Times are tough. We are currently going through a phase that economists describe in technical terms as [sounds of shrieking, panicked economists leaping wildly to their deaths, hollering: “We’re all doomed!! Dooooooooomed!!!!”].
It’s at moments like this that we should cast our gaze upon those less fortunate than ourselves—and make fun of them. Because that’ll be a pick-me-up! I recommend focusing our attention on the peddlers of luxury goods. As we stand on the precipice of global recession, as we endure the most references to the Great Depression since my Grandma got together with friends for what always turns into a game of Who Ate the Most Inedible Thing During 1933, let us ponder: which product would we least like to try and sell?
1. The $60,000 life-sized replica of you made out of Lego
Currently available through the Neiman Marcus Christmas book, which is renowned for showcasing unique and extravagant gifts for the wealthy and dim-witted, this one’s an especially tough sell. The market seems limited to people co-starring in a White Stripes video and business travellers needing a passport photo for entry into Legoland. Worse still, having committed to making “life-sized” depictions, Neiman Marcus will actually lose money if someone buys this as a gift for John Goodman.
2. The $5,000 toilet
During his or her lifetime, a typical human will spend upward of 92 days on or in front of the toilet—though usually not all at once. The Japanese company Toto wants you to spend big to make those days comfortable. As the self-described “world leader in toilet innovation,” Toto has just unveiled its Neorest 550—a device so advanced that “calling it a toilet at all is far too limiting,” the company claims. Think of it as a day spa for your ass.
The rump-based amenities include: heated seat, pressure-adjusted water jets and something called a Power Catalytic Deodorizer, which uses “activated oxygen to break the molecular bonds of odour,” an advancement so remarkable that it renders obsolete 60 per cent of the jokes in Jim Carrey’s movies.
But wait—there’s more! The Neorest 550 also features:
• a built-in toilet bowl light—so you can see in glorious detail what you leave in . . . uhh, why does it have a light again?
• an integrated audio system—a “sound module” comes programmed with 18 noise-masking soundscapes, because in the 21st century no citizen of an industrialized country should have to suffer the indignity of defecating in the absence of soft jazz.
• a self-opening and closing lid—which frees you to use your hands for more important tasks, such as punching the people lining up outside your house to make fun of your $5,000 toilet.
I know what you’re thinking: what, no melon baller?
3. The $59,750 mattress
On the one hand, sleep is very trendy. If Bright Lights, Big City were written today, the all-night coke parties would be replaced by 170 pages of contented napping.
On the other hand, there are some in society who still resist spending as much on a mattress as they would on an Escalade—which is peculiar when you consider they both handle roughly the same.
How can a rectangular thing you sleep on be worth 60 grand? The answer: horsehair. The Vividus mattress by the Swedish company Hastens is just crammed with horsehair. And not just any old horsehair—but long horsehair . . . long permed horsehair. Buy the Vividus mattress and you’ll be spending your nights atop piles and piles of permed hair. (Side effects include all your dreams featuring the lead singer of Twisted Sister.)
Still uncertain why horsehair makes it that much more expensive? Let’s just say the horse preferred to keep its hair. [Long, regretful pause.] It was a struggle.
In addition, the mattress’s outer layer features 22-karat gold accents hand-assembled one atom at a time by molecular scientists, who themselves have been dipped in 22-karat gold for an unparalleled level of luxury and sophistication (may not be true). There’s also the elegance factor: the company’s website features a photograph of one naked lady in bed and another naked lady in a mask flying over the bed, adding fuel to the rumour that “Vividus” is Latin for “Charlie Sheen’s house.”
Not sold yet? Hastens says the mattress will actually slow the aging process and combat wrinkles. Here’s how it works: you climb into bed, close your eyes and think about how much money you just spent on a mattress, at which point your head explodes, eliminating wrinkles.
4. And then there’s the greatest challenge of all: selling a $9.95 ticket to the film Twilight to a human male
Makes the mattress salesman’s job look easy.