Amazon.com sells everything from Tuscan milk to Hello Kitty vibrators. And they were one of the first companies to incorporate customer reviews into their pages. But a few years back, some customers started posting reviews that were, um, not quite Roger Ebert-esque. I’m not talking about bad reviews. I’m talking about impish ones.
One of the first products to get the treatment was Tuscan Milk, 1 gallon, 128 fl. oz. For example:
I toyed with the idea of second business day delivery but Amazon in its infinite wisdom limited me to “Expedited.”
Shipping & Handling: $26.25
Total Before Tax: $30.24
Estimated Tax:* $0.00
Order Total: $30.24
Why go to my local store and pay $2.99 for a gallon of milk when I can have it overnight delivered for 10 times that price? I think I’ll get three gallons next time. As a current Pentagon employee, this makes perfect sense to me.
Others were pithier:
“Has anyone else tried pouring this stuff over dry cereal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!”
Eventually, the New York Times got a taste, and ran a story about the milk reviews. Since then, reviews have rolled in that include the milk’s chemical composition, a wistful short story, and even a small epic poem.
But it wasn’t just milk. The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee got the treatment:
This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!).
So did Chemical Shifts and Coupling Constants for Silicon-29, a book selling for the l0w-low price of “$7,679.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.”
I’m a big fan of the NMR genre, but this book was really just phoned in. … It appeals to the lowest common denominator for cheap thrills when it should be striving to elevate the level of discourse. I mean, did we really need to slog through an entire chapter where Dr. Gupta describes, in agonizing detail, the time he took the spectra of two samples at the same time? He’s probably the kind of guy who’ll put his sample into a dirty NMR tube his friend just used, too. I actually went to the bathroom and washed my hands after putting this book down; I probably have hepatitis now.
If that’s too rich for your blood, try some uranium ore. Just be warned, “I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty.” However, someone else was “glad I don’t have to buy this from Libyans in parking lots at the mall anymore.”
Or you could just go with Wedding Chapel – 10 x 18 With Wood Roof for $21,420.47. (Did I mention they sell everything? Do you believe me now?)
Or the Grim Reaper on Skeleton Horseback Life-Size Prop for $3,699.43.
my kids just LOVE Mr. Scary Bones (as they affectionately call him). As soon as I pull him out of the closet they simply can’t wait to jump into bed and pull the covers up over their head. And they’ve certainly never slept more soundly. I don’t hear a peep out of them all night long. Thank you Mr. Scary Bones!
And if that’s too macabre, there’s a Guardian Angel for $149, and Vaseline Uranium Opalescent Glass Rose Butter Dish for $28.50.
Last week the butter was lost in the fridge, the uranium in a glowing cardboard box under the stairs and my bed was awash with rose petals and half-empty tubs of Vaseline – the usual scene of domestic bliss.
Now they are all handily together in one, urine-coloured glass jar beside my bed. Okay, so I have made the odd error in the middle of the night but, as my wife laughingly pointed out, the butter was a marginally better mistake than giving myself radioactive genitals.
Or Birth Control is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and also Robbing God of Priesthood Children!! (Paperback), for the low-as-hell price of only $135. Sadly, the book’s Amazon.com Sales Rank is 8,755,333. (It’s not selling better than Dan Brown? I’ll be damned.)
I suppose I could get all philosophic about memes and a new kind of art form evolving to a new medium, and it being a pungently satirical comment on the internet as a vast commercial wasteland, but whatever. It’s more fun just to read the reviews.