Hopefully you're too sane to buy a Kim Jong Il-themed tongue scraper. I mean, what purpose does it really serve (other than the fact that it's a perfectly fine tongue scraper)? I wish I could tell you. Instead, all I can say is that I am an unrepentant hoarder of novelty products like this—campy, ridiculous, and often hailing from another country. The Kim Jong Il packaging might be my absolute favorite—a troop of gymnasts chase the khaki-clad Fearless Leader down a beach in praise (“Dear Leader, your breath is so fresh!”), conjuring memories of simpler times when hermit kingdom dictators could have a sense of humor. Who knows? Might be a collector’s item some day.
I’m pretty indiscriminate in my selection process—the main requirements being that the product is cheap, confusing, and curiously packaged (the more holograms the better). I smuggle it home, decipher the directions for use, then wonder what the heck I’m going to do with it. Eventually, into the dark recesses of my bathroom it goes. With the next trip, the cycle renews itself, thwarting any attempt of a Marie Kondo-style cleanse. It’s no exaggeration to say every cream, lotion, and ointment (most of which I’m too afraid of, ingredient-wise, to actually put on my body) brings me real joy.
I get the sense, particularly in this community, that I'm not alone—so I’d like to encourage a little round of Show and Tell—snap your strangest product and post below, maybe with a little review to be thorough. Anyone else have my tongue scraper? I'm curious about that one in particular.
I'll share one more for the road: After reading of my Russian and Turkish Bath high jinks, my mom took to ye olde Amazon to procure a strange, felted sauna cap that found its way into this year’s Christmas stocking. Its style is 50-percent Delia’s and 50-percent David the Gnome. And while cozy enough around the house, it’s not quite street-style ready. At least, not yet.
Photographed by Ben Jurgensen. For more Open Thread discussions, click here.