Super Glue

  1. A super method of conjoining multiple fingers
  2. Product used to create a super annoying, hard shell on human fingertips
  3. Adhesive product sold to people who live life without fear
  4. Disappointing super hero

Usage Example: “I worked so hard to keep that super glue off of my fingers! Why? Why!? I hate you, super glue shell!”

Background: Super glue is a strong adhesive product that is sold in unreasonably tiny quantities to people who live life on the edge.

Super glue bottles are often so small, that the product’s volume is measured in grams. These measurements allow super glue buyers to pretend that they are actually buying illegal drugs or black-market diamonds.

Super glue consumers live life in the fast lane. They have already made a determination that normal glue won’t meet their needs. They seek the most powerful products available. Super glue consumers laugh in the face of danger. They stare down the adhesive product in the tiny, futuristic bottle with no fear of permanently attaching a couple of fingers. They exhibit no trepidation about the fingertip shell that certainly awaits them.

However, despite the boldness of the super glue user, the endgame is always the same. Super glue doesn’t successfully hold the broken product together, but it does successfully hold a few fingers together.

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Detoxifying Cleanse

  1. Pills, juices or extreme diet plans used to make people feel better about eating a whole pack of Oreos
  2. Powerful strain of snake oil designed to rid users of their toxic money
  3. Proof that the word “toxin” is the scariest and most misunderstood word in the English language

Usage Example: “You should try this new detox cleanse. I did it, and I felt awful afterward… So it must have worked.”

Background: The internet loves detoxifying cleanses. And, as everyone knows, the internet is well regarded for its fine judgment and dedication to the truth. That $200 Target gift card offer may have been fake, and the “Obama Grant” may have been a scam, but these “miracle cleanses” absolutely work.

Detoxifying cleanses are everywhere. There are special cleanses for livers, colons, weight loss, and every other human organ or conceivable situation. Cleanses work on a simple premise: people have money to spend and value the medical opinions of anyone other than medical professionals. After all, doctors have been bought and sold by the pharmaceutical companies. They aren’t interested in real health.

Do you know who is interested in real health? This guy Chad in Chula Vista – that’s who. He developed a supplement so powerful that it will cleanse your colon of toxins and help you lose that stubborn belly fat – fast! Just send him $300, and he will send you a box of supercharged powders to mix with your favorite fresh juices. Drink only the supercharged juices for a week, and you will jump start your weight loss! It doesn’t matter that foregoing food for a week will cause anyone to lose weight; regardless of what meth-lab chemicals are added to juices.

People have a strong appetite for snake oil, and purveyors of cleanses are happy to supply it.

Air Mattress

  1. Sleeping surface designed to take a person from beach ball to floor in six hours flat
  2. Stealth torture device for visiting guests

Usage Example: “Hey. Wake up. It’s 3:30 am. This air mattress is almost completely deflated. Do you think we should turn on this incredibly loud pump?”

Background: The air mattress is a popular sleeping accommodation for visiting house guests. Air mattresses have gained popularity because they are easy to store, quick to set up and efficiently torture anyone who sleeps on them. Users can expect to begin the night by bouncing around on a beach ball and finish the night by waking up on the floor – in the hateful embrace of a puffy air pillow.

There are many different varieties of air mattresses available, at a wide range of price points. However, all air mattresses share a few basic similarities. In order to qualify as an air mattress, a product must possess the following qualities:

  1. The product must be a sleeping surface that is initially filled with air.
  2. The product must lose at least 50% of its air over the course of six to eight hours.
  3. The product must lose air regardless of whether or not any holes are present.
  4. The product must be designed to emit faint hissing sounds, even though no actual holes can be detected.
  5. The product must contain a useless “placebo patch kit” to make the user feel good about covering up a hole, even though the kit cannot actually patch anything.

Some air mattress manufactures attempt to fight the fact that all air mattresses slowly deflate, by installing incredibly noisy built-in pumps. This innovation allows users to add some additional air to a half-inflated air mattress, while promptly waking up the entire house at 3:00 am. Making this choice allows a user to enjoy an awful night of tossing and turning, combined with experiencing a new level of searing hatred poured out by the rest of the house, thereby ensuring a spot on the air mattress for any subsequent visits. It is a vicious cycle.

