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Ridiculous Products: Idiotic COVID-19 Touch Tools

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

If you’ve been reading the news online, watching television, listening to the radio, or having conversations with any other human beings, you may be aware that there’s a global pandemic going on. It’s smart to take some basic safety precautions to protect yourself and others. This includes social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask when you go out.

What you really don’t need is a fake metal finger to touch things for you. And yet, in recent days I have been shown five different variations of a “touch tool”, via ads on Instagram and other places.


These are promotional images from five different products.

Firstaball1, just how many elevator buttons is the average person pressing in a day, particularly these days? And secondaball2, has no one considered just using a knuckle?

I suspect part of the reason I’m seeing this pop up so much is that I just can’t stop clicking the ads. The first time, my sheer amazement at the stupidity of the idea compelled me to learn more. Since then, I’ve been stunned that hey, there’s a different version of the same nonsense again. The various robots working behind the scenes are undoubtedly mistaking my clicks for serious interest in this ludicrous concept.

From the $6 “Clean Key” by “Vetted Security solutions” (who also offer an optional $15 Tiger King-themed paint job) all the way up to the egregiously expensive $35 “Keychain Touch Tool” from Peel, it seems everyone is looking to cash in by making a touch tool. Three of them are even using the exact same “Clean Key” name! One claims to be “The Original Clean Key”, but much like a Ray’s Pizza in New York City, you should be skeptical.

Meanwhile, KeySmart’s version of the CleanKey has the benefit of looking sort of like a Tommy Gun:

If you get this model, you can make rat-a-tat-tat machine gun sounds as you imagine you’re blowing away the virus. You won’t be, of course, but it’s fun to pretend. Keep the change, ya filthy pathogen!

KeySmart’s site features an infomercial-style video, which included this delightfully cheesy frame:

The “As Seen On TV” production values you see should tell you a lot about what we’re dealing with here.

However, the version I’ve seen advertised most often makes a point of focusing on quality. The COVID-KEY is made by Milspin, a company which sells “high end CNC products for American patriots”. That appears to mean making accessories for motorcycles and firearms that feature all manner of trademark infringement, as well as juvenile quips like “Get McFucked”. But hey, if you need your handgun to show off the brand of chewing tobacco you favor, Milspin has you covered:


Barvd 🙊

Milspin is making their own claims to originality, urging customers not to fall for “the knock-off pre-order China made keys!”, which appears to be a jab directed at KeySmart.

Regardless of who makes it, or in what country, a touch tool remains a useless waste of time, energy, and material. The design implies you should attach it to your keychain, where you also have, ya know, keys. If you really feel the need to avoid pressing buttons, those keys themselves have you covered pretty well.

It’s true that a standard key can’t grip and pull, while these tools can. But after they do, they’re going into your pocket or purse. Unless the tool is sanitized after each use, it’s just going to serve as a possible vector for moving the virus onto your other possessions. When you reach in to pull it out again, you’re definitely getting virus all over your hands.

The idea for this trumpery3 is itself like a virus, one which has infected metal fabricators across the internet. It’s often said the great minds think alike. The proliferation of these touch tools makes it clear that dumb minds think alike as well.


Footnotes:

  1. This is an amazing formulation I received in an email from someone for whom English was a second language. I have since adopted it for comedic purposes. ↩︎

  2. Honestly, “secondaball” cracks me up even more, but I seldom manage to get to it in conversation. ↩︎

  3. Unlike the two previous example this is a real word in the dictionary and everything. It has centuries of history, but I learned of it only recently. It’s a fancier way of saying “crap”:

    I can’t believe “trumpery” hasn’t gotten traction in the past four years. Let’s change that! ↩︎

A Collection of Cuties

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Recently, I purchased a package of that delightful winter treat, the clementine. They’re easy to eat, and tasty, but this particular package really had some things going on. I didn’t notice what I’d picked up until after purchasing, but these were apparently “Cuties”, which seem to be made for small children:

A Cuties package, showing a clementine being bizarrely unzipped.

