Technology tends to make our lives easier and better. What would life be like if we had to wash our own dishes and clothes by hand like damn savages? Are we going to give up the Internet and go back to Victoria’s Secret catalogs and lingerie ads? What would we do without the ability to instantly vaporize entire city blocks? But every once in a while, and frequently on the shelves of convenience stores with “As Seen on TV”, earnest attempts to make life easier end up taking all the fun and thrill out of things.
Not technically a product, but a patent that someone actually devoted a period of their rapidly diminishing time here on Earth writing up and submitting to the patent office with the earnest belief that people might actually buy it with real money. The device is designed to carry your dog on long walks so you don’t look like a complete tool by carrying it in your purse.
The Fun it Kills: Actually Walking Your Dog
Last time scientists checked, most dogs were in possession of four legs and especially awesome dogs were perfectly capable of getting around on three. Few things are better than taking your dog for a walk on a brisk morning, and using the dog as an excuse to start conversations with cute girls. But instead of participating in these enjoyable things, the wearable doghouse requires you to strap what appears to be an oversized birdhouse to your chest, and shove your obviously terrified dog in there. Then you walk proudly around the neighborhood and try not to let your nipples chafe.
Is your shoulder strap digging into your shoulder? Are you a woman who dislikes how a seat belt uncomfortably slides against your breasts? Are you a man who doesn’t mind being degraded by wearing a brightly-colored teddy bear strapped across your chest? Well congratulations, the product you never asked for is here in the form of the Tiddybear, an adorable little bear that allows you to adjust your seatbelt to a comfortable position.
The Fun it Kills: Boobs and Teddy Bears
If you have ever been a teenager (odds are you have), one of the few reliefs from the insane, confusing hormone-fueled miasma that is adolescent sexuality are the simple things. One of which is that lovely phenomenon that happens when a girl wears a seatbelt. Unfortunately, the Tiddybear is there to ruin what little joy men are able to derive from the world. On top of that, once the owner actually speaks the word “Tiddybear” every positive connotation you once had with perfectly adorable teddy bears is spoiled.
Playing spin the bottle was one of many methods invented ages ago as a way for hormonal adolescents to fool around while still pretending it was all just innocent fun. The childlike glee and thrill of kissing that girl across the circle you’ve had a crush on since 3rd grade simply cannot be matched by playing video games or rock-em-sock-em robots or listening to rap music or…whatever.
The Fun it Kills: Spinning the Bottle
The Electric Spinning Bottle is the answer to an unwhispered prayer of “how can we associate makeouts more with boring board games we play with our parents?”. No longer is spin the bottle a conspiratorial affair that ends a night of drinking too much Mountain Dew and vodka you stole from the liquor cabinet. Not only do you have to prepare in advance to use this particular fun-killing device, but when the topic of playing spin the bottle is first broached, whipping out this game is probably the most guaranteed method generating weird looks and ensuring that spin the bottle doesn’t actually take place.
The Steering Wheel Desk
Morning commutes can be quite a hassle. Unless you’re one of those organized type-A’s that exist only in sitcoms (usually paired with a slovenly deadbeat), your car is likely your living room, kitchen and bedroom combined into one. Who hasn’t eaten breakfast, applied makeup, texted, dressed, or finished up that last bit of work in the car before arriving at the office? Fortunately, the Steering Wheel Desk is here to help, allowing you to comfortably serve up your Egg McMuffin in style without having to share valuable lap space with your coffee, half-donned pants, and cellphone.
The Fun it Kills: The Visceral Thrill of the Morning Commute
Let’s face it: mornings suck and your brain is not ready to get up and think clearly until well past noon. As many of us have figured out, the only way to get moving in the morning is sheer, blood-curdling panic. That is why we set our alarms to 20 minutes before 9am, and it’s why we perform a circus act in the car trying not to scald our groin with coffee while answering the boss’s insistent texts. The Steering Wheel Desk is a false sense of security that takes away the final moment in our lives where we experience excitement, before sitting in a dimly-lit office for eight hours. It’s also a death trap for those who don’t understand that it’s actually meant to be used in park, and not during your morning commute — or any other kind of commute — at all.
If other clocks are just a bit too specific for your tastes, consider purchasing a day clock. It’s only able to tell you which day of the week it is. No time, no date, just whether it’s a day for drinking or a day for work (with possible drinking). Who needs the oppressive notion of hours, minutes and seconds that other clocks can tell you? Real men tell time by the shadow the sun casts on their illustrious mustaches (a tasteful pocketwatch is an acceptable substitute).
The Fun it Kills: The Vertiginous Feeling of Not Knowing What Day it is.
Because it’s usually assumed that you know which day of the week it is, this fact is rarely close at hand. Often your watch, your alarm clocks and even the clock on your computer won’t give you any information as to whether it’s a Wednesday or a Sunday. Remember Summer break? Remember forgetting entirely what day of the week it was because you were doing nothing but riding your wagon down hills and climbing trees? Remember that amazing bender you had in Mexico during your week off? Okay you likely don’t remember much of the latter, but the point is, at certain times we want to completely free ourselves from the obligations inherent in time. You still need to know the time, obviously, so you know what time the liquor stores open and close, but whether it’s a Monday or a Friday is irrelevant—and that is beautiful. Those moments are rare bastions of happiness, and the Day Clock will ruin them all.
