So if you, like some Americans, are now more willing to burn a hole in your wallet, why not make a minor indulgence in some mindless products?
This year, plenty of those have been released, as platforms like Kickstarter have brought depraved twists on a fun party game to life and inventors have helped to settle the age-old question of how to to best dip your Oreo in milk.
Check out some bizarre products that have come out this year:
Cards Against Humanity
Described as a "party game for horrible people", <a href="http://cardsagainsthumanity.com/" target="_hplink">Cards Against Humanity</a> blew by its <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200751084/cards-against-humanity?ref=search" target="_hplink">Kickstarter fundraising goal</a> just before the new year. A raunchier Apples to Apples, the game involves a "Card Czar" who controls the black cards, which feature questions or prompts. Players then submit white cards to create the most awkward or offensive answer, with the czar selecting the best combo, giving a point to the winner. Some potential combos include: "What are my parents hiding from me?" -Harry Potter erotica -Peanut Butter Jelly Time -Italians -Grandma
Straight from the "why didn't I think of that?" category is <a href="http://www.thedipr.com/" target="_hplink">the Dipr</a>, a spoon for dunking cookies in milk. Long gone are the days of parents teaching their kids proper dunking technique. Just give them a Dipr and let them go to town. The Dipr comes in five colors and costs $2.99.
Nerf Shoot to Snooze Alarm Clock
There's nothing fun about pressing the snooze button in the morning one or two (hundred) times. Until now. Shooting the side of this <a href="http://www.gadgetgrotto.com/gifts-gadgets-c112/gifts-novelty-c3/clocks-c42/nerf-shoot-to-snooze-alarm-clock-p114413?source=webgains&siteid=54264" target="_hplink">Nerf alarm clock</a> with any of the foamy projectiles in the Nerf arsenal silences the alarm. The clock costs $24, but that doesn't include the cost of buying that awesome crossbow you'll need to actually shoot Nerf bullets at it.
PowerUp Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit.
School just started back up and in classrooms everywhere mischievous paper artists are crafting an airplane for a few seconds of flight. <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e9e7/#tabs" target="_hplink">PowerUp's Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit</a> lets users outfit their paper airplanes with a rechargeable propellor that provides 30 seconds of flight. It'll cost you $20 to really annoy your teacher.
3D printing is everywhere these days. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/man-3d-printer-rifle_n_1753513.html" target="_hplink">Some people are printing homemade guns</a>, while others, like NYU student Marko Manriquez, are creating things like <a href="http://www.burritob0t.com" target="_hplink">the Burritob0t</a>, a 3D printer that prepares burritos. Although popular burrito ingredients like shredded lettuce and chunky salsa can't be strained or liquified into printable ink, the Burritob0t is still an interesting look at the future of food-related inventions. There's currently not a price available for the Burritob0t, but Manriquez wants to open the device up to other developers.
English Earthworm Gin
If you don't like the taste of alcohol to begin with, then <a href="http://www.firebox.com/product/5404/English-Garden-Worm-Gin?aff=512&awc=550_1343660621_f2b6b8e8e131ef782f1ff4a4031fafe2" target="_hplink">English Garden Worm Gin</a> will be even tougher to swallow. This <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/english-earthworm-gin_n_1724883.html" target="_hplink">$32 gin features a worm in the bottle</a>. The creature's inclusion has been said to enhance flavor, offer an aphrodisiac and help whoever eats it get drunk more quickly.
Hug Me Jacket
Designer Si Chan's coat will keep you warm in the winter while making you feel loved. The coat features five clasped pairs of hands riding up the front in a simultaneous hug. The surreal-looking Hug Me jacket is currently in the prototype stage, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/hug-me-jacket_n_1858836.html" target="_hplink">Chan would like to have it for sale online within the year</a> for an estimated $1,270.
Lapka Organic Food Tester for iPhone
As demand grows for organic food, some more purist consumers may become wary of how organic their meals really are. To find out, Lapka created an iPhone plug-in and sensor that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/lapka-iphone-sensor-tests_n_1760144.html" target="_hplink">tests the "organicity" of a user's food</a> by prodding it and searching for questionable additives. The curious eater will have to cough up <a href="http://mylapka.com/" target="_hplink">$220 for the Lapka</a>.
The future of the picnic table can fit in an envelope. Designers at Dutch firm <a href="http://www.studiotoer.com/buypostable" target="_hplink">Studio Toer created "Postable"</a>, a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/postable-table-portable-fits-inside-envelope_n_1662020.html" target="_hplink">table assembled from 1 mm-thick sheets of stainless steel</a> and capable of folding down to fit in an envelope. Having a truly portable table will cost you, though, with the 23-inch long Postable priced at $190, the mid-size at $480 and the 70-inch table at $870.
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