On the other hand, it’s possible the target audience is some sort of citrusphile fruit freaks. The imagery features unzipping that’s more than a little obscene, as well as eyebrows that look rather lustful. Frankly, the whole thing feels sexualized, and that’s just gross. Try to unsee it! I know I can’t.

Still, I’d already bought them before I noticed this, and returning them because they were “too sexy” seemed likely to get me on some sort of list. So, I cut open the net to place them all in a fruit bowl, so I could rid myself of the disturbing wrapping. When I did, I found that some of the clementines in the package had stickers on them.

These stickers appear to serve no real purpose, except perhaps to make me feel far less adult while I enjoyed a snack, and also to provide content for this site. Herein, a very brief review of the five Cutie stickers I saw:

Rudolph Cutie

A sticker which reads 'Rudolph Cutie'

This was the first of three stickers which were all appropriate for the Christmas season. Of course, if you take a look, you’ll see that Cuties don’t appear to have noses. As such, it seems as likely as not that “Rudolph Cutie” here actually has a giant, disgusting cyst. Barvd!

Jingle Cutie

A sticker which reads 'Jingle Cutie'

This sticker is fairly innocuous, though with the hat, it looks more like a “Santa Cutie” than a “Jingle Cutie” to me.

Stocking Stuffer

A sticker which reads 'Stocking Stuffer'

I like this sticker, because it alludes to the tradition of placing oranges in a Christmas stocking. I don’t know that a single small Cutie would make a great stocking stuffer, but a few could be nice.

Captain Cutie

A sticker which reads 'Captain Cutie'

Things took an abrupt turn away from Christmas with this pirate-themed sticker. I’m not sure what this has to do with much of anything, but at least we know this is one buccaneer who won’t get scurvy.

Mouthcandy

A sticker which reads 'Mouthcandy'

I really have issues with this final sticker. There are many modifiers for candy. We use “ear candy” for catchy music and “arm candy” for a young person accompanying an older individual on a date. There’s even “nose candy”, for cocaine. But mouthcandy? That’s just candy! It’s the default. You don’t need the “mouth” modifier. It would be like saying “heart blood”. That’s just blood!

Also, I’m not sure why this Cutie was dipped like a candy apple, but it’s very unappealing.

Conclusion

At the moment, I’m on the fence about purchasing more Cuties. Ultimately, if I can find a clementine that doesn’t make me feel like I need to wait until the lunch bell rings to eat it, that would be best.

Tree of Blood 

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Thanks to a tweet shared by friend-of-the-site Daniel Jalkut, I’ve got a Barvd one-off to ruin your appetite today. As The Atlantic reports, this is an intact blood clot in the exact shape of the right bronchial tree.


It’s so very red!

That’s disgusting. It’s also oddly beautiful.

Sticking With the Classic

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Almost exactly a year ago, I noted the upcoming “Face with open mouth vomiting” emoji (🤮). This emoji is now available on the latest OSes, but if you don’t see it at the end of the previous sentence, here’s a massive version of Apple’s take on it:


Apple’s “Face with open mouth vomiting” emoji

I have some questions for the designer at Apple who drew this, including “Where exactly is this massive stream of vomit coming from?” and “Did this poor creature eat green Jell-o with a side of Mike & Ikes?”. Artistic choices aside, however, this would seem to be an obvious choice if I needed to select an emoji for Barvd in 2018.

There’s actually now a wealth of options available for consideration. In addition to that actively puking face, there’s this guy who’s right on the cusp:

This “Nauseated face” (🤢) was introduced in 2016. Props are due to the Unicode Consortium for not incorrectly calling this the “nauseous” face.

More recently, the “Face with hand over mouth” (🤭) was introduced:

Apple’s version of this could be holding it in, but the eyes fail to show any sort of panic or plans to dash for a toilet or trash can. Worse, other platforms actually show smiling eyes and even a smiling mouth, making “Face with hand over mouth” a poor choice overall.


