Journeymen Deadshirters Mike Pfeiffer and Max Robinson are the Trash Boys. In TrashMall, they bring you the hottest products and apparel from thrift stores, vintage shops, and other retail hotspots around New York’s five boroughs. This month brought some sad news in the world of inexplicable consumer goods with the bankruptcy of insane kitsch Grande Dame Skymall, but the boys are going for one last ride into the clouds with Minnesotan electrofolk wünderkind Jay Ackley.
SkyRest Travel Pillow
Description: “This person can sleep comfortably in any Seat! [capitalization sic] Can you say the same? The large, removable inflation valve makes inflation and deflation a snap. SkyRest deflates and folds into an easy-to-pack size and shape.”
Jay: The thing that really gets me about this ad—which is a SkyMall classic as far back as I can remember—is the implication that anybody would ever aspire to be like this guy with a kinda crummy moustache and a baggy Hawaiian shirt. Target Demographic: Schlubby Sleepy Airplane Passengers.
Max: “I love you, soft triangle” – this fucking dork.
Mike: “Howdy there seat neighbor, I’m Keith. Just gotta inflate the ole’ travel pillow. Got cut loose from the ball and chain and I said ‘Keith, now’s the time to hit Orlando.’ Anywho, let’s” [huffing] “Get” [more labored attempted inflation] “Comfy” [one final breath as he immediately passes out]
Jay: Please note, there is an alternate image on the product page where the SkyMall SexPillow is being enjoyed by a slightly younger and more handsome gentleman, like that was their solution to increase sales.
Max: This is great because I have trouble falling asleep on flights while looking like a cartoon mouse falling asleep on a big-ass wedge of cheese. The owner of this item has chosen a side in the war of comfort vs. dignity, and I applaud them for it.
Mike: Skymall is one big magazine by the voluptuous octopus witch from The Little Mermaid, where you trade in your dignity and something else in your life gets marginally easier.
Jay: This man has achieved a level of self-actualization and profound contentment that most of us only dream of. Can you say the same?
Personalized Cell Fone [sic] Flask
Description: You can’t dial out, but you can enjoy what’s inside our whimsical personalized Cell Fone Flask. Small enough to fit in any pocket and easily mistaken for the real thing! This distinctive silver-tone flask has a delicate leather inset on the face, and comes with a genuine leather carrying case with belt loop. Includes two lines of personalization on the front of the flask—a real conversation piece.
Mike: This flask is, at first glance, really cool because it’s twenty bucks for a fake old NOKIA that you can fill with Bacardi 151. But on second thought, it’s fucking stupid because it’s a piece of fake electronics that is not what it seems that you are probably going to try to take on a plane past security.
Jay: Which is more embarrassing: someone catching you getting daydrunk with a novelty flask, or someone thinking that this might be your actual phone in the year 2015? Top them both and make use of the genuine leather carrying case with belt loop!
Max: “Hello. I need to take this call. From Drinking.” I like that since no one owns a push button cell phone with an antenna anymore this is a product marketed to that most fabled of demographics: the cheap old alcoholic.
Mike: …For whom this thing is triple useless because it’s TINY. Can you imagine Charles Bukowski getting his bloated paw on one of these things? Any career alcoholic would use this amount of booze to garnish a much larger drink.
Max: Duh! That’s why you carry additional booze around in Flask That Looks Like A Beeper and Flask That Looks Like An Apple Newton.
Jay: And for heavy drinkers, don’t forget Flask That Looks Like a Fax Machine—it’s the perfect disguise though, because post-Millennials don’t know how to use any of these technologies, and we can concoct a generational web of lies about how they are all tongue-operated.
Mike: I think we can all agree that hiding your booze in stuff that looks like other stuff is totally pathetic, [unscrews bottom of replica lightsaber and withdraws bag of weed] and frankly it just makes you look juvenile.
Urban Vogue Pet Stroller
Description: Luxurious, fashionable, and functional. The Urban Vogue Pet Stroller is a great item to take your pet outdoors and look great while you’re doing it. The Urban Vogue pet stroller offers all the great functions of a typical stroller, safety and convenience for transporting small dogs, puppies, and older arthritic dogs. It also offers a hip look to you as you cruise around town.
Mike: Basically the moment I saw this I had an insane fantasy about seeing somebody rushing into a packed subway car trying to cram this thing in with actual humans, and I plant my foot on it and kick it out so hard that it lights on fire.
