If you're midflight and the movie is terrible and the airline magazine crossword puzzle has already been done by someone else, the SkyMall catalog is the time-killer of last resort for the bored, boxed-in passenger.
SkyMall sells items that, under normal circumstances, you might never consider — like say, adult-size, unisex, one-piece Superman pajamas. But somehow, midflight, you find yourself wondering: Do I need a dog bed designed to look like an NCAA stadium?
Eight years ago, the San Francisco-based comedy group Kasper Hauser published Sky Maul: Happy Crap You Can Buy From The Plane, a catalog full of products like the "Pepper Self Spray" and the "Da Vinci Code Decoder Ring." And now comes Sky Maul 2: Where America Buys His Stuff. Kasper Hauser members Rob Baedeker and James and John Reichmuth join NPR's Robert Siegel to discuss some products that you can almost certainly live without.
On their home improvement products, like the Cave Repainting Set and the Condo Pony
James Reichmuth: You may know what a terrible graffiti problem they had in the Pleistocene Era. And many of Europe's best caves have been defaced by stick figures. ... We have come up with a cave repainting set which just allows you, very handily and easily, to paint over these old caves and get them baby, room, or man-cave-ready. Folks, those horses are just doodles — lighten up.
Rob Baedeker: Designer pets are all the rage these days. Ours is called the Condo Pony. It's a little horse that just kind of clomps around the condo. The motto is: Condo doesn't have to mean no pony no more.
On the Forever Diaper
James Reichmuth: One of the things we're most excited about right now for new parents — and we worked with Russian scientists here, using blimp technology — is a — what we call — Forever Diaper. And that's a diaper that you put on at birth and it, technically, can stay on until early adolescence. We say: Let's take diapers off the table.
On the Personality Alert Bracelet
Baedeker: Most of us get into relationships of many types and it takes a long time to figure out the other person's character flaws. So we've designed a personality alert bracelet. It lets first responders or first dates really know about your issues. Whether you are a narcissist ... a martyr ... a baby ... it just cuts to the chase and just makes things much more efficient.
James Reichmuth: I wear one of these. I'm wearing one now. It just says: Tuna makes me sleepy. ... It's just something that you want people that are close to you to know. So I wouldn't eat tuna before an interview, for example, and I did not.
On SkyMall sometimes being funnier than SkyMaul
James Reichmuth: It is hard to out-SkyMall SkyMall.
Baedeker: Reality is a little bit ahead of us. ... It's that American tradition of giving you things you never knew you needed.