I used to get this catalog “back in the day” that came from a company called Johnson Smith.
It was a company that specialized at the time in the weird and the novel items that were all pretty darn appealing for a growing boy or girl.
I remember being fascinated by plastic dog poop…rubber vomit…joy buzzers…joke gum…and, even though I was probably too shy to even consider ever using or owning a pair…x-ray specs.
If a kid had a pile of Mad magazines and a Johnson Smith catalog, he or she was set. You could build a pretty twisted world view with those two items.
Now it looks like the company has branched out into a number of different areas….it’s not just a bunch of really twisted novelty items anymore.
It looks like now they have a division that sells helpful things like hemorrhoid doughnut cushions and spaghetti portion measuring tools.
It’s all still pretty useful…maybe not as useful as plastic dog poo…it is important to measure your spaghetti before cooking…but it doesn’t have the same power that the old catalog had.
I loved that old catalog. It was pretty twisted. There wasn’t a page that didn’t spark something in my imagination that didn’t really need to be there.
Who really needs joke rubber vomit?
My new Harbor Freight flyer was laying on the end table when I walked by to go make my morning ration of coffee (ration…it sounds like I’m really disciplined…ha….it’s not like that, really. But what a great way to describe the situation…”my peanut butter ration…my pizza ration…etc”….sounds so rigid and self-controlled).
I realized that this catalog…this collection of tools both practical and weird…was my new Johnson Smith catalog.
I could pore for hours over pictures and descriptions of “infrared hands free thermometers” and “variable speed pro multifunction power tools”.
I’m so freaking mature.
No more plastic dog poop for me….I’m on to the new thing….tools.
The man thing…the grown-up thing…tools.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a chance to shop with Harbor Freight.
It’s a pretty weird mix of items. A lot of it is so cheaply made that I couldn’t recommend buying those items…but some of it is surprisingly good. It’s a real buyer beware kind of deal.
Most of it is made in China…hand tools, power tools, all the tools…but if you check the labels on the brands at Lowes or Home Depot, you’ll find that it’s pretty hard to find anything that isn’t “made in China” these days.
The Chinese work cheap…and we like that.
As long as we have enough “cash for clunkers” that we can ship over to China to keep them in cheap steel, we should be able to go to Harbor Freight and buy an inexpensive crappy hammer.
We don’t need plastic dog poo, but we can buy as many “crappy hammers” as we want.
Do check out Harbor Freight….it’s an interesting store and company that let’s you support those old “Johnson Smith Catalog” feelings.
But it’s more legitimate for an adult.
It’s tools….macho tools.
No rubber vomit, just torque wrenches.