By Margaret Jacobi
The crux of commercialism is to discover a general consumer need and fill it. After all the big discoveries have been made (the wheel, lightbulb, etc.) where could small-time inventors and entrepreneurs really go from there?
Often considered the most capitalistic society in this great world of ours, The United States, allows for plenty of commercial holes to be filled as a conglomeration of many different cultures and backgrounds. Almost intrinsic to the idea of the “American Dream” is the belief that if you market it (right), consumers will come.
Numerous great innovations have been developed in the past 10 years in this country, but these are not them. These are some of the weirdest and worst product ideas to grace American retail and grocery shelves in the past decade. Taking excess and irrelevancy to a new level, these products seem so arbitrary or bizarre that they could have only been made in America.
Why spend grueling hours in the gym when you could just sit around instead? With the Hawaii Chair, you can “take the work out of your workout” while a 2,800-r.p.m. motor positioned beneath the seat simulates a hula-like motion at multiple speeds to tone muscle. The idea that seated hula hooping is conducive to an office environment is ridiculous at best, but with the Hawaii Chair, you can be both toned and lazy!
The Comfort Wipe
For those who find toilet paper “archaic and disgusting,” the comfort wipe provides “a modern solution.” Though you only have to go through a few more steps attaching and releasing the toilet paper, use of the comfort wipe allows you to “maintain your dignity.” It’s essentially an arm extension that eliminates the need to directly wipe your own ass, for only 19.99. What a deal.
One of the most iconic products in the gross food category, Spam, or the digestion of it, might be one of the only foods that could make the use of Comfort Wipe attractive. Now available in 14 different varieties, Spam celebrated its 75-year anniversary this year. A portmanteau of the words “spiced” and “ham,” Spam’s gelatinous consistency makes it one of the most frightening “meat products” of all time. Intriguing and curious, a 75-year-long run must mean people like it, or at least find that keeping it in stores for the impending apocalypse is important.
On the lighter side of things is the Tiddy Bear, “the cute little guy” that relieves shoulder strap pressure in the car. Not only useful, but adorable, the Tiddy Bear, aptly named, hugs your tits and provides a functional excuse for over-attachment to stuffed animals. The mental image of two grown adults driving with miniature teddy bears hugging their chests seems to make their deep longing for love and reassurance apparent. Personal judgments aside, for “the low, low price of $14.95,” you can have not one, but TWO Tiddy bears. Let your freak flag fly.
When I lived in Germany last year, Easy Cheese was the embodiment of the disgusting American products to many of my European friends, surprisingly enough. “Wait, it’s cheese in an aerosol can?!?” Despite its unorthodox and seemingly contradictory nature, for many mothers, Easy Cheese is a solution for both feeding and entertaining kids all at once. Those 17 ingredients contained in the can have made the act of squirting cheese in your mouth both fun and satisfying. The French might have brie, but we here in America have cheese that’s easy.
If you don’t eat enough Easy Cheese to make your ass fat, you guessed it, there’s a solution for that too! “Go from FLAT to FAB in just seconds with Booty Pop padded panties.” That’s right, butt stuffing panties to make your booty bigger. That’s gotta look weird when the clothes come off. Then again, if padded bras are commonplace at this point, why not padded panties? There’s hope yet for all the white girls in the world dreaming of having J Lo’s tush.
Motorized Ice Cream Cone
Bringing a mechanical touch to an intrinsic part of most people’s childhoods, are the Motorized Ice Cream Cones. “Takes a Licking. Keeps Ice Cream From Dripping.” Instead of finding funny shapes all on your own, the ice cream turns inside a neon plastic cone while you hold your tongue out clumsily. Admittedly, I might be biased, the makeshift game of avoiding ice cream drip has always been something I’ve enjoyed, but isn’t eating the cone half the fun too?
Here’s some next level shit. A container shaped like a golf club with a towel draped over it to bring along while golfing in case you need to pee. I’ve never experienced the urge to take a wiz halfway through nine holes in the middle of long stretches of flat green, but this just seems wrong. The golfer in the opening sequence of the video does sound incredibly distressed so maybe there is merit for it. I just hope they make sure to be careful when emptying the club, don’t want to spill piss on any khakis.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve seen the phenomenon that is the Snuggie. The sleeved blanket resembling a wizard’s robe swept the nation in late 2008 and by the end of 2010, upwards of 25 million Snuggies had been sold. Of course, such commercial success always banks on following up a hit spin-offs or different variations of the original. If you love your Snuggie, why wouldn’t your dog love to have one too? Maybe you can both MATCH. How cute does that sound? I’m going to go ahead and say most animals don’t like to be dressed, but maybe a wearable blanket is more attractive to pets than some other garb that makes them look both adorable and ridiculous. I still don’t understand what’s wrong with good ol’ blankets though.
Taking the Snuggie one step further is the even more ridiculous wearable blanket. With an unapologetically self-indulgent name, the creators of the Forever Lazy sought to bring onesies back in a big way. Equipped with butt flaps and zippered hatches, you don’t even have to take off your pants to relieve yourself! The very best accessory for doing nothing productive: A batsuit designed for laziness rather than crime fighting. If you’re having a time “wrestling with blankets,” I really don’t understand how you can manage to climb into a full body onesie, but I guess once you’re in, you’ve achieved some sort of transcendent state.
If you need further convincing, one of the creators told the Associated Press that each pocket can hold three 12-oz beverages of your choice. Go on, get lazy, because you can. God bless America.