Smyth and Hawk'em: A Parody

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9780060952488: Smyth and Hawk'em: A Parody

The "diggerati", as Time magazine christened the '90s gardeners in a recent feature story, "do not really want to garden; they just want to have a garden, which means they're more willing to spend money than time outdoors." For these diggerati with more greenbacks than green thumbs, the Smith & Hawken Gardening Catalog is the undisputed king of catalogs. Mailed out to more than 18 million customers, its lavish, four-color spreads hawk everything from outlandishly expensive tools and gardening fashions to "river stones."

Here to skewer the bible of pretentious gardening are Tom Connor and Jim Downey. Yes, the bad boys of parody are back, and this time they're out to get their hands dirty. Born from a hugely successful two-page spoof they did for Mirabella last summer, this hilarious catalog parody features a whole range of items that are only just slightly more ridiculous than Smith & Hawken. How about a 24-foot-wide rake? With one swipe, the lawn's done. There's a portable divining rod for those hard-to-find water sources in the garden. Then there's "Happy Landings", a narcotic birdseed guaranteed to keep your avian friends grounded. Or how about your very own English Gardening Couple for a mere $98,500?

Filled with the cutting wit that made their previous parodies so successful, Smyth & Hawk'em is the perfect gift for today's diggerati and everyone else who loves parodies.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.


This is the latest offering from the Tom Connor and Jim Downey parody factory, the team responsible for last year's successful pair Is Martha Stuart Living? and Martha Stuart's Better Than You At Entertaining. This time their target is the ubiquitous Smith & Hawken gardening catalog: "English Gardening Staff Discipline Paddle. The English have a long tradition of spanking one another when things go wrong, and, historically, servants and gardeners have been foremost on the receiving end."

This effort is better, slicker certainly, than the Martha Stuart parodies. Every page sports some of the most meticulous photo work I've ever seen (kudos to J. Barry O'Rourke), admirably coupled with Connor and Downey's solid prose. If you know people with green thumbs and senses of humor, buy them this book. They'll thank you for it--and may even stop throwing dirt at you.

About the Author:

Tom Connor is a Connecticut-based packager. He is also a cigar aficionado.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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