12 Weirdest things on sale in the US

America: where capitalism came to buy more stuff. You can purchase literally ANYTHING in this country, which throws up some very weird conundrums between what you want and what you actually need.

I want a home defibrillator but do I actually need one? Probably not, but I can’t see into the future, so maybe I should get one anyway. I don’t want to be the fool who didn’t order those paddles online and then finds themselves having a heart attack on the lounge room floor. That’d just be stupid.

As an immigrant, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the weird and wonderful items on display in shops or staring out at you from websites like Amazon. So I boxed them up in a pretty little post for you and everyone else around the world to enjoy.

Survival Rations

I know that thereΒ have always been “survivalists” out there who have that bag packed and a secret place to escape to come the revolution or the apocalypse, or some other major catastrophe. But ever since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, things in the survivalist area seem to be ramping up considerably.

Silicon Valley tech executives and the “super-rich” are prepping for doomsday, which leads me to the first find that made my jaw drop: enough emergency food for four people to live on for a year.

For the all-time low price of $4,000, you can have the piece of mind that only 31,500 servings of freeze dried and dehydrated food can give. You don’t even need electricity to heat them up – just ad water and you’re done. It even comes with its own cook book in case you want to spice things up while living under a rock in a barren wasteland.

There’s everything from fruit, vegetables, meat, fish dairy and baking essentials (because birthdays don’t stop for the apocalypse). And fear not, America’s favourite food bacon is well represented with eight packages included. Good luck storing the 378 cans you’re having delivered!

Mirror That Answers Your Phone

Have you ever been doing your make up, plucking those pesky eyebrows or getting rid of unsightly nose hair when the phone rings? Sure you’re busy doing something that requires at least some form of concentration – but the phone is ringing!

Rather than stopping, running to your landline (who even has one of those?) or putting the mobile call on speaker phone, all you have to do is route it through your mirror.

You can take narcissism to the next level by staring at yourself while talking about yourself to someone else. And if your shower singing requires back up music, the mirror will even play music and charge your phone! Perfect! Just what my bathroom has been missing for all these years.

Light Up Your… Pee?

There’s nothing worse than being blinded by that bathroom light when you get out of bed for a midnight tinkle. America has fixed that for you with its very own motion activated toilet bowl nightlight.

Judging from the disgruntled comments left from customers, they may not have worked out all of the kinks in this system. Although you do get helpful tips from customers such as not to use the red setting because it ends up looking “like a bowl full of blood”.

Maybe hold off until they manage GlowBowl 2.0, since the light doesn’t actually seem to turn off once you leave the throne room. You can also switch it to alternate colours, so that you can have your own bathroom rave whenever you want. You’ve been warned!

The Artichoke Measuring Tape

How often do you cook artichokes? I’m talking the entire thing, not just the hearts? I’m guessing it’s a couple of times a year, at best.

Personally, I haven’t really struggled to work out when my mess of green leaves are cooked, but in case you struggle to get it right, there’s a measuring tape for that.

I didn’t even realise that you could microwave an artichoke to be honest. Why would you need to do that? I’m obviously missing out on some stellar meals over here.

All you’ve got to do is wrap this tape around the widest part of your ‘choke and cook it for the corresponding time. Easy as pie! Still weird though.

Doggles Dog Goggles

When that particular pooch of yours just won’t keep his head inside the car, or is riding pinion like the road dog he is, his eyes are going to dry out. It’s simple biology people!

Solution? Doggles of course! Give your dog that “just stepped out of an Olympic pool” look with googles that will protect him. Pair it with one of those leather aviator’s caps and Fido can transfer from car to plane with ease. And look like Mutley.


I shared my blog around the traps, as usual, and got some cracking additions to this post, so I’m updating it with the weird and wonderful things you can buy in the US, as noticed by the members of The KIWI and EMU International beer gardenΒ (an awesome group, which you should join if you’re an Aussie or Kiwi expat) and, as usual, the Australians in San Francisco group.