Max: Let’s break down the features on this thing: CUPHOLDERS?!?!?! Fuck you if you let your dog use a cup, let alone a cupholder. A safety belt so your rat dog doesn’t flee into the street and willingly get pancaked by a bus so it can no longer experience the previously foreign animal emotion of shame. And brakes presumably to prevent your pet stroller from re-enacting Battleship Potemkin.
Jay: I’m certain that this was originally designed as a regular stroller but then failed whatever safety certification tests you need to pass in order to allow human infants to be strapped into your product.
Mike: The best possible thing that this carriage could be is accidentally unsafe. I want to see someone load their ancient diabetic purebred dog into this animal carriage, tenderly refusing to acknowledge or understand mortality, and then the pooch gets launched from it like a pumpkin in a trebuchet because quality control used lynch pins made out of balsa wood. That would own.
Max: The Urban Vogue Pet Stroller makes a statement, and that statement is “I work for a tiny being that eats its own shit.”
Mike: “I am a proud doggy daddy and it is necessary that everybody else in this restaurant put up with the basket where I keep this yelping furry toothpaste tube full of diarrhea.”
Comfortable TV Listening Headband
Description: This is the headband with integrated wireless speakers that is comfortable enough to be worn while sleeping. Developed exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, the soft fleece headband features lightweight, ultra-thin stereo speakers that receive audio sent wirelessly from a Bluetooth transmitter that connects to your TV. Unlike ear buds or headphones with oversized ear cups, this unobtrusive headband lets you listen privately to TV programs as your head rests comfortably against a pillow.
Max: Recuperate from getting Knock Out Gamed in style with this stylish grey headband thing that plays sound from an object ten feet from you.
Jay: I feel like this is a good example of SkyMall doing the Lord’s work, because we know that all Americans struggle with how physically demanding and uncomfortable watching television can be. Truly, it’s the public health crisis of our generation.
Mike: This dude lost the fight with watching television. He has his eyes closed and a remote on his chest like a Viking burial. RIP Greg, you fought the good fight. Let’s put two commemorative Green Bay Packers dollar coins over your eyes and let you go off to Valhalla, buddy.
Max: I feel like the unspoken implication of this product is that it’s only for people in like “end of life care.” Otherwise you’re a fucking jackass who spends $150 so he can watch TV while his partner’s trying to sleep. The median age of people who use this product is 100.
Mike: I have one bracelet that says “Do not resuscitate” and one that says “Make sure I can hear Steve Harvey or I’m telling my kids that you stole my fucking fillings.”
Jay: I don’t think there’s any need to go so dark, he’s clearly orgasming, not catatonic. Greg’s wife got sick of listening to Skinemax after-hours, but closed captions just didn’t do it for him and they tracked down the Hammacher Schlemmer hotline for entitled perverts to explore their options.
Max: The upside of this product is it makes you look like the world’s laziest action movie commando.
Mike: I agree that if you’re wearing this the Predator decides you’re too pathetic to kill.
Wine Shoe Holder & Stopper
Description: The High Heel Pump and Wine Set lets you personalize a label on a delicious bottle of California red or white wine that is displayed on a red wine shoe holder with wine stopper. It’s the perfect gift for any special occasion or wine and shoe lover. Follow the simple steps to personalize a wine bottle with your own message and optional photo. You can select a smooth red or a crisp white that is sealed with a hand-dipped wax top.
Max: I have a theory about how this product came about, and basically some mid-level exec at SkyMall Inc. totally blew his deadlines so he took a lady’s shoe and put a wine bottle in it and prayed to God everyone went along with it. They did and now that man is dead from a cocaine overdose.
Mike: It’s so lazy. It’s the alcoholic conversation piece equivalent of a tweet that’s like “chocolate is bae :)” or “ummm when will they invent a Netflix for warm kittens….”
Jay: Wait, what’s the price break-down for the Wine Holder & Stopper situation, cuz I’m pretty sure I can get a cheaper bottle of Gato Negro with a Dr. Seuss quote scrawled on it and an old cork with a screw in it to complement that classy red heel.
Max: This is a great product, because while other decorative wine storage solutions hold MULTIPLE bottles of wine, this just holds one. You get to pay $60 for the experience of laying a single bottle of wine in a giant shoe instead of just sitting it on a table. David Lynch probably keeps getting these as gifts.
Jay: I truly thought the reign of SkyMall would be eternal and glorious, but it’s products like these that make me understand this tragic bankruptcy. Surely they coasted too long on their back-of-the-seat monopoly and were unprepared to take on the modern world’s “Dicking around on your cell phone” competition.
Max: It’s something unpredictable/ but in the end it’s right/ I hope you had the SkyMall of your life.