Chat with Deb—Spring(?) Catalogs

Jack Herlocker
3 min readApr 1


“If you order now—Now, dammit, NOW!—you can have your order in time for Easter!”

Deb and I like to look through the junk catalogs we get in the mail. Then share with each other the humor (intentional, or sometimes not) we find.

ME: This is a cute t-shirt: “In banana years, I’M BREAD!”

DEB: But not quite mashable yet, Jackster. “LAUNDRY SCHEDULE: Wash — 40 minutes / Dry — 60 minutes / Put Away—7–10 Business Days”

ME: That’s more how I did my dishes in the dishwasher before you married me. “But I don’t want to go through things that don’t kill me make me stronger anymore!” Still some pandemic t-shirts on sale, apparently.

Doormat. Suggested for use with a doorbell camera.

DEB: Okay, you know I’m not a puzzle person. Even ones with really cute photos or illustrations. But THIS one would drive anybody nuts: it’s clear acrylic, 176 pieces, with a pattern like a shattered window. That is EVIL!

Oh look, it’s on sale! 🙄

ME: We could give it to our niece, maybe? Didn’t you say she likes to do puzzles when all the family women decamp to the shore for a girls’ weekend?… What?

DEB: Anyway… T-shirt: “People who worked 60-hour weeks used to be called ambitious. Now they’re called NURSES.” That would be good for [sister-in-law, a nurse]!

ME: Or Ann Litts, or Patsy Starke. Okay, Ann would just point out she’s retired, but still. “It’s hard to say what my friend does for a living. She sells seashells by the seashore.” Retail natural aquatic artwork?

DEB: “Just because I’m awake doesn’t mean I’m ready to do things.” But being a volunteer who doesn’t have to show up until nine AM makes it easier.

ME: Oh good lord, Toni Crowe wrote about how crazy gender reveal parties have gotten, but now there are gender reveal mugs. Add a hot beverage and it turns pink or light blue. For $27 each, plus shipping. “No need to order a special cake.” I gotta think a cake would cost less than $27 per serving, or am I just out of touch?

DEB: Couldn’t tell you, honey, I never get invited to those things. Oh, this is cute! They’re candles, but when they have been burning long enough that the wax turns transparent, you can see a hidden message on the bottom. Like, “You are the BEST mom!” or “Our memories and laughter will last a lifetime.” That’s sweet!

ME: But you can’t special-order a message? That’s too bad.

DEB: You’re thinking of a special romantic message for me?

ME: Um, sure. That would be cute, too. No, actually, I was thinking more I’d give it to a friend, tell them there’s an important message, then put, “They’re on to you, they know everything, RUN!” Just to see the reaction.

DEB: You know there’s a reason why most of your friends are virtual and online, right, Jackster?

Well, they’re the only ones who read my stuff!

Chats with Deb

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Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.