#2. The Bug-A-Salt
Houseflies. What are you gonna do? Flyswatters are woefully unsatisfying, and The Man tends to frown upon the willy-nilly firing of shotguns inside your apartment. Well, Lorenzo Maggiore of fly-infested Santa Monica, California, went and designed himself a weapon that can Reservoir Dogs the hell out of some unsuspecting housefly without exploding your television, chandelier, sliding glass door, dog, or neighbor.
"From my cold, well-seasoned hands."
In place of hot lead, the Bug-A-Salt uses ordinary table salt to blow away flies. The amount of salt used per shot is no more than a pinch to us, but to a fly it's like you're packing a blunderbuss loaded with bowling balls. The loader holds enough salt for about 50 shots, ensuring that you can rack up a pretty decent body count during your next session of BioShock: My Apartment.
Maggiore initially asked for some crowdfunding to help him get the product up and running, requesting a mere $15,000 to bring his idea to a Walmart near you. In case you doubted the sheer number of shotgun-loving, bug-hating fanatics, they came out in force and instead raised over $550,000.
None of which was apparently spent on pants.
We know you've already frantically clicked the "ORDER" button so many times that your mouse finger has a repetitive stress fracture, but since science still hasn't gotten its ass in gear on teleportation technology, here's a product demo to tide you over while you wait for shipping:
#1. Carnivorous Furniture
When shopping for home furnishings, things to consider are: style, functionality, durability, versatility, and finally, perhaps most importantly -- is it also a mouse guillotine?
In case you can't or won't watch that video, here's the gist: Mice are enticed by leftover food scraps on top of the table. The only way up there from the mouse's perspective is via one of the table's legs, one of which just so happens to be invitingly hollow. Once a mouse manages to scramble all the way up to the hole in the center of the table -- in full view of anyone who happens to be seated nearby at the time -- it's rewarded for its efforts by being decapitated by a rotating blade. The mousy remains are then dumped into a chemical bath, where they dissolve and are fed to a microbial fuel cell that proceeds to turn Mickey into electrical energy for the table.
We should mention at this point that the only reason the table requires electricity at all is to operate its digestive system and screen, making it a sort of disturbing, mouse-decapitating Matrix robot.
"Uh, shit, has anyone seen the cat?"
Inspired by the Venus flytrap's ability to sustain itself without the benefit of sunlight, artists James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau designed said table, as well as a few other household items that can operate without ever having to plug into a wall or replace a battery. Instead, they get their power the way God intended: by eating meat. Like this digital wall clock rigged with a flypaper conveyor belt to collect and process energy-filled houseflies:
The grandfather clock version can consume an entire Jeff Goldblum.
There's also a lamp that works under the same principle:
"We designed it with the eco-friendly key party enthusiast in mind."
Although the inventors freely admit to making an artistic social statement with their creations, these products aren't some pretentious art-hipster goof on the common man -- they're actually intended for the market. Auger suggests that having predatory furniture in the home can be as fun as watching a nature show, because "a fly buzzing around a window suddenly becomes an actor in a live game of life, as the viewer half wills it toward the robot and half hopes for its escape."
Man, is there any way to talk about pest control without coming off like an anime villain?
Related Reading: Pest control gets dumber than anything on this article. Click here to read about the man who blew up his apartment to kill roaches. And you won't feel as bad about that rat-killing box once you read how rats test all their food for poison. Still need another reason to hate rats? Watch this horrifying Orkin ad.