Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for November 3rd, 2015

The Best Pet Ever

Posted by terrepruitt on November 3, 2015

The other day on my way home from teaching Nia I heard something mind-boggling on the radio.  I had to keep repeating it in my head as I drove so that I could remember it when I got home.  Of course, once I was home, I had to look it up.  Now either I heard it wrong or they said it wrong, but either way, it is mind-boggling.  Do you remember pet rocks?  Those of you that did not live through the pet rock fad might not know what that is and when I tell you, if you have never heard it before, you are not going to believe it.  What I heard was that the man who thought of it made a million dollars in two months.  Well that is not really incorrect, just differently stated than the information on Wiki.  He sold 1.5 million pet rocks in six months at $4.00 a piece.  He sold rocks and made millions.

According to Wiki, an advertising executive Gary Dahl, was in a bar in Bonny Doon, CA where he had the idea of a pet that wouldn’t need any taking care of after he heard his friends all complaining about their pets.  From about September 1975 to February 1976, the rocks were sold for $4.00.  They were in a cardboard box with “air holes” even though the pet didn’t need to breathe.  They came with an instruction manual that per Wiki was “A 32-page official training manual titled The Care and Training of Your Pet Rock was included, with instructions on how to properly raise and care for one’s new Pet Rock (notably lacking instructions for feeding, bathing, etc.).  The instruction manual was the real product: it was full of gags, puns and jokes.”

That just struck me as funny that he made millions of dollars from selling rocks AS PETS.  I mean, a lot of people sell rocks, there are rocks needed for buildings, fireplaces, walkways, decorations, and a lot of things, but a rock as a pet?  That is hilarious.  I don’t actually remember owning one, but I was at that age where I would have wanted the best pet there is to have, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I had one.  I just don’t remember.  I’ll have to check with my dad.  He might remember selling them.  At some period when I was a child, my parents owned a toy store, but I don’t know if it was at the same time as the pet rock fad.  If it was, then I am sure we carried them in the store, but that doesn’t mean I got one.

Funny things.  If that isn’t funny enough on September 03, 2012, The Pet Rock was again available for purchase.  I don’t know what they were selling for in 2012, but now they are $19.95.  Yes you can BUY your own pet rock.  It comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

Do you remember Pet Rocks?  Did you have one?  Do you remember any other silly fads?  Did you participate in any silly fads?

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