This Day in Death

3.23.15: Gary Dahl, Inventor of the Pet Rock – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:57 am April 1, 2015

GARY_DAHLIf a Spencer Gifts could ejaculate, this is what it would look like.


Back in the 1970s, civilization was still submerged in a bubbling bath of primordial ooze and chlamydia, bouncing aimlessly from discotheque to key party and back again in an endless search for ever-bigger fucking shirt collars. Then one day a young visionary named Gary Dahl beheld this motley stew, recognized that the people simply needed a little direction to allow them to reach their full potential, took a hard look in the mirror, and realized he could probably turn a quick buck on these backwater rubes. So he packaged a bunch of rocks under the guise of some vague existential statement and sold them for $3.95 a pop. That’s $17.23 in 2015 dollars, by the way. For that price you could buy one of those “get your shit together” books and stand a chance of actually contributing something meaningful to the world some day. Instead a bunch of hippies spent a combined two mil on rocks in boxes while complaining about consumerism run amok and you wonder why people like me are on a slow but steady march to suicide.

But this post is more than just a thinly-veiled cry for help. The famed… let’s say “inventor”… has died at the age of 78. Yeah, that works. I mean, sure, he “invented” the Pet Rock in the same sense that Columbus “discovered” America: That shit was already there, they just had to keep people from realizing it until they could cash out and/or get some cities named after them. Shine on, you magnificent hucksters!

“People are so damn bored, tired of all their problems,” he told People magazine in 1975. “This takes them on a fantasy trip — you might say we’ve packaged a sense of humor.”

He recruited two colleagues as investors, visited a building-supply store and bought a load of smooth Mexican beach stones at about a penny apiece.

The genius was in the packaging. Each Pet Rock came in a cardboard carrying case, complete with air holes, tenderly nestled on a bed of excelsior. Mr. Dahl’s droll masterstroke was his accompanying manual on the care, feeding and house training of Pet Rocks.

It just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, it only matters how what you’re selling looks. That’s probably why Bible sales are way down. Without some razzle dazzle on the outside all you’re left with is a thousand pages of life lessons about not washing your beard near another man’s sheep or whatever. Let’s see if we can’t put some meat on that grill:


Now that’s a Bizzible worthy of the limited-edition phylactery treatment. You won’t be able to burnish your calfskin fast enough to keep these suckers on the shelves.

Source: The NY Times

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