Reserve a Spot in Heaven
Are you worried that you might be spending too much time in Church and too little time raping and pillaging? Now, for a paltry $14.95, you can reserve a spot in heaven and get back to all your whoring and debauchery. As satisfied customer “Robert” put it on their site:
“Seriously, a pizza pie costs more. For a slice of heaven you just can’t go wrong with this offer.”
Thanks Robert! I was worried that all the coveting I was doing was going to bar me from passing through the Pearly Gates, but now that I have my Heaven Travel Kit I can kick orphans and puppies to my heart’s content.
The Fun it Kills:Sin. Filthy, Filthy, Beautiful Sin.
Part of the thrill of doing something risque is that it’s not condoned. Nothing makes sex and drugs uncool quite like knowing that your parents did it and don’t really have a problem with some marijuana and mutually consensual sex with protection. The “Reserve a Spot in Heaven” is like Jesus taking you down to the corner store, buying you some condoms, and giving you a very grave talk about the risks you’re taking before slapping you on the back and saying “Go get ‘em champ!” Somehow knowing there will be no negative consequences for your actions in the long run makes them terminally uncool.
(These certificates are actually presented tongue-in-cheek as a gag gift. The same company also sells reserved spots in hell. However, they stand adamantly by their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee)
Anyone who’s ever been bird hunting knows that there’s one small problem with preparing the animal for dinner later: all those time pieces of lead you just filled it with. Cleaning the bird becomes a laborious process of picking them out one by one, and eating the bird is a dangerous exercise in dental fortitude. Season Shot solves all of these problems, and more! Not only does it effectively kill birds dead (an important criteria for ammunition), the pellets dissolve during cooking and release a mix of seasoning to the meat.
The Fun it Kills: Killing Small Animals
Let’s be honest, part of the thrill of the hunt is the almost guilty, gleeful joy that comes from taking a living creature’s life. While Season Shot does this effectively, it seems to defeat the purpose of hunting in the first place. If there were a laser gun that plucked birds from the sky, and deposited them fully cooked and cleaned on your kitchen table, nobody would ever use it because it’s just cheating.
We spend every moment of our lives indirectly taking lives through the sweatshop-made clothes we wear or the politicians we vote for that start wars on the other side of the globe. Season Shot is trying to take away the marvelous simplicity by which we’ve been murdering fowl for millennia. Though if they made a lower-grade table top version that would be awesome because I’ve been having some trouble seasoning my turkey inside and our without some sort of high-velocity spice grinder.
These little devices have been growing in popularity as the price of cigarettes has ballooned into the “Your firstborn and also a limb” price range. And when there are virtually no public places to smoke anymore the E-Cigarette’s odorless vapor is a nice substitute. Plus there’s the added benefit that the E-Cig doesn’t contain nearly as many carcinogenic toxins as your typical cigarette, so you can get your nicotine fix without worrying about cancer.
The Fun it Kills: Smoking is Cool
Let’s not mince words here: smoking is cool. We all know it’s terrible for you and everyone around you, but it’s cool. It’s cool in the way that riding in an outlaw biker gang is cool, it’s so obviously dangerous that clearly only the toughest, most badass bats out of hell can take it. Smoking is cool because it is dangerous and damaging. Electronic cigarettes are like the non-alcoholic beer of tobacco, all you’re getting is a part of the sensation and none of the thrill.
Fish Catching Themselves
One of the peskiest things about fish is that it’s hard for us to outright mass murder them like cows or pigs or carrier pigeons. It’s even tough to use a gun on them as they’re always surrounding themselves with their hoighty-toighty water. We literally have to outsmart the fish in order to eat them, and it’s quite galling for humans to get outsmarted from something we diverged from evolutionarily a billion years ago. That’s why scientists have been carefully grooming new breeds of fish to respond to specialized signals and throw themselves into waiting nets.
The Fun it Kills: Fishing
First off, fishing is one of the greatest excuses for doing nothing and drinking a bunch of beer. It’s one of the oldest forms of hunting that is still regularly practiced even by people who would never pick up a gun or kill Bambi. To be fair, researchers are working on this method only as a way to breed populations that can be easily fed, cataloged and, in the case of fish farms, harvested. But how long is it before we have designer fish all over our lakes and reservoirs, responding to a specially-tuned signal instead of a handcrafted lure? Catching a wild fish is a triumph of skill and will, and perhaps blind luck while you’re napping off a couple of beers of the shore. That’s why it’s so universally appealing. Take that away and all you basically have left is a pre-cooked meal just waiting for you to press a button and summon it to your table.
Motorized Ice Cream Cone
There’s no more fundamental image of childhood innocence and happiness than a child gleefully licking away at an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. A child holding a bright red balloon is a close second. To this innocence has been added a new contender: the motorized cone. With this beauty, you need only stick out your tongue and press a button, and the machine takes care of the tiresome licking for you, by lightly spinning the scoop of ice cream.
The Fun it Kills: The Joy of Eating Ice Cream
Eating ice cream from a cone isn’t something we do so that we can deliver ice cream efficiently to our taste buds and stomachs—it’s an experience all of its own. Fighting the inevitable melting with furious abandon. Plugging leaks in the cone by devouring the cone and surrounding ice cream. Walking around on a hot summer afternoon carrying a super-chilled hunk of cream, sugar and ice on top of what is basically a sugar cookie. Ice cream in bowls is for joyless scrubs. Ice cream that serves itself to you from a bowl is for obese joyless scrubs.