet troubled young chemist who disappeared into the Amazon rainforest for seventeen years and came out with a permanently altered neurochemistry derived from surviving on toxic frogs (some of which he ate into extinction) and samples of peculiar varieties of latex. He ensconced himself into a laboratory high in the Alps, and producing one perfect small band of his new material, sent it off to the patent office in Bern, Switzerland, where a bored young patent clerk by the name of Albert Einstein, idly playing with it, started forming his general theory of relativity as a result of the unique distortions of the rubbery torus. In the meantime, von Pflügerheim formed the remainder of his new material into a large strip and, securing it between two peaklets of the Alpe d’Huez, launched himself into space, never to be seen again. 

    The band remained there for nearly a century until a freak accident involving the peloton of the Tour de France running into it and the mass of cyclists being hurled backwards down the road, resulting in some racers getting negative times for the stage, led to its removal from the Alpe and its subsequent acquisition by Hammacher Schlemmer; we are proud to offer bands made from this priceless artifact. Savor its silky feel and tawny stretch. Put your hair in a ponytail with it, then enjoy the tiny surge of adrenaline as it takes a few strands of hair with it when you yank it off. Shoot it at that girl in study hall who always ignores you. The possibilities are endless.


  26. Innovated in England in 1845, the rubber band has established itself as a stalwart of functionalism. The band is formed of 100% organic rubber, a thicksotropic visco-elastic non-Newtonian material derived from the sap of the rubber tree. Utilised since antiquity by the tribal civilisations of South America and western Africa, control of the sources of this valuable elastomer were a principal motive of colonial confrontations, leading the British to commercially cultivate their own supplies in the non-indigenous India, where this piece was hand tapped and crafted.

    Hand cast in batches before being individually carved, the magnitude of the product presents a triumph of flexible rationality, a junction of the mystical possibilities of nature and the application of human logic.

    At once constrictive and expansive, it presents a paradox that binds an internalised microcosm while remaining inclusive to all within its expansive jurisdiction. Humble it lays dormant, seething with omnipotent anticipation.

    Hope is defined by a mixture of fantasy and denial. By this token, the band is not only an excellent product of functionalism but a conceptual symbol, the manifestation of hope.

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