Route One Christmas Catalog

In 2003, Route One's Richard Boissevain learned that the one of his employees (a certain James Appleby) had included several gag items in the British skateboard-and-streetwear company's Christmas mail order catalog. "I didn't know the spoofs were in the catalog until it had gone to print," he recalled. "When I first saw them I thought they were quite fun." The sales staff, however, was soon bombarded with orders for such items as ugly brown "Y-fronts" (underpants), a gentleman's pipe, handcuffs and an apple. "After about 15 phone calls, the joke started to wear thin," Boissevain recalled, "and by the time we had fielded 100 inquiries, I'd completely lost my sense of humour about this.

"Most people seem to be interested in the brown Y-fronts, for some reason. We're having to tell people it's a joke. We're an extreme sports store. I can't believe people fell for it -- the apple clearly states 'colours may vary' and at ?4.99 it's hardly a bargain..."

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