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going postal

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Braving terrible odds, horrifying evens, and even the occasional irrational polynomial root, I made my way out to the mailbox; who could have imagined--except for you loyal viewers of Trygve's Wild World of Mail--what perils, wonders, and exotic offers for credit cards could be waiting out there, perhaps trying to tempt me with my choice of a low, low, low introductory interest rate or a genuine 3-D image of Harvey The Wonder Hamster's most recent biopsy, available only to those lucky enough to wield the prestigious Platinum Edition HamsterCard?

I'm waiting for somebody to come out with a "mood credit card" that will change color depending on whather I really ought to be spending money on whatever foolish thing I've pulled the card out for. With cash back and no annual fee, of course; a guy's gotta have some standards.

But back to today's program, where we'll meet the actual creatures that came to live in my mailbox this afternoon:

First up, we have a catalog from Heartland America, which seems to specialize in fantastic bargains on humidors to keep your expensive imported cigars smelling, humid, old leaves, I guess. They have a sale on pressure washers too; I guess you could use one of those in a pinch if you were faced with a sudden dry cigar emergency. Exactly why one would associate "Heart" and "America" with imported cigars is an exercise best left to the reader--or perhaps just to Mrs. Hortense Fergulch of East Oxnard, California. Maybe we won't worry about it until we hear from her.

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But as we delve deeper into the dark and mysterious depths of this previously unexplored catalog, we trek past the hand-signed baseballs (as opposed to? foot-signed, maybe?) and the stainless steel pots designed for a lifetime of cooking (okay, sometimes I do like to cook, but there *are* limits; I think even a whole afternoon is pushing it, except maybe if you're making gingerbread houses), exploring onward until we find our elusive quarry, the fabled "stupidest and most insanely overpriced item in the catalog."

Here, on page twelve, we have the incredible Q-Link Pendant necklace; words fail me here, I simply cannot do justice to this amazing product--I'll just have to sit back and let the Q-Link Pendant speak for itself:


Reduce stress, increase your energy, and enhance your mental clarity with the Q-Link's proprietary Phase Resonance Software. Research shows that electromagnetic fields produced from radio, TV, computers, appliances, etc., can sap energy, stress nerves, and distort our own natural energy shield. The Q-Link Pendant necklace, developed in collaboration with scientists from Stanford University and the University of California, enhances your body's own bio-magnetic energies to fortify you against the contant assault of these negative energies. It's one of the most powerful and healthy steps you can take to achieve total wellness. 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" x 1/8" only $119.99!

Wow. After discovering something that revolutionary, continuing on to the "World's Smallest Lawn Mower" (why?), the only baseball with a speedometer built in, and the incredible bird-repelling magnet that keeps unwanted birds away from its "confusing powerful magnetic field" seems anticlimactic at best. I bet any birds that were wearing the incredible Q-Link Pendant necklace could get through that magnetic field, though. Maybe the NIH would fund research on this important matter. Either that or America's Funniest Home videos might pay big bucks for film footage of magnetically confused birds.

Amazed, educated, and yet somehow humbled by these startling products, let us move on to the opposite end of the world-- or at least as far away as one can go without leaving the mailbox--the latest issue of Consumer Reports! Far below the glossy cover of this consumer-oriented publication, hides the mysterious and compelling "recalls" page. Gentle viewers, we are astonished to discover that Oscar Meyer has issued a recall on its "Wienermobile Pedal Car"--a 46" long toy car that looks like a hot dog with pedals.

An unimaginitive person might guess that the forty-six inch length might clue most people in to the fact that this isn't a real hot dog, even if the presense of pedals and wheels wasn't sufficient to distinguish it from that traditional American meatlike delicacy. But, apparently not--the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, it seems, contains excessive lead, which is toxic if ingested. Perhaps these dangerous vehicles could be traded in for broccoli-shaped scooters which could still contain lead, but fewer people would try to eat them.

I think there's a lesson here we should learn from Oscar Meyer's tragic design mistake: never eat anything large and plastic that you've sat in or on. Words to live by, wouldn't you agree?

On the other hand, chronic lead intake tends to cause lowered fertility levels; maybe this was all just part of Nature's Plan, at least to the extent that a giant plastic hot dog can be.

Just below the wheeled sausage of death, there's also a recall listed for the "Relaxor Deep Kneed Shiatsu back massager." Apparerently it has an unfortunate tendency to overheat and catch fire. I guess bursting into flames doesn't quite go with the "Relaxor" name, so I think this recall makes a lot of sense. Maybe instead of recalling the product, they could have just mailed out new labels to give it a name more in keeping with its actual range of function. Some people might be happy to discover that they were now the proud owners of the new "Explodatron Shiatsu Grill" for the tenderest burgers you've ever tasted! Kinda like getting two state-of-the-art products for the price of one and a few minor second-degree burns on the back and neck. You could use it for both purposes, really--you let it warm up a bit by working on your back, then when it's ready, just throw on the all-beef patties! Just like a charcoal grill, really, except for that first part involving your back and all that. If you turn the massage setting to "high" maybe it'll not only grill the burgers to perfection, but flip them too. I guess the biggest risk would be if some slightly confused person tries barbecuing a couple of Wienermobiles, 'cause those would melt and smell really gross, I bet.

Well, that's all the time we have today on Trygve's Wild World of Mail; I'm not quite sure whether it's good or bad, though, that when Consumer Reports tested the new 1999 Corvette, they noted, "With one tire deflated, we noticed barely any difference in handling at highway speeds on our track." Might be something you'd want to check out for yourself the next time you go test- driving Corvettes. I'm sure the salespeople won't mind....

The Unnatural Enquirer, © 1998 by Trygve Lode (

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