Once upon a time, Who Would Buy That used to be easy. A few yeas ago all I'd have to do is log on to the official Phillies MLB shop and there waiting for me would be a treasure trove of ugly shirts, retina-searing hats, and pointless housewares. Either MLB Merchandising decided they didn't want to be made fun of anymore, or they actually looked at their sales numbers and wised up, because there are far fewer nakedly stupid things for sale in the online shop.
That's not to say there aren't *any* stupid things, of course. As we all gear up for Valentine's Day (or gear up to ignore it entirely), let's look at the things we should only purchase for people we hate.
(Photo via Fansedge.com)
For when you want to say you care with the least effort imaginable. The main draw of this single, relatively pathetic silk rose isn't even the rose itself. It's the tag, which says:
"One Rose for a Cause's mission is to create a new sensation around the nation and inspire everyone to give one rose for any occasion and help make a difference. One Rose for a Cause creates keepsake/memorabilia signature design boxes, each containing a beautiful rose. With every purchase, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to reputable charities."
It doesn't say anything on the tag about which charities it supports. To find that out, you have to go to their website and root around a bit to find it. And while it's under a heading that says "Charities & Causes", only one is listed: Boys & Girls Clubs of America. They're a worthy charity, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't say anywhere how much of the proceeds go to support them. And on top of that, the box is the only thing that has the Phillies logo on it. I'm sorry, it's not just a box. It's a "keepsake/memorabilia signature design box". How hard would it have been to put a Phillies logo on the tag? The price of this SINGLE FAKE ROSE is $20 -- YES $20 FOR ONE FAKE ROSE -- so I don't think a team-specific tag is too much to ask for at that clearly insane price point.
I mean, it's one single fake rose. Who gives that to another person? And how do you even display that? Do you just lay it on a table like you forgot to include it in an actual bouquet of flowers? Do you put it in a vase so it looks sad and lonely all by itself? The rose itself has nothing Phillies on it, so would you display it in the box? Like you're some demented collector? "No, don't take it out of the box! IT'S IN MINT CONDITION!" None of this makes any sense. Yes, this rose is silk and won't ever die, LIKE YOUR LOVE, PROBABLY, but if you want to give a gift that's meaningful, maybe give a gift directly to a charity and make a card for your beloved. Nothing says I love you like crayon and glitter! Or at the very least pick up a bouquet of real flowers.
Who Would Buy That? The laziest guy you know who somehow has a girlfriend, much to your utter (and continuing) surprise. You didn't think that the human version of Homer Simpson could possibly exist, yet there he is, 30 years old and constantly stumbling into good things while simultaneously expending no effort and being the biggest moron you've ever met. His girlfriend seems like an intelligent, normal, lovely person, but there has to be something seriously wrong with her if she's dating this absolute clod. Hell, there has to be something wrong with you for being friends with him for so long. When he showed you his Valentine's Day gift to her, he said "It's a rose, so it means like romance, and there's a charity involved, so I'm all like caring about stuff. She's totally going to give me a happy ending over this, if you know what I mean." You just shook your head and sighed. "I always know what you mean."
(Photo via Fansedge.com)
This is the item that inspired the very post you're reading. Just look at it and luxuriate in its singular stupidity. It's a BBQ brander for hamburgers, which usually go on two buns -- one on the bottom, one on the top -- making it difficult to see and enjoy the brand that has been seared into the meat. What is the point of that? At least this brander lets you see the brand itself before you put toppings on it:
(Photo via Fansedge.com)
It's only marginally less stupid, that's true, but at least it doesn't ignore the very construct of the food its branding. Honestly, a hamburger brander is just the dumbest thing. The picture on the item shows a piece of chicken, which doesn't have to be used for a sandwich, but wouldn't it make sense to show, I don't know, A STEAK? You brand a steak and when it arrives on your plate you can see the brand. Maybe you put a little béarnaise sauce or gorgonzola butter on there and it obscures the "P", but a steak almost always arrives unadorned. Why not call it a steak brand? Or even just a BBQ brand, further perverting the term "BBQ" until the people of Kansas City, Memphis, and North Carolina all rebel against us? Yes, a smart person will realize it can be used for steaks and whatnot, but I'm guessing a smart person will realize that and then in no way purchase it, because they can think of a number of other things they can get for $14.95.
Who Would Buy That? Her husband loves his grill. A lot. Enough that she's started to question who he would save if the house was on fire, even if said fire was started by the grill. Would he save her? Or his grill, which he lovingly calls Denise? Or would he save his Mitch Williams signed baseball? She's honestly not sure anymore. But were she ever really sure? He got that grill as a gift when he turned 25, so he's actually known and loved it longer. He got that Mitch Williams baseball before he knew her or the grill. Really, who is she in this relationship? He gazes longingly at the grill and the baseball, lovingly touches them, takes care of them, which is more than he's done to her since... it's best not to think about that. When she saw that burger brander at the store, she knew it was the perfect gift. Now he could combine his two great loves. And she could fantasize about setting fire to his grill and using the burger brand to hit his Mitch Williams baseball right into the flames.
