Once upon a time there was the Pet Rock. Today, we have crumbled asphalt, the detritus of pavement gone awry, turned into “pothole-pourri” – packaged and sold online through a pothole-theme retailer.
In case that sounds like an entrepreneurial effort to turn something unpleasant into something a little more fun – and perhaps profitable – then yes, you are correct. Online retailer Dave Stern of Chicago is doing just that with the Pothole Store online. According to the site, the retailer’s mission is “to provide the highest quality, 100% authentic Chicago pothole products at the lowest prices.” That includes a certificate of naming rights for individual potholes ($6.99); a “Flat Tire Package” that has includes earrings and a necklace studded with asphalt chunks, pothole-scented air fresheners and a pothole snow dome ($19.99); the pothole-pourri ($3.99); and a contraband-like baggie of pothole chunks sold under names familiar to Chicagoans, where Stern’s operation is based: “Skokie Tokie,” “Wabash Hash,” “Evanstoned” and “Stoney Island” all retail for $3.29 – no medical asphalt prescription required.
What Stern understands and sells is the human desire to laugh off the pain of potholes. Good luck amulets, each holding a single chunk of street, retail for $2.99 which the product catalog explains might save the motorist $567 later in wheel alignment repairs. We all hope it works.
While the retailer qualifies that this is all tongue-in-cheek, it nonetheless touches on the jarring, excruciating experience of car-in-pothole. Along with its sister site, JustOneBadCentury.com, which celebrates the 100+ years since the Chicago Cubs won a World Series, Windy City drivers/ball fans look forward to a time when potholes and losing ball teams will be in the past.