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Saturday, June 7, 2003

JAPAN LITE

If you love someone, give a slime stocker


The instructions were clear: Choose anything from the catalog, fill out the form, and it will be delivered to you for free. Anything from kitchen appliances to pearl necklaces. This was my landlord's way of thanking me for letting him stay in his own house for a weekend. He had already given me plenty of gifts to express his appreciation, but this one really blew my mind. How far can kindness go? The catalog had no prices written in it, either. Could I be so vain as to choose my own gift?

The catalog encouraged me to. "You'll be able to express your deepest gratitude and best wishes to yourself," it says in English. Gosh, couldn't I just write myself a thank-you note?

I have to admit though, I was relieved to see that the catalog was named "Just Heart," thus clarifying that there would be no kidneys, intestines or other internal organs involved. A bit disappointing in some ways, perhaps (after all, we could all use some new kidneys, couldn't we?), but largely -- especially large intestine-wise -- it was a relief.

But as I looked through the "Just Heart" catalog, which offers English titles of every product, I found myself wanting to write that thank-you note to myself less and less. As greed slowly took over, I began yearning for some of the wonderful one-of-a kind things in this catalog.

For instance, the "slime stocker." It's about time someone came out with a product that allows you to store your slime. Still a little vague on method, the picture shows a stack of slim plastic boxes for storage. A "slime stocker" would definitely come in handy to store those leftover UFOs (unidentified food objects) in the fridge, not to mention the mold from the bathroom. It doesn't tell you exactly how to stock the slippery stuff, but this is truly a new product I'd be the first one on the block to have.

The next section is the "Pick Up" section. Sorry, no trucks or women. This section includes things you can pick up with your hands, like kitchen knives, pizza cutters and cheese graters. How this differs from the "Kitchen One More Happy" section, I'm not sure, but here I found an ingenious product called a "ceramics knife," just in case I should suddenly decide to make some pottery while chopping veggies. There is also a "cassette cooking stove." You've been wondering what one does with old cassette tapes? Now you know.

I skipped over the section on "Brand Items," since I don't have any cows, but found the SOHO section very intriguing, offering "convenient and able stationery." Do you suppose it writes a letter and jumps into the envelope all by itself? Or how about a personal shredder? I could shred myself anytime.

Being a small person, I was very interested in the "body care goods indispensable to care of the daily body compact type." For people who are not the compact type, however, and who are tall and solid types, I recommend moving on to the next page: "hearth and beauty care."

I was also interested in the "cocktail makeup set." Ladies, if you've never used cocktails as makeup, you're in for a real treat. Use the shaker, bottle opener, shot measurer and lemon squeezer as needed to make your favorite cocktail. Then, simply throw the mixed cocktail onto your face. It's refreshing!

Under the "Life Convenient Goods," section, there is the "space hanger rack" for conveniently hanging your space, and the "personal hanger," should you decide you just can't take any more of bad catalog English.

But before you do, let's take a look at the "Outdoor Section." What -- you don't want to? Oh come on, "get into the shine!"

Check out Amy Chavez's new column, "Parents Do the Strangest Things," at www.amychavez.com


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