The Dumbest Things We've Found That You Can Buy Online Right Now

Question: What do you get for the person who has everything?

Answer: Something totally dumb.

Seriously, there is more weird stuff that you can buy at the click of a button than the people of the last century could possibly even comprehend, and everyday it's getting weirder. Some of this is because of the cutting edge of technology – VR gaming equipment offering the most immersive experiences ever, drones fitted with movie-quality film cameras that allow for mind-blowing aerial shots, software packages for doing everything from filing your taxes to making techno all at the touch of a button. Elsewhere, you can get hold of any practical item you might need, from the exact nut or bolt needed to fix an antique lamp to the exact pharmaceutical product for your specific ailments.

But a lot of what's for sale is really, really dumb. And the fact is, people buy it! From novelty items for that "person who has everything" to frankly silly inventions that just might be that game changer you've been looking for all these years, people are addicted to spending cash on dumb, dim, and deranged products. Here are just a few items culled from the "Dumb Products of the Internet."

The OSTRICHPILLOW

As our constant online existence into the 21st century means that the divide between work and relaxation dissipates, it is no wonder that our lives have become evermore casual. The old joke about newsreaders not having to wear pants has become a reality for many of us, whose work days now have the same look and feel as a very lazy Sunday, except with more typing.

But our new pajama-casual existence is also spilling out of our homes and into public spaces, as evidenced by this monstrosity — the OSTRICHPILLOW, a weird hat-pillow combo with armholes that you can currently buy online for around $100. It's named, presumably, because the device gives you the feeling of burying your head in the sand. 

The promo photos show the user — who honestly looks as though they are trapped in the pillow against their will — collapsed in a number of locations that above all else look like the lounge and offices of a hip start up company, though even the most assuredly blue-sky-thinking managers might have a problem with you crawling into a hole you look like you want to die inside quite so obviously. Meanwhile, the OSTRICHPILLOW's Amazon page describes it as a "travel pillow for airplane flying." God help the person who has to sit next to a guy using one of these things ... or, worse, who gets the middle seat between two of them.

Chip fingers

Listen, everyone loves to snack, there is no shame whatsoever in snacking — snacks are fabulous. Having said that, if you find yourself about to hit the purchase button on specialist snacking equipment, you may have to come to terms with the fact that snacking has become more than just a harmless treat and may in fact be beginning to take over your life.

Clocking in at $18, these silicon "chip fingers" (as seen on Amazon) are the kind of product that future societies may look back on when trying to identify the moment when modernity ate itself (albeit with exquisitely clean fingers). Available in a range of six colors — obviously you'd need your cheese fingers to match your outfit — they fit on your pointer, middle finger, and thumb, and, as the instructional photos indicate, you then use them to pick up snacks without getting any cheesy, greasy, or miscellaneous residue on your fingers, your real fingers. "Cheese resistant!" it claims on the pack — suggesting, of course, that human fingers aren't.

Whether you find cheese fingers dumb or not comes down to a single question — whether it is more convenient to wash your cheese fingers after use or simply to wash your hands.

The Bleeding bath mat

What's better than a good prank? A prank that summons up the memory of a frenzied cinematic knife attack, that's what.

IntroWizard's "bloody bath mat" works according to a simple effect — when its white surface comes into contact with liquid, it instantly turns red. In this way, any post-shower bathroom occupant is treated to the sight of what appears to be Psycho-esque blood splatters and gory footprints the moment they step out of the shower.

A good gag for the "horror fans" the product is marketed towards. Perhaps not so useful for any senior relatives who may be visiting, who without due warning will end up in a panicked search for the source of the ample blood loss. 

"No other horrible gag gift for your boyfriend comes close to the shock he'll have seeing his toilet water splashes and footprint stains turn red," reads one of the promotional selling points on IntroWizard's Amazon page. 

The giant bread pillow

There's nothing wrong with novelty homeware, really, and if someone is really into bread why shouldn't they treat themselves to an enormous bread-shaped pillow printed in astounding detail? It's not hurting anyone. It's not a crime. Just let extreme bread lovers be for once!

