Battery-operated Guinea Pig Unfortunately Does Not Poop

There’s this one detail from the NY Times article “Our Love Affair With Shopping Malls is on the Rocks” that Sarah and I were laughing about because it seemed such a sadly apt emblem for the U.S. economy.

The economic crisis has caused shoppers to go into an essentials-only mode. But the mall has never trafficked in essentials. You can’t, for instance, fill a prescription at the Mall of America, because it doesn’t have a pharmacy. You can, however, buy a vanilla hazelnut fragrance candle in the shape of a miniature cooking skillet. Or a $13 baseball hat that looks as though it’s made of cheddar cheese. A store called Corda-Roy’s sells a variety of bean bags that convert into beds. Magnet Max sells a battery-operated guinea pig that runs continuously on a spinning exercise wheel.

It’s the battery-operated guinea pig that stuck in my mind as a little icon of pointless/wasteful U.S consumerism (and maybe of the U.S. consumer too).  We went on a post-Xmas expedition to the Indianapolis “Fashion Mall” a few weeks ago and I had the thought that 80% of what was on offer constituted a sort of money-laundering operation, just in the sense that it really only exists in order to have something to spend your money on.  (The heavily marked-down Christmas gifts and paraphernalia especially conveyed this impression.)

A different article in today’s Times mentions the popular iPhone application iFart: “as you can pretty much deduce from the name, it enables your $200 to $300 mobile device to emit a variety of noises simulating flatulence.”  Compared to the vanilla hazelnut fragrance candles in the shape of a miniature cooking skillet, etc., though, at least the iFart application is cheap (99 cents) and will not end up in a landfill.

By the way, speaking of guinea pigs, when we got home last night at 8:30 or so we stepped over a big garbage bag in front of our front door.  It says something about our housekeeping that no one commented on it; I assumed it was something Sarah had left there for some reason.  As soon as we got in the door, the phone rang; it was Steve across the street letting us know that the bag contained a load of guinea pig poop from their pets, which Sarah covets for our backyard compost heap.  There’s quite a lot of traffic in guinea pig poop between the two households, although unfortunately Steve will not accept the contents of Pot Luck and Daisy’s litter box in exchange.

3 Responses

  1. Great title for your post. You better watch out–some indie band is likely to swipe it for their name.

    (BOGPUDNP to the fans)

  2. And You Will Know Us By Our Trail of Guinea Pig Poop

    This is in almost literally true of our household.

  3. Do you guys need any dog shit?

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