Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Can It Core a Apple?

One of my favorite Honeymooners episodes is "Chef of the Future" when Ralph and Ed decide to go on late night TV to sell the Handy Housewife Helper, a kitchen gadget that does just about everything except when the boys try to demonstrate it on a TV commercial. "Can it core a apple?" asks Ed. Ralph promptly illustrates and cuts himself, prompting one of Gleason's rants as he dances around bellowing and holding his injured hand. I love gadgets, even simple ones. Things like a potato peeler fascinate me. All of these things were invented by clever people who saw a need and filled it. Sadly, like the Handy Household Helper, not all gadgets have a promising future. Here are a few from the wonderful "Heartland America" catalog to illustrate my point. I've used the actual language from the ads so you know I'm not making this stuff up.

The Poultry Pal - "Why would you ever want to shove a can of beer inside a chicken or turkey and cook it? The answer is's the most tasty, moist and incredibly flavorful bird you've ever tasted. However, cooking with an actual beer can creates dangerous chemicals that are released from heating the paint and ink on the can. And after all, it's the beer and the cooking method,not the can, that creates such a great taste. Now you can make incredible beer can chicken or turkey without the dangers of using a can. Poultry Pan combines a cooking pan with a chamber to hold your favorite brew while cooking so you can get a perfect tasting bird every time! " (I'm guessing this is a best seller in Arkansas.)

Classic Tin Cup - "Bring history to life with each drink. Take a sip from this historically-correct Classic Tin Cup, just as our forefathers did over the creation of our great nation. We've been handcrafting these tin cups for nearly 200 years, without welding or soldering, just like in the early 1800s when the American West was young. Used by Americans in most walks of life, these tin cups are still put together by hand and with a little help from the original equipment. So let your imagination flow as you enjoy this epic relic of Americana. You'll surprisingly bring history to life with each drink." (Good for begging too.)

Revolving Tie Rack - With so many ties in your collection, you need a serious solution to tie organization and storage. This revolving tie rack holds 64 ties, numerous belts and is exceedingly compact. The rack attaches securely and stays in place, allowing you to rotate your ties at the push of a button. Battery operated makes it easy to choose the perfect tie from your collection. Room for more than 60 ties and special attachments for belts make this tie rack durable and practical for any closet. Special clips allow you to attach the tie rack to a closet rod, and a convenient light turns on as it revolves. Uses 4-C batteries (not included). (Comes in handy when there's nothing on TV.)

Headlight Hat - "Ingenious invention! A comfortable cap with an on-board incandescent lamp - get 2 for the price of 1! We couldn't believe it when we saw this clever product! This 5-panel cap is constructed of premium quality cotton that's lightweight, durable and comfortable. Plus, it has an incandescent bulb that adjusts four ways so you can direct a warm, bright beam of light where you need it most and an off/on switch. Great for hunting, car repairs, walking the dog at night and more. Includes 1 khaki and 1 mossy green cap. Two 'AAA' cells per cap included. Adjustable hook & loop closure." (Also useful for trainee coal miners and night stalkers.)

Portable Rechargeable Fan/Radio - "If you're like most people, you've often wished for a fan to cool you off while you enjoy the great outdoors. Your wish has come true! This ingenious fan has a rechargeable battery so you can use it anywhere. Plus an on-board AM/FM radio with a great sounding full-range side speaker. It features two whisper quiet fan speeds plus oscillation, 10" blade, AC operation mode and up to four hours of use per charge. Rechargeable battery & AC power cord included. 16" x 20" x 6". 1-year limited warranty." (Gee, I always thought being in the great outdoors would be enough to cool you off. Clever combination of appliances...almost as good as their bathtub toaster.) 

I am a catalog freak; I never cease to be amazed at the stuff people come up with. The best thing about these products is that people are buying them. Somewhere in this great land of ours, there's a poor soul whose life is so uneventful that he's waiting eagerly for the mailman to bring his revolving tie rack. Is that the doorbell?!


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