Sometimes really bad ideas turn out to be brilliant in the end. Sometimes great ideas turn out to be utter failures.
But there is a special intersection of bad idea meets bad results that leaves the rest of the world slapping their foreheads exclaiming “DUH” in unison.
Here are a few unrelated ideas that are united only by how dumb they were from the get-go.
The premise is cute on its face: Designers in Ontario, Canada, developed a robot integrated with social media that was hitchhiking across countries, assisted only by the good will of people. Sure, that might work fine in Canada where the people are stereotypically overly nice. According to the robot’s website, hitchBOT hitchhiked across Canada last summer, hitching a total of 19 rides in 26 days, traveling more than 6,200 miles. HitchBOT’s adventure continued in Germany and the Netherlands. But people actually thought that could work in America? Come on.
And sure enough, a mere two weeks into its trek across our great land — starting in Salem, Mass., with the goal of making it to San Francisco — things came to an abrupt halt. The bot made it all the way to Philadelphia where he was dropped off in the early morning hours on a bench in a popular tourist area and subsequently destroyed by some horrible, awful, no-good people.
“As researchers, we wanted to know, ‘Can robots trust humans?’ and knew there would always be the possibility that hitchBOT would be damaged or stolen,” said Dr. David Harris Smith, assistant professor at McMaster University and hitchBOT co-creator in a news release. Well, buddy, you now have your super obvious answer: No — at least not in America.
2. Heinz EZ Squirt Colored Ketchup
Remember this stuff? Ketchup in super weird colors that nobody in the history of ever would actually buy? I can see the conversation in the C-Suite now. “Hey Mr. CEO, how we can improve an already perfect product?” “Uhm, how about different colors? Like a rainbow. A rainbow you can eat. But not Skittles. A ketchup rainbow.” And apparently people did buy it for a very short period of time. (Probably to give their children nightmares more than actual desire for the product.) More than 25 million bottles of the colored ketchup was sold in the early 2000s, but it was ultimately discontinued in 2006. Thank heavens.
3. Any doll that has bodily functions
I do NOT understand this. In what universe would anyone want a baby doll that can pee and poop? In what universe would you want to give children, who can probably barely make it to the toilet themselves, a doll that’s just going to make a mess everywhere? Some of the dolls, like the Baby Alive Whoopsie Doo Doll, have special juice you have to use to make them “poop” and special diapers you have to buy to catch the refuse. So seriously, why pay to feed and diaper an inanimate object? Actual babies are bad enough. And at least they can smile at you. That totally defeats the purpose of the doll. Needless to say, while these products make an appearance once in awhile, they never stick around for too long. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
4. Anytime anyone has ever consumed Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
This might seem like a good idea five drinks into a binge night. But trust me. It never, ever, ever is — anyone who is sober would agree with me, I’m sure. I made it through five years of college without ever once paying alcohol-induced homage to the porcelain throne. You know what ruined that streak? Fireball shots. And this is a common thread in various tales of Fireball woe. So know now: This idea is really dumb. If someone pulls out the Fireball, back away slowly and no one will get hurt.
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