Previous “Ridiculous Products” posts

Ridiculous Products: Crown Jewels Condoms

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Condoms seem to come up frequently here on One Foot Tsunami, and twice they’ve been featured as Ridiculous Products, specifically Virgin Condoms and the Durex Variety Bowl. The world of contraceptives continues to churn out the hits.

Most recently, a British prophylactic manufacturer named Crown Jewels1 has created royal wedding condoms, in special packaging commemorating the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton2.

Crown Jewels condoms

A “triumvirate” (that means 3) of these “lavishly lubed”, “regally ribbed” heritage condoms sell for about $8 a box, and includes a disturbing portrait of the couple, “as they might appear on their wedding day”.

According to the Crown Jewels press release, the product is “a unique way to remember this great British occasion” and “[a]ll at Crown Jewels have worked tirelessly to craft these heirloom quality love sheaths.

Tastelessness of this product aside, I never want to see the phrase “heirloom-quality love sheaths” again. Fortunately, Lydia Leith is making royal wedding barf bags, so our collective nausea can be contained in noble fashion.

Without question, however, the most disturbing aspect of these condoms is actually found in the fine print on the Crown Jewels page, which reads:

Crown Jewels Royal Wedding Souvenir Condoms are a novelty condom not suitable for contraception or protection against STDs.

What the hell? What the hell is that?!


Footnotes:

  1. Slogan: “Condoms of Distinction” ↩︎

  2. A clever title for this post might have been “Lie Back and Think of England“, except that Crown Jewels uses that as the page title on their own site. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: Four Loko

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Four Loko Cans

Four Loko is an alcoholic energy drink, so we’re already off to a great start right there, because why wouldn’t you want to mix a downer like alcohol with an upper like caffeine? Simple math says that the two will cancel out and keep you at a safe median. Loko comes in “delicious” “flavors” like Blue Raspberry and Cranberry Lemonade, and a 23.5-ounce can will set you back less than $3. For your money, you’ll get both six servings of alcohol and the caffeine of five cups of coffee, all in something you can probably consume in under 10 minutes. [See the update at the bottom of the page for more details. -Ed.]

That doesn’t even sound like it should be legal, but for now, it is. At that price, anyone can get drunk off his ass, while maintaining the energy to stay up all night getting even drunker off his ass. Loko isn’t just for the bum who needs to get stuff done though. It’s also a big hit at college campuses, where cheap students are purchasing it with the change they find under their couch cushions.

Of course, the concoction is less popular with college administrators. Schools such as BU and Northeastern have issued warnings about it to their student bodies. Other colleges, including Central Washington University, Ramapo College, and the University of Rhode Island, have banned it outright. Judging by the empty shelves around here, however, these actions have only served to increase demand.

Phusion Projects, the company who makes Four Loko, is working to counteract this recent negative publicity. This excerpt from their “Four Facts” page, providing information about their cans, is quite revealing:

  • Our cans feature seven different warnings about the alcohol content and the need for an ID for purchase.

  • Our ABV warnings are in a font as large as the federal government will allow.

  • We were the first caffeinated alcoholic beverage company to ad “WE ID” tags to our cans.

  • Four Loko’s can colors are no brighter or more appealing than the blue, red, and green labels of established beer brands like Budweiser and Heineken.

That is some defensive writing, and only serves to make them look bad. For instance, the fact that the government limits how large you can make your ABV (Alcohol By Volume) “warnings” makes it clear that this text is actually boasting of a feature, not warning of a problem.

That said, I’m not sure how you defend a candy-flavored drink with a ridiculously high alcohol concentration which also contains caffeine that will mask the effects of alcohol consumption. There really is no safe way to drink anything but a small quantity of this stuff. Hopefully the founders are smart enough boozenessmen to save their profits now, because they’ll need them once the first lawsuits roll in.

Judging by this gem from their FAQ page, however, I have my doubts:

Are people drinking Four because of its high alcohol content?

It’s really a matter of consumer choice. Our products are just a fraction of a wide array of beverage options. In fact, stores that sell our products also offer dozens of other beverage choices – from beer to wine to spirits. Consumption of Four products accounts for less than approximately 1% of total beer consumption nationwide.

