Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{November 26, 2007}   Products That I Just Don’t Understand

On my recent flight to Vegas, I found myself flipping through “SkyMall” – the catalog for those who can’t last a whole three hours without satisfying their need to purchase stuff. And this catalog was rife with items that I just can’t imagine anyone actually purchasing. Things like:

beef

Seriously? Do people really want to brand their beef?

And you might think it’s just because I’m a vegetarian that I wouldn’t want to buy a beef brand. But I also don’t want to brand my toast:

toaster

And while it was the branding of the toast by this product that first caught my attention, upon closer reading of the description of this item, I noticed this:

toaster2

Seriously? We need a digital countdown to tell us when our toast is ready? Doesn’t the “pop” of the toaster popping tell you all you need to know? And then I noticed this:

toaster3

Are people really willing to pay $130 for a toaster that tells you when the toast is ready… just like every other toaster ever invented???

Here’s another product I just don’t get. Perhaps I’m missing something here, but I just don’t understand why you would buy this:

wifi

If you have a device that uses wifi, doesn’t it already detect hot spots and their signal strength? Why would you need a separate item, which doesn’t do anything else, for this purpose?

Want to make sure your kid grows up to be a good consumer? Why not give them a fake ATM to play with:

ATM

Much like with cola, it’s important to start kids’ learning about how to spend-spend-spend early!

I think this picture speaks for itself:

exercise

Giddy up!!

And thank god I can finally “STOP COUNTING THUNDER!”

thunder

Because, you know, I spend so much time counting thunder, this is going to be a real time saver!

And can someone explain to me how, exactly, they get away with saying this is the “world’s largest” storage tower?

worldslargest

Really? You’ve seen all the CD storage towers in the entire world and this one is the biggest? Really?

Next up, Items That I Would NEVER Use to Decorate My Place:

lamp

This totally makes me think of the “major award” that the father wins in A Christmas Story.

bigfoot

And what yard is complete without a two foot tall statue of Bigfoot? Creative gardening style indeed!

holidaytree

This is just sad. I don’t want a “total environmental makeover”1 – I want a Christmas tree, dammit!

Now we have Items That Allow You to More Effectively Neglect Your Pets:

catlaser

Because cats are just so high maintenance that you need a device to keep them occupied “so you can do other things.” Why do I suspect that the “other things” the type of person who buys this item has to do are, like, watching TV for 8 hours straight? “Momma’s watchin’ her stories, kitty, go play with your laser.”

Also for people who are too busy for their pets, why not get this lovely 8 Day Autopetfeeder:

petfood

Going away for 8 days? Sure, you could do the responsible thing and have someone watch your pet, or put them in a cat-spa/doggy daycare/whatever you call those places where actual human beings care for your pets while you are away, but why not just leave them some food in an automated dish instead? I mean, what else could your pet need in EIGHT DAYS??

Finally, we have Items That Make Me Shake My Head in Disbelief at the State of Humanity.

Such as this brush that regrows hair:

hair

It’s “consistently seen in the news and magazines,”2 so who I am to question that?

And this sure looks like good times:

tailgate

“Imagine the faces of your pre-game buddies when they see you kicking back in this”?2 Shouldn’t that say “imagine the faces of your pre-game buddies when they kick your ass for spending $200 to look like an asshat?

This one just makes me sad.

pillow

This woman not only has no one to spoon her and has to use this pillow to simulate spooning, but she got herself a rose. Because clearly no one else loves her.

Perhaps she’s alone because she “easily hid” this item in the car…

spy

… to find out where her spouse was going3.

And finally, because you should always save the best for last:

cookie

It’s about time we had cookies that make you lose weight! As a nutritional scientist, I can see absolutely nothing wrong with this idea. Nothing!

1Who writes this stuff anyway?
2ibid
3Which reminds me, while waiting for luggage at Vancouver airport after the flight home, the man next to me was very loudly talking to his buddies about HIS MISTRESS! Saying things like “So my wife was kind of suspicious, but I said, “I can’t even handle you, what would I do with two women??” and “Never admit it. Never. That’s the two million dollar mistake.” So if you (or someone you know) have a husband who flew from Vegas to Vancouver on US Airways on November 3, you (or they) might want to get yourself a good lawyer – apparently there’s 2 million dollars in it for you.

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Darren says:

Wow, that’s a lot of goofy product. The only one I will defend is the Wifi detector. I’ve always wanted one of those, but have never bothered to buy one.

There are plenty of times when I want to access my email or look something up on my laptop, but would rather not pull it out to check if there’s a wifi signal. The little keychain thingie is a dorkiness-reducer.



Stacia says:

I actually know a grown woman who bought a toaster with a Tigger brander thingey (I’m so eloquent this morning). She bought it for herself. Because she loves tigger. I think there’s something wrong with her.



Victoria says:

Hi – good post!
I think the toaster branding thing is CUTE! đŸ™‚



Nancy Snow says:

Darren I don’t even know you, but I can tell you that you do want an awesome Wifi detector. As I experienced a few weeks ago, it is very difficult to drive through the streets of Montreal with an open laptop trying to steal a signal to Google map your location and find out where the hell you are. May I recommend this handy product: http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/generic/991e/



[…] Products That I Just Don’t Understand II On my recent trip to San Fran, I found myself yet again flipping through the SkyMall magazine. While I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t […]



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