Category Archives: Actual Things you Can Buy

An Actual Thing You Can Buy: Sliced Apples

I’ll keep this one short, kids.  Staring at me this morning from the Sunday grocery circular was a plastic bag that contained apples, pre-sliced for your convenience.  $2.50 for about 10 ounces of appley goodness — this being the sale price.

Are you bad with both knives and money?
Are you bad with both knives and money?

Hey, maybe you can’t bring yourself to take a knife to an apple and would prefer the gory mess be handled by some factory worker with a stronger stomach for such things.  I suppose it’s also possible you had mono in the 10th grade and never got caught up in Geometry, leaving you woefully inefficient in determining the best way to go about sectioning one up on your own.  Who am I to judge?

I intentionally went with a photo from the organic line;  fear not, they make ’em in regular as well.  It’s just that I couldn’t imagine a person that would be so concerned about what went into their apple, but wouldn’t balk at the idea of them spending time on an assembly line on their way to being wastefully packaged, and likely given a dose of some form of preservative.
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An Actual Thing You Can Buy: Designer Baby Clothes

Hey, look, I’m not trying to start a culture war here.  I realize I just went after designer purse rentals, and after this I’ll turn my attention back to affordable absurd items for a while, such as pre-made pb&j’s.

But it’s hard not to comment when you get an email that tips you off to the kids section of eluxury.com.  Granted, a website called eluxury.com is sort of fish in a barrell for me, but considering that I have a child and was not aware that you could spend $130 for a onesie, I thought it was worth the mention.

The following explanation is more for people that don’t have kids — parents, nod along.  A onesie is an article of clothing that your newborn or infant will wear for about eight weeks.  Maybe twelve, if yours is a slow grower.  It will be stained the first time it is worn, by any of a number of fluids or materials.  It will be spit up on, puked on (nonparents, there is a difference), spilled on, drooled on, leaked on, and so on.  Does that sound like the sort of thing you’d go over $20 on?

Hey, no need to bronze them, I guess

Hey, no need to bronze them, I guess

There’s also $175 sneakers for your bundle of joy, mostly notable because in a size 0-6 months, there’s no chance your child will ever walk in them, or even stand upright for that matter.  Thanks again, Baby Dior.  At least you’re less than half the price of a $550 Fendi Bottle Carrier, which is exactly what you think it is.

Moms, your child is not your guest room.  Don’t decorate it as such.  Dads, here’s the thing you have to keep in mind.  If you start your daughter off with $130 outfits and $175 shoes, how much is her wedding going to cost you?

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An Actual Thing you Can Buy — Rental Purses

Admittedly, I’m not what you consider a “status” guy.  I believe in sensible cars, sensible clothes, and try my very best to eschew what is typically called conspicuous consumption.  I’m fortunate enough to have married a woman who feels likewise in most endeavors, and as such she doesn’t fit the target demographic of this product.  But it was her that tipped me off to the mind-bogglingly idiotic accessory rental service Bag, Borrow, or Steal.  Ponder the awfulness of the name momentarily and come to grips with the fact that it only gets worse.

Can't afford to buy this purse?  Then you really can't afford to rent it.

Can't afford to buy this purse? Then you really can't afford to rent it.

 Okay, here goes.  Bag, Borrow, or Steal is in the business of renting designer handbags and accessories to any asshole person vapid enough to either feel a need for or maybe get high from showing off expensive designer labels. 

I’ll try that another way:  They rent purses.  Fine.  How much can it cost to rent a schmancy handbag?  Upwards of $100 bucks per week, or nearing $300 for the month.  Keep in mind that at that price, you have to return it.  Which shouldn’t be a problem, since taking Bag, Borrow, or Steal up on their offer will leave you with no money to require a purse.

Hey, I don’t know how much a Fendi purse or Louis Vuitton purse costs.  I had to look up the spellings.  I’m not even sure if they like me calling them purses — I kind of hope they don’t, as I’m using the word pejoratively.  And it isn’t because I’m a guy.  It’s for the same reason I don’t know how much a Gucci suit costs:  because I don’t roll that way. 

Under the website’s FAQ is the question, “I don’t have a printer.  How do I generate a shipping label?”  Um, lady…go buy yourself a printer before you shell out hundreds of dollars for a week’s worth of someone else’s overpriced crap.

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An Actual Thing You Can Buy — Uncrustables by Smucker’s

Oh, wow.  so you’re feeling like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich but you’re too lazy to actually make one yourself?  Or maybe you’re the sort of jackass who overcaters to your child’s every whim, but you’re afraid that one day you won’t be around to cut the crusts off their pb&j?  Non-existent problem solved:

perhaps the state has forbidden you to make sandwiches?
perhaps the state has forbidden you to make sandwiches?

Behold the Uncrustable.  The Uncrustable is exactly what you can’t possibly imagine it could be — a frozen peanut butter & jelly sandwich, fashioned into a circle and, as the name implies, devoid of crust.  I’ll wait while you reread my utterly accurate description.

Still with me?  Then know that the instructions for operating an Uncrustable include “thaw for 30-60 minutes before eating.”  This means that a purportedly convenient frozen sandwich takes 29-59 minutes longer to achieve readiness than just making the damn sandwich.
But let’s say you are that lazy or checked out as a parent.  And that you don’t mind indulging your child’s desire for a world without crust, even though crust is food and you eat the crust because there are starving children in this world that would kill to eat that crust.  How much are you willing to shell out to not have to deal with the maddening confusion of multiple jars and the possible physical strain of spreading?  If you said $2.50 for 4, you’re in luck.
That’s right.  Sixty-two cents per sandwich circle.  And while you’re waiting upwards of an hour for your sandwich to thaw, that sound you hear is the good folks at Smucker’s laughing at you.  This product smacks of a drunken bar bet between marketing execs.  Moms, I’m not saying you’re a bad parent if you take the easy way out with your pb&j, I’m just saying that you’re barely a parent. 

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An Actual Thing You Can Buy — Orbit Stroller

When you have a baby, a host of previously non-existent needs show up on your radar.  Some are recurring (diapers), others are one-offs.  You’ll find that most of these needs present you with options that range from budget-minded to sensible middle ground to you-gotta-be-kidding-me.  Admittedly, I had a tendency at first to be skeptical of even reasonable parenthood startup costs, and had to rely on my wife to steer me back to the center.  My son has her to thank for not wearing burlap sacks in lieu of clothing.

So in the vein of my earlier post where I opined that in a sane world of savvy consumers there would be no demand for DVDs of Perfect Strangers, behold the Orbit Stroller.

The Orbit stroller’s website has the look and feel of an automaker.  And you could certainly find 4 cheaper wheels on most used car lots.  Once you get past the flowery intro page you get to view the Orbit line in all its $900 glory.

Yup, a stroller that nears four digits after tax.  Probably over with accessories.  What does the Orbit do for $900, besides tote the sort of jackass-in-training that naturally occurs when a child has parents that would spend that sort of money on a stroller?  Well, you can put your child in it.  And stroll your child in it.  Much like my Accord-esque Graco from Target, only at 10 times the cost.  Maybe I just don’t get it.

But wait!  Perhaps the overhyped safety and comfort features of the plain Orbit don’t sate your need for overbearing self-righteousness.  Then take a gander at the Orbit Green Edition, which features organic materials and oh my god I can’t look at it anymore.

If anyone can make an ironclad case on behalf of this thing, I’m all ears.  Fire away.

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