In Soviet Russia, Hand Cranks You

Having read basically everything in Slate since 2002, I can say with relative authority that this article on Skymall is quite possibly the greatest thing ever published by that august institution. Really. What other article features excerpts like this:

Most of you are familiar with the ads in airline magazines, and I’m sure at one bored, tarmac-sitting moment or another you must have wondered why a certain kind of product is featured in their pages. Well, Skymall is an airline magazine that features nothing but airline magazine ads.
Nothing but ads for such essential items as the “Readylight® Handcrank LED Flashlight.” (Skymall advertisers are big on “handcrank” items. Handcrank enthusiasts implicitly foresee a crisis in which all forms of power on the planet will fail, and you’ll be able to generate light only with the help of a crank.)
The ad for the SnacDaddy® chicken-wing array tray—headlined “Where the wings have no shame”—appears in the Late Spring ’07 issue of Skymall, which I found in the seat pocket on a Delta flight. This was just pages from an ad for “the world’s largest write-on map mural,” probably useful for keeping an eye on the fast-moving global catastrophe that will make your many handcrank devices the envy of your crank-deprived neighbors.

Maybe this is only funny because I was recently reading Skymall on a flight, and noticed the “pop-up hot dog cooker” that the author of this article also notices. Or maybe it’s just totally bloody hilarious. I’m betting on the latter.

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