Adam Pyke was particularly prolific in finding and photographing weird stuff. Here are his contributions!

If it looks like a Christmas tree and smells like a Christmas tree…

It’s probably a fake. That’s right, in the US you can buy pine tree scent to spray on your fake plastic trees (Radiohead pun intended). This stuff is bound to be full of lovely artificial things that will get right up your nose.

You’ll have to pardon me being slow on the uptake, but it seems that you can also use this stuff for your fake snow berry wreath! Or any wreath at all, I’m sure no one will pull you up on it.

Camo Vacuum Cleaner

Say you’re in the forest (or bush to any Aussies out there) and you’ve dropped some crumbs. The thought of bears smelling those crumbs in the night (or day) and sneaking up on your campsite for a midnight snack of human might be a little scary.

Never fear! The Camoflagued portable vacuum is here! It looks kind of fuzzy, like you could lean it up against a tree and anyone would think it was a vine. What other situation could you POSSIBLY need this for?

Baking With Bacon

Have you ever been chewing on a piece of cake and stopped to ponder “this could really use more bacon”? It happens to me all the time to be honest, but in my home country, I just don’t know how to satisfy the craving.

Betty Crocker’s got my Americanised-back though. If you can’t bake that bacon INTO the cake, why not slather it on top?


There is no why-to or wherefore when it comes to Handerpants. The picture says it all. My jaw is on the floor.

Rubber Mulch

There’s a drought in California right now. It doesn’t feel like it since it seems like it rained every day of winter, but there you have it. Droughts don’t just clear themselves up in a couple of months.

A lot of people have resorted to drought-hardy plants for their gardens but others have gone the astro-turf route. I’m assuming this is the next step in that very same direction.

Garden In A Box

Speaking of gardening, Fiona Pyke – who I’m guessing is somehow connectedΒ to dear Adam – goes one step further… or is it one step back?

For the lazy gardener anywhere. Just roll out this 10-foot mat of flowers, water and let mother nature do the rest. Ingenious!

Guns In The Sporting Goods Store

You need new sneakers (runners, joggers, running shoes, whatever you call them!) so you head to your local purveyor of sporting equipment. Low and behold, what do you see?

You got it. Guns of all shapes, sizes and colours. This was helpfully pointed out and provided by Jake Bloom – I’d forgotten about it because I’ve been avoiding said shops like the plague since I noticed this.

That’sΒ our list, but I’m sure you’ve come across something in the shops or online and had to do a double-take. What are the weirdest things you’ve seen for sale in the US?

Aussie | Expat | Aussie Expat in US | expat life | weird things on sale | strange things you can buy | things to buy in america |America | shopping
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60 thoughts on “12 Weirdest things on sale in the US

  1. LOL – this is the wackiest collection of items for sale! Especially the survival kit – the food looks awful too. I’m wondering if I’d rather die than live off that for a year. Nice idea for a blog post – and hello from another fellow Aussie.

  2. Went back to read about those survival rations once again. I mean, come on… Where does it end! πŸ˜€ It reminds me on the Cold War situation. And don’t even want to go to those “handerpants” and “baking with bacon”, not even sure how to explain it to myself! πŸ˜€ Thanks, you’ve made me laugh!

    1. Every culture and country has things that are strange to outsiders… I just feel like America has an abundance of them. And that’s what I like about this place, it appeals to my inner strangeness!

    1. No! Don’t be! If this was a list of weird things you could buy in Australia, we’d be proud. Like a kangaroo who doesn’t give any effs.

  3. OMG!! LOL. That was a great way to start my Saturday.
    As a budding entrepreneur I often wish I lived in the US. Things just don’t fly off the shelves in Australia like they do in the US. There are just so many of you over there that it seems you can sell ANYTHING!

    1. That made me happy to read! Thank you.
      I get the feeling your stuff would fly off the shelves for quality-reasons, and not novelty ones.

