Nov 8, 2012

Remember November: Rhyming Household Products

Back in the late 80s and 90s, there was a fascination with creating products of convenience that filled a gap you didn't know you had.

For example - sitting on a chair just not comfortable enough?

Plop your hoofs onto the Feet Seat:

Eating on your lap creating too much kinetic tension between your food and your pants? 

Whack your plate on a Stable Table:

At the end of the day, they were selling us ottomans and trays, products that have probably been around since the Stone Age. One can imagine a cave man sitting on one rock and putting his feet up on another; while his recently-gored-by-a-mammoth mate watched ochre paintings while scoffing berries from a piece of slate.

Like my Dad thousands of years later, the cave men would probably even giggle whenever somebody said "Where's the pouffe?"

But throw a silly catcy name on it, and watch the cash roll in. The only difference with these new-wave ottomans and trays was that both were full of beans. Bean bag beans. The kind of beans that once spilled, could never be recollected. For years after a refilling mishap, one would find tiny white beans under couches, in the corner of living rooms, wedged between carpet fibres.

Ultimately, I think it was the beans that led to the rhyming household products' demise. They were just too easily eaten by small children, pets, and people mistaking them for floor Tic-Tacs.

But I sometimes miss the days when you couldn't walk into Kmart without ploughing headfirst into giant pyramids of Feet Seats and Stable Tables. Somebody should bring back modern versions - sit on a "Flair Chair", have your baby on a "Pushin' Cushion", or whip up a truly electric stirfry in a "Shock Wok".

I should get paid for this kind of brainstorming, I really should.


  1. "have your baby on a "Pushin' Cushion"
    I don't think the image I have in mind is what the manufacturers & marketers meant.
    Urban Dictionary agrees with the 12yo in me.

  2. It unfortunately doesn't have a rhyming name, but the other product that comes to mind from this period is the Ezykneel Garden Kneeler

    Seems we just couldn't get enough cushioning in the 80s.

  3. No beans, sadly, but surely the Queen of the Obvious and the Empress of the Unnecessary was the K-Tel Record Selector.

  4. Heath - cushioning is key to so many things, I think, possibly up to and including world peace.

    Anonymous - I have heard that name "K-Tel Record Selector" so many times, but I've never seen one in the flesh, or, electronics. Doubt I ever will now!