(Photo via shop.mlb.com)
This is just sad. I mean, look at it! It takes the unmitigated hubris of 2009-2011 and combines it with my least favorite Phillies thing: spelling random things with a "ph". Where would the Phillies marketing team be without the classic "ph/f" phonetic switcheroo? Would they have gone insane trying to find clever (or "clever") ways to market the Phillies? Or would the team even exist anymore? Would they have changed their name to something more wordplay friendly? That's how important the ph/f switch is to the Phillies. And coincidentally, that's how much I hate it. (A whole fucking lot.) I don't mind it when it's used sparingly, but a shirt like this one demonstrates that it is *never* used sparingly. There's just no reason to switch the F for a PH here. In fact, there's no reason for this shirt to exist at all. Why sell a shirt that will make the wearer look like a boob when they lose? "Phact: Phillies Win" is so depressing, because now they don't do so much winning. NO THEY DO NOT.
But the sentiment isn't the only depressing thing about this shirt. It is so unbelievably boring that you'd be better off wearing the ugliest of ugly shirts rather than this one. It's block letters, the Phillies wordmark, and a tiny little logo, all scrunched up in the top 1/3 of the shirt. There's nothing on the back. This shirt is only marginally better than wearing a shirt that says "Phillies Shirt" on it. There are thousands of things you could do to this shirt to make it better. Make the logo bigger, or maybe tilt it. Put little logos on the sleeves. Make the words bigger. Use a different font. Have the shirt say something else entirely. Or you could also just burn it because it's a stupid, boring shirt.
Who Would Buy That? The angry, bitter, bandwagon fan. When he jumped on board in 2009, he thought he was signing on to a winner. And every shirt he bought proclaimed that proudly. When you questioned his choice to wear a Phillies shirt every single day, he shouted "I'm not afraid to show my fandom like SOME people are" before being escorted from the restaurant for causing a scene. When the Phillies got bad, his brain wouldn't let him enjoy bad baseball, but his pride wouldn't let him let the Phillies go. He never stopped talking about them, and he kept on wearing a Phillies shirt every day. "I spent all this money on these shirts, you better fucking believe I'm going to wear them." It was around then that you decided that maaaaaybe he should just be a Facebook friend. But that was before he went on his one-man crusade to get the Phillies to apologize to him. He started posting a picture of himself in a Phillies t-shirt every day, with the caption "I BOUGHT THESE SHIRTS BECAUSE YOU WERE WINNERS. NOW WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THEM?!" The captions kept getting more and more desperate. Around Valentine's Day, he posted a video of himself outside of Citizens Bank Park in the "PHACT: Phillies Win" shirt, weeping and banging on the doors. "PHILLIES, DON'T DO THIS TO ME. I DIDN'T MEAN THOSE THINGS I SAID, PLEASE TAKE ME BACK. I JUST WANT THINGS TO GO BACK TO THE WAY THEY WERE WHEN WE WERE HAPPY. WEREN'T YOU HAPPY!?" He then whipped out a selection Phillies themed "50 Shades of Gray" sex toys, which he'd clearly fashioned himself, and started to act out a scene from the book. "YOU HAVE TO TRY HARDER, YOU'RE NOT GIVING ME ANYTHING TO WORK WITH HERE" he shouted at the bricks after spending six minutes trying to have sex with a building. That's when you decided that maybe he shouldn't be a Facebook friend, either.
(Photo via shop.mlb.com)
What is that? What even is that? How is that a thing? How is that a hat? How is that merchandise? How is... just, HOW?! A Phillies visor with fake spiky gray hair sticking out of the top. I mean, can you explain this? I can't. God, even the NAME of this ugly thing is terrible. FlairHair? If I'm looking at something called FlairHair, it better have purple or magenta or green hair sticking out of it. Or, I don't know, HOW ABOUT BRIGHT RED HAIR. I guess that would make too much sense. Don't take that to mean that there's a version of this abominable hat thing that's acceptable. Ohhhhhhh no. Adding red "FlairHair" to this visor would definitely make more sense, but it would still be fucking stupid.
Who wants to wear a visor with a patch of super fakey gray hair coming out the top? Are you going to a party? A costume party where you're supposed to dress as the stupidest looking person ever? Or is it cold out? The point of a visor is to shade your eyes while letting the top of your head breathe freely. This visor does the opposite of that, trapping your head in a polyester prison. So maybe you'd wear it to stay warm, and at the same time look like a total douche? Maybe?
I blame Guy Fieri for this. This is his fault. Him and his stupid hair and face. What's insane is that I can't find a picture of him wearing a visor, so maybe this isn't based on him. But I can't imagine where else it would have come from! I'm going to blame Guy Fieri anyway. Guy Fieri and GOD, BECAUSE GOD LET THIS HAPPEN.
Who would buy that? No one. Literally no one. Do you want to buy this? If you do, please identify yourself in the comments so that we may send a sweep team to your location for cleansing. I cannot even imagine the kind of person that would look at this horrific thing and think "yes, this is something I want to pay money for and then wear on my head." Maybe someone who had started a Guy Fieri cult. Or the most annoying hipster in the history of the world. Or someone who had lost a bet. If I see you wearing this, that's what I'm going to assume. "Oh, that person obviously lost a bet" is what I'll say as I'm running away from you at top speed, because it's easier on my psyche than thinking that someone is actually choosing to wear that in public where people and God can see them. This is the worst hat in creation.
(Enormous hat tip to the talented Justin Klugh for his help with this piece.)