Who dodges a question on their own Frequently Asked Questions page?

Update (November 17th, 2010): I checked the math on the statement from the first paragraph, which came from this post. At 12% alcohol and 23.5 fluid ounces, Four Loko has about 2.82 fluid ounces of alcohol, which seems to be closer to four or five “standard” drinks. The caffeine content is 260 mg, which appears to be closer to around 3 cups of coffee.

Also, as evidenced by this follow-up post, that ten-minute consumption estimate was overly optimistic.

Ridiculous Products: Fireworks

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

In the past, my friend and colleague Cabel Sasser has had some great posts about ridiculous fireworks. You can give the posts from 2007, 2008, and 2009 a read. Sadly, Cabel appears to have passed away sometime last fall1, so as a tribute to him, I thought I’d share my own fireworks discoveries.

During a recent trip to West Virginia, my friend Drew and I stopped by Phantom Fireworks, just over the border in Pennsylvania. Due to bizarre state regulations, it’s legal to sell fireworks in Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania residents may not purchase them. That means that Phantom is open only to out-of-state residents, so in addition to owning the prestigious fireworks.com domain, they have locations at the borders of New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, New York, and more.

In the United States, few things are as patriotic as blowing shit up. Indeed, fireworks share a place alongside mom and apple pie, and are enjoyed by Americans from sea to shining sea. However, having never been to a fireworks outlet before, I didn’t really know what to expect. After walking by signs warning severely against smoking and passing a fairly rigorous ID check, we gained access to several dozen aisles of absurd explosives. Here are some of the most ridiculous.

Fight Fire With Fire
Honestly, these are the worst firefighters ever.

Three Wolf Pack
A three wolf explosion – memetastic!

Tankinator
It’s already a tank. It doesn’t need a suffix.

Outer Space Jets
I don’t think you know how jets work.

SkyLab Missile
Ok, I’m sure you don’t know what Skylab was.

Soda Pop Fireworks
Warning: Do not attempt to drink fireworks.

Brew Haha
I enjoy how this one rips off multiple beer logos simultaneously.

Oh god, Drew, no!

US Presidents
There’s something inappropriate about using firecrackers in a salute to Abraham Lincoln, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

There were many more, but one post can only contain so many explosives. If you just can’t get enough, be sure to watch Cabel’s blog, as some believe his spirit will rise each July 4th to share another year of fireworks madness.

Update (July 5th, 2010): Cabel’s spirit seems to have broken his earthly blog, but that didn’t prevent a 2010 fireworks collection. It’s good to know that you can still access Flickr from beyond the grave.


Footnotes:

  1. Another theory is that he and his wife had a baby in the summer of 2009. Research thus far has been inconclusive. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: As Seen On TV Hat

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

This particular product is almost too ridiculous to mock. Upon first seeing it, it may be difficult to believe this actually exists. Sadly for all of us, it’s quite real.

In short, the As Seen On TV Hat is a hat (or visor!) with a shade attached to it. Insert a media player like an iPod or iPhone into the front of it, connect your headphones, and you can view your video in quiet, private comfort.

You know, when described that way, the As Seen On TV Hat doesn’t sound so bad…

The As Seen On TV Hat

Ah. Yes.

Look at that thing! It’s like something out of science-fiction. It would fit perfectly into a dystopian future where humanity is addicted to television1, oblivious to the world around them.

What sort of features does The As Seen On TV Hat have? In addition to providing the choice between a hat or a visor, there’s also the adjustable HD lens. This is more commonly known as a magnifying glass. And better yet-

No. No, I’m sorry, I have to stop. I simply can’t waste any additional words trying to detail the stupidity. Instead, allow me to simply present some pictures from their commercial. This is how they recommend using the As Seen On TV Hat.

Camping and using the As Seen On TV Hat
Avoid the wonders of nature!

At the gym, using the As Seen On TV Hat
Get noticed at the gym!

Crazy at the airport while using the As Seen On TV Hat
Laugh like a lunatic at the airport!

Using the As Seen On TV Hat at the beach!
Or just wear the world’s most ridiculous hat to the beach!

