“OH GOD KILL IT WITH FIRE.”
It can be rough out there for single Americans, to the point that you can pretty much will below-average R-rated comedies into existence just by giving it a name of “How to be Single.” There are millions of Americans for whom the dating scene oscillates between shitty Tinder dates and long, depressing walks through parks that are impossibly filled with happy couples while “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” plays from an unseen speaker system that somehow seems to be following you everywhere you go (it’s actually being played through an iPhone of a kid that their ex paid to follow them around to torment them because their ex is a goddamn monster). For many in this position, it seems like every product on the market other than two buck Chuck and Sharper Image neck massagers are happy-couple focused items that just rub your singledom in your face. Goddamn it, most couples don’t even want to buy a tandem bike, why are you putting out a full page ad for one in this week’s Maxim?
The point being, 50% of Americans are single, and those 50% are distributed between Americans in relationships, Americans who don’t want to settle down and want to “live the single life,” and Americans who feel, well, kind of lonely about their lack of a mate. There’s also like, the five people who say they’re “single and ready to mingle” while doing that finger-guns thing, but there’s pending legislation going through the senate to ensure that those guys get their US citizenship removed.
But of those three groups of unmarried Americans, it’s, not surprisingly, the lonely people that can end up being a bit forgotten and left behind. Sure, Buzzfeed is legally required to post a Liz-Lemon-gif-heavy article about “13 signs you’re an introvert” every month, but ever since Netflix got claimed by people using it to have sex, it’s hard for lonely people to find products and services that are really tailored for them. Thankfully, entrepreneurs are starting to realize that there’s a huge untapped marketplace, filled with young, active Americans with gobs of disposable income not going towards Valentine’s Day gifts and wedding planning and *pauses and changes course once we notice that our single readers have begun sobbing*. Unfortunately, most of these entrepreneurs are goddamn psychopaths, and their cure for loneliness is nightmare fuel.
The Most Terrifying Products Marketed For Lonely People
While there is a market of novelty items geared towards single people, none of them are actually useful things single people might want to have in their somehow cavernous one bedroom apartment filled with nothing but faded memories and six-year-old IKEA furniture. The only real products available are either incredibly depressing (see above, which is a pillow that has a built in tissue dispenser. So you can cry. About being alone. As you sleep. Oh God, great, now we’re crying) or absolutely skull-fuckingly terrifying.
We decided to stick with the ones designed by future serial killers, because honestly we’re still recovering emotionally from the existence of the tissue pillow.
Pink-Boobed, Yellow-Gloved, Amputee Girlfriend Pillow
If you have thirty bucks and a soundproofed basement that you had designed and installed in stages by a series of home renovators you hired from several towns away, you can buy this pink pillow with boobs and a chubby yellow hand from Amazon and have it delivered to your door. This was the follow up to the somehow-less-creepy Boyfriend Pillow, which wisely replaced the “boobs with..like…an x? Like they’re x-ed out boobs, right?” aspect of the girlfriend pillow with half of a button down shirt. Both are marketed as soft pillows that you’re supposed to…let spoon you, we guess? Except that this one, as we’ve stated already, has boobs, and is marketed to single men, soo… Listen, Deluxe Comfort, the people behind this product, assure you that “OUR COMPETITORS products have been known to fall apart, while ours do not.” That’s just something we need to put out there. That 100% is about the boobs. These boobs will not fall off after months of being fondled by sad, lonely men. That’s important, they’ve probably stress tested these fuckers like crazy. “Tests show that our Girlfriend Pillow with Arm can spend three months with Gary, the guy in Accounts Receivables who has an extensive drone collection and a frustrated-sounding passive aggressive Match.com page, while only suffering superficial staining.”
This company at least has the common sense to list this as a gag gift for men. What occasions would this be a good gift? Well according to the Amazon listing, it’s great as a funny Secret Santa or retirement gift.
Wait. Retirement gift? How is that ever going to be appropriate? There are three options for this, and honestly “Here’s a pillow girlfriend, married man retiring” just doesn’t make sense as a gag. Of the other two, you’re left with, “Hank, you’re 65 and single, let’s really tap into that misery,” or, even worse, “Now that Karen has passed, you could use this.” Jesus Christ, people. Don’t give a huggable girlfriend pillow with boobs to the widower who’s retiring at your company, America. We can’t believe we had to actually make sure you knew that.
A Smiling Man With a Beanie and Earrings That is Also a Chair You Sit on As He Hugs You, Slowly Strangling the Joy From Your Life
You know how certain paintings look like their eyes are always following you anywhere you go in the room? This $419 chair developed in Japan (because of course) is kind of like that, but instead of following you with its eyes, whenever you sit on it, no matter what position you put its weird cloth arms, it will end up positioned to perfectly whisper “Every decision you’ve ever made in your life has led to this point” into your ears. It’s supposed to be a “tranquility chair” for people who want to be hugged, and is geared towards the elderly, and while we agree that it is more cost effective than going to a prostitute once a month to be the little spoon as you sob for thirty minutes, this chair is probably a far less socially acceptable alternative.