But then again, many of the bread cushion's selling points, as listed on Amazon, point to the inherent problems of a world in which anything can be bought online. And drunken, misguided purchases are just a click or two away. "Just surprise your friends with this adorable, unique and soft baguette," breezes the product description, making little effort to remind potential buyers that the largest of these things is nearly 4-feet long.

However, the bread pillow does look undeniably delicious and pleasingly silly. But again, the product description leads the way in showing how an innocent gift can become very weird, by explaining, "Heats up just like a fresh loaf of bread if you sleep hot." Great, er, selling point guys.

And if you check out the "frequently bought together" suggestion on the Amazon page, you can see that many bread pillow enthusiasts often continue the gluten-y theme by shelling out for French baguette house shoes. Perfect for loafing around (sorry).

Handerpants

Described somewhat predictably as "underpants for your hands!," these "vaguely inappropriate" handerpants by novelty experts Archie McPhee effectively replicate men's underwear, but — finally! — on a part of your body where everyone can see them.

Sold in a box of six (presumably so you can enjoy a fresh pair, then go commando on Sunday, as God intended), handerpants do seem to have their admirers. Some commenters on the Amazon page claim they are good for weightlifting, while the promo photos show a handerpanted pair of hands at work on all kinds of everyday tasks, from using a drill to cutting an apple.

OK, so they're a pair of mildly amusing novelty gloves. You'll likely crack a genuine grin at the manufacturer's claim that handerpants should be used under a pair of regular gloves. 

"Are you really naked under those gloves? For Pete's sake, put on some Handerpants! These 95% cotton, 5% spandex, fingerless gloves have the look and feel of men's briefs. Slip them on underneath your gloves for extra warmth and protection from chafing!" Well played, Archie McPhee.

Bacon bandages

With more than 2,500 Amazon reviews, these bacon bandages — "treat your minor cuts, scrapes and scratches with the incredible healing power of meat!" — are one of those well-known novelty gifts you've perhaps been tempted to buy for an unsuspecting friend's birthday one time or another. But why? What is it about the conflation of meat-imitation design and actual bodily flesh wounds that tickles our collective funny bone so much? On a more pretentious day, this could be explained with reference to Jean-Paul Sartre, Sigmund Freud, and the ever-present uncanniness of corporeality. On better days, let's just say that bacon, like the sausage, is a funny meat. Though Freud might have something to say about sausages too.

Also, in case bacon bandages alone aren't enough to make you part with your hard earned cash, there's a "free prize" inside — it says so right there on the box. What is it, you ask? Well, after doing some digging in the customer reviews, it's a small temporary tattoo of cult gothic writer Edgar Alan Poe. Well. OK then. SOLD.

Meat-shredding knuckles

The secret desire of meat-loving dudes everywhere, these "slash & serve" carving blades are probably the closest any of us will get to living out our fantasies of being a bit like Wolverine — with the added bonus of delicious shredded meat after use.

Of course, they're more for showing off than they are actually useful. As many of the Amazon commenters mention, you can get the same effect with a pair of forks, but where's the fun in that? No, the slash and serve blades are really all about looking cool and making everyone at your next barbecue know exactly who the boss is. However, the merits of bringing these blades to someone else's barbecue are debatable.

Reviews range from those singing their praises ("They work but more importantly I look like Wolverine") to those decrying them as near useless ("All these warnings of them being sharp and there is not even an edge on them"). However, the most important feedback comes from those whose concerns aren't at all culinary — "They make great claws for a Wolverine costume, as long as you grind the sharp points down a little bit."

Cell and tablet-holding shower curtains

Humanity as a species is now constantly online — the internet is almost inescapable! People scroll on their commutes, phones mean everyone is continuously contactable by colleagues even on days off, and the "internet of things" means that almost every household appliance, from the refrigerator to light switches, are bound together in an ever-growing network of interconnectivity. Among all these developments, the arena of offline life has continued to shrink inexorably.

Showering has remained one of the few everyday tasks in which people are forced to disconnect. Until now, thanks to Bunkerwall's "17 pocket shower curtain liner," designed to hold cell phones and tablets and allow you to continue using them while you shampoo and scrub to your heart's content. Firstly, 17 pockets?! How many devices does one person need to take with them anywhere, let alone into the shower? And secondly, how long are people spending in the shower that they need a form of visual entertainment to keep them going?

"You will wonder what you did before you had this," the Amazon page claims. Wait, how about showering — maybe singing for a bit — calm in the knowledge that the internet would still be there when done.

The UroClub

Normally, when you say you're buying a specialized golf club, it's to make the point that you are something of a serious golfer. The UroClub, however, is something else. Now known as a gag gift among aging golfing buddies, it actually began life a couple of decades ago as a supposedly serious attempt to solve a common problem — what to do when you need to pee urgently in the middle of a golf course.

Yes, you read that right. And now the name begins to click, too. Disguised to masquerade as just another club in your golf bag, the UroClub is actually a portable reservoir to, well, pee in when you're caught short. Per the creators, Matco Enterprises – who do make sensible products, like tools, the rest of the time — it is a "camouflaged portable urinal, designed to be discrete, sanitary and create an air of privacy! It looks like an ordinary golf club and comes equipped with a unique removable golf towel clipped to the shaft that functions as a privacy shield!"

Liberal use of the word "functions" there.

Lazy readers

At the end of the day, is it not true that people should, if they are able, attempt to at least read sitting up once in a while?

Not that lazy readers — a product that actually has plenty of supporters among the hundreds of people who have reviewed them on Amazon — are just for reading. Their manufacturers claim that they are also ideal for watching TV while lying prone, a solution, they say, to neck pain. However, surely having to move your head into exactly the right position so that the image from the TV hits the lenses is more of a strain than propping yourself up with a cushion, so your eyes have full view of the room? Not to mention that falling asleep while wearing them will surely lead to one of the most confusing awakenings of all time. Even the most lazy should probably give them a miss.

The Experience Tube

There are certainly strong opinions about the internet's place in society and the value of offline time. Can't someone, anyone, do something to help recalibrate the online/offline balance of our lives?

Maybe the hero needed is already among us? Introducing the Experience Tube by Meow Wolf, a company that specializes in "Immersive Art Experiences." "The Experience Tube is a revolutionary analog device that connects one experience to another! Using only soft striped fabric and the most sophisticated facial recognition technology ever developed (installed standard in current model human brains), the tube replaces all peripheral distractions with an unbridled visual feast of stripes and laughter! Simply upload a couple of faces into each end and make your own internet, instantaneously! Immediate vivid connection, with no subscriptions, user agreements, invasive advertisements, or spotty service!"

Hm... maybe not. As a statement, it can be applauded — isn't it time everyone re-learnt to connect face-to-face? But not like this, PLEASE GOD NOT LIKE THIS. This is the kind of stunt that people in the real world pull that puts perpetual internet dwellers off rejoining it. Oh well, the atomization of society it is.

The cow sweater (a sweater for a cow)

If there was an equivalent of textual silence apart from rows and rows of "..." it would be included here. But in the absence of that, here's some advice from a wise old grandma — "just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you should." Case in point — the cow sweater, on sale in the United Kingdom through the Unusual Gift Company. Yes, the name of the company suggests that this is all tongue-in-cheek, but where does it stop!? Where does any of this stop?!

Pablo Picasso said, "everything you can imagine is real." The cow sweater is probably notwhat he had in mind when he said this, but in 2021 Picasso's words are more true than ever. And not only is whatever you can imagine real, it has likely already been done, and is ready to order, direct delivery or click-and-collect, just a couple of searches away. Perhaps the time has come to ask whether this is really what people want?

That cow does look like she's straight up loving that sweater, though.