Don't You Wish You'd Thought of That?: America's Weirdest Businesses
1. Afterlife Telegrams New Athens, Illinois Service for contacting the dead. Terminally ill patients memorize messages and deliver them when opportunity permits.
2. Alibi Network Chicago In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to lie to your wife/boss/parents about your whereabouts Friday night. In an imperfect world, these guys have your back.
3. HappyBalls.com Cumming, Georgia A million-dollar company that makes a single product: foam balls for car aerials.
4. Barefootlist.com Salt Lake City Members create and track lists of things they want to achieve before they die.
5. Climax Gentleman's Club New Alexandria, Pennsylvania Drive-through strip joint.
6. Cuddle Party New York City Runs events at which adults "explore communication, boundaries, and affection" by donning pajamas and getting physical. Ix-nay on the naughty stuff.
7. eNthem San Francisco Writes full-length corporate theme songs. The ultimate in hold music!
8. Fetal Greetings Jacksonville Beach, Florida Creates pregnancy announcements that purportedly come from the womb.
9. Gaming-Lessons Jupiter, Florida Video-game-coaching services. Offers "world-class instruction" in Halo 2.
10. Heart Attack Grill Chandler, Arizona Menu features a quadruple bypass burger, flatliner fries ("deep fried in PURE LARD!"), and Jolt cola. Also available: unfiltered cigarettes.
11. Hotwicks Candles Portland, Oregon The Proustian madeleine of natural lighting. Travel down memory lane with scents such as pancake and dryer sheet.
12. I Do Now I Don't New York City Buys and sells engagement rings for that magical time when one or both members of the couple come to their senses.
13. Lucky Break Wishbone Seattle Sells plastic wishbones. Because turkeys have only one.
14. Neuticles Oak Grove, Missouri Vanity, thy name is Rover. Testicular implants "allow your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and [aid] in the trauma associated with neutering."
15. Origami Boulder Company Dallas Sells wadded-up pieces of paper for $10. Wadded-up pieces of paper with a haiku are $15. Yes, it's a joke, but/ It uses PayPal, and so/ It counts as a business.
16. Prairie Tumbleweed Farm Garden City, Kansas A large tumbleweed goes for $25, which sounds about right.
17. Rescue Critters Van Nuys, California Sells animal mannequins for veterinary training and pet owners wishing to practice "mouth-to-snout resuscitation."
18. Sarah's Smash Shack San Diego Massages are for wimps. At Sarah's, the seriously stressed take out their frustration on innocent dinnerware.
19. Season Shot Bloomington, Minnesota It's ammunition and a taste sensation in one! Why fill tonight's dinner with buckshot when you can shoot it with a biodegradable pellet packed with lemon pepper, honey mustard, and other yummy flavors?
20. Sniff Dogs Summit, New Jersey Canine narcotics-detection service for your teen's room.
21. SomethingStore Huntington, New York Pay $10, and it will ship you something. No telling what.
22. The Texas Lice Squad Missouri City, Texas Professional nitpickers. No job is too small.
23. Throx San Francisco Sells colorful socks in packs of three. Dryers: Do your worst.
24. Tiger Time Lawn Care Memphis Women wear bikinis and push lawn mowers. Hank Hill would have a stroke.
25. The Ultimate Taxi Aspen, Colorado A Checker cab tricked out with lasers, blacklights, mini strobes, synthesizers, audio mixing board, keyboard, digital drums, dry-ice fog machine, etc.
26. Unclaimed Baggage Center Scottsboro, Alabama Every day, this enormous store receives more than 7,000 items from orphaned luggage from the airlines. It's selling your late, lamented Ralph Lauren sweater as you read this.
27. Videogames Adventure Services New York City Arranges bespoke kidnappings and other customized real-life (despite the name) adventures for thrill seekers.
28. WeightNags Austin Sends dieters mildly abusive weekly messages to, you know, encourage them.
29. Yelo New York City You snooze, they win. Offers harried urbanites 20- to 40-minute naps in sleep pods.
30. You've Been Left Behind Harwich, Massachusetts Subscribers create e-mail messages for loved ones ineligible for the rapture. We note the founders' confidence that at the End of Days, the Internet will be up and running.
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