Needful Things at the Home Show

Picture of a boy atop a ladder reaching into the sky.

In my tireless quest to keep you on the edge of home-improvement technology, I once spent a day at the Atlanta Home Show. Sustained only by a small bottle of reconstituted orange juice and a “lemon” Danish I bought from the concession stand, I explored acres upon acres of vendor booths, each offering their own paradigm-shifting contributions to the well-lived home. I found cell phone covers in bright atomic designs, weight loss and nutritional supplements, and the finest in podiatric arch supports.

But though these many advances in domestic bliss were, indeed, impressive, I wanted something more, something revolutionary, something you could tell your great-great-grandkids about one day on the deck of your Moon home while sipping down a cool glass of nano-medics.

Amazing Products (We’re British)

That’s when I came upon The Amazing Tile & Glass Cutter, brought to our fair city by Amazing Products, a Scottish company that also brought us The Amazing Tungsten Rodsaw and The Amazing Tile & Glass Drill. (Amazing!) The Amazing Tile & Glass Cutter has a tiny tungsten wheel that scores tile or glass along straight, curved or wavy lines. The integrated jaws then grip the piece and break it along the line. At least that’s what happened when the guy from Amazing Products did it, and the fact that the tile I tried wandered off my scored line and shattered into lots of little pieces was really my fault, as the rep explained to me using lots of geometric concepts that went over my head.

One Luddite in the crowd, no doubt feeling threatened by the pace of technological advancement in ceramic and silicon science, asked how The Amazing Tile & Glass Cutter was different from the similar-looking tool he could buy at the local home store. There’s always some naysayer trying to stall the engines of progress, but the rep didn’t miss a beat.

“Ours is made in England, so it works,” he said. That other so-called “tile cutter” is made in China, he told us. Then, just in case the cynic was still unconvinced, he posed a rhetorical question that would have sold Socrates. “If you’re going to go bungee-jumping, do you want a Chinese bungee cord or an English one?” No one said a word. He had us all at “England.”

Not-Amazing, Not-English Tile and Glass Cutter (Caveat Emptor)

Woolie, Woolie, Oh, Faux!

I eventually moved on, bidding adieu to my new Amazing friends, and discovered, in another aisle, The Woolie. The Woolie is a lambskin pad with which you can create a variety of faux finishes. Their website even offered a Faux Club, which, in an impressive example of truth-in-advertising, did not yet exist. (Update: They’ve now removed all mention of it.)

As far as I could tell, The Woolie works well. The demonstrator created some impressive effects, and it all looked pretty easy. I didn’t get a chance to try it myself. I was too overcome by The Woolie’s more profound contribution to our quality of life: the name.

Try saying it aloud: “The Woolie.” See? Wasn’t that fun? It feels good on the tongue. Say it again. I don’t care if you’re in a coffee shop or surrounded by your colleagues in the lunchroom. Bring some joy to their day, too. All together now: “The Woolie.” Thank you very much.

Say It….. The Woolie

Little Giant’s Big Number

Progress is all about reaching for the stars, and the last product I’ll mention can get you 23′ closer. The Little Giant Ladder may look like an ordinary articulated ladder, but it does so much more. Did you know that, when you buy a “17′ extension ladder,” the ladder’s fully-extended length is…15′? Me neither, but that’s what the Little Giant guy told us. You lose the extra 2′ in the overlap of the two sections. But when the Little Giants says it will give you 19′, that’s just what you get.

It also makes a far better stage prop if you’re planning a Broadway musical called “The Little Giant.” I got this idea when the Little Giant rep had me and a burly guy with a moustache climb up on opposite sides of the 19′ model. In front of us, he arranged two women on either side of the 15′ model. Then, to show just how strong and sturdy the Little Giant is, he lifted himself into the air between the two women and swung back and forth from the steps.

That’s when it happened. Rhinestone-studded headdresses appeared magically on all our heads, the orchestra struck up a catchy tune, and the crowd began to samba. The Little Giant broke into its solo: “Don’t call me articulated. I am more than OSHA-rated. I can save you lots of dough, if you buy me at the show. Let me lift you off your feet, to that funky Latin beat. Cause I’m your…Little Giant. Why are you…so defiant? I can take you…h-i-i-i-i-i-gher. Girl, you’re on…f-i-i-i-i-i-re.” Then, in a passionate whisper: “Let me take you higher.”

At least that’s how I remember it, but maybe it was just the lemon Danish.

Taller Than Appears… Unless You’re Viewing on a 23′ Screen

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