Unitasker Wednesday: USB Pet Rock

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes โ€” we donโ€™t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

The wonderful people at ThinkGeek.com have brought us what can only be described as THE most amazing unitasker ever found. Not only does it waste energy and use up one of your USB ports, but it also does absolutely nothing! The USB Pet Rock:

This unitasker (or should we say non-tasker?) is pure genius. The best part of it all might even be the catalog text promoting the item:

Simply plug the USB cable into a free port and let the fun begin. The USB Pet Rock will instantly begin to work its magic. People will stop by and ask you what your USB Pet Rock does. Each time, you can make up a new story; for no matter what you say, it will be greater than the truth – because these USB Pet Rocks don’t do a dang thing. Except make you smile. And confuse your friends and coworkers, which will make you smile even more. So, get your USB Pet Rock today, and help make us rich tomorrow.

It actually says that it doesn’t do “a dang thing” and is only to help make the company “rich.” Oh, I am insanely curious to know how many of these ThinkGeek has already sold.

34 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: USB Pet Rock”

  1. posted by Pete on

    I think this is one of their April Fools items, it doesn’t really exist. Their April catalog is always got some strange things, only one I know of has ever been made, the Wampa sleeping bag. That was only made because of such high demand for it.

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Pete — We spotted it in their 2009 holiday catalog. Not an April Fool’s Day joke.

  3. posted by henave on

    I just saw this in their catalog yesterday! I thought (hoped) I was seeing things or had misread the copy…

  4. posted by Rue on

    If it really doesn’t do ANYTHING, then what’s the point of the USB cable? I’M SO CONFUSED!!

  5. posted by Cecilia on

    It not a Unitasker, it’s a Nonitasker! Hahaha! I just crack myself up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. posted by Gareth on

    In all fairness to this – it is sold as pure clutter. Give it credit for not even claiming to have a purpose.

    100% better than those ‘lifestyle’ devices that clutter my house.

    Now to buy one – the ‘toys’ on my desk drive my boss mad. Time to get the shelves setup I feel.

  7. posted by Brenda on

    It is pure clutter. I thought pet rocks were bad in the 70’s, now they have added a USB cable to them.

  8. posted by Vik on

    I saw this the other day & thought it was hilarious! (Most USB toys are unitaskers. Or nontaskers. They’re just to entertain.)

    But you did miss something. You say it uses electricity, but their description says, “hey are the greenest USB products ever created, as they draw absolutely no electricity.”

  9. posted by DixonHill on

    As a regular follower of ThinkGeek and other sites like coolest-gadgets.com (which has over 903 “USB Devices” listed on their site), I can attest that there is no limit to the bizarre objects that end up attached to a USB cable so you can either power it or control it from your computer.

    USB neck massagers, USB hand warmers, USB rocket launchers, USB ashtrays (they trap the smoke…riiiight), USB fishtanks (with little plastic fish)… heck, there’s even a USB Exotic Dancer, complete with pole.

    So, in the same vein, the USB Pet Rock is an amusing send-up of the low-tech original Pet Rock that also did nothing but inspire conversation (and a few raised eyebrows, I’m sure) but which made millions for its creator 34 years ago.

    Me? I’m waiting for the USB Chia Pet.

  10. posted by Mercedes on

    And why again does this have a USB cable attached to it?

  11. posted by DixonHill on

    For irony.

  12. posted by Karyn on

    The USB cable is the only way to get THIS generation to give the thing a second glance. They wouldn’t even consider the unplugged Pet Rocks of MY generation, back in the day when four-function calculators were high tech personal computing.

    Dagnabbit, I’m feeling old…

  13. posted by Jessiejack on

    I totally love this-what a great sense of humor these guys have. What a fab gag gift!

  14. posted by Spencer on

    My colleague says “I want a FireWire pet rock. It’ll do nothing faster!”

  15. posted by Jessiejack on

    The web site also shows a cat controller remote control!! You just point the remote at the cat and click on desired command such as “stop Hissing” “get off bed”. No batteries required as it’s powered by positive thinking. This site could be dangerous!

  16. posted by Dawn F. on


  17. posted by Battra92 on

    One of the great things about the idea behind a pet rock is that it’s incredibly easy to copy. The real genius behind the original was the witty “Care and breeding” guide that came with it.

    When I was a little kid in summer camp we went hunting for nice rocks and then brought them back and painted them and glued googly eyes to them and made our own pet rocks. I suppose a USB cord from the dollar store with one end clipped off superglued to a rock would be easy enough to do. If nothing else it does make for an amusing paperweight.

  18. posted by h20 on

    The rock featured similar to my rock (non-usb), which I keep to use during my confinement days……just in case I got another baby.
    But mine is bigger…

    here,during confinement, we have a tradition to put the rock over small flame, then using teacloth, press the hot rock onto abdomen.
    that’s why it is common to have one in every family

  19. posted by Rachel on

    Genius. Finally a unitasker that you can post without someone getting their feelings hurt.

  20. posted by Brit on

    Having spent a long career in retail bookselling, I would watch the seasons (i.e., “Back-to-School,” “Halloween, “Valentine’s Day”) come and go, and along with them, an assortment of “impulse buy” merchandise. (Anyone remember Billy Bass, the singing fish-on-a-wall-plaque?) Most of it amounts to a joke that tickles you just long enough to want to pay for it, then cart it home, where in as little as a day it becomes… clutter. What didn’t sell went to clearance, thus giving someone else a laugh at a bargain price and some clutter (“but I can’t get rid of this, it was such a deal!”)

    The astonishment to me in all this is how much of the planet’s industrial capacity is devoted to manufacturing and shipping….nonsense. What do you suppose the environmental impact of that is?

  21. posted by pam on

    Hilarious. Oh, I dearly want to make some of these and give them as Xmas presents. Yes, I have _those_ sorts of people on my gift list.

  22. posted by momofthree on

    OMG, my pet rock from the 70’s is now all grown up and gone digital!!
    wifi spots, here we come!

  23. posted by anonymous on

    Coming soon: The U.S.B. “Jump to Conclusions” Mat.

    Michael Bolton: You think the pet rock was a really great idea?

    Tom Smykowski: Sure it was. The guy made a million dollars. You know, I had an idea like that once. A long time ago.

    Peter Gibbons: Really, what was it, Tom?

    Tom Smykowski: Well, all right. It was a “Jump to Conclusions” mat. You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor, and it would have different conclusions written on it that you could jump to.

    Michael Bolton: That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard in my life, Tom.

