I shop downtown. Sometimes I pay more than I would somewhere
else, sometimes not. Can’t brag about how great it is to live in Saratoga
Springs without supporting the downtown that makes it so.
I also make pit stops at the big boxes for holiday shopping and
household basics like linens and toaster ovens.
And while I search, research and sometimes make purchases
online, I enjoy flipping through catalogues, a tactile treat that may not be
long for this world. When it comes to perusing the sleek and utterly
ridiculous, the Sharper Image is my favorite at-home catalogue, my
on-the-ground version of the Sky Mall.
Consider these recent items:
For $349.99, you could own a “stylish leather ottoman (that)
transforms into a bed in an instant.” This is the perfect extra mattress for when
you want to send the message, “Get a hotel.”
For $99.99, you could own “the ultimate hidden camera” built
into a pen. Slip this baby in your breast pocket, gentlemen, and you can shoot
sound and video. And it writes, so
you can hand out your phone number after you’ve impressed the ladies … or use
it to sign for your phone while you’re being booked for harassment.
Too much time on your hands? Yet too busy to wind your own
watch? Rather than wonder why you own a self-winding watch — or two — Sharper
Image offers a “Dual Automatic Watch Winder” with an automatic motor in a
“handsome leather case” for a mere $199.99. Reasonably priced, really, when you
consider that includes an A/C adapter with battery backup.
My favorite is the “Full Page Magnifier Lamp” for all those
whose arms are suddenly too short when trying to
read mysteriously shrinking print. The illustration shows a page-size lighted
magnifier attached to a goose-neck base. Only $79.99 for the floor model;
$69.99 for the desk model. “If you’re holding the page farther and farther away
each day…” begins the description. If you are, I can say from experience, it’s
time for bifocals.