Thursday, January 17, 2008


Dear Popular Science Magazine,

I like you, you're a good read, you appeal to my geeky side, but listen, you cost $5. I bought you for a 70 minute plane ride yesterday and had finished you with 15 minutes left. 55 minutes of entertainment for $5 does not seem like good value to me. I could have bought a book for $10 that would have taken me days to read. I could have rented a movie for $3 that would have lasted at least 90 minutes. It's not like I skipped a bunch of articles either, I read them all, the whole magazine, in 55 minutes. You know what happens when you're on a plane and you've got 15 minutes to kill and you've finished your magazine? You end up reading Skymall. And that, is a terrible fate to suffer.

Yours sincerely,

Dear Skymall,

I notice with interest that your business model has changed since the last time I was forced to read your magazine. You've gone from selling useless crap that no-one could possibly want, except maybe those who are brain-addled from hours of boredom, to selling mostly useless crap that no-one could possibly want, with a little bit of useful stuff mixed in. Good idea, but here's the problem with the new strategy - I'm not living on the plane. I expect to get off it at some point. Probably, before whatever I ordered from your catalog arrives, I'll have had a day or two at home to think about whether I really want to spend $44.99 on a 1GB Micro SD card. I might even have visited a shop or two. Maybe even my favourite shop in the whole world, Fry's Electronics, where they're selling 1GB Micro SD cards for $14.99.

Yours Sincerely,

P.S. If you've ever had anyone buy the Helmet Hero Camera System, please let my brother know. His solution involved an old light mount, a nut, a bolt and a washer, so I reckon, if you're flogging a 3 MP camera glued to a crash helmet for $169.99, he might be quids in.


Jen said...

Oh my God! That was flippin' hilarious!

Skymall; buy crap you don't need.

Popular Science; all you need to know in 55 minutes or less.

I think Alex needs that helmet. Though his is most likely way better constructed.

Jen said...

I forgot, do you think "The One Ring" glows when it gets closer to wherever it is Gollum, Frodo and Sam travel too? Will it cause invisibility when you wear it and make you into Mr. Cranky Pants?

I'm buying that for you.

Ian said...

If you buy the one ring for me, I'm going to throw you into a volcano

Alli said...


Yah, the Lord of the Ring & Harry Potter crap is my favorite!

Actually, there are a FEW things in there that we'd buy. In fact, Hubby found an indoor/outdoor speaker in there, but he bought straight from Brookstone. But atleast it gave him the idea. It's a pretty cool speaker!

Ian said...

Yeah, it was probably half the price at Brookstone. I'm pretty sure they think your stuck on the plane and only have one place to buy from, so you'll pay whatever they charge.

Bruce Lenorf said...

That's not fair: if you don't like Skymall, too bad for you. I like it: Skymall is the only magazine that sells ramps for old smelly dogs to climb on living-room couches, and little caddies to put your dog in so he does not have to walk. This is obviously a niche market where they won't have much competitors. That is a smart move.

Ian said...

Yes, but did you see any smelly rabbit ramps? No! That's discrimination. Another reason to hate Skymall

Jen said...

Tim has no problem getting onto the couch (or off). He can also get into the closet, 'cos Nikki's a good mom and lets him go in when his heart desires. He doesn't need a SkyMall ramp.

Since I'm not particularly fond of being tossed into burning inferno's, I may just pass on buying you Smeagols ring. . . Party pooper.

Alex&Fi said...

I'm just waiting for a major manufacturer to contact me, it's bound to happen any day now....

either that or Skymall will sue me for patent infringement or something!

Ian said...

Jen: Sure, he doesn't have a problem, but I'm sure he'd like a ramp if those discriminatory swines over at SkyMall sold them.

Bruv: Don't worry about it, I'm pretty sure they'll take one look at the duct tape and chewing gum and realise it's all your own work.

Loic said...

Dear popular science reader,

Thank you for your feedback. We do strive every day to make our customers happy and make science popular. Regarding our enjoyment duration, you have probably skipped our wonderful advertisement section which is an entire part of the magazine. Are you sure that you've read all the specifications of that particle accelerator for your kitchen? or the stop-hangover-slim-fast-glow-in-the- dark pill? I hope you will enjoy our next issue with exciting articles on how to clone yourself, real estate value on Jupiter, demistifying surgery:"save on insurance and try it on your neighbours".

Your favorite magazine

Dear Skymall reader,

I want you to know that we are taking your concerns seriously. We are taking action and our next issue will feature a section on the most indispensible rabbit food and accessories. I am sure you will be delighted to buy our Timwings, which let your rabbit fly (they love it by windy days), the RabMachete, a blade with which your rabbit can easily defend your house while you are away. No need for a dog or an expensive alarm system. There is the top chef book collection: horror stories for rabbits. And all the latest fashion accessories to have a really cool rabbit. Soon you will also be able to enjoy all of those on "skymall the game", that's coming on the PSP: dive into a 3D world of skymall accessories and furnish your virtual dreamhouse as it should be.

Your favorite magazine on the plane