Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stupid Product: ChumBuddy, the Shark Sleeping Bag

Growing up in the dead center of the U.S., my only experience with sharks for the vast majority of my life was the time I decided I was brave enough to watch "Jaws."  After viewing the movie, I quickly learned that while I was brave enough to sit through the whole thing, I was not brave enough to take a bath afterwards without constantly looking behind me for approaching fins.

My only other encounter with sharks occurred at South Padre Island, shortly after my family moved to South Texas.  A nice trip to the beach ended quickly when a woman approached our group and said, "Hey there, ladies. I thought you should know that man out there's fishing with blood bait and probably attracting sharks.  If any of you are on your monthlies, you might wanna stay out of the water."  I was not, ahem, on my "monthly," but my ocean swimming was finished at that moment.  Thank you, Mr. Blood Bait, for ruining my day.

So yeah, maybe I don't have enough experience with sharks to understand how gentle and kind they really are, and maybe that makes me unqualified to write this Stupid Product review, but holy mother of maneating craziness, would you take a look at this:


This, dear readers, is the ChumBuddy, a plush and poofy sleeping bag created to look like a shark, a seven foot long, hand sewn, $200 shark.  This sharky sleep friend is made of fleece and felt and is filled with 30 pounds of polyfill.  You know, for that lifelike, "I'm about to be eaten alive," weight on your abdomen.

Had I been given this sleeping bag as a child, my reaction would have been a firm and immediate, "YAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHHH!"  I'm sure I would have happily run out of my Oklahoma home in the middle of a tornado rather than use this as a protective device in my closet or hallway.  I certainly would have never, and I mean never, been willing to crawl inside of it.

On the web page hawking this toothy beast of a future psychological complex, the maker states that she made the ChumBuddy because sharks, her favorite animals, are misunderstood.  I guess I could get behind that.  I used to think the elephant seal was beautiful.  And then I turned 12.  I just want to know how she thinks a picutre of a human being with the characteristic letter X for eyes, which even my five year old knows denotes death, is going to raise understanding.

And it must be said that the price tag is kind of crazy.  I don't know. Maybe all seven foot long plush animals cost this much. Three guesses how many such animals I have in my home.

Note to self: Santa does not make seven foot long plush animals. Also, Santa does not make toys that eat people and cause life ending heart attacks.

Thank you, Santa.  Give a ChumBuddy to Mr. Blood Bait for me, will ya?

(Thanks to Michelle E., of La Verkin, UT, and of Phazes Fitness, for the heads up on the ChumBuddy. Michelle, I do plan to start running again once my doctor gives me the okay. If you run after me with one of these, I'll run a lot faster. you know.)