Clockwise from top left: Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook

Of course, as long time readers may recall, the Barvd emoji was already selected way back in 2014. In that long-ago era, life was generally worse all around. The women and people of color of emojiland found themselves largely unable to hold down a steady job (👩🏽‍⚕️👨🏿‍⚖️), and it was also impossible to ask for a glass of bourbon (🥃) or even properly flip someone off (🖕). In part because the available emoji set was far smaller, this little guy was chosen to represent Barvd:


“Speak-No-Evil Monkey”/Barvd emoji

We’ve been using this emoji for over four years, and I think he holds up well. While the above choices may be more obvious, part of the enjoyment of emoji is interpreting them. I welcome the use of alternative emoji alongside an exclamation of the word “Barvd!”, but personally, I’ll be sticking with the classic puking monkey. He never goes out of style.

Barvd: 2016 in Review

Monday, December 25th, 2017

2017 is almost over, which means it’s well past time for this year’s edition of Barvd. We may not even remember most of the most nauseating social media posts of 2016, but they happened nonetheless. Let’s make this a very scary Christmas, with a long overdue summary of the most disgusting tweets and Instagram posts from last year. Thankfully, for six more days, 2016 still is last year.

January

Winter weather in Boston is frightful, but it doesn’t usually involve arachnids.

well, a spider just crawled out of the hat that i stuffed in my coat pocket last night, so i'm just going to go become one with the snow now
@eyemadequiet

Marie here found the exception, and now I’m scared to put on clothes without shaking the hell out of them.

February

I know we’d all like to forget Ted Cruz even exists, but this gross triptych is worth remembering, despite the something-shaming.

I'd make a Twitter account for Ted Cruz's wattle if it wasn't something-shaming.; Beefy Wattle dot org; A restaurant like Hooters but for hot beefy middle-aged man wattles. 

Gullets™
@scottsimpson, 2, 3

At the time of this writing, BeefyWattle.org is still available for registration.

March

March of 2016 had a large number of nominees, including several disgusting food items, which are always a favorite. And yet, this is insane “abbreviation” topped them all.

A shocking discovery we made today: S&B stands for………Spice and HerB
@mrgan

That’s simply unacceptable.

April

I really like this tweet with no context at all.

This is why I always sit down on urinals to pee.
@jkubicek

If you like, click to learn the context, but you might also choose to let it remain a mystery!

May

As Spring sprang in 2016, our pal Scott came back with a sickening Instagram post. I’m dry heaving just thinking about this:

This is why I always sit down on urinals to pee.
@scottsimpson

Anyone considering purchasing this might better spend their time and money on cleaning.

June

Get ready for the old switcheroo…

When my dad was my age he owned a house & had two kids with my mom. I rent a single room & haven't even made it to 2nd base with my mom yet.
@mattingebretson

Well played, Matt. I’m sure your parents are, uh, very proud.

July

Previously, we heard about hot, smoking bully sticks. Now, it gets worse.

Pro tip: Keep your pouches of artisanal jerky in a different cabinet than your artisanal dog treats.
@mccreath

It’s likely this is really putting the “anal” in “artisanal”.

August

Do you remember the 90s? They were pretty good overall, but they certainly weren’t perfect.

If you are too young to remember the 1990s and think the 1990s are cool, this is what the 1990s actually looked like - Al Gore and Bill Clinton sweaty in short shorts
@sarahkendzior

There’s a lot to take in here: The sweat. The McDonald’s. The thighs. Oh god, the pasty thighs. Let’s see if we can move on faster than Bill jogged.

September

Celebrities got into the Barvd game last year, with Canadian actor Devon Sawa sharing this monstrosity:

Can't wait to make this traditional Canadian Thanksgiving feast for all my American friends - some kinda disturbing turkey and octopus hybrid
@DevonESawa

I guess we’d call it a “turpus”? At least until we cram a chicken in there to make it a “turpusen”, anyway.

October

In addition to being the last full month with hope and brightness in the world, October 2016 provided a bit of a mystery. When first looking at this tweet, it was not clear what was going on.

oh my god
@MannyElk

I first saw a person’s backside. OK, it’s a man, and he’s not in the best shape. Ah, jeez, is he at a urinal? That’s kind of gross. But ultimately, what’s the big deal? Let’s have a look at the full image:

oh my god

Oh. Oh god. No. Why?! At least it’s a nice callback to our April selection.

