It is almost Thanksgiving and that means list-making season is creeping up on us! Not to be outdone, I’ve thought of a list that I can contribute for the greater good. Friends, I now proudly present to you “Anirban’s Top 5 List of Useless Products That Refuse to Go Away”.
A word on why we need this list. There are some things that are just so unnatural that they should be banned in perpetuity. They have caused so much suffering to humanity, and yet greedy corporations continue to profit from them. Shockingly, as a testament to our collective idiocy, we continue to aid and abet these corporations in their immoral goals by putting up with them. We are the reason these useless things haven’t disappeared off of the face of the planet.
In compiling this list, my overriding goal has been to educate you. To make my list, an obnoxious product must be both current and widely-available. This automatically rules out novelty products such as Thanksgiving dinner soda which is repugnant, but not common. This also rules out Windows Vista because it is widely-available, but no longer current, since it has been replaced by the vastly-superior Windows 7.
Anyways, without further ado, here is my list, counted down from number 5.
5) Decaffeinated coffee and non-alcoholic beer
This one is a tie for fifth place. Studies have shown that lab animals don’t like the taste of either coffee or beer. Humans are not born with any sort of fondness for coffee or beer either. If you don’t believe me, put in an Ethiopia Sidamo or an India Pale Ale in a baby bottle and see what happens! (I am not suggesting you do this by the way).
It is true that we acquire tastes for coffee and beer, but the reason we drink them is because we are hooked on the chemicals in them. We get hooked on caffeine and alcohol and to drink decaffeinated coffee or non-alcoholic beer is about as fun as trying to swim in a dry river-bed!
4) Hotel-lobby wireless internet
This is not a product, but a service. However, to not include this in the list would be a travesty in itself. For those who have never stayed in a hotel room with advertised “free” internet-access in the lobby, let me explain. When you check in to a 250 dollar-a-night hotel room, the snobbish, clean-shaven concierge tells you that, a) there is free wireless internet access in the lobby and lounge area, and b) that he wants you to enjoy your stay. Both are shame-faced lies told with impunity.
There is no internet access in the lobby, only ten gullible people with laptops trying to log on to a non-existent network! What the hotel wants you to do is to give up, go to your room, and get the internet package that costs $14.99 per day plus taxes and convenience fee (or closer to $25.00 dollars).
3) Anti-glare coating for eyeglasses
I am not even sure that this product even actually exists. You go for your annual eye-exam and expect to dish out the co-pay plus a bit extra for new eyeglasses and contact lenses. The doctor insists that you get the anti-glare coating for your glasses. You think, “I have health insurance, how much can this cost me?” Well, after you’ve chosen the frame and the “optional-but-recommended” breakage insurance, the assistant bullies you into getting the anti-glare coating for your eyeglass lenses. You are given choices between different kinds of coating, but these are not really choices, because no matter what you say, you always end up with the most-expensive anti-glare coating. And of course, it is not covered by your insurance.
2) Reduced-fat bacon
What an abomination! It is one of those “neither-here-nor-there” products that would not exist, but for our sheer stupidity. Taste? Meh! Fat content? Still pretty high. The “honorable mention” for this one is “Tofu turkey”.
1)Paper toilet-seat cover
And the grand-prize winner is the paper toilet-seat cover. You see these things pretty much in every public restroom in the United States. Someone came up with the bright idea of marketing a tissue-paper seat cover to place over the toilet seat in the public stalls. Of course, the purpose here is not to protect you from the germs left behind by people before you, but to make you feel better about using the facilities after putting a flimsy, 0.01 mm thick piece of bath tissue that tears as you pull it from the dispenser, between your backside and the seat.
Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY?
© 2009-2011, Anirban