My guide to useless products
Published August 31, 2005
As your average American homemaker, I’m constantly exposed to ads for new products. Many of these products are useful, and, like the Swiffer Wet Jet, have made my life easier.
Some of these products, however, are utterly useless. To help out my fellow homemakers, I have compiled a list of what I think are some of the most completely ridiculous products in this, my “Guide to Completely Ridiculous Products,” or “No, You Don’t Need a Diaper Stacker.”
1) Kraft Easy Mac. Oh, come on. Macaroni and cheese is easy already. I’ve been making it since junior high, and I couldn’t really cook at all until my mid-twenties. I’m the one who, after inviting my future husband over for dinner one night, hid in the closet and called my mom to ask her how to make iced tea.
2) Garlic presses. I saw one in Oprah’s “O” magazine that goes for $70. In my 12 years of marriage, I have pressed garlic exactly zero times. And this was after I learned how to cook.
3) Viagra. Enough said.
4) Stationary walker. It isn’t the product that’s ridiculous; it’s the name. There is an explanation, though. Back in the olden days, you could put your baby in a “walker,” a contraption with wheels that would help him learn to walk. Walkers were deemed dangerous, however, when babies started going for strolls down the basement stairs. So manufacturers took the wheels off and renamed them “stationary walkers.” Which, to me, fits in the same category as “jumbo shrimp” or “underpaid athlete.”
Now, stationary walkers are called “Exersaucers” and babies can spin around in them to their hearts’ content while not actually going anywhere. Despite its previously ridiculous name, I highly recommend this product. Why let your baby’s peas dribble down her chin when she can blow them in a perfect radius around the living room?
5) Ziploc Big Bags. Ziploc has a bag for everything. For snacks. For sandwiches. For frozen chicken thighs. And now, Ziploc has a bag your kitchen sink could fit into. It’s called the Big Bag, and they’re not kidding. The extra-large ones measure 2 feet x 2.7 feet. What are we supposed to put in these things, anyway? Giant Cheetos? A couple thousand grapes? Whatever you use them for, be advised. The box warns not to put the bags in the microwave. Since they haven’t made microwaves that big since 1981, I think we’re safe.
6) Little Debbie Big Snacks. They’re just like regular Debbie cakes, except bigger. That’s right, America. Almost 70 million of us are considered obese by the Center for Disease Control. Less than one-third of us get regular physical activity. So how should we combat this problem? By eliminating junk food? No way! Let’s make it bigger. Maybe we’ll seem smaller by comparison.
That isn’t to say I don’t buy Little Debbie products on a regular basis. And it’s not to say I don’t fantasize about Fudge Rounds the size of the Astrodome. Just being honest.
Well, I hope you’ve found my guide helpful. Or maybe you haven’t. If that’s the case, more power to you. If I ever have garlic that needs pressing, I’ll give you a call.
Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.