November

I’m sure November had plenty of disgusting tweets. However, nothing was worse than this tweet (as well as others like it from news sources around the world):

BREAKING: Donald Trump will win the White House, making him the 45th US president, CNN projects
@cnn

As you can likely guess, I chose CNN’s tweet specifically. While I certainly wish this had been fake news, CNN is a credible news organization, and this was all too real. It was also all too sickening.

December

The day after the 2016 election, I quit reading Twitter cold turkey. I haven’t been back since. As such, I don’t have a selection for December. Viewing Donald Trump’s tweets from the entire month would provide plenty to be disgusted by, but you’re better off avoiding it entirely. The real world is stomach-turning enough without reading the ravings of the absolute worst president in history.

The End

That’s it for the year 2016, and likely for our annual Barvd reviews as well. We’ll likely still have Barvd one-offs in the future, though. If you seen an awful tweet, Instagram pic, or other post, send it in, or tweet a link to @OneFootTsunami.

They Finally Made a Real Barvd Emoji 

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Relatively recently, emoji were updated to include modifiers. This functionality enables multiple emoji to be joined into one, thus making it easier to have multiple genders and skin tones for people. Now, XKCD suggests a new modifier.

Barvd: 2015 in Review

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Despite attempts by domain sellers, you won’t find a collection of disgusting social media posts on baronvd.com. No, it’s only on barvd.com that you can get this kind of delightful content, and here you are, just in time for another year of Barvd. Let’s look at what was dreadful in 2015!

January

We start the year off with something of a mess. The winner (and sole nominee) for this month is a tweet which has been deleted. Fortunately, much like the Library of Congress, the fine folks over at Favstar handle the archiving of tweets.

You ever wonder if the air in those bubbles came from some factory where the wife of the boss hates vaccines so everybody has mumps?
@doomnibbler__

As Brooklyn Nine-nine recently showed, mumps are both hilarious and disgusting.

February

Honestly, this one’s sort of a cheat, because it’s really just a tweet about a disgusting news story. On the other hand, it’s so foul that it’s easy to bend the rules so as to include it.

Woman makes yogurt using ingredients that may cause you to lose your lunch
@HuffPostWeird

I have some questions about the structure of this headline. Should we not make yogurt with this grad student’s vagina, or with any vaginas? It’s unclear.

March

This next tweet actually seems relatively innocuous.

Man, you post a video of 10,000 swarming ants on your Instagram and everyone freaks out.
@Moltz

Sure, the idea of thousands of swarming ants is a bit unsettling, but withou—OH SWEET UNHOLY HELL


Run! Run to April! It can’t possibly be as bad as this!

April

You might be surprised how much time a Barvd post requires. I’ve had this picture up in my browser for quite some time:

Hot dog/spaghetti jellyfish for Olive's lunch. Fun and little gross.
@antichrista

It didn’t start out so disgusting, but like mold, the foulness has grown over time. I’m sick of looking at this horrible creation, but now it’s your turn.

May

The crassness of this tweet is rather off-putting:

Congrats to American Pharaoh your cum is worth so much money now
@AlisonAgosti

But what’s much more off-putting is that Alison is entirely correct.

June

You know how to make a pretty lousy Smashing Pumpkins hit from the ’90s even worse?

*billy corgan voice* the world is a webinar
@mallelis

Good luck not hearing that line sung in Billy Corgan’s nasal whine.

July

July is the time to celebrate America’s independence, so let’s look at an incredible American creation:

i found this old recipe photo and now i cannot stop screaming.
@Becca_DP

I was already gagging at the thought of a hamnana. There was no need to top it off with Hollandaise.

August

The following was tweeted during an early Republican debate, and it’s especially gross when you remember who was on stage.

true story: they have to burn those podiums afterwards because the candidates orgasm every time they say 'Benghazi' #GOPDebate
@katefeetie

Even more sickening is the fact that this was just the beginning of many months of horrible Republican debates. Don’t worry though, just eight more months until the election.

September

This fantasy in three parts amuses, before it horrifies with the unpleasant yoga pants visual.

