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I don't normally write about marketed items that I find silly.  Though, if I did, I would have a seemingly infinite amount of topics to write about.  If you really consider most items you find in your local market for very long, you will likely conclude very quickly that the majority of what you see, you don't need.  But, there are also those items that clearly go beyond the 'unneeded' category and well into the realm of 'ridiculously unnecessary'.

I feel that the entire YETI line of products easily falls into this category.  I've been seeing this stuff everywhere.  First, there was a guy in my office who was showing off his new cup that he got from Sam's.  It's a YETI knock-off, but works just as well, he says.  Something about the acoustics of the office space I work in results in my ability to hear virtually every conversation that takes place on our floor.  So, I ended up being marketed by my co-worker's tales of keeping ice all day long in his cup despite multiple refills of water.  Over and over again, I overheard the boasts as he told everyone individually.

Then, on a visit to Race Brothers, a local farm & home store, to pick up some bolts and washers, I saw a large display of YETI products, most of which were wearable gear sporting the brand name, not the actual product.  I was confused.  Having a desire of keeping your drink cold, I get.  But buying a $50 hoodie that proudly displays the brand name of your $40 cup that keeps your drink cold is a bit asinine.

A couple days later, while waiting in traffic at a stoplight, I noticed that the Jeep in front of me had a YETI sticker in the back windshield.  This wasn't a graphic like you would see on a sales representative's vehicle, this was just some boob that was proud of his discretionary spending choice.

A family member of ours recently commented on the trend of water bottles.  It was a good observation.  She humorously pointed out that many people these days take a water bottle with them wherever they go.  "What are we?  A bunch of babies that can't be without our bottles?", she mused.  "We never carried bottles of water with us when we left home and none of us ever died of dehydration."

So, with the YETI, not only must we never be caught without our most beloved beverage, but we'll be able to keep it cold all day long for the low low price of a ridiculous amount of money.  Craigslist is even teeming with new and used YETI products.  When I saw this soft carry cooler for $350, I didn't doubt that this was probably a "deal" in comparison to the cost of a new one.  I found that they sell the new ones for $400.  These hold 32 12-ounce cans and keep them cool for $400.  I've never paid as much as $400 for a refrigerator let alone a cooler.

I also ran across this ad on Craigslist.  This person evidently left their $400 YETI cooler in the back of their truck while they slept at a local Days Inn.  Someone capitalized on the easy pickens along with their 6' aluminum ramps.  While I feel bad for them and hope that they do miraculously see their stolen goods returned, I sort of think that they should simply purchase some replacement steel ramps at Harbor Freight with a coupon for $50 and a nice cooler of similar size for $40, and save the remaining $410 they are offering for a reward. 

I don't mean to call anyone stupid for purchasing anything YETI.  I'm sure if someone looked at my life and all my purchases they could find plenty of things that I spent money on and didn't need, too.  I'm no better than the next consumer in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure.  I guess it's these moments in life that I realize the extent of the frivolous nature of American consumerism that I am floored by how meaningless some of our materialist fads can be.  And, perhaps, in my own way, I'm just trying to get others to practice some introspection of their own.


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