Sunday, October 22, 2006

Satiny comfort

I love mail order companies. Can't get enough of their cunning little cheese graters, handy home helps and charming ornaments. The range of useless crap that they sell just astounds me. For example, Bradford.

I'm sure you'll be overjoyed to know that I've found a new one. Well, Bloke found it, really, while he was flipping half-heartedly through the Sunday Mail this morning. "Oh, look! Satiny Caftan Loungers," he said.

I politely enquired as to whether he had recently smoked any crack. Rather indignantly, he waved this at me:

Naturally, I took an immediate interest. After all, how often do you see identical triplet models wearing Satiny Caftan Loungers? And hey, you can get Around the Clock Comfort in one of these babies, whether you choose (from left) Seashore, Leopard or Peacock.

Here's the blurb from the ad (and, of course, the website):

"Our magnificent imported designs feature a deep vee neckline and falls from the shoulder to create a flowing line that flatters every figure. Made from lush pure 100% polyester, they feel soft as silk and smooth as satin. As soon as you slip one over your head, you’ll feel the luxurious cool comfort that lasts hour after hour. These satiny caftans are so elegant you can wear them while entertaining or even for a candlelight dinner for two... yet they are so lightweight and comfortable you can wear them all day long. In fact, they are so comfortable you’ll be tempted to sleep in one. And these are all easy care wash and tumble dry."

It's made of lush, pure 100% polyester? Great! And I could wear it while entertaining, you say? Or at a candlelit dinner for two? All right, I can see that it might be useful in that if you spilled red wine on it, it would wash right out (or you could just throw it away). If you were wearing it for a candlelit dinner for two, you could get out of it pretty quickly if things hotted up, but I would have thought the likelihood of getting any action in a kaftan would have been slim to none. Though, of course, if you did give in to temptation and wear it to bed, it would act as a natural contraceptive. Save on condoms! On the down side, being 100% lush and pure polyester, you wouldn't be wanting to get too close to the candles at those candlelit dinners.

There's one more small problem. Apparently, it's one size fits all, from 8 to 24. Really? Just like a picnic rug or a couch throw, then? Wow! But what about the size 0 girls who want to be comfortable while they're entertaining? It's really not fair on them, you know.

And guess what? They're just $29.95 each, but if you buy three, you get free postage and handling! These are 100% pure lush polyester, remember.

But is anyone thinking of this, perhaps?

I'm enjoying the outfit on his stunned and almost-eyebrowless grape-peeler, too - it looks like a scaled-back version of Demis' nightie, albeit made from a spotty scarf instead of a sheet. The dead leopard's head in the corner is a really tasteful touch, too. Did Demis sit on it by mistake, or did it die laughing at their outfits?

If Demis isn't doing it for you, were you perhaps thinking of this?

Now I'm not suggesting for a second that the lovely satiny triplets are King Size Homers, or even Demis-sized, but you have to admit: kaftans have a bad name. I know that 80s fashion is back again (holy snapping duck shit! cinch belts and bubble skirts are back - will tube skirts and stirrup pants be next?) but hasn't the '70s revival already been and gone?

(There does seem to be a bit of a trend for public pyjama wearing, though. I wandered past a video shop yesterday and saw a sign on the door that said "Sloth Sunday - come in wearing your pyjamas and get half-price movie rental". Two questions: (a) what if you like to sleep in the altogether? and (b) what if you go in wearing a Satiny Caftan Lounger? Obviously the answer to both should be that you get your videos gratis just so you'll get the hell out of their shop quicker.. Actually, the Sloth Sunday sign wasn't the only weird thing I saw yesterday, though. The other one was really weird. People were crowded around a fruit shop table and looking so enthusiastic that I thought Hugh Laurie must have set up a kissing booth. Pfft, no such luck. The table was covered in... bananas. $2.99 a kilo bananas. People were shoving bags full of the things with the same look as Daffy Duck had in that Warner Bros cartoon where he and Bugs Bunny end up in Aladdin's Cave - "It's mine! Mine, I tell you! Mine! Mine! All mine! I haven't had any potassium since Cyclone Fucking Larry, now get out of my way!" But I digress.)

Century Mail has other clothes as well. For example, the Lifetime Socks:

Five pairs will last you a lifetime! Two pairs of black, one grey, one brown and one navy. Uh, they'll last a lifetime because they're NYLON, people. Not 100% lush polyester, but nylon. They will last a lifetime because you'll never wear them because they'll make your feet smell like Limberger cheese. But you have to admit, the guy modelling them has da moves! You can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man...

But just when you thought Century Mail didn't use any natural fibres, along came the Ladies Patterned Handkerchiefs:

They're cotton, so there. And they're embroidered so you can rip off half your nose on the stitching. (Can anyone remember the last time they actually used a hanky to blow their nose? No, tissues, toilet paper and paper napkins from Asian restaurants whose laksa has helpfully cleared out your sinuses do not count - I mean a real, cotton hanky.)

The Slip-On Visor:

Yay, no more sun in the eyes! You too can look like Great Auntie Maisie that time she thought she was the croupier in a wild west dancehall casino.

The Wonder Bra Strap:

No, not the Wonder Bra, the Wonder Bra Strap. I think this one is really my favourite, because it looks so darned comfy. And sexy. Don't forget sexy. Are you tired of looking like a slapper with your bra strap hanging out from under your tank top? No? Sorry, forget I said anything.

There are so many great products at Century Mail that I just don't have time to go through them all. The Candle of the Month set looks great, though, and I was really quite tempted by the handy Punter's Pen (elegantly finished in brushed metal), which can pick my winning lotto numbers for me.

Ah, Century Mail, how did I ever do without you?

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At 3:05 am, October 23, 2006, Blogger londongirl said...

I too am transfixed by crappy catalogues and have spent many a happy hour browsing them. My favourite used to be the Innovations catalogue in the uk which has sadly gone out of business. I suspect most people, like me, just looked at it, and never felt the need to buy a battery operated fan, or solar powered can opener.

I also find the pages towards the back of the magazines of sunday newspapers fascinating "slacks, only £10 for 5 pairs" (also nylon...eeeewwww)

At 5:26 pm, October 25, 2006, Blogger Miss Natalie said...

It's made of lush, pure 100% polyester Naturally ;-)

Now, men have enough trouble trying to undo a bra let alone one with soooo many straps - the horror!

At 2:50 pm, October 27, 2006, Blogger PetStarr said...

Where the bloody hell do you live that you keep getting these bizarre catalogues????

At 3:03 pm, October 27, 2006, Blogger redcap said...

I'm just lucky, man :) Lucky, lucky, luck!


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