Prescription Drug Ads

  1. Proof that people would rather take a risk on nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stroke, heart attack, coma and death – than deal with restless legs
  2. Ads presenting an alternate reality, in which scenes of people enjoying life are accompanied by a voice-over warning of the disgusting and terrible things that could happen if a product is actually used
  3. Discriminatory ads failing to offer products to people with liver or kidney problems, and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant
  4. Ads attempting to get men to ask their doctors questions

Usage Example: “Hey doctor, I saw a prescription drug ad for a drug that could help clear up my skin. Is it right for me? I’m cool with all of the diarrhea and death stuff.”

Background: Prescription drug ads seek to do the impossible. They are attempting to get people to buy a product while verbally communicating a list of at least twenty horrible things that could happen if the product is used.

Normally, if a person is approached with the option of dealing with an annoying physical problem or rolling the dice on coma, death, paralysis or permanent muscle spasms – the decision is simple. But tell them all of this while showing people picking apples, playing with grand-kids, or sitting in bathtubs, and people lose their minds.

Prescription drug ads also visually communicate the following:

  • If you have psoriasis and take a drug, you will jump and swim in pools.
  • If you have ED and take a drug, you will suddenly place two bathtubs outside and sit in them.
  • If you are bipolar and take a drug, you will take creepy pictures of kids in sandboxes and walk along the beach.
  • If you have fibromyalgia and take a drug, you will handle potted plants and look at documents on a table… instead of grabbing your shoulder.

Loyalty Card

  1. Plastic filler product for wallets and key chains
  2. Empowering opportunity for shoppers

Usage Example: “If you sign up for the bowling alley’s free loyalty card, every tenth frame is 10% off.”

Background: Americans have problems. American wallets are too thin and American key chains are way too empty. Thankfully, every single retail store in the country is helping to remedy this problem.

It all started with grocery stores. Customers interested in paying reasonable prices for groceries have to agree to carry around a piece of plastic with a store logo on it.

The process of obtaining these pieces of plastic is simple. Stores collect your name, address, phone number, email address, driving records, medical records and the names of your family and friends. In exchange for handing over this information, stores graciously give you the option of carrying around a card in your wallet, or a stubby and soon to be filthy chunk of plastic to hang on your key chain. By presenting these chunks of plastic at the point of sale, stores agree to allow customers to pay normal prices for groceries. If you fail to carry around the store’s chunk of plastic, you must be penalized by paying artificially inflated prices for products.

After grocery stores successfully convinced millions of people to carry around their plastic filler products, every other store followed suit. You are now compelled to carry loyalty cards for pharmacies, gas stations, movie theaters, ice cream stores and lemonade stands.

Smart shoppers are encouraged to create their own loyalty cards. Simply tape your picture to a piece of plastic and present it to a retail outlet. If that store refuses to show it to you whenever you shop, inform them that you will pay half-price for all items. This plan is guaranteed to work almost 1% of the time.

Toys

  1. Expensive floor covering for children’s rooms
  2. Highly refined materials for an indoor minefield

Usage Example: “If you don’t clean up your toys this instant…we’ll probably clean them up for you…so we don’t kill ourselves.”

Background: Toys follow a predictable and rapid lifecycle. The “Toy Cycle” progresses along the following steps:

  1. Kid begs for toy
  2. Parent buys toy
  3. Kid plays with toy for 7.5 minutes
  4. Kid breaks toy
  5. Toy becomes an expensive floor covering

That’s basically it.

Kids trick parents into buying toys, so that they can immediately break them and set them up as elaborate booby traps for parents. Kids can instinctively navigate a minefield of toys on the floor, but parents step on every Lego and Ninja Turtle.

The process of breaking toys and leaving them on the floor is often referred to as “refining” or “enriching” the toys. Kids throughout the world are enriching toys every day. There is a vast army of tiny people setting up entire rooms full of highly refined toys right under our noses.

Unreliable sources have reported that all kids receive special training in “creative terrorism” at a secret KGB facility in Vladivostok. It is at this facility where all kids learn about the toy cycle, and how to use it to initiate acts of creative terrorism against their parents.

