The early spring edition of the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog was in my mailbox, a signal that a middle spring supplement and a late spring supplement will arrive any day now. For those not familiar with the publication, it’s a century-old gift catalog that contains an array of hard-to-find (and often hard to find a use for) gifts. The first edition might still be in your dentist’s lobby.
I write a column about each new HS release, which always includes an introductory letter from Richard Warren, placed on the inside front page of the catalog. I don’t believe there is an actual Richard Warren affiliated with the company. He is not googleable. He probably exists but uses a pseudonym so those customers unhappy with their hair-restoring baseball caps (coming up later in this column) don’t send them back directly to his home along with nasty notes from angry bald men.
Here are some of their interesting latest offerings:
The Temperature Projecting Precision Thermometer: You point it at your head to gauge your temperature and then the reading is displayed on your forehead. Not a good choice for people who live alone. Of course, you can watch the process in a mirror, but just remember that 98.6 will look like 68.9. Don’t bother thinking about that. I just made it up.
The Strongest Outdoor Rocker: According to HS, this rocker can support 600 pounds. They show a photo of the chair, but no one is sitting in it. What a wasted marketing opportunity. How about a frail 98-year-old man with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren climbing all over him? Don’t worry, the chair also resists stains and moisture.
The Six-Minute Laser Regrowth Therapy Cap: This baseball cap supposedly rejuvenates hair growth follicles for a mere three grand. If it fails, see next item …
Ergonomic Head Shaver: Get rid of your combover and for $59.95 you can completely shave your pate as clean as a billiard ball. Then return that baseball cap above and you’ll be $2,940.05 ahead of the game.
For people lucky enough to have hair, there’s The Barber Eliminator: This is a handheld device you to use to cut your own hair. I haven’t had a haircut in a year due to Covid, so I have already eliminated my barber and saved a lot of dough.
The Superior Vertical Chicken Roaster Pan. For $79.95 you can cook the perfect roasted chicken. Or for $79.95, you can buy 16 Costco rotisserie chickens, which is enough poultry to feed most families for about a year. But by then, you’ll be sick of chicken.
The Mimicking Slow Talking Sloth: This stuffed toy repeats anything you say in a slow, cartoonish drawl. A great gift for your boorish uncle Gus, so he knows exactly what he sounds like at your big July 4 picnics after a six-pack of Bud Light.
Last, The Illuminated Ear Wax Remover: This is an ear-cleaning tool with an integrated camera that can take video of the wax in your ear. The miniature endoscope streams live footage to your smart phone, which means you can post pictures of your ear canal on social media and everyone can see the built-up gunk. And isn’t that what Facebook friends are for?