The key to a great shopping trip! Or, why are there so many sandwich makers?

Recently on a family shopping trip, I was able to give some essential advice to one of the children as we walked through a clothing store.

“See that man sitting over there who looks bored and half asleep, like he may actually be in a coma? He is our hero. That bench is where we want to be,” I said hoping that I sounded wise and not just lazy. “As an adult, you’re going to spend plenty of time waiting in stores or offices or parks or other places, so you it’s important to either find someplace nice to sit so you can read or daydream or whatever, or you to try to find something interesting to look at.”

I actually like shopping, but it can get boring after a while so I always try to look for benches or chairs as soon as I go into a mall or other store so that I can figure out a way to get out of looking at clothes after a few minutes and go sit down. My favorite stores are those with the best benches, chairs or televisions.

And if there’s nowhere to sit, I look for the non-clothing items in the store in a quest to find something interesting to look at. You’d be surprised at some of the thought-provoking items I found on sale just in the last week. Here are a few examples:

Outdoor music speakers that are shaped like large rocks – They are marketed as a decorative and clever way to play music outside, but aren’t you really just spending way too much money for fake large rocks? Why not just set your phone down by some actual rocks and play music that way? Or, how about putting a large speaker behind a large rock? Wouldn’t that be easier and cheaper? No, Americans need speakers in the rocks! Won’t my guests be impressed at my next (and first) party if I have my awful song choices played out of rocks? Did they make these items just so that dads across the country could make terrible jokes about “rock “music?

String lights (like Christmas lights) that are also speakers – Neat idea, but if one speaker goes out on the string, do they all go out? What if the speakers get all tangled up? Can I get the speakers to blink on and off?

A breakfast sandwich maker – This amazing breakthrough in breakfast technology is a circular device about 4 or 5 inches wide that toasts the bread, cooks the egg, cooks the bottom half of the sandwich, has a plate that slides out for the eggs and does all of this in 5 minutes. While it looks amazing on the box and while I love breakfast sandwiches, I say there’s no way I could do all of this in five minutes. I can barely get toast ready in 5 minutes. I would rather drive to pick up an egg mcsandwich at the local fast food place, which takes about 10 minutes.

A dual breakfast sandwich maker – It’s twice as amazing and proves that the only thing better than a breakfast sandwich is two breakfast sandwiches.

Toaster ovens – Every office I have ever worked at had a toaster oven and it was nice for making toast, but I still don’t understand how it is ever better than a regular toaster. Why are these so popular at workplaces? Also, doesn’t everyone who wants a toaster oven already have one? I have never seen a toaster oven that has been less than 10 years old. How are they consistently selling new toaster ovens?

Toasters that have ridiculous selling points on the boxes – “Extra wide! High Rise Toast Lift! Adjustable Browning Dial! Cool Touch Exterior!“ Those are all actual selling points I saw on just a few boxes. Do any of those items make you want to purchase a toaster? Don’t they all have adjustable browning dials? Do I care if the side of the toaster is cool? I would be more likely to buy a toaster if the box said something like: “If You Stick Your Knife In Here To Get Out The Stuck Bread, You Won’t Get Shocked!”(I have had that happen several times and I am very much against it) and “Toast Pops Up 3 Feet Above The Toaster When Finished!”

2 in 1 knife and cutting board – I just don’t believe that this would work. And even if it would, why not just buy a regular knife?

Belts with ridiculous claims – Actual claims on a belt I saw in a store last week: “With Micro-Ratcheting Track System,”(I have no idea what that means) “Quick Release Buckle” (For when you really, really have to go!) “Buckle To Buckle Grip!” (Not sure what this means) “No Holes” (Are belt holes really a problem?) and “No Stretching!” (Are you calling me fat?).

The brightest lantern you will ever own! – Why do I need a lantern to be super bright? Don’t I just carry lanterns around when I am in spooky movies? If I want super bright light, I’m going to stay inside.

Pretzel maker – I like pretzels just fine, but I am not going to take the time to make an individual pretzel at home. I would be more likely to buy a rice cake maker.

Sandwich makers – It’s crazy that there are so many different types of sandwich makers in the stores today. Who makes all of these hot sandwiches at home? Is it really that hard to make your own sandwich? I’m sure they make good sandwiches and are kind of neat, but I guarantee that if you walk into any second-hand store with used appliances, you will find several used sandwich makers. Look around next time, they are everywhere in these stores! They make great gifts, and they are also great to donate to second hand stores. A few of the actual selling points I found on the boxes of sandwich makers include “Easy Open Handle!” (Is this a problem on other sandwich makers?) “Compact storage!” and “Skid Resistant Feet!” (Apparently, some sandwich makers are sliding all over the place out there.)

Other compact easy-to-make appliances – They make items like brownies, quesadillas, mini-doughnuts, and many other items, but they seem like they are much more trouble than they are worth. If I am making doughnuts at home, I don’t want mini-doughnuts. I want large doughnuts, and lots of them. And are brownies really that hard to make?

Of course, while I am making fun of these products, these companies are probably making a ton of money and people everywhere are enjoying breakfast sandwiches on pretzels while wearing belts with no holes.

For me, though, I’m just going to keep looking for more interesting and absurd items to study while I also keep searching for a place to sit in the store. Hopefully we won’t be in the store too long. Sigh.

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