Yep, us Aussies sure are missing out, with our efficient service, friendly staff and good food. But where Australian air travel REALLY loses out to the yanks is in flight shopping. More particularly, the in flight shopping bible that is SkyMall.
SkyMall is a 300 page chunk of junk mail provided on all United Airlines flights, possibly to distract you from the sugary, salty peanuts and the hour long wait on the tarmac.
It's one of those catalogues that screams things like "They'll never guess it's a hand vacuum!" and "Finally - a radio AND shower organiser all in one!" and features a vast array of items from the genuinely useful to the utterly ridiculous. To wit:
SkyMall claims this item is "perfect for the man who has everything" - I'd suggest it's perfect for the man who has diarrhea, as he's the only one likely to spend enough time in the toilet to get some use out of it. Seriously, how long are you planning on sitting on the can? And do you create a special playlist for the occasion? Maybe a bit of Salt n Pepa's Push It or The Stranglers' Golden Brown? A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall? At any rate, it's a sad day when going to the bog requires entertainment. What, two year old copies of WHO magazine just aren't good enough anymore?
Everything's easier with batteries.
Look - it's the easiest breakfast you'll ever make! See what you do is, you buy this huge piece of plastic crap for $80, then buy the batteries for it, then go out and buy some more batteries for it because you got the wrong size the first time, then take a box of cereal and fill it up, then get out the dustpan and brush because you spilled Cocoa Pops all over the bench, then read the manual and work out how to use it, then press a button and HEY PRESTO! A BOWL OF CEREAL! How much easier is THAT than just opening the box and pouring it straight into your bowl?
SkyMall's art department works overtime.
Check it out - it's a snap-on snowman decoration for your lamppost! Or is it actually a really badly drawn PICTURE of a snap-on snowman decoration done on MS Paint by some intern in the art department? You decide.
A celebration of women's bondage would have made a better sculpture.
This statue claims to be "a celebration of the bond women share and the strength they gain from one another". I thought it was a celebration of conjoined twins and the complicated surgery that can't separate them. I guess it could be either, really. This dull looking sculpture is decidedly celebration-free, in my opinion. If you really want to celebrate women bonding, get a whole lot of them together and open a few cases of champagne. Bonding AND spewing, bonus!
That's no moon...
Apparently this is a 24/7 self cleaning cat litter box. I prefer to think of it as a Kitty Death Star. Let your moggy rule the universe as he spins around the galaxy in his Litter Star, breathing harshly and using Jedi mind tricks to get mice to succumb to his every whim. According to the blurb, this gadget contains a special mechanism that changes the litter tray immediately after the cat leaves - that's if you can convince kitty to get in it in the first place. Reminds me of those electric portaloos councils have taken to installing all over the place to deter junkies and graffitti artists - I wonder if this one also plays 'Little Spanish Flea' while your cat's taking a dump?
Don't bet on it.
Rather optimistically placed under the heading "The Greatest Gift" comes this, the "Relax 'N Nap Pillow", the design of which is supposed to promote better breathing and posture, allowing you to "sleep like a baby". One with SIDS, perhaps. I'd like to think they actually paid a living, breathing model to pose for this photo and didn't just drag someone from the morgue.
What's that? You want MORE crazy pillows? Well ok.
Nup - can't see any problems with this.
Ok, so it'll max out your carry-on allowance, you won't be able to put your tray table down and the person in front of you might be moved to stab you in the eye with their plastic cutlery when they discover they can't recline their seat - but YOU'LL BE COMFORTABLE, RIGHT? Oh, and you'll look like a nob. BUT YOU'LL BE COMFORTABLE.