"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Growing up, one of my best friends had an uncle who was in the infomercial business, and his home was a literal warehouse of “As Seen on TV” specials. So, to impress me with its pointlessness, a product has to be truly special. It has to seek to satisfy a need so unneeded, a laziness so lonely in its lethargy, or a hunger so base that no one has ever bothered to make something for it. It has to be for the truly, madly, deeply gullible.
And yet, inspired but a recent chance encounter with a personal collector of such things, a little bit of digging finds the food world rife with genius-level inanity, from the fork-cum-pizza-cutter to the Motorized Ice Cream Cone. Here, then, are a few of our favorites. And no, we don’t own any of them. Yet.