#3. The American Chariot
Here at Cracked, we think that all police officers should be wise-cracking, no-nonsense badasses who are much too busy catching dangerous criminals and repairing their broken marriage to ever bother with, say, busting someone for driving a measly five miles-per-hour over the speed limit.
But that just wasn't enough for the folks at American Chariot. They wanted to make police officers faster, more mobile and able to carry more supplies. While this RoboCop-esque idea sounds great on paper, what they actually came up with was... well, we'll let you see it for yourselves.
The first thing you might notice is that the American Chariot literally looks like a chariot, only instead of a team of fierce stallions pounding the ground in front of you, you have three tiny little wheels. In fact, the configuration is kind of like the Big Wheel you had as a toddler. Only you stand up on it, because you're a big boy now!
And while that level of silliness is about par for the course for the vehicles on this list, it gains extra significance when you remember that the rider is an officer of the law. No matter how many times that video talks about "looking imposing" and "projecting authority, strength and commanding a situation," the fact remains that they took two of the least threatening vehicles ever made--the Segway and the tricycle--and merged them together in a way that would make any criminal shit their pants with laughter.
But, lest you think that this is a total bust of a vehicle, you'll note that around the 3:04 mark of that video, a police officer points out that the chariot can "keep people more confused." If that was the purpose of the American Chariot, we have to call it a resounding success.
What You Could Buy Instead:
Honestly? If you're a cop, you already have a badge and a gun; the people who don't respect the first one will probably respect the second. You don't need to buy a damn thing. Just grow a mustache and your arsenal is complete.
#2. The AquaSkipper
Crossing any body of water is always a hassle. But, as a cynical, jaded, 21st century consumer, the last thing you want is a boat. What with their ability to float, ease of use and general reliability, boats are just so passe.
No, what you really want is a vehicle that lets you frantically hump a metal pole while slowly sinking into the water. And you're in luck, because we've got just the product for you.
The epic marriage of form and function (sarcasm!) in that video is the AquaSkipper. It sounds like a fancy pool-cleaning device. It looks like a gorilla took the wheels off a bicycle and then had rough sex with the frame. It requires a perfectly flat lake with no waves whatsoever. And also there is no way to make it work. Why don't you already have one of these?
See, the thing about the AquaSkipper is that for a vast majority of the time you spend riding it, you'll jump off of a pier and instantly start sinking. If you can get physics to look the other way for a couple seconds, you might be able to dry-hump your way across the water for a bit. But eventually you're going to miss your rhythm, or lean too far forward, or not push hard enough, and suddenly gravity will realize that you're trying to travel across a lake on a goddamn metal rod and then things will become extremely wet. It seems like the only successful ride that guy in the video had was when he circled around and came back to the pier. And if you want to do that, why couldn't you just stay on the damn pier to begin with?
To look cool, obviously.
What You Could Buy Instead:
An inflatable boat. A pair of water wings. Swimming lessons. A piece of wood. A suitcase. The seat cushion from an airplane. Fake tits. Anything that actually floats, really.
#1. The Monowheel
Before we dive into this one, let's take a moment to talk about unicycles and motorcycles. The former makes you look ridiculous and is hard to balance, but if you fall off you're probably not going to get hurt (unless you're doing it on a tripwire, in which case, your life as a circus performer was going to end in suicide at some point anyway). The latter is tremendously unsafe and not terribly stable, but makes up for that by being totally badass.
At some point, someone looked at those two methods of transportation and decided to combine the worst elements of both of them without keeping any of the good ones. And thus the Monowheel was born.
Like the HyperBike, this seems to be another vehicle whose only practical use is roaming around a parking lot. But unlike the HyperBike, there is no way to fucking turn the Monowheel--not unless you want to turn over with it. Heck, even going straight forward seems like a risky maneuver with this vehicle, seeing as it's more unstable than the average South American republic.
Though, if you're going straight forward you now have a wheel blocking your field of vision.
Really, that's just the beginning of your problems. The thing about motorcycles and unicycles is that, if you crash, you'll be thrown clear and can potentially cushion your fall with a bush or an unsuspecting clown, respectively. With the Monowheel, any crash means your head will be abruptly and terminally introduced to piece of metal directly in front of you. And since this thing can get up to 53 mph (with a theoretical max of 100, which seems like a number they pulled out of their ass), that's no laughing matter.
Oh, and did we mention this bitch comes with a fun pull-start cord to get it started? To summarize, the Monowheel combines the maneuverability of a shattered femur, the safety of a mobile meth lab and the frustration of starting a goddamned lawn mower to create a vehicle that is most useful for coasting in a straight line on a closed course. Awesome.
What You Can Buy Instead:
Yes, much better to get the model with the V8.
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For failed modes of transport that still would've been better than these, check out 18 Hilarious Modes of Transport Science Gave Up On Too Soon. Or find out about some ridiculous creations in general, in The 10 Most Ridiculous Inventions Ever Patented.
And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 1.1.2010) to see our professional unicycling team (it's really just only Gladstone).