The forecast for today has been hinting we may just hit 100 degrees again in these parts- with lawns looking like that old packing stuff they called excelsior! If you can’t submerge yourself in a pool or the lake, the best bet is to stay inside, hopefully with some functional air conditioning- and amuse one’s self with one of our favorite pastimes- perhaps perusing those goofy mail order catalogs! I just got a new load of them, and, boy, they don’t disappoint as far as merchandise goes… Let’s see-those zombies seem to still be a hot item (100 degrees notwithstanding- and, eww, imagine the fragrance of one of these walking dead in this kind of heat!)- and there’s no shortage of zombie stuff to buy. One that might be a favorite of the folks who enjoyed the giant Marilyn Monroe “7 Year Itch” statue that was downtown, with her skirt being blown skyward, is a statue you could purchase- “The 107 year Itch”- which depicts Marilyn as a zombie in the same pose! Somehow, if they made this one into a giant sculpture, I don’t think too many tourists would be standing underneath … also available for zombie fans: a game of bowling zombies! Ten “hand-crafted wooden zombies” act as the pins, and you roll a cartoonish “bomb” bowling ball at them to knock them down. You can easily pick up a “spare”…a spare foot, a spare arm… Second to zombies, the most popular items seem to be based on- bacon! I know I’ve mentioned items like the bacon band-aids and bacon throw rug before (who wouldn’t want to have a rasher of bacon lying in front of their sofa? )- but how about the bacon tie? With that, if you got some egg on it while eating breakfast- who’d even notice? There’s also bacon and egg earrings, and- did I ever mention bacon-flavored dental floss? I’ve had some pretty stringy bacon at certain greasy spoons, but never been tempted to floss with it…there’s also a bacon platter- which seems like a stealth diet weapon- if you put bacon on it- it’s like you don’t even see it! Here’s an item I like- a pop-up laundry hamper- but it looks like a barrel of toxic waste, complete with warning symbol and caution signs. I know several friends whose socks deserve to be placed inside one of these… Who doesn’t love a wacky pillow case? (I’ll pause until someone answers…) Well, they have three unique ones- with graphics on them for some naptime fun! One looks like a wanted poster- so, when you park your noggin right in the middle, you look like the fugitive being sought! Another has a pair of antlers, so , when you go to sleep, you’ll look like a relative of Bullwinkle J. Moose- and the last one has a horned Viking helmet, so you can sleep while looking ready to loot and pillage a nearby village. In the sale area of one catalog, they have a John McCain action figure- it used to cost $14.95- but is now marked down to (gulp) 99 cents! The Sarah Palin magnetic dress up set is also marked down, but not as drastically -it dropped from $18.95 to $12.95.I think if you order the Bristol Palin baby onesie, they actually have to pay YOU… Do you want to be a “grill sergeant”? Then you need this camo apron, with a bandelero that holds six cans or bottles, just like an ammo belt- and has a built-in opener and pockets for all your artillery- spatula, tongs, fork, and even mustard and ketchup- plus a place to carry that spray water bottle if the situation gets too hot. I was going to make a joke about using it, as a sargeant, to protect your privates from hot coals, but… What? I’m already out of space? Hmmm- dare I continue my catalog canvassing tomorrow?