You know you've hit the bottom of the mail barrel when you receive a catalog called Catalog Favorites: A Showcase of Catalog Bestsellers. Yes, the concept is that this is a compilation of the best selling stuff from other catalogs. The problem is what catalogs. This isn't the Neiman Marcus Wishbook. Hell, it's not even the LLBean catalog. This rag is truly giving the Lillian Vernon catalog a run for its money in the mail-order crap department. Case in point, on page 11 there is the Reindeer Car Costume Kit, because really, what says "Diminished Blue Book Value" more than a red nose on your car's grill and a pair of antlers. Then there are the Seashell and Fish see-through Toilet Seat Covers (because doesn't every home need one of these?), the suspect looking "massager" and the ever-classy "egg yolk separator" which is designed so that the egg yolk appears to be coming out of a nose. Finally, in the "marketing mystery" department, there is the personalized snuggy bear baby blankets-- a "Favorites Exclusive!" Can someone explain to me how this item can be a "Favorites Exclusive!!" if the concept behind the catalog is that its a compilation of products found in other catalogs??? Doesn't that whole exclusive concept kind of contradict the compilation of other catalog's merchandise idea?
All I can say is it is clearly getting on to the holiday season because in addition to "Catalog Favorites" my mailbox has been filled with inane gift catalogs. In the past week alone I've gotten the Wolferman's bread catalog, the Chicago Art Institutes's Gift Shop Catalog, something called "The Artful Home", CB2 (twice), Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, LL Bean, LL Bean Traveller, LL Bean Home, LL Bean Women (is there any category out there that the Bean doesn't target?), FLOR, DWR, Williams Sonoma, Williams Sonoma Home, Lillian Vernon, Lilly Kids, Lily Pulitzer, some weird food catalog I'd never heard of before that depicted all items as cartoons, M&M World, See's Candies, Land of Nod, Athleta (like I actually go to the gym), Acorn, Signals (since when did they become oddly religious?), Garnet Hill (which gave me far too many ideas about home crafts), Sundance, Art.Com, and many, many others that I can't even remember. How the hell did these people get my address and why isn't Al Gore trying to put a stop to all this wasted paper???