Sorry I'm late! Let's get on with the show! Can anywhere guess where my dove is?
*silence; child slowly raises hand*
@rynbtmn, in a three tweet set

That poor imaginary child. That poor real us.

October

In recent years, traditional sexy/slutty Halloween costumes have really gotten played out. Thankfully, there are always innovators coming up with bold new ideas.

Halloween costume ideas:
-Sexy Iran Deal
-Sexy Water On Mars 
-Sexy Kim Davis
@MariyaAlexander

If you don’t remember Kim Davis, good for you. She’s too unappealing on both the outside and the inside to be pictured, even on the pages of Barvd, so you’ll have to do your own image search. If you do remember the dishonorable Ms. Davis, you know just how repugnant this idea is.

November

Let’s take a drive through almost 400 years of history. Halfway through we take a sharp left turn, so hang on tight.

1620—Francis Bacon describes the scientific method

2015—I experimentally confirm that I can use mouthwash and blow my nose at the same time
@mrgan

Aw, come on, man. Neven. No.

December

In December, I wrote about “bully sticks”. The truth behind them is unappetizing to say the least. The response I got from one reader, however, was beyond the pail.1

a friend tried to save money by cutting bully sticks into smaller portions. The smell from the bandsaw can only be described as 🙊
@MrDABailey

➕1️⃣ to Mr. Bailey for his correct use of the Barvd emoji, but ➖💯 for providing us all with the idea of hot, smoking bully stick.

We’re Done Here

That’s it for the year 2015. Thank goodness this is a leap year, as it enabled me to get our 2015 review in before March 1st. Fear not though, because the collecting of awfulness for 2016 has already begun. As always, if you’ve seen an awful tweet, Instagram pic or other post, send it in or just tweet a link to @PBones.


Footnotes:

  1. No, that’s not a typo. “Beyond the pail”, as in, it made me puke so hard I overshot the bucket for which I was aiming. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza

Friday, July 17th, 2015

A hot dog (which is so obviously not a sandwich that no debate is even required) really doesn’t belong anywhere near a pizza. Way back in the late ’90s, shortly after the rise of the cheese stuffed crust pizza, I took some sort of online survey for Pizza Hut. They asked how I would feel about a ring of hot dog meat in the crust around a pizza. Then, as now, I was disgusted. Hot dog pizza? Barvd 🙊.

Despite my vociferous objections almost two decades ago, Pizza Hut has now opted to give it a go, albeit with some modifications. While that long-ago survey proposed a circular hot dog ring tucked inside the crust the same way cheese can be, this “limited-supply” Hot Dog Bites pizza is somewhat similar to the Cheeseburger Crown Crust pizza of 2012. The new offering features a circle of pigs in a blanket surrounding the pie. It’s a horrible idea, one which the Washington Post will tell you is best avoided. Pizza Hut has a brief commercial to pitch their vile creation:1

The Hot Dog Pizza
Does that look like something you’d want to eat?

“Hot dog! Pizza! Hot dog! Pizza! Hot dog! Pizza!” the commercial bellows, before combining the two foods into one abomination. The ad moves from being loud and uninspired, to truly and unintentionally hilarious. Referring to hot dogs and pizza, the commercial states that it’s:

  • Two classics, together at last.

When attempting to force a grotesque new food product down the gullets of the public, it is perhaps best not to call to mind this classic joke from The Simpsons2:

Nuts and Gum: Together at Last!

Then again, it does seem likely that Homer Simpson would approve of this creation as well.

Previously in terrible ideas from Pizza Hut: Make ‘Em An Offer They Can Refuse


Footnotes:

  1. The commercial is archived here. ↩︎

  2. This bit can be found in the episode “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”. ↩︎

Sounds Like a Site for Fancy STDs

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Here at One Foot Tsunami, we get emails. We get stacks and stacks of emails. These emails are almost entirely spam, generally asking if i’ll accept payment for a “sponsored post”. My commitment to journalistic integrity is strong, however, and you’ll never see ads masquerading as content here. At least not until these clowns start offering more money, anyhow.

