Top 5 randomly generated objects, ranked

When I was searching up ideas for my weekly column, “Listen to Joey talk ad nauseam about topics so niche you question his mental stability” (a working title,) I was having some trouble thinking of a third topic.

This is a problem that presents itself in many forms throughout my life; I’ll come up with two topics and struggle to find a third that matches the grandeur of the first two. The number three is a tough one for me. Is that why I failed high school geometry?

As such, I decided to rank another set of items. However, this time it isn’t a restaurant with foods I’m familiar with. In fact, the upcoming set of items consists completely of juxtaposed paraphernalia that I’ve rarely used, if ever. I figured that if I had a reliable, worthwhile opinion on anything, it would be things I’ve never encountered or had any experience with!

The five items on this list include: a pencil holder, a set of nail clippers, a teapot, a jar of jam and swim goggles. Groundbreaking stuff, truly. If you need to pause to wipe tears from your eyes, the pages of The Reporter work great as tissues.

I know the President of the JJCSA (Jam Jar Collective Society of America) or the Executive Chair of SGWDK (Swim Goggles for Water Deficient Kids) may be reading this. I mean no disrespect by this ranking list, at all. But I do have to say, if the most valuable item in your life is a $1.29 nail clipper from Target, I have some questions. 1) Why? 2) For what? 3) Really?

That being said, in last place is the nail clipper. For a normal person, the nail clipper serves as a very efficient home care tool, used to trim nails to appropriate lengths, snip off stubborn hangnails or cut a very, very tiny sandwich in half. 

I, however, am a little bit unhinged. When my nails grow too long, I opt to rip them off entirely like a madman rather than snip them off like leaves on a bonsai tree. It’s all very neanderthalic in nature, ripping my nails off. It also might just be the fact that I do it in a dimly lit wet cave, though, guided only by the dying light of the sun setting in the West. Just me?

In fourth place are the swim goggles. Right away, swim goggles are probably one of the nerdiest accessories one can wear, right behind the Minnesota State lanyard you can put your MavCard in, like a kangaroo pouch, or Velcro shoes with fake shoestrings to hide the fact that you never learned how to tie your shoes.

Also, where are you swimming in Mankato in 2023 that requires goggles? I can promise that, no matter what lake you may be swimming in, the water will still be brown and murky, no matter how clear your vision may be. One suggestion: putting on a VR headset, playing an underwater ocean video and getting into a bathtub.

Third place is a pencil holder. The wrangler of writing utensils, a pencil holder can come in many forms: a box, a coffee mug, or even a subservient little crab with two upright claws that can clamp the pencil down securely. If you’re really looking to break the law, you can even put things into pencil holders that aren’t pencils,. Pens? Highlighters? My hands are shaking in fear just typing this sentence. It took me 10 minutes just to write this clause.

In second place, the first alternate, is a tea pot. Similar to the pencil holder, a teapot has many uses. A carrier of liquids. A paperweight. A centerpiece on a table for an Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday party. 

If you’re a big fan of tea pots, I wouldn’t recommend going to a restaurant called Melting Pot, though. I’ve never been there myself, but based on the restaurant’s name, it sounds like they do pretty scary things to any tea pots that show their faces there. Sad, really.

In first place, finally, is the highly-acclaimed jar of jam. Sometimes, on sleepless nights where I’m staring at my ceiling and questioning the frailty of life, I ponder whether or not in Jamaica, jam is just called “aica,” similarly to how French vanilla in France is just a vanilla bean with a pencil mustache on it. Things to think about.

Write to Joey Erickson at joseph.erickson.2@mnsu.edu

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