  4. I’m always fascinated by the weirdness available for purchase in the US. I must admit the apocalypse kit kind of appeals to my inner survivalist “rushes off to count the cans in the pantry.” Some of these are just hilarious, the toilet bowl nightlight and the dog goggles get my vote!

  5. Great list! Your writing is hilarious πŸ™‚ How about all those things you never knew you needed them until you saw this advert! Where can I order that 1 year food supplies? πŸ™‚ Interesting read!

    1. Aww, thanks Inge. I think I’m way too long-winded, but I can’t help myself.
      Hahaha, I know right? I don’t even OWN a dog but I totally want those goggles!

  6. That was an interesting article. Most of the items mentioned here are not available in my country. The survival rations sounds really funny.

  7. I love this post, it’s hilarious πŸ˜€ I am from Croatia but when I first came in US I was shocked with all the things you can actually buy there πŸ˜€ Even a regular visit to a super market would last twice longer than home. But maple bacon…omfg :))))

    1. I was exactly the same when I got here! I’d just go through the aisles so slowly to look at all the strange stuff. Or spend ages trying to find the things I needed for a recipe!

  8. Hilarious. Love the roll out flowers – that’s my sort of gardening. And the prepper stash of food is quite sensible right now. But bacon flavoured icing? Really? Just… yuck.

    1. I guess, we never know when “someone” will hit the button and launch nuclear war… Anyway, I’m a fan of the roll out garden as well. Although my issues arrive after the garden is planted and I have to remember to water everything.

    1. I could have looked into that a little more, but I feel like the more I knew about them, the less funny they might be. I *may* be thinking of sending them to my brothers as gag gifts at Christmas though.

  9. hahah this is absolutely amazing! I have a friend from Canada and she has some pretty amazing and unique things as well in her home ( now in Australia ) and i guess the Americans are exactly the same with some weird stuff! Funny read!

    1. Ohh, I’d love to hear what things she finds strange in Australia! Since all of that stuff is kind of normal to me!

  10. OMG, I just love this article, I’m an American living in the Netherlands, and miss that I can get whatever my heart desires here. Thanks for sharing, was funny to read. I actually had the doggy goggles for my toy poodle, but he was on the motor with me, so he needed them too πŸ™‚

    1. Love the doggy goggles and that your pooch had a pair as well! On a motorbike I’m guessing you really need it. Have fun in the Netherlands!

  11. OMG I have the mirror. I remember when I came to the US I was just in amazement that there was the home shopping network 24/7 I thought who are these people at 3:45am with credit card in hand?? What is this? I was also remember my first time to Whole Foods and every fruit and vegetable was perfect. I remember feeling them thinking they were plastic. Then I walked out shaking my head thinking someone has way way too much time on there hands. This is the same time as Jim & Tammy Baker scandal but another time on that. I really was where am I??
    I love your article the vacuum made me laugh so hard.
    Well written!!!
    Ex Aussie

    1. Hahahaha, you’re a true American now!
      I never watch the Home Shopping Network. I used to watch it at home when I had insomnia and think the same thing. Who buys that stuff? Then I started getting interested in buying the stuff so I stopped watching before I get into the real heart of darkness πŸ˜‰
      And the more we demand absolutely perfect fruit and vegies the more food gets wasted because farmers can’t sell them so they either go to livestock or are chucked out.

  12. These are hilarious. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I’ve actually enthusiastically bought something on your list…. the Scentsicles. For some reason, I don’t get the pine scent though. I think I went with Snowberry. Those Handerpants would make a great joke gift.

    1. Hahaha, don’t be embarrassed! Everyone buys something that’s strange to other people! I’m totally getting the Handerpants as joke gifts for everyone I’ve ever met!

  13. Lol!! This is hilarious–it amazes me what can be found for sale sometimes. Handerpants?? And Artichoke Measuring Tape? So many strange items–I wonder how many of these items even sell!

    1. The Artichoke measuring tape was on Amazon. I don’t know if that’s a testament to its saleability or previous sales… But, yeah. Weird right?

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