Thursday, February 2, 2012

Evil Geniuses

Do you see Ron and his
dehydrator taunting you?
What if there aren't any left!?!
There are many many products that come onto the market that seem like they will be awesome, but end up kind of sucking.  Or, at the very least, not being all that awesome/useful/innovative.  The Ron Popeils of the world can get us to watch a half-hour long commercial and convince us that we cannot live another day if we can't rotisserie our own chickens in the comfort of our own homes.  Right now!!  And, might as well get a jump start on things and and up your blood pressure meds because you will never be able to overcome the panic you are feeling knowing that people all over the world are already eating pounds of dehydrated fruits and vegetables they have dehydrated themselves while you are still trying to jot down the web site and get one yourself before they all sell out.

Most of the interest in these products kind of dies out once enough people buy them and tell their friends that whatever it is is "only okay" (hello Snuggie and potato peeling gloves).  The problem is when someone comes up with an idea that enough people can get on board with and stay on board with.   Then the rest of us must then constantly remind ourselves that said products might be good for others, but are just not for us (I am looking at you George Forman Grill and Epilady).  Basically, these products work for some, but not others.  More specifically, these products require more work and effort than I am willing to put forth for something that is supposed to be awesome and easy (and painless) to use and clean up, but isn't really.

There are several inventions/ideas that people have been clinging to as if they (the inventions/ideas) are fabulous and cutting edge and the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Luckily for you, I am here to warn you about them and explain to you why they are not so awesome.  I am also considering starting various petitions to get them banned.

That is the $180 Porsche
Mechanical Pencil.
Also called the "A fool
and his money are soon
parted" pencil.
Mechanical Pencils
Hideously stupid disguised as clever.  I suppose the draw (get it, bahaha) was that you never have to deal with pesky pencil sharpeners again?  At least when you use a pencil sharpener you get a sharp point.  A mechanical pencil starts out dull and gets duller.  It's bad enough having to use a pencil at all (for math or standardized tests), but now you have saddled yourself with a pencil that's always dull and smudgy and if you press too hard (or at all) will snap.  Once it snaps you get push the button at the top and hope you get the right amount of lead to come down.  Not too much.  Not too little.  Oh, and now you are writing on a jagged uneven edge from where you broke the last part.

If I haven't convinced you yet that mechanical pencils are stupid, let me just throw in there that you can't even use them for anything "official" because they are not #2 lead pencils.  Why we need a #2 pencil for everything and why all pencils aren't #2s is a whole other issue.  So, what you have is a dull-pointed mechanical pencil, which costs more than a regular pencil, that you can't even use for all your pencil needs.  Oh yeah - and they don't even all have erasers on them.  Again, tell me why people like these and keep buying them,

Silk Scarves
Back in the 1600s, or some other non-21st century era, men wore what I would describe as puffy, scarfy, tie-like items.  I assume this is the basis for women and male gondola drivers to wear scarves.  Every so often some magazine tells you how you can spice up your wardrobe and look urbane and more professional by strategically tying a scarf around your neck or shoulders.  Big eye roll.  Unless you are in a magazine, you are going to look like you are wearing an outfit and then added a scarf.  At some point there must have been a gang of scarf designers who realized no one really needs a scarf that doesn't even keep your neck warm.  These people are who probably started the trend.

No one ever looks like they meant to wear a scarf.  It rarely just blends.  Plus, and here's the most important reason not to wear a scarf, you pretty much are going to look like a cowboy who swapped out his bandanna for a fancy, silky bandanna.  Fact.  Maybe if you throw on a beret and a striped shirt you will look like the aforementioned gondola driver (I don't know what they are really called).  Add a cigarette and perhaps you can go for the French male artist look.  But you see how a scarf is not going to help your outfit though, right?

Sweaters worn in an "alternative" manner
You will note your preppy-types or country club set are able to throw their sweaters over their shoulders and tie the sleeves in a jaunty knot in the front and look ever so put together and darling.  I assume the person who came up with this look sold sweaters and had a lot to sell.  I get not wanting to carry your sweater if the weather changes, but this look is deliberate, not consequential.

This is the kind of person
who has your money and
his mocking you with
 his rich friends.
If I am wearing a sweater and then decide to tie it around my shoulders, I look like I am wearing a cape.  And, to be clear, by "I" I mean almost everyone in the world except rich people on yachts and my friend Irina.  If you tie your sweater around your neck you are going to look like your sweater is attacking you from behind and you are going to stretch out the sleeves of the sweater.  The latter part of that statement confirms my suspicion about the the surplus of sweaters that needed to be sold as the dawn of this trend.  If I am selling sweaters and I get you to stretch yours out so you can't wear it regular, you will need a new sweater.  Voila, I am a rich sweater merchant laughing at people around the world in their sweater capes.

A last note on sweaters; don't tie it around your waist either.  That is not ever fashionable, and unless you are under 10, not cute.  It stretches your whole sweater and makes your ass look big.  Its' like a full-body fanny pack.  Enough said.

