A glass that does what?

We get food from McDonalds sometimes. The kids like it and I don’t mind it; no-one is pretending it’s a healthy choice but every now and again is no big deal. Sometimes, McDonalds give you ‘collectables’ when you buy food from them. As an example, we have some aluminium coke cups from McDonalds that the kids like and use frequently.

Yesterday, they gave us something I’d never seen before - a rocking glass. It’s a wide (glass) tumbler - like a whiskey glass - with a small protruding dimple in the centre of the base. So, the glass will not (cannot!) sit flat on a table or bench, but has a sort of wobbling, rocking motion and sits on a slight lean. This is frankly ridiculous. I cannot imagine anyone having any use for such a thing, and it went directly into the bin after I wondered at the stupidity for a few seconds. What a waste.

20 Euros

When I started to write this, I googled for ‘Rocking Glass’ to see if there was a proper term for what I was trying to describe. It turns out that not only is there a term (it’s ‘Rocking Glass’), but you can buy the things quite readily. For example, at normann copenhagen, you can buy a four piece Rocking Glass set for 20 euros. I don’t know anything about normann copenhagen, but the Danes are supposed to be gurus of design so I guess that makes me the philistine.

The explanation

Google helpfully gives me some dropdowns:

  1. What is the point of a rocking whiskey glass?
  2. What is a rocking glass?
  3. What are the best crystal whiskey glasses?
  4. Why are whiskey glasses angled?
  5. What glass is best for whiskey?

Want to know what the answer is? Well, according to Drink Stuff - an ‘online retailer of bar, glassware, tableware and catering equipment’:

More than simply an interesting gimmick, the rocking and rolling shape of these whisky glasses is designed to help release the flavours and aromas of your favourite whisky. Whereas you would normally swirl the drink around the glass by hand, with the Rocking Whiskey Glass you can simply set it down and give it a tap to send it swirling around on its own!

This is, of course, utter bollocks.

Human nature

I sometimes think I know something about human nature. When out driving (for example), I can observe a traffic situation and usually predict fairly accurately how it will play out. I can predict which politicians will get elected, even though I might think they are utter scumbags unsuitable choices. And then I encounter something like the Rocking Glass, and realise I know nothing.

It reminds me of the Bradford Exchange. If you get the newspaper (we usually do on the weekends), you’ll sometimes see ads for their products. And I remember them from when I was a kid, so Bradford has been around for a long time. The products sold by the Bradford Exchange are - without exception - complete and utter nonsense. It’s genuinely hard for me to describe just how truly terrible the products are. Partly due to my inadequate writing skills, and partly because it doesn’t seem real.

Don’t believe me? How about the Bushland Whispers Tea-reasures collection? It’s a sculpture1 of a teacup with two robins perched on the rim and a nest inside. With a “porcelain-like finish”. Yikes. How about the John Wayne: Western Legend Knife Replica? It’s got a “hard-fired porcelain blade” (so it’s completely useless), and “a bronzed three-dimensional sculpt of John Wayne graces the hand-painted handle”.

To me, this stuff is immediate garbage. Take one look, marvel briefly at the inanity, and straight into the bin. But here’s the thing: like the Rocking Glass, someone, somewhere is buying this crap. And in enough quantity to keep the garbage merchants at Bradford in business.

But to give Bradford some credit; they aren’t entirely without self-awareness. Check out this line from their website:

Where you will find that one missing piece that really fills the void inside? And where else would you find a Ned Kelly Cuckoo Clock? You’ve already clicked here… might as well buy something and enjoy yourself! Shop Now!

There’s nothing I can add to that.

1A definition of sculpture. I guess it counts: Tate gallery: Three-dimensional art made by one of four basic processes: carving, modelling, casting, constructing.