From the Actrix Online Informer October 2010
Online goods and services that are just a tad nutty
by Rob Zorn
There is no doubt that the internet has changed the way we live, and one of the biggest changes is how we spend our money. Trips to the mall have been replaced by visits to TradeMe, the music shop has been swapped for the iTunes store, and Amazon has rendered book stores obsolete. But while many of us choose to spend our hard-earned pay cheques at such sites, there exists a market that goes above and beyond what most would call normal. Here is a list of online places that offer consumers the weirdest, craziest, and often strangely useful products and services around. Enjoy.
Invisible Donkey Removal
Have you been hearing noises in the night? Are your phone and power bills unusually high? Chances are your house is infested by invisible donkeys. Fortunately, there is a solution. For the small price of $300, the IDRS (Invisible Donkey Removal Services) will come to your apartment and remove up to 15 invisible donkeys. Then, for a further $25, they’ll give you a certificate which verifies that your place is now invisible donkey free. But don’t worry, the invisible donkeys are tranquilized and relocated to an Invisible farm.
Ever wondered what you really look like? Meet Erial Ali, a man with a laptop and the latest version of Photoshop. Send Erial a photo of yourself (with $250), and he’ll meditate over your picture to “tune into you and get your unique essence” until he can see what you really look like. Then he’ll convert your picture into a celestial portrait that truly represents you. Check out the website for some amusing before and after shots.
Linestanding.com has come up with a way for you to get your hands on those elusive U2 tickets without having to spend the night curled up on the footpath in front of a ticket booth: they provide someone to stand in line for you. Linestanding.com allows you to pay someone an hourly rate to go to a location and stand in line for you until you show up to switch places. Interestingly, they claim to be the leaders in line-standing since 1985, which leads us to wonder who, precisely, is competing with them.
Aluminium Foil Deflector Beanies
Aluminium Foil Deflector Beanies, or AFDBs, are an effective, low-cost solution to combating mind control. Not only do these tin-foil hats reflect incoming signals that could control your brain, they block most forms of brain scanning and mind reading, and they look great. In short, the AFDB is a fantastic way to protect your inner-most thoughts without compromising on style.
We’ve all heard of origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, but chances are you’ve never heard of origami boulders before. Basically, an origami boulder is a piece of paper scrunched up into a ball, and that’s it. But in case you can’t be bothered doing it yourself, some kind soul is offering to do it for you. He’ll even send you a personal haiku with your origami boulder. And if you can’t afford to pay the shipping costs, he’ll turn your origami boulder into an artistic performance by throwing it in his rubbish bin. Such great lengths of service!
A Japanese company has put a price on world domination by developing a commercial battle-mech called the Land Walker, a 10-foot, 2-ton, $350,000 vehicle that’s sure to impress your friends. The Land Walker has two guns mounted on either side of the cockpit that shoot squishy pink balls, and there’s even a smaller model for the kids. Unfortunately, it can only move about a mile an hour, so don’t take the Land Walker if you need to get where you’re going in less than two weeks. Also, it can only operate on a completely flat surface, so try not to wage any battles unless they take place on an indoor basketball court.
The wing suit came about when a couple of Norwegians decided that jumping off cliffs with parachutes just wasn’t cool enough anymore. They developed a suit that allowed the user to glide at tremendous speed after jumping off a cliff, before deploying the parachute. There can only be two responses to the video of these guys showing off their wing suits. The first comes from their mothers, who cross themselves every time their sons jump. The second comes from everybody else, who all watch and think “I want one!”
Sick of not being the centre of attention at parties? The Millionaire’s Concierge (a big boys' club in the USA) can solve all your social problems by renting you a celebrity! That’s right, you can take Paris Hilton as your date to your cousin’s wedding, or Leonardo diCaprio to a bachelor party. And for $300,000 an hour (plus air-fares), Donald Trump will even pretend to be your friend.
This is an unusual site that sells glass bottles and jars with things inside that seem too big to fit. These include a wine bottle with a pack of cards, and a crystal decanter with a bar of soap. You can even make special requests about what impossible things you'd like to buy in a bottle. They may not be all that practical or affordable, but they will make a great addition next time you play the “How did that get in there?” game.
This is a rather clever online service that offers you the opportunity to escape from any date or function. If you’re meeting someone for the first time and they tell you something like their nose starts bleeding from excitement whenever they think about Justin Bieber, you simply send a text to this website. The site then contacts designated friends and lets them know where you are and that you need rescuing. If none of your friends reply within five minutes, the site will call you itself so you can fake a drastic emergency and flee the scene.
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