Anyhow, I recently received a somewhat stranger email:

ALT NAME

Initially, I couldn’t figure out what domain I own that’s related to “BaronVD.com”. Eventually I realized; I’m receiving this solicitation because I own Barvd.com. Yes, a domain name used to direct people to the worst of the worst in gross tweets and the like is now earning me unsolicited offers for “related domain names”.

So Theodora, I appreciate the offer, but please consider this my official notice of disinterest. Also, how the hell did you even find Barvd.com? Were you just trying assorted letter combinations? Krang!

After receiving this email, I took a peek at the actually site. It seems Theodora isn’t actually in a place to sell BaronVD.com anymore, as she let the registration lapse:

ALT NAME

With only two hours left, the cost was $12, and there were zero bids. Hard luck!

Barvd: 2014 in Review

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Just over a year ago, the world was introduced to the Barvd emoji. Lamentably, however, there hasn’t been an official edition of Barvd since last January. Fortunately, plenty of awful was collected since then, so let’s take a look at 2014 in unpleasantness.

January

Gotta figure by this point, thousands of divorced dads have accidentally sexted their daughter
@scottsimpson

Thanks, Scott! It’s always good to kick things off with a truly horrifying thought.

February

There are lots of sounds you don't want to hear in the next stall over, but the iPhone camera shutter is pretty high up there.
@redkeg

I’m not saying you should visit RateMyPoo.com, because you shouldn’t. Hell, that’s why I didn’t even make that a link. But you should be aware that a bowel movement rating site exists, and allow that fact to color your impression of humanity.

March

Much like the Olsen twins on Full House, the role of 'weird lump on my bathroom wall' was played by 15,000 spiders
@scottsimpson

This horrifying tweet from @heidihitschildren was a runner-up in February, and helped Scott to his second appearance here in just three months.

April

My sleep-mind said 'Whatever, it's fine if the cat pukes on my back, I'll clean it up later.' Luckily I woke up enough to prevent that.
@commanda

The cat grosses me out, but the sleep-mind cracks me up.

May

Soup is a great way to eat wet meat out of a little bathtub.
@AlisonAgosti

Probably the worst thing about this is that it’s technically correct, which is the best kind of correct.

June

We have an intermission here, as much like in August of 2013, no one grossed me out in June of 2014. It seems like my gag reflex takes summer vacations. Ah well — moving on!

July

'My dad worked in a sub-zero meat locker. He said the worst thing about it was, farts would hang in the still air forever. Eight hours a day.
@mrgan

And now, a passage from my upcoming novel “Mumphrey’s Downfall”, set amongst the backdrop of world diplomacy and international intrigue:

  • “As soon as he said it, he knew he’d made a terrible mistake. Forks and glasses clattered to the floor, and then the room fell silent. His words hung there, like a fart in the freezer.”

I am currently accepting bids from publishers.

August

'90 percent of hotel beds have bedbugs. But look at your own bed. It’s entirely made of bedbugs. Now look in the mirror. Yes. You are, too.
@Moltz

It seems 2014 was a good year for gross-out tweets about bugs.

September

'Almost forgot: @magnetbox's foot says Hi
@ems

I particularly like the way Michaela’s tweet does not transcribe this as a quote from the foot. Rather, it is a simple statement of fact.

October

I guess sushi is okay, but it makes the microwave smell terrible and by the time the fish is cooked through, the rice is overdone.
@mccreath

Sushi does not work that way!

November

Old man at urinal. Both hands on hips. Possibly prehensile penis.
@biorhythmist

Just re-reading this, I had a visceral gag. Awful, Matt, just awful.

December

Special Garlic Dipping Sauce in a Keurig
@Clarko@Clarko@Clarko

Please allow my earlier comment, as well as @antichrista’s, to serve as a reply:

Jesus, Dude

Damn straight. Insta-Barvd of the year, is more like it. Thanks a lot, Clarko. Jesus Crist.

Closing Time

Sometimes, I stop and take stock of things. “Self,” I’ll ask, in these moments of introspection, “are you really spending time compiling all the gross things people put out there on social media?”. Yes. Yes, I am, so if you’ve seen an awful tweet, Instagram pic or other post, send it in or just tweet a link to @PBones.

Until next time!