Maybe the vendors know exactly what they’re doing. Perhaps they’re trying to sell gag gifts or trick grandmothers into buying a worthless product for their iPod-loving gran-WAIT! Hang on a second!

Is this guy on their site using the As Seen On TV Hat while riding a real bike?

Man riding a real bike and using the As Seen On TV Hat

Ok, they’re in on the joke.


Footnotes:

  1. Fine, fine, “even more addicted to television”. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: Homemade Brand Ice Cream

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Readers from the Midwest may already be aware of this ridiculous product, but others may never have seen Homemade Brand Ice Cream. Nevertheless, it’s quite real.

Homemade Brand Ice Cream

Their history indicates that after over four decades as “United Dairy Farmers” ice cream, they introduced a new premium ice cream. They state that it was named Homemade “for its use of heavy levels of fresh condiments and low overrun”. Because when I think ‘homemade’, I think “low overruns”.

The site also states “the line was the result of two years of research and 32 different test formulations”. I don’t know about you, but when I’m perfecting a recipe at home, that’s about what I go through. I wear a lab coat while doing it, and I hold focus groups with neighborhood folk.

In closing, allow me to simply present the New Oxford American Dictionary definition for ‘homemade’:

Homemade Definition

Ridiculous Products: New York Spring Water

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Recently, New York City-based drug store Duane Reade started selling their own brand of bottled water. The name they chose could use a bit of work. They’re calling it “New York Spring Water”.

New York City and New York State are not known as the most sanitary places in the world, and the Hudson River has had plenty of problems with pollution. And yet here it is, New York Spring Water (pictures courtesy of Ally D.):

New York Spring Water bottle

Most bottled water is fairly stupid, of course, but it’s the marketing here which makes New York Spring Water truly ridiculous. In addition to the name, dig that catchy, incredibly defensive slogan:

It's clean. It's natural. We promise.
It’s clean. It’s natural. We promise.

Such a slogan attempts to acknowledge the negative associations and overcome them with earnestness. Sadly, earnestness and New York City go together about as well as, well, cleanliness and New York City. Nevertheless, I suppose the slogan is better than what might have been expected out of New York. After all, they could have gone with “Wadya, scared?!” or even “Just shaddup and drink it already!”.

Ridiculous Products: The Durex Variety Bowl

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Durex Fishbowl
Behold, the Durex Variety Bowl!

This preposterous purchase will give you 144 condoms, in several different varieties1, all in one convenient candy bowl. A gross of condoms. Gross. It’s quite a bargain though, as the Durex Variety Bowl costs just $29.99.

“But Paul”, I hear my male readers whining, “I’m not some sort of man-whore. How will I use all of these?”. To that I reply that perhaps you should become some sort of man-whore. Certainly any girl who sees this in your bedroom will assume as much anyway, so why not go with it? If she sticks around, you’ll enjoy carnal pleasures and possibly earn some spendin’ money while you’re at it.

Honestly though, when a girl sees this on a guy’s nightstand, won’t she be horrified? Or perhaps even worse, how about when a guy sees it on a girl’s nightstand? Hooray for safe sex and the cost savings of buying in bulk, but there are limits!

In spite of the incredible lasciviousness of this product, or possibly because of it, you may find it appealing. Perhaps you like a challenge. If you do decide to take the plunge, you’re likely to find yourself in a race against the expiration dates on these prophylactics. My advice? Spring for the express shipping. Every second counts.


Footnotes:

  1. According to Drugstore.com, they are:
       • Natural Feeling
       • Pleasure Max
       • Extra Sensitive
       • Her Sensation

    Who gets to name these things? That seems like a sweet gig. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: Virgin Condoms

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Virgin Condom

It’s tough to believe this is real, but it was brought to me direct from Indonesia, so I can vouch for it. Heck, they’ve got a website and everything. Their site will even teach you that “Manjakani” isn’t Indonesian slang for “penis” (yet), but is actually a natural extract that tightens erectile tissue layers.

And geez, did you really think it was called a “penis condom”?

That name just kills me though. Is this a niche product? Condoms for virgins? Or condoms made exclusively for intercourse with virgins? Either way, I think I’ve got a slogan for them:

Virgin: Not for long!