The Bizarre Magazine That Will Inspire You…to Shoot Marshmallows

Derek Perspectives 11 Comments


My somewhat recent transformation from haphazard nomad without a plan to an organized, entrepreneurial nomad, did not occur without assistance. It was an entire network of good people, organizations, websites, books and videos that seemed to offer the necessary guidance at the times I needed it most, allowing me to create a self-sufficient lifestyle out of my passion for travel.

Last week, I happened to discover one more educational and motivational tool that anyone interested in life design or unconventional living will find useful. It’s a resource so insanely valuable, yet it’s gone unnoticed despite being right in front of my eyes ever since my first trip on an airplane.

Let us all hail the mighty SKY MALL MAGAZINE!

Exactly. You know the one – that glossy 200+ page time-filler found only in the seat pocket in front you as you zoom across the sky en route to another destination. For years I’ve glanced through this magazine during hundreds of flights, only to put it down as soon as my yawning became too frequent to ignore.

But seven days ago, when I flew from Mexico back to Florida, I found myself glued to the pages of this odd publication, reading every detailed description of every product listed. I was so enthralled actually, that I took the magazine up on its kind offer of “Take It – We’ll Replace It!” and stuffed it into my backpack to bring home with me. And every night since, I’ve spent a few minutes perusing the pages before going to sleep.

When I open this magazine, I find myself full of energy, full of creativity and full of intense inspiration. I feel unstoppable and confident, more ready than ever to tackle the challenges of living an unconventional life.

It’s as if Tony Robbins, Cody McKibben, a personal cheerleading squad and the splendid aroma of my favorite Indian food all meshed together into one powerful, motivating entity…one that displays itself to me over and over again, quite often in the form of a Marshamallow Shooter.

Get this. There are actually three separate Marshamallow Guns – the Marshamallow Shooter, the Automatic Marshmallow Bazooka and the Marshmallow Super-Launcher – advertised in the Sky Mall magazine. And that’s not to mention the Classic Ping-Pong Ball Shooting “Burp” Gun variation that’s in there as well.

Of course, my first thought upon seeing these products alongside a remote-controlled tarantula and a talking popcorn maker was – ‘who buys this crap’?

What a bunch of useless garbage. Right?

Oh boy, get ready, because it turns out that’s not exactly the case. During the course of my flight last week it slowly occurred to me that if a Solafeet Foot Tanner, which “rids yourself of those ugly sock tan lines in only 5-10 days”, is considered to be a piece of garbage, then what I am trying to accomplish by living an unconventional life of freedom must be garbage as well.

Before I explain further, I’m going to ask you to forget about the fascinating Solafeet Foot Tanner for a moment. Instead, I wish to bring to your attention to the most astounding and absurd product that I found in the Sky Mall magazine. It is the ridiculously priced ($1790), ridiculous-looking (think bright blue helmet with a red crown on top) Underwater Cellular Phone System Module.

The tag line says it all: “Have you ever wanted to make or receive a call while diving at a tropical reef?”

Who in their right mind would want one of these?

At first, I truly believed the answer to that question was NOBODY. But after re-reading the description a few times, I realized something…I wanted one. Hell yeah! What an absurdly attractive product, so refreshingly unique and non-conformist! Far from being practical, useful or even a good value, this one product broke all the familiar rules of what a good product should be…and yet, there it was, successfully displayed in the glossy pages of the Sky Mall magazine for millions of people to observe, criticize, despise and envy all at the same time.

Hmm…

The Underwater Cellular Phone System Module (or more specifically the inventor of this product) found its success by taking one wild and bizarre idea, confidently overcoming the challenges presented and passionately moving forward with a “this is my dream and I’m going to make it happen” kind of attitude. (Of course, I have no idea if this is how the Underwater Cellular Phone System Module came into being, but for the sake of this post, let’s say it’s exactly how it happened.)

That’s oddly familiar…

For the ten years that I’ve been wandering around the planet, my lifestyle has been labeled by countless others as something absurd and impractical, a complete and useless waste of time and money. Yet it is also true that most of these very same critics, silently yearn to follow in my footsteps, to exchange their growing list of life regrets for a path that allows them to pursue and achieve their life goals. They often shake their heads at me and declare ‘what nonsense’ before whispering to themselves ‘I wish I could do that’ immediately after.

The point is, I discovered, while 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico that my life is an Underwater Cellular Phone System Module!

Let me put it this way. You have two choices. Your life can be a pair of cotton socks – boring, indistinguishable from the billions of others and simple enough to be advertised practically anywhere. Or your life can be Sky Mall material – full of limitless creativity and uniqueness, born into existence through passion and an unstoppable drive to succeed, worthy of being listed in one magazine, and one magazine only.

If you want to join the herd, be the socks. If you want to live life to the fullest, you should aim to transform your life into Sky Mall material.

