The world is full of stupid products that most of us will never understand fully. Take the Snuggie, for instance. Use a blanket. If a blanket is too complex for you, or somehow not complex enough, then nature legitimately wants you to die from exposure. Your use of a Snuggie is just a vain and frankly hurtful attempt to suggest that nature is wrong. And it's not wrong. If you own a Snuggie, don't be surprised if coyotes attack you. You deserve it.
While a Snuggie is just a stupid invention, there's a whole different layer, a subculture, if you will, of products that bring shame not just to the people who made them or may use them, but to reality as a whole. These things just shouldn't exist because they don't need to exist. But the fact that they continue to exist is a head-shaking testament to why bad things happen to good people, why erectile dysfunction occurs, and spiders.
#5. American Shreds
I need you to not snap to a judgment on this product right off the bat, because if you do, you may miss one of the most enlightening experiences of your life. American Shreds is a "pasteurized process topping." The main ingredients include water, food starch, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. If you're a savvy shopper, you'll notice right away that "food starch" is the most vaguely named ingredient to be included in a dollar store item since the "assorted meats" that seem to be finding their way throughout European IKEA stores.
"Food starch" is a catchall term for any kind of starch. Corn starch, tapioca starch, hobo starch. Has the word "starch" lost meaning for you yet? I just had to Google it. In a nutshell, American Shreds, and their nefarious international cousins like Italian Shreds, are edible Play-Doh tidbits flavored like cheese, emblazoned with the warning that they are not designed to melt, so please don't expect to make a ghetto pizza with them. They're just going to sit there, repugnant little rubbery tubers in yellow or white, mocking your inability to afford real cheese, which doesn't actually cost that much more if you buy it as a brick and grate it yourself.
Even vegan cheese melts; they designed it that way because it's really the only redeeming feature cheese has. It's a major part of the cheese-eating experience. These insincere shreds of deception don't do anything, and their existence is literally as a placeholder, a mock-up to trick someone (clearly not the person eating them) into believing that actual cheese making and consumption has occurred. To what end? Who benefits from American Shreds? This is the food equivalent of the Matrix. Why is it happening? This lie only makes everything infinitely more complicated for all involved. It has exactly none of the benefits of real cheese -- there's no calcium, it doesn't melt, there's no way it doesn't taste like an old-timey muscle man's back after a strenuous day of lifting those big, round dumbbells -- and I would wager a tidy sum that you can shit these things out completely unadulterated, because if the power of a microwave oven can't deform them, what chance do your bowels have?
Do not buy fake cheese. You're making the world worse if you do.
#4. Toaster Chicken
Chickens are birds that suck at flying, lay eggs, cluck, and are all-around delicious. That's 95 percent of everything you need to know about chickens. The last thing you need to know -- there's plenty more to know, like how to properly breed the Guatemalan Chicken of Paradise, or the proper ratio of chicken wings to whiskey to make your own man party a depressing affair, but the one other thing you need to know -- is that chicken will fuck your ass up. Literally.
Chickens apparently spend their formative years bathing in bacteria frappes and just jamming their orifices full of toxic sludge to the point that, when chicken gets to your house, you better hold it at the proper temperature lest every inch of your home get slathered in salmonella as though it were a sorority girl who ran away to Hollywood and walked into the wrong audition. Chickens drop salmonella like Sisqo drops phat beats. Google it, kids.
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Pictured: Not a goddamn clue.
Because chicken is so dangerous, you need to make sure it's cooked thoroughly and that you resist any and all temptation to take a slimy, raw chicken breast and practice your make-out skills on it. And then some wise ass invents fuckin' toaster chicken. Oh hey, you want a poultry Pop-Tart? We got that. Just put this piece of formed meat substrate into that toaster that can barely warm a bagel and go crazy, bitch. And listen, if a thin, oily liquid that smells like corpses and your own tears starts running down your inner thigh, just cross your legs. What else are you going to do, cook a real chicken or something? In the oven?
I understand that the world is awash with lazy people. If I could have tricked the people at Helping Hands into giving me a helper monkey that could have typed this article for me while I dictated it from the tub, I would have. Also, when you finish this article, go to that site -- it's so awesome, you don't even know. But laziness should never be the reason you shit yourself to death. If a doctor has to call your time of death and then scribble "shat toaster chicken until his insides became his outsides" on your chart, you fucked up. Eat a Hot Pocket if you hate yourself. Microwave a slice of bologna on a piece of white bread and weep all night while you eat the slimy thing, alone as you so obviously are, but then wake up tomorrow and try again, because you didn't eat fucking toaster chicken.
#3. Home DNA Tests
Understand that I fully appreciate the usefulness of a DNA test in the world at large. Obviously this is apart from its usefulness in law enforcement, but with adoptions and paternity suits and the like, I get why a DNA test could be extremely useful to any number of people and could potentially change the lives of many. It's not the DNA test that's the problem here at all. It's the "home" part.
The need for convenience, or rather the perceived need for it, has pushed a lot of innovations that most of us don't really need at all. Wanting to take matters into your own hands has led to the DIY sex toy boom, home tattooing, home bikini waxing, and other destructive foolishness that will leave you alone to writhe in agony because you chose to do something at home that someone else obviously should have done for you.
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"You are NOT the father! Wait, no, this says you are not a decent human being. My bad."
While a home DNA test isn't harmful physically, it probably causes untold metaphysical damage, insofar as the implications of you needing to genetically identify someone in your own home are mind-boggling. You've gotten to the point in your life when you have a child handy and you're just not sure who owns it, or, less likely, you have a lot of errant genetic material on your walls and pets and whatnot and you'd like to know who put it there.
You can buy a home kit for only $27 at Walmart with an additional lab fee to process your results. So basically, the cost of being a Maury guest and not bothering to space out shots on goal from multiple dudes is about $150. Also, the box says, in an italic script, "for alleged father, mother, and child." That's the most haunting line you'll read on any single product in a Walmart pharmacy section.
We live in a world where it's now necessary, on some level, or at least more convenient, for people to go out and pick up Cheetos while confirming the genetic identity of their child. This says nothing positive about our culture whatsoever.