Now even if “a chair that hugs you” is something that fills you with a sense of anything more positive than sheer dread, the end result is still baffling, because the “man” on this chair looks like a sexual predator cartoon character deleted from the final cut of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It’s got flat legs just dangling from the front of the chair that serve no purpose. And if you’re reading this thinking, “Well, no, it’s supposed to be like a person, if you didn’t have the legs it’d just be a torso, that’d not be very realis…oh God, except nothing about this is natural, you’re totally right, the legs don’t need to be there” well, um, looks like you got there eventually without us having to hold your hand through the thought process.
Also, there is nothing tranquil about how they chose to dress this fucker like Mr. Clean’s crossdressing grandmother. We’ve looked at this picture for literally hours (we have a lot of free time on our hands) and we’re not sure if the blonde frill around the hat is supposed to be part of the hat or its hair. But everything else makes you scream, “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” Why is it wearing overalls? Why are the overalls plaid? Why is it wearing blue mittens? If we were to make a list of “worst things for fake hands that are hugging you to be wearing” then blue mittens…well, we’ll just show you where it is on the list.
Worst Things For Fake Hands That Are Hugging You to be Wearing
4: Blue Mittens
3: “Oh God, please be glue, please be glue”
2: Nazi ring
1: Nazi Mittens
A Curtain Filled With Ghosts So People Will Think You’re Never Alone
Back in 2007, someone by the name of Mino Kodama designed a curtain that appears white during the day, but when the sun goes down, silhouettes appear. You know, silhouettes of people who aren’t there. It’s easy to assume that we’re clearly just talking about a product that’s meant to deter criminals from breaking in, a la Home Alone, but that is not the reason for this product’s existence. It was created as “a curtain for the lonely person.” You know, so you can go home and see your empty home and think, “Oh cool, I’m not alone! I’m going home to friends!” But they’re not friends. They’re curtain ghosts. And you fucking know that too. You bought these curtains so you could have a brief moment of excitement looking into your apartment window, knowing full well that your joy would immediately come crashing down when you remember that they’re not real. They’re just ghosts on a screen.
Oh fuck, we accidentally snuck a sad one in here, didn’t we?
A Severed Palm Protruding From Your iPhone Case So You Can Hold A Disembodied Hand While Calling Your Parents to Tell Them That You’re Not Bringing a Date to Thanksgiving Dinner After All
Oh good, we went from “kind of depressing when you think about it” and ramped it all the way past terrifying and straight into nightmare fuel territory. This isn’t a comforting accessory for lonely people desperate for any basic human contact, this is the backstory of a Batman villain created after D.C. decided that “gritty and raw” was the way they wanted to go with things. It’s modeled after the company’s COO’s wife’s hand, which sure, why not, we’re all going to die someday.
If you have an iPhone 5 or 5S, $58 dollars, and know way too much about where to go to buy large quantities of rope, you can grab the phone case that you can grab onto for yourself. Just know that you’re going to end up on some sort of list on a government database. Or, instead of buying a phone case with a severed hand attached to it, you can just go straight to the FBI and write up your psyche profile to save everyone the trouble when you finally snap a few years down the line. Remember to use the words, “White male” “mid 30s” “highly educated” and “loner” to really spice it up.
The Pillow That Says, “I Like Kissing Pillows, But I’m Nice Enough to Let My Dates Know I’m Going to Give Them a 30 Second Head Start Once They See My Kissing Pillow to Run Screaming Out The Door.”
OH GOD WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
WHAT KIND OF MONSTER GAVE THEM CUTESY SIGNS DON’T THEY REALIZE THAT MAKES IT SO SO MUCH WORSE OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OH GOD THIS IS HOW WE DIE ISN’T IT THIS IS HOW WE DIE OH GOD OH JESUS CHRIST
*pants, noticeably out of breath*
Oh man. That was. Okay. Let’s just clam down. These items were made by the Etsy user EmilyMakesStuff, and if “stuff” is another word for “us not able to sleep tonight” then she absolutely is right. The mouths were taken from CPR dummies, because when you’re the kind of person who would want to practice kissing out of loneliness (note—the only other subgroup of people who’d practice kissing on inatimate objects, sad kids, are not the market for this product, because there’s no way they’d have $30 to spend on this) you really want your depressing make out sessions to taste like a whoopee cushion surrounded by scratchy felt.
Thankfully, this item is no longer available, which means…
That means the original run sold out. That means people actually bought this.
And this article just got depressing again. Okay, we’re going to go drink some whiskey until we forget this ever happened. We’ll see you in a gallon or so.