Things We Can Do Without

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I thought I had seen everything, and then I went to Wal-mart. As I was looking through the pharmacy and trying to find my allergy meds, I discovered Twilight Hair-care secrets. Because this is something we need? For $29,99, I can look like someone who has been dead for 80 years? No, thanks. I’ve got that one covered.

This little encounter got me to thinking about other things the world really has no need for.

1) The continuous play option on children’s DVD’s. It hurts my heart to believe that someone out there thought it might be a good idea to offer parents and children an episode of “Bob the Builder” that never ends. Thirty minutes is more than enough for any man, woman or child. Personally, I forget that life is even worth living until I finally see the credits roll. What if I select the wrong option on the disc menu and my husband comes home hours later to find me with my head in the oven? “Can we fix it?”  Probably not this time.

2) Reality Television. Something of a misnomer, really. A group of anorexic girls living in a fab house, all-expenses paid, getting bikini waxes and unappreciated new hairstyles, and trying to survive super-modeling “challenges?” Whose reality is that? How many of us have been dropped off on deserted islands and forced to eat rats all in the name of television fun? Like Gilligan’s Island without Thurston and Lovey. Maybe we should call it “Stupid People Volunteering To Be Put Into Totally Bizarre Situations To See If They’ll Finally Crack and Kill One Another, Thus Cleansing the Gene Pool” television. We don’t need this stuff, do we?

3) The Sham-wow. This one comes from personal bitterness experience. So enamored was I of those lovely orange cloths and the magic they could work on a spill, I paid $20 for a set. The idea was to stuff them in the pockets of my baby’s cloth diapers to help catch the leaks and give me an extra hour of sleep a night. I was played a fool.  I might as well have stuffed those diapers with dollar bills.  Would have been cheaper and worked about as well. And you can’t actually get them completely dry, so once you use them, they smell like the undead. If you’ve got some unsightly messes, save your cash. Got a spill? Dishrag works just as well. Or your roommate’s dirty t-shirt.

4) KFC’s Double Down. Bacon. Sandwiched between to pieces of fried chicken. 32 grams of fat, which represents roughly half of the total saturated fat the average person should eat in a day. Perhaps it should be renamed the Double Bypass. We don’t need this. No one needs this. But I bet it’s tasty. I wonder if I could negate some of the fat and calories by washing it down with a diet Coke.

5) Memorial decals. I’ve said it before, but apparently I must say it again. Yesterday, I saw a tow truck whose rear window sported the words “Buying Junk Cars.” Underneath in smaller letters were the words “In Memory of Bobby.” Excuse me, sir? Are you buying junk vehicles in Bobby’s memory? And was Bobby actually your friend, or is this your sweet revenge because he went to Junior Prom with the girl you liked? So many questions, so little time.

6) Any Children’s Product or Program with the name “Einstein” in it.” Don’t get me started. Too late. I find the current push for parents to magnify their child’s intelligence incredibly disturbing. Poopsie is either a genius or she’s not. No amount of classical music, specialized toys or television is going to change a kid’s IQ. At least not for the positive. Is it too much irony that use of the “Baby Einstein” video line actually caused language delay? Actually, they may be onto something. For all you first-time parents out there, smart kids are much, much harder to keep up with. Do what you can to dumb them down a bit. Your life will be much easier. For both of you. And need I remind you that young Einstein himself was a mischief maker who dropped out of high school? You don’t need expensive toys to achieve this particular end. A few hours a day of Kardashians and “Teen Mom” ought to get you there, and it will cost you nothing. Expect those pesky brain cells.

I could go on, but I won’t. At least not today.  What do you think the world can do without?