#5. Dentyne: The Poor Man's Trident
For a little while there, Dentyne and Trident were neck and neck in the battle for tiny rectangular gum supremacy. You'd ask your grandmother for a piece of gum and you wouldn't know if she was going to pull out the red or the blue. More importantly, you didn't care. But then Trident did something brilliant by making the ridiculous claim that chewing their product meant you didn't have to brush your teeth anymore, rendering dental hygiene irrelevant to a generation of college students. Dentyne, meanwhile, went with "We don't stick to Dentures!"-dooming itself to a tomb of balled-up, napkin-encased obscurity.
#4. Nectarine: The Poor Man's Peach
The nectarine is thoroughly dominated in the national consciousness by the peach, which is strange, because the nectarine is juicier and isn't covered with the disgusting tarantula hair that coats its fuzzy cousin. But, none of that changes the fact that Snapple doesn't make nectarine-flavored iced tea; that James Naismith didn't invent basketball with a nectarine basket; and that Dylan and Brandon didn't meet at the Nectarine Pit after school to exchange longing, homoerotically-charged gazes over nectarine milkshakes. While science has yet to come up with an explanation for the peach's prison rape-like domination of the nectarine, nine out of 10 fruit enthusiasts agree: Man, fuck a nectarine.
#3. Go-Bots: The Poor Man's Transformers
Launched when Tonka caught wind of Hasbro's plan to import the Transformers from Japan, the Go-Bots actually pre-date Optimus Prime's legion of awesomeness by about a year. But the Go-Bots had one major malfunction: They lacked everything awesome about the Transformers. The kick-ass names? Gone. The sweet superpowers? Kaput (The Go-Bots fired energy out of their hands like some sort of lame robotic Reiki healer.). What you're left with is a crew of boring, horribly named characters like Cop-Tur (who turned into a helicopter), Loco (who turned into a locomotive) and the most ridiculous of all, Spoons (who turned into, and we don't understand it either, a forklift).
#2. Neil Cavuto: The Poor Man's Lou Dobbs
There has never been a more clear representation of the Poor Man relationship then the one exhibited by Neil Cavuto and Lou Dobbs. Dobbs graduated from Harvard, Cavuto went to St. Bonaventure. Dobbs has an Emmy, Cavuto has five nominations for CableACE awards, often called "The All-Cable Emmy'" and even more often called "Cancelled Due to Lack of Viewership." Dobbs' boss and personal friend is known-lunatic Ted Turner, a man who could have us killed for typing something disrespectful between these two commas, while Cavuto's most high-profile comrade is Bill O'Reilly, who is exactly like Turner, if Turner was ridiculously less powerful, about a metric ton less wealthy, and a suspected sexual predator.
#1. Global Warming: The Poor Man's Apocalyptic Scenario
As the bloated fat-sack that used to be Al Gore Jr. will tell you, the global warming crisis puts humanity directly in the path of destructive natural forces, such as rising sea levels. To that, we say "big whoop." What ever happened to real imminent global crises, namely the specter of nuclear apocalypse? What ever happened to having to worry about your face turning to dust as your internal organs boil? However gradually harmful global warming is, any apocalyptic scenario that can be combated with swimming lessons pales in comparison to the apocalyptic threats of days gone by.
If we can turn to movies as proper indications of what the future will be like, (and, why wouldn't we?), then the apocalypse our parents grew to fear can be compared to the nightmarish, face-melting insanity found in the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Our global warming scenario, however, was most accurately depicted in the 1995 documentary Waterworld, and, to be honest, we'd choose having our faces melted off over even watching Waterworld again.
Did we miss something? Of course we did! That's what poor man's versions do! Tell us what we missed below.