26 August 2008

The Joys of Catalog Shopping

As much as I adore my trove of magazines, I think I like catalogs even more. This slightly unhealthy adoration of shopping via the mail reared its ugly head when I was a child. Every year we'd get a JC Penney wish book and I would pour over it again and again and again marveling at the glossy pages and persuasive writing (one day I, too, would write product copy not for toys but for computer games and it's not as exciting as it sounds). And I think I'm genetically predisposed to catalog shopping as my dad did 90% of his shopping through the mail.


In addition to the slick, run-of-the-mill Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Victoria's Secret catalogs I receive one from The Vermont Country Store, "purveyors of the practical and hard-to-find". The Vermont Country Store sells items that "must be useful, work, and make sense." That being said, I found these items nestled among the old-timey candy, matelasse bedspreads, and old-man aftershave (Bay Rhum!) in their Fall '08 catalog to be anything but:

What the hell? Who in their right mind would pay $12 (plus shipping) for 2 sticks?! Oh, but you get a brass nail to attach the "weather stick" to your house. Classy. I also like the illustrations: when it's sunny out your weather stick is erect and, I guess, when it's not the weather stick is flaccid and sweats like a mad dog.

I bet the person who had to write this copy had a field day. I also like that they tell you what color the "health step" is, but why only ivory? Why not designer colors?

Nothing says "fun" or "exciting" like a gray sweatshirt. People in Vermont must be hard up for some good times if short-sleeved sweatshirts and capri-length sweatpants induce thrills. Maybe that's what the weather stick's for.

The Vermont Country Store is as much entertainment as catalog and I look forward to my seasonal delivery. I mean, where else can you get "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific" shampoo and Horlicks malted milk tablets?


The Fearless Freak said...

I want some capri length sweats! But I want them to have pockets. Then they would great.

Quigs78 said...

I LOVE catalogs! My grandma used to get Lillian Vernon and I loved looking at that crap. I still like Collections, Etc out of Elk Grove Village that has all their junk under $20.

And I have capri length sweats WITH pockets. They have a hole in them right now, but I'm still wearing them because I love them.
I remember when I would never be seen out in public in them. Now they're part of my weekly wardrobe. :(

And you know you want to bring a footstool in to the bathroom now, Misc, just to see if it really is easier. :)

Lavender Lemonade said...

Hilarious! Those short sleeve sweatshirts are hard to find. When I'm re-enacting Flashdance (after the kids go to bed) I have to use just a regular long sleeve one. But my forearms get so sweaty.

oliveloafdesign said...

haha i'm crackin UP! that's too funny. i love grandma catalogs (read them at my mom's house to help me fall asleep!) i'll have to send you one i cut out-fancy washer/dryer covers!

oliveloafdesign said...

oh and i think that the weather stick is flaccid and CRYING. =)

McBloggy said...

I've got to get the $70 "health step!" That's too funny.