The internet, as you’re already aware if you were born anytime since the Civil War, has revolutionized the way we shop. According to a statistic I just made up, Americans make almost 70 percent of their purchases online. This is not necessarily a good thing. As Ben Franklin once said, “It’s hard to get a credit card refund on interstate chickens bought with PayPal.” Or words to that effect.
Buying things online is bad for local businesses, besides the fact that you never really know for sure what you’re getting, assuming you get anything at all. People cheat, and when you buy something online it’s easy to get cheated. That Nigerian fellow, for example, still hasn’t sent me the $3 million dollars he promised. If he doesn’t come through soon, I may have to sell out and move to my beach house in Oklahoma.
According to a recent story in Wide Open Country, people buy just about everything you can think of on the internet, and quite a few things you can’t think of. At least I’d never think of them. Luckily a real estate company called Estately put together a map of the most popular internet shopping searches for each state. Judging by this map, it seems people are probably less inhibited when they spend money anonymously than they would be if they had to walk into a store and hand their credit card to an actual human.
The folks in some states are evidently looking to purchase some pretty embarrassing stuff, if you ask me, and I can’t really blame them for buying online. The main search in West Virginia is for Confederate flag bikinis. Chances are, most of the people looking for those, ah, shouldn’t be. But that’s none of my business.
Selfie sticks are a hot item in Vermont. Or maybe that’s New Hampshire. Those two states are right together, and I get them confused. New Hampshire, or maybe Vermont, is into edible arrangements. I guess those folks want to take pictures of themselves eating their arrangements.
The big seller in Washington, D.C. is bowling shirts, while the folks in Maryland all seem to want baking soda. I can see why people wouldn’t want to walk right into a store and admit, out loud, that they want to pay good money for a hideously ugly shirt with ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gutter’ written on the back. What I don’t understand is why anyone would buy baking soda on the internet. Is there a shortage in Maryland? Are people embarrassed about it? We may never know.
Mustache wax is huge in Minnesota, while nose hair trimmers top the list in Ohio. One can only hope UPS and FedEx don’t get the two mixed up. The economy would probably never recover.
Jorts seem to the the big sellers in Nebraska, and since I had no idea what a jort was, I looked it up. It means denim shorts. Which I would have called, well, denim shorts. Because no one needs another name for cut-offs.
You might assume most of the gun racks are going to Texas, but you’d be wrong. The folks in Missouri are buying those. That’s why they call it the ‘Shoot Me’ state. Texans are spending their time searching for motorized kayaks. Because paddling is just silly. Plus, this time of year, there are alligators nesting along the coast, so I guess the motors come in handy.
The most surprising state searches came from Oklahoma, Washington state, and Florida. Floridians are looking for Guy Fieri cookware, whatever that is. The folks in Washington state want clam guns, and Oklahomans are buying zombie survival kits.
Now, I can almost understand the zombie thing in Oklahoma. I imagine that could be changed if AMC would run a better disclaimer with every episode of The Walking Dead, but until then I think that show is considered a documentary in Oklahoma. What I don’t get is Washington state.
I never heard of a clam gun, and I had no idea if there was a season and bag limit on clams, so I did a little research. Turns out the clam gun isn’t a gun at all. It’s a T-post driver with a T-handle on top. What you do is, you walk along the beach looking for a little dimple in the sand, and you mash the pipe down into the sand and pull up a batch of it, and there will be a clam in that sand. Why they call it a gun I have no idea, but I have no doubt Washington state will soon ban them.
I’d list the rest of the most popular state online searches, including Oregon’s need for homebrew supplies, Arkansans’ desire for night vision goggles, Wyoming’s bulk ammo jones, and the fact that South Dakotans are all looking for exploding kittens, but I’m out of space. Plus, I need to hit ebay, to see if I can’t find a motor for my kayak . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who believes ‘exploding kittens’ is a card game. Plus, it would make a great name for a rock band. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.