Hurry! Don’t delay! These won’t last!

The mail-order catalog silly season is upon us and, with retailers trying to convince us that Christmas is, like, next week, I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t tell you about the best catalog in the whole world ever.


I’m not talking your slick but mundane Sharper Image or Eddie Bauer catalogs here. No, I’m talking about the catalog that puts a capital S in schlock and will make you the envy of all the guys down at the Food & Lube. I’m talking about the one mail- order catalog upon which you can confidently base an entire lifestyle if you’ve got the guts and daring to do so.

Yes, I’m talking about the latest “Things You Never Knew Existed…and Other Items You Can’t Possibly Live Without!” catalog from Florida’s Johnson Smith Company.

(No, I’m not making this up. I couldn’t make up a catalog name like that if my life depended on it.)

This is the catalog that starts where all the others leave off, the catalog of locking toilet paper containers (only $17.98 – toilet paper not included) and videos that teach you how to fight like a Russian Spetsnaz special forces soldier (just $69 for two videos narrated by Vladimir Vasilev).

This 68-page booklet of bargain wonders is, however, a whole lot more than learning how to fight for your toilet paper in Russian.

Is your office or living room dull and drab? Brighten it up with a farting wall clock. For less than $20, you get an hourly “flagrant flatulation from one of a dozen shame-faced characters.” And, I might add, it tells the time.

Tasteful? You betcha!

When it’s time for a beer, this catalog has three good reasons to open another bottle of foamy fun. The Three Stooges talking bottle opener voices classic Stoogeisms every time you pop the cap off a fresh one (“How ’bout a beer? Soitenly!”).

You can suck suds with the Stooges for only $11.98 – or $10.98 each for canny shoppers who order two or more. Hey, you’ll want a dozen, right?

If you’re an aficionado of capital punishment, you need look no further than the Johnson Smith catalog for bright home decorating ideas.

There’s a stunning talking electric chair with a wisecracking skeleton for $29.98 – “Press the button and Mr. Bones responds with taunts and insults. Includes many different phrases.”


For French traditionalists, there’s the classic guillotine model kit. Considerably less expensive than the talking electric chair, the $17.98 guillotine model “includes movable body platform, closing head stock with lock, working blade pulley with rope, dropping blade with release lever, basket and hapless victim who actually loses his head!”

Is this a great catalog or what?

On a lighter note, you’ll always be in good taste with the Boob Tube TV Universal Remote Control “with removable bikini top for channel up and down – gives new meaning to the expression ’50 channels and nothing on!’ ”

The curvaceous channel changer is $15.97 (marked down from $29.98!).

Makes your Lillian Vernon catalog seem kind of dull, doesn’t it?

If you’re still skeptical, get your own “Things You Never Knew Existed…” catalog from Johnson Smith Company, 4514 19th St. Court East, P.O. Box 25600, Dept. HS-0109, Bradenton, Fla., 34206-5600.

Originally published October 28, 2001.

You’ll be glad you did …