Maybe this is your problem:

There's someone on your gift list, and you don't know what to get them. And on top of it, you have too much money--so much money that you're looking for things to throw it away on.

Perhaps you've heard of Gary Dahl, the freelance copywriter ("another word for broke," he used to say), who came up with the idea of selling Pet Rocks to the American public.

Three things to know:

  1. He came up with the idea after a night of drinking in a Northern California bar.
  2. The pet rock became the No. 1 fad of Christmas 1975, with about 1.5 million people buying Dahl's rocks (along with a 36-page tongue-in-cheek instruction manual, which was most of the fun).
  3. Forty years have passed, so it was inevitable someone would try to duplicate his success.

That someone?

Nordstrom. And of course, this time it's more expensive.

Much more expensive: $85. (The original Pet Rock cost $4 back in 1975, which is still equivalent to under $20 now.)

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This time it's just a rock. Not even a Pet Rock. And it doesn't come with a witty instruction manual--but it does come with a leather pouch.

In fact, Nordstrom doesn't seem to have decided what it is. Its ad copy includes this phrase:

"A paperweight? A Conversation piece? A work of art? It's up to you."

Buzzfeed's Michelle Broder Van Dyke picks up the story:

"The product was designed by a company called Made Solid and has been for sale since Nov. 18, Nordstrom spokeswoman Brie Cross told BuzzFeed News. ... [They] called the product Wrapped Stone and emphasized that 'it's not a joke ... really cool, labor intensive objects that are used as everything from paperweights to doorstops to home/display accents.'

The company said the rock was 'one of our most consistently popular items, actually,' and that the last time they had done a sale with Nordstrom, "they sold out at most stores.'

Made Solid added that they source stones from 'select reps that can legally pull them from our local mountains for use in landscaping.' "

In other words, it's a rock similar to the one you might see on your neighbor's lawn, only you pay nearly $100 for it.

Of course, the reviews on Nordstrom's website take this as seriously as you might expect.

"As a single mother, it is often difficult to put food on the table for my five children," wrote one woman that Van Dyke found. "However, when I saw this piece of rock, I couldn't help it but to purchase this item. Yes, no one in my family will eat this month, however I have a piece of rock... I can't believe the rock is made by hand too! I was always told rocks were made through thousands of years of erosion, guess I was wrong."

Dahl, who invented the original Pet Rock, died last year. Who would have thought the idea of selling plain old rocks to Americans would have outlived him?