1. Japanese Apology Services
Several companies in Japan are now offering to tender apologies on your behalf. The services range from email/over the phone apologies starting at $96, to face-to-face apologies costing up to $240. And yes, crying does cost extra.
2. The Las Vegas Hangover Bus
The daily Hangover Heaven bus seems like a great idea, just climb aboard and receive IV hydration, anti-nausea medications, and anti-inflammatory medications while recouping the day after. That is, until you realize that you’re paying (in more way than one) for a night you surely spent a lot of money on and can barely remember, just to to sit in a dark bus with a needle in your arm. Ah, Las Vegas.
3. The Vending of “Official Irish Dirt”
Used by Irish immigrants around the world for housewarmings, weddings, and to ritualistically spread on the caskets of the deceased, the simple idea of exporting soil from the homeland has made Pat Burke filthy rich.
4. Japanese Ear Cleaning Parlors
Apparently this is a big deal in Japan. Japanese men are flocking to ear-cleaning parlors around the country to unwind while having their ears cleaned, an experience reminiscent of childhood cleanings that their mothers would traditionally perform. Personally, when I’m feeling nostalgic, I just buy old ’90’s toys on eBay.
5. Rent a Little Person
When your US, UK, or Canadian party is feeling a little passé, spice it up by renting a Little Person for a variety of services including but not limited to: Dwarf Tossing, the popular bar game where your strength is measured in the distance Your Little Friend travels after being hurtled through the air.
6. The Hourly Nudist
The Natural Cleaning Company of South Africa will send a naked person to your doorstep at an hourly rate. Their menu of services extend beyond those you might expect for a sans-clothing establishment (for example, they also offer naked accounting and legal consultation). In fact, the only service not condoned by Natural Cleaning Company is prostitution.
7. Rent a Significant Other in China
Inspired by similar rental services in places like Japan, the increasingly popular “Rent a Boyfriend/Girlfriend” services in China (available on Taobao, the Chinese ebBay) are designed to sidestep those awkward “why aren’t you seeing someone yet” conversations Mom and Dad love to spring on you.
8. Goldfish Leasing
For those who often find themselves alone in hotel rooms, wishing they had the companionship that could only come from a fish: The Happy Guest Hotel Lodge in Cheshire, UK will rent you a goldfish-y respite from the loneliness for the duration of your stay, for the affordable price of £5.
9. Snake Massage
Israeli spa-owner Ida Barak opts to help clients unwind and reduce their joint pain by covering them in snakes. Never mind the studies that demonstrate that some 56% of all adults are afraid of snakes.
10. Grandmas for Hire
For when you’re having a cookie emergency, this Australia-based company offers a selection of grandmothers for a variety of applications. My favorite part is the website’s slogan, “You can trust our grandmas.”
11. Your Own Personal Stalkerazzi
With New York-based Methodizaz, you can have an anonymous stranger follow you (or someone else), taking candid photos. The product (to “present you with your personal works of art”) is fabulous. But the proces? Downright creepy.
12. Bicycle Taxidermy
UK artist Regan Appleton describes his service better than I ever could: “The loving and lasting solution for your mechanical bereavement.”
13. Anonymous Nose Hair Notification
Avoid the faux pas with this fabulous service courtesy of Chololi. Originally from Japan, but spread worldwide thanks to the internet, you simply put in the recipient’s contact information and Chololi anonymously informs them that they need a trim.
14. Ashes to Portraits
I’ve always thought: “When I die, I want to watch over my family for eternity as a portrait… painted with my own ashes.” Thank goodness Virginia’s Cremation Solutions has got me covered, starting at the low-low price of $127.
15. Hakali Cactus Massage
Available at resorts around Mexico, this exotic specialty massage employs cactus paddles, a blend of prickly pear, and a derivative of tequila. And no, it’s not for drinking.
16. Chicken Trial Rentals
Because nothing is worse than buyer’s remorse…Australia-based Rentachook helps you decide whether or not you’d like to be a Chook-keeper (chook, of course, being Aussie slang for chicken) by giving you the opportunity to play with poultry, commitment-free. As Dave of Rentachook says, “If you return it, you rented it. If you keep it, you bought it.”
17. Last Meal Delivery
In Toronto, the Last Meal Delivery Service will deliver you the last meal requested by an inmate on Death Row. Bonus: The meal comes with a DVD and a custom paper mask in the likeness of the doomed prisoner whose last meal you’re eating.
18. Pet Poop-Scooping
Okay, if you’ve never really thought about it, the idea of having people professionally picking up your pet-leavings is super weird. Perhaps unsurprisingly, poop-scooping is a service much harder to find in places outside of the US.