This year, only two books have made me laugh until tears ran down my face: John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise, and this parody of the hideous SkyMall catalog, appropriately titled SkyMaul.
The fake products and their descriptions in the SkyMaul catalog are exactly like the ones you'd find in the SKyMall catalog, except they're wet-your-pants funny.
I don't usually like magazine parodies (Pre-1980 National Lampoon was the only publication that could do a funny, dead-on magazine parody), so when Jesse Thorn of The Sound of Young America sent this to me, I wasn't expecting much, but I was hooked from the very first product (Reality-Canceling Headphones from the Image Sharpener: "Using a simple principle called "science," the professor was able to invent headphones that block all the bullshit and responsibilities in your life. You can still hear things such as the microwave going off but not babies or the doorbell or dogs.") and couldn't stop reading it until I got to the last (A "Bettering your WordPower" audio CD set: "We will send you 2 of the first 200 CDs, packed with two hours of crippling content; including the "top gun" words, the vocabulary principals overview, and a VHS tape called Nature's Killers where an orca throws a sea lion around like a rag doll. You will shit at how powerful these whales are, and how cruel.")
Just looking it is making me laugh again. There's the "Hitler-Turning-into-Werewolf Nightlight" for your baby, a Divorced Dad "Pancake Time" Trumpet, Christian Over-the-Clothes Massage Lotion, a combination Retirement Crutch/Metal Detector, a Tiger Arm Extender, and lots more.
It was written by the comedy group, Kasper Hauser, which has a podcast produced by Jesse.
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