Those are the three products/ideas that bother me most (at this time) and that I think the world has been scammed into believing are invaluable.  There are rich entrepreneurs on some tropical island somewhere laughing and laughing at all the people wearing scarves and sweaters and trying to write with mechanical pencils.  Don't let yourself be part of their evil conspiracy.


  1. And if you have children AND mechanical pencils, then homework never ends. Children MUST remove the lead, put the lead back in, remove the lead, put the lead back in no less than 100x before they can start math homework. Yes, this is a fact.
    Jen @

  2. So, then, I should give up on replacing the food processor that I gave away b/c I didn't use it? I have developed an urgent need to have one in case I am unexpectedly called on to make latkes. (Macy's has one on sale next week that I MUST have.)
    I DID use my Daisy Seal-a-Meal for a period of time with my OCD ratatouille frozen dinners. Do you remember that?
    I love mechanical pencils, but you have to use the Paper-Mate ones. They don't break. The Bic ones suck! The lead is so thin that it breaks every 2 seconds.
    So, there you have it.

  3. Okay, first of all just let me say, %#$!& the epilady. You have to be some kind of masochist to use that thing. Second, scarves only look good tied around your head. A must have item when you have no hair.

  4. An ASCOT! That's what they call the neck scarf tie thingie, and I only know b/c it is what Fred wears on Scooby Doo and thus it was a question one time on a gogurt tube. Yes, I am a Cliffette Claven of knowledge, and if you don't know who Cliff Claven is, I'm too old to hang with you. And yes, they look ridiculous.
    As for the preppy sweater look, I think it's a preppy way to try to wear a SHAWL. Bwa ha ha ha!
    btw, Got my STFU bracelets and LOVE them. I gave one to my future SIL as she was begging to find out where I got it from. Naturally I said Donkeys To College and she was like what?! :) Thank you!!!

    1. totally know who Cliff Claven is and can quote from most episodes. so now you know I am old and watch too much t.v. :)

  5. Huh - what is the draw of mechanical pencils in my classroom? Imagine me with a sweater around my waist making my ass fatter than it already is, with a leopard print scarf and a mechanical pencil in hand as I teach my amazing, "Just a stupid mechanical pencil using students" their math work. Student: **Hand raised**, Me, "Yes Johnny" Student, "Can I go to my bookbag to get more lead?" Me, Sigh, "sure" I continue teaching. Same student, **hand raised** Me, exasperated, "Yes Johnny" Student: "Um, I can't find my lead, do you have a pencil I can borrow?" Me, Sigh...."Of course Johnny!" It is a no win situation! And I know stuff - I teach math! :)

  6. As a wanna-be engineer who never got past trigonometry in college, I can say that mechanical pencils do have their place. In an office. Full of men. Who NEVER empty the friggin pencil shavings, thus rendering the sharpener useless as well as likely to start a fire from the friction of the rotating auger amidst wooden pencil tinder. Try finding a harder (stop that now) and thicker lead. They come in B(soft) HB(more like a #2 pencil) H and HH which shouldn't break as easily if you go for a 9mm width. FUN, no?

    1. harder thicker lead is all I got from that. and that you'd like to beat to death the men you work with.

  7. I agree with all of it, except the pencils. I use 7-9mm lead mechanicals, and luuuuurve them so much. Especially the ones with the never ending erasers (Pentel twist-erase). I can never get used to a pencil whose eraser runs out before I've sharpened the silly thing twice. I've been in a LOOOOOT of classes (math and otherwise) where that mattered to me, so it's my little quirk :P (Yeah, I reread all that, and I think I may need meds for OCD)
    But sweaters and scarves worn on shoulders are just douchy looking.

    1. the bunch of you might want to start a mechanical pencil club. don't worry, I won't make fun of you. ;)

    2. Also, Re: Bracelet... Still giggling, had to explain to my 12- & 7- year olds what it was. "See? It says right on the back: See that fun unicorn!" It's terribly funny, but you won't get it til you're older. I swear, you will. *nod* mmhm *giggle fit*" The skepticism from a 7 year old was the best (I think mommy's gone off the deep end for SURE this time.)

  8. *knows who Cliff Claven is* Guess that makes two of us, Jolie!

    I love my mechanical pencils. I work in customer service and must constantly take notes during calls. I don't have time to hunt down a pencil sharpener and my eye gets kinda twitchy if I'm using a pen and it decides to run out of ink. I used to prefer .5mm leads, but the .7's are much sturdier.

    Love my STFU bracelet. In process of tearing up the house because it's missing right now. Stupid me took it off while washing dishes since I'm in the habit of taking off my other jewelry. *deserves a whistle and a smack*

    1. see above pencil club. :)

      let me know if bracelet doesn't show up - don't want your eye to get twitchy.

    2. *late update* FOUND MY BRACELET! On the kitchen window sill (isn't there a song with that phrase?...I'm OLD). Where. I. Left. It. *face/palm*

    3. thank goodness!!! crisis averted! :)


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