When I started spending a significant amount of time traveling in the U.S. in the early 2000s, the SkyMall catalog quickly became the first reading material I went for on domestic flights. Before long I was collecting pictures of the most outlandish examples—the Steven Fry alarm clock, the scented dog hydrant for your apartment. As a European, it was a thrill to spend time lost in this dense world of products that nobody needs: there’s something wildly optimistic and American about thinking anyone would want, much less buy, a life-sized lucite Big Foot for their garden.
In their new parody book, SkyMaul2: Where America Buys His Stuff, the San Francisco-based comedy group Kasper Hauser gets right to the absurd essence of this American institution: their catalog is filled with Flute-locks, Super-Long Stethoscopes, All-Weather Dunce Caps, and the fine products they’ve allowed us to display for you below. So go ahead, buy the book today. It’s the least-ridiculous thing they’re hawking. —Alexa van Sickle