The Long and the Short of It
Now, here's a product whose time has come: Safety Shorts--unisex boxer shorts that are snazzy enough to be worn outdoors for recreation and functional enough to be worn indoors to prevent procreation, because hidden inside the waistband is a pouch containing a condom. "It replaces the cold shower for good, clean fun," says the manufacturer, Petracca Productions, 473 Columbus Avenue, New York 10024. Just $18.95 sent to them will get you a pair of shorts in size small, medium or large and your choice of eye-popping polka dots, jazzy patterns or solid colors. (The shorts, we've been assured, are also being stocked in some of Manhattan's trendiest boutiques; and they'll soon be available in select stores nationwide.) And a percentage of the profits made from the sale of the shorts goes to AIDS research.
The Butler Did It
"Most messages on an answering machine are boring," says British-born Chris Sotnick, one of the founders of The Perfect Answer, a company at 416 Douglas Avenue, Dunedin, Florida 34698, that specializes in creating personalized answering-machine tapes. A Shakespearean bard and an Aussie who sounds like Paul Hogan are two of the 15 choices available, but our favorite is the British butler who tells the caller, "You have reached the [your name] residence. The master of the house is indisposed," etc., just $19.95 for two selections, postpaid. The Perfect Answer does custom tapes, too. Write for details.
The Little Computer Engine That Could
Just running an electric train around the Christmas tree used to be enough to get your adrenaline flowing. Now Märklin, the German company famous for its model trains, has introduced a new Digital HO Starter Train Set that can be operated with a home computer, no less. For $965, you get two digital locomotives with rolling stock, two electric switches (and a decoder to operate them), the central control unit, a transformer and 18 feet of track. A call to 800-772-2490 will get you the name of a local dealer. Chug. Chug.
Baubles, Bangles and Bills
Pressman Toy Corporation has just introduced Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous--The Game, in which would-be millionaires guess the cost of items from six categories, including Posh Playthings and Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams. If that isn't enough to wean you from Trivial Pursuit, Lifestyles also comes with brass-plated markers, colorful gem stones, a leather-look game mat and more. All for about $20 from better game and department stores, of course.
Barefoot's Girls with Cheeks of Tan
To get all you gentlemen in the northern climes through the long, cold winter, there's California Girls--a four-color 24" x 36" poster on which are reproduced no fewer than 30 bikini bottoms being worn by some of the West Coast's cheekiest sun worshipers. Barefoot Press, 1856-1 Cherry Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21401, sells it for only $18, postpaid. Or call 800-638-3877.
A Wintry Brew
Samichlaus, a rich, full-bodied beer from Switzerland that's brewed only once a year--on December sixth--and is released for sale the following October, has just hit the stores. Before you pick up a six-pack (for about $15), be warned that these suds pack a mighty wallop: about 13.7 percent alcohol. Phoenix Imports Ltd. imports Samichlaus and you can write to the company at 2925 Montclair Drive, Baltimore 21043, for where-to-buy info. Then put some away; Samichlaus ages in the bottle.
Putting Bond on the Map
Like the Ernest Hemingway Adventure Map of the World (August's Playboy Potpourri), the 21" x 27" Ian Fleming Thriller Map offers more than 100 locales where James Bond dealt with Draconian villains and luscious, lethal ladies--plus such 007 iconography as his Aston Martin. All for $5.75, postpaid, sent to Aaron Blake Publishers, 1800 South Robertson Boulevard, Suite 130, Los Angeles 90035. And for those of you whose tastes are Victorian, a handsome Sherlock Holmes map is available, too.
"The Yuppie lifestyle requires an esoteric refreshment to match the occasion," says the Rikki B. Company, and that's why it's marketing Yuppiér (pronounced Yup-e-a), caffeine-free, sodium-free, calorie-free ten-ounce bottled water that comes in three flavors: plain, cherry and vanilla. "Whether you're closing on a condo deal over the cellular phone in your BMW or walking your Akita, nothing attracts other Yuppies like Yuppiér." And all for $9.50, postpaid, a four-pack from Rikki B., 2210 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 654, Santa Monica, California 90403. Drink up!
The world's first pipe-smoking-and-collecting VHS video tape, The Ultimate Pipe Video, has just debuted, hosted by Richard Carleton Hacker, the author of The Ultimate Pipe Book and The Christmas Pipe. In it, Hacker gives a fireside chat about the love and lure of pipe smoking. Two versions are available: a 60-minute tape, which sells for $31.95, and a 100-minute collector's edition that's $49.95. (Both prices are postpaid.) Order from Rick Hacker, P.O. Box 634, Beverly Hills, California 90213.