Daily Multivitamin

  1. Pellet of compressed sawdust designed to help people feel better about their decisions
  2. Edible Fitbit

Usage Example: “This daily multivitamin only has 40 mcg of chromium. That is not acceptable.”

Background: The daily multivitamin comes in many forms. The most commonly available multivitamins are the standard compressed sawdust variety. However, the water-filled plastic pellet and gummy placebo forms are also available. Regardless of the form, multivitamins serve a single important purpose: to help adults feel better about ordering the triple-bacon-cheeseburger with unlimited fries.

Ingesting a daily multivitamin feels like a healthy decision. This helps people justify participating in a nine hour Storage Wars marathon with a fifty gallon drum of cheese balls. Similar to buying a gym membership or wearing a Fitbit, a multivitamin doesn’t actually do anything, but it makes people feel healthier. This opens the door to all kinds of unhealthy activities.

Adults who choose to take gummy vitamins are people who enjoy making unhealthy decisions disguised as healthy decisions, in order to make more unhealthy decisions later. In short: they are geniuses. However, after taking their daily candy medicine, they are constantly faced with the temptation to eat the entire jar…It’s a good thing they don’t really do anything.

Magic Marker

  1. Brand name for a line of Bic dry erase markers, which allegedly possess magic powers
  2. Office supply product which consistently fails to fly, levitate, make objects disappear or teleport itself

Usage Example: “I’d like to return these Magic Markers. They aren’t quite as magical as advertised.”

Background: The term “magic marker” is sometimes casually applied to any felt-tipped writing device. However, the brand Magic Marker belongs to a line of Bic dry erase markers. Magic Marker packaging indicates that they are capable of “low odor and bold writing.” Since no other magical properties are clearly identified on the packaging, consumers are left to assume that the low odor and bold writing are the only magic that can be performed with the marker.

This disturbingly low threshold for magical powers is not unique to office supplies. Similar complaints have been raised about other products. The Canadian band Magic! claims to be magical, but can’t even figure out “why you gotta be so rude.” Likewise, the Mr. Clean magic eraser appears to exhibit its powers by slowly flaking away and disintegrating into nothingness. Long-term disappearing acts are not very magical. The lack of magic in so-called magical products is a widespread concern.

In the marker world, there is even a dispute about whether or not possessing “low odor” is a positive attribute, let alone a magical power. While the Magic Marker advertises low odor, Mr. Sketch markers have made a career out of being “high odor” markers. The magic contained within Mr. Sketch markers may be more powerful, because not only do they possess high odor, but kids who use them magically end up with multicolored dots under their noses. This phenomenon may come from sniffing the markers at dangerously close range, or it could be magic.

Silica Gel

  1. Tiny gift bag of chemicals left by manufacturers of clothing and electronics
  2. Bossy, absorbent and possibly delicious substance that people are constantly warned not to eat

Usage Example: “I’d normally eat any item packaged with new electronics. It’s a good thing they warned me not to eat this silica gel.”

IMG_20150601_071545905

Figure 1: Silica gel packet containing Abraham Lincoln quote

Background: Silica gel is a desiccant. A desiccant is a forbidden and possibly delicious substance that absorbs moisture to keep products dry.

Silica gel is unique for its stern and bossy warnings to consumers (see Figure 1). On most packages of silica gel, we are told that the bag does in fact contain silica gel, and are given two instructions:

  1. THROW AWAY
  2. “DO NOT EAT”

Few products ask consumers to immediately throw them away. This warning leaves the impression that silica gel is a dangerous substance. After seeing this warning, most people are intrigued, and ready to eat the “packet of mystery” to see how dangerous it really is. Fortunately, silica gel packets also warn customers not to eat them. On many silica gel packets, the “DO NOT EAT” command is in quotes, for some reason. Some attribute the “DO NOT EAT” command to Abraham Lincoln, who was known for his staunch opposition to eating any substance contained in small mystery bags.

After reading these two warnings, most consumers are quick to throw away the silica gel, assuming it to be a highly toxic and possibly radioactive substance. However, it is interesting to note that silica gel is non-toxic. And, not only is it non-toxic, but it is sometimes used as a food additive. This fact makes the stern “DO NOT EAT” command seem even more bossy and unnecessary.