BY BELINDA M. PASCHAL
Sruli Recht Blankoat, made from Icelandic sheep’s wool: $330.
Watching people weaving tipsily from bar to bar clad in any of the aforementioned garments: PRICELESS.
Thanks to a ubiquitous, cheesy, low-budget commercial hawking the Snuggie — buy one, get one free for only $19.95 plus $7.95 shipping and handling (per Snuggie, that is) — and a free book light if you order online! — the “blanket with sleeves” has received a warm embrace from customers all over the U.S. and Canada.
As seen on TV (and in select stores for $15), the Snuggie has outsold its predecessors and successors several times over, thus proving P.T. Barnum right: There’s one born every minute — or in this case, every 30 seconds.
According to the ad, blankets are OK, but “when you need to reach for something, your hands are trapped inside.” Oh, the tragedy — millions held hostage by fleece and quilted captors, unable to get to their remotes, forced to watch whatever dreck flashes on the screens before them. That might account for “WWE Raw” doing so well in the Nielsens, but it doesn’t explain why folks can’t simply move their blankets aside for second to use their hands. I’m all for comfort and convenience, but laziness should have limits.
The Snuggie might very well be the new black (though it doesn’t even come in that color), but this consumer ain’t buyin’ it. Whether they’re called Snuggies, Slankets, Freedom Blankets, Toasty Wraps, Cuddle Wraps or book blankets, in my mind, they all amount to the same thing: A backward bathrobe.
“Oh, no,” gasp those quaffing the Snuggie Kool-Aid. “Bathrobes are too short to keep your feet warm!” Not if you buy them in Big & Tall. Besides, there’s this other cool invention that’s been around for centuries. They’re called “socks.” Look into it.
I’ll admit that the Snuggie has the advantage of being suitable for a man or a woman, so it’s easier to bring unisex-y back than you could in a bathrobe. I’ll also concede that Snuggies seem pretty handy for outdoor activities — e.g., sporting events, sitting around a campfire or drunken bar-hopping. But beyond that, it’d take some mighty creative marketing to convince me to open my wallet.
Perhaps I’d be more amenable if the sales pitch included a Top 10 List of Alternative Uses for Your Snuggie. For instance:
10. Earn spare change masquerading as airport Hare Krishna.
9. Wear to graduation from Jedi Knight University.
8. Toga! Toga! Toga!
7. Greet trick-or-treaters as horrifying, life-size Cookie Monster.
6. Every superhero needs a winter cape.
5. Great for full-body floor waxing.
3. Put your legs in the armholes and VOILA! Hammer pants!
2. Tie-dye it and audition for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamblanket.”
1. Two words: Giant ShamWow.