You need to think outside the box and refuse to accept ‘that lifestyle is not practical’ or ‘these goals are impossible’ as an answer. Dedicate your time and effort to creating the life that you spend hours every day day-dreaming about, even if those dreams seem too unrealistic or too absurd to ever become reality.

Just as the Underwater Cellular Phone System Module could never have existed without the vision and unconventional perspective of the inventor, so too will your wildest dreams and goals remain elusive without a display of courage, confidence and understanding of that basic, yet time-tested truth that anything is possible.

Decide right now which option you want for your life: Cotton Socks or Telekinetic Obstacle Course?

You shouldn’t even hesitate. There’s a space waiting for you in the Sky Mall Magazine of Life, a magazine full of people who’ve already proven that dreams and goals are not to be left unrealized, but to be pursued and achieved during our short time on this planet.

Go forth my friends and…

Be the Voice Activated R2-D2 Robot (Transport your home to a galaxy far, far away!)

Be the Seat Wedgy (You will never lose belongings between your vehicle’s seat and console again!)

Be the SaniCare Travel Bidet (Enjoy the confidence of the clean feeling of a bidet, no matter where you go!)

Be the Versatile Elephant Statue (Touch the trunk and watch the peanuts fall into your hands!)


What are your thoughts? Have you also found motivation through some unconventional means? Do you want to split the cost of an Underwater Cellular Phone System Module with me?

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Comments 11

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  2. Ash

    Earl, my man….

    This:

    “Let me put it this way. You have two choices. Your life can be a pair of cotton socks – boring, indistinguishable from the billions of others and simple enough to be advertised practically anywhere. Or your life can be Sky Mall material – full of limitless creativity and uniqueness, born into existence through passion and an unstoppable drive to succeed, worthy of being listed in one magazine, and one magazine only.”

    ….WAS AWESOME.

    I love it. That needs to be someone’s tagline…haha…revolting against cotton socks…

    As usual, your point is well-taken – totally going to get this going on Twitter & FB. It reminds me of the Apple quote:

    “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
    ~ Apple Computers

    1. Earl

      Ash – That’s a great quote, especially the last line. I’m adding that one to the motivational bank!
      Maybe I should change the name of this blog to “The Cotton Sock Revolt”?

  3. T-roy

    Man you go it all wrong… you’re not this: Under Water Cell Phone Thingy
    http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=203070087&c=10260.

    To me your more like the link below: trying to figure out life through your own brain waves! lol 🙂
    http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=102962692&c=10300

    Me personally I want to be this: Something for all my moods and finally makes me want to shower naked again (once had a bad summer camp experience and don’t want to talk about it! Did I just say to much….?).

    http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=203076413&c=10400

    1. Earl

      That’s really funny…I spent a good 30 minutes trying to find a way to include those Magic Showerheads in the post, but ended up using that Telekinetic Obstacle Course instead! I say you should just go ahead and order those showerheads, it might help you forget that summer camp experience.

      And that Underwater Phone might come in handy if we head down the Amazon!

  4. Nate

    This is pretty funny. I often wonder who buys some of the crap that’s in the Sky Mall catalog. What’s funny though is what’s crap to someone might be gold to someone else.

    For instance, I always see weird movie paraphernalia, such as stuff from Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Who on earth wants a replica of Harry Potter’s wand, or the ring from Lord of the Rings? Well, trust me, a lot of people must like that stuff because it’s been in the catalog forever!

    Sky Mall kind of reminds me of the home shopping network….well and internet marketing in a sense. They’re all mediums for people to find crazy ass niches and make some money.

    1. Earl

      Hey Nate – I’ve always read that finding the most narrow niche possible provides the best opportunity for success (especially when it comes to making money on the internet). That is exactly what these products, including Harry’s wand, are doing. Well, at least it keeps me motivated to know that even the most random ideas can become reality.

      And are you sure you don’t have a set of wands displayed in your living room?

    1. Earl

      I figured the marshmallow gun would get your attention.

      And great Bad Ass Travel Tips post you put up yesterday…I thought my 47 litre backpack was small…15 litres? Impressive indeed.

  5. Elizabeth

    Well… I believe that Sky Mall magazine is perfect for two different things:

    1. It helps to find a gift for those people who you always think: “What on earth am I suppose to give to someone that already has absolutely everything they want!?!”

    2. If you are bored, or in a bad mood, you can just open the magazine and you will find so many ridiculous products that you are guaranteed to smile at least once while you think “what on earth were they thinking?!?!” or “I wonder how many people buy a -unique & original- product such as the Underwater Cellphone?”

    I’ve never purchased anything there, but I must confess that every time I fly, I take my time to read through it as it really does get my mind thinking! Great post!

    1. Earl

      Thanks Elizabeth! It’s funny because people always tell me “What on earth are you thinking?” when I keep on traveling around. The similarities between this magazine and designing your own unique life path are really just too much to ignore!

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