Saturday, February 14, 2015

World full of suckers……

There is a saying in Hindi that roughly translates to “there is no dearth of fools in this world, you look for one, you will find thousands”. There are plenty of cases in real life that add credence to this saying.

This incredible story dates back to 1975.  Gary Dahl, a salesman from California, was one day having drinks with his friends. He listened to his friends discussing about pets, how difficult it was taking care of cats, dogs, birds, and other pets, how they made a mess of their homes, and how hard it was to control their behavior when their friends or guests visited their homes and how costly it was to maintain them.

As he went home, Gary could not help thinking about what his friends were discussing and as he pondered over it, a brilliant idea took shape in his mind. Why not a pet that did not cost much, that did not mess up homes and was not a nuisance and was easy to take care of! Like lightning an idea struck him, why not a “Pet Rock”!

Charged with his incredible idea, Gary went to a building material store and bought few rocks of different shapes and texture for less than a penny each. He made a beautiful “pet box”, put some straw in it and added a nice label that read “this box contains one genuine pedigreed Pet Rock”. He even added perforations to the box so that there was air circulation for the Pet Rock! He wrote a “Pet Rock Training Manual” with step-by-step instructions on how to take care of the Pet Rock (how to make your pet roll over, make your pet play dead, house-train your pet, …).

Gary was either a good natured guy who was just trying to be helpful to his friends or he was a genius who had a good understanding of human vanity and human weakness. Whatever he was, Gary was ready to sell his invention.

Would anyone fall for such a stupid gag, one would have wondered! People collect pebbles and shells, and other stuff but who would pay for a piece of rock you can find just about anywhere!

Well, when Gary introduced few boxes, his friends were thrilled with it. Soon news of the novel pet spread like wild fire. Gary was on the way to becoming a millionaire. Within months a million Pet Rocks were sold each for $3.95.

Many people were intrigued at the success of the Pet Rock. Some people were so outraged at the very idea of rocks being sold as a pet, they harassed Gary with lawsuits and threats. But nothing stopped Gary. He became a kind of inspiration to many people and even appeared on talk shows.

Experts who discussed about it at length, agreed that once in a while such “useless dumb jokes” become successful because it gave some people “few moments of absolutely meaningless pleasure in a troubled world”!

Some may say that the people of those times must have been raving mad or plain stupid to fall for such a gag! Well, stupidity and foolishness is not restricted to “certain times” or “certain generations”. People buy Pet Rocks even today. It is sold online for $12.95, with an added bonus of a leash. Hard to believe it? It can be ordered at Pet Rock Online .

Detailed step-by-instructions with pictures is also available for taking care of the Pet Rock. One such resource is at Pet Rock Care Manual .

You can even get a “Geeky” Pet Rock at Geeky Pet Rock. What is so geeky about it? Well, the Pet Rock has a USB connected to it. The other end of the USB can be connected to your laptop, desktop or any other smart device that has USB port. So what does the Geeky Pet Rock do? Nothing, it just sits there connected to your computer, without disturbing you! A sort of “being closely connected to your life”!

Over time, pet rocks have become quite popular among adults and children. Recently some school students sold pet rocks to collect money for fire fighters. Someone has even written a poetry on pet rock.

I am sure everybody must have heard of Tape Rewinder. During those days when Audio Cassette Players and VCR’s were the latest inventions, Tape Rewinders were quite popular. It was believed that rewinding the tape on Audio Cassette Players and VCR’s was not good because frequent rewinding of the tape would spoil the system.  Tape Rewinder was a better option.

But would anyone need a DVD Rewinder? Incredible as it may sound, such a product does exist . But what does a DVD Rewinder do? It spins the disc backwards, for a certain period of time. Does anyone buy this thing? Lots of people are obviously buying it online from DVD Rewinder . Lots of technical information is also provided by the manufacturer!

Will anyone in their right mind buy bull crap? Obviously, there are people (30,000 to be exact) who did just that!

"Cards Against Humanity” is a typical card game. According to the makers of the game “Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you've played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends”.

It was reported by the news media (Black Friday) that on 28 November last year, the makers of this card game suspended the sale of the cards, instead they sold $180,000 worth of Bull Crap as a protest against consumerism. 30,000 shoppers bought the Bull Crap packaged in beautiful designer boxes. From the report it appears that many shoppers were disappointed to find real Bull Crap in the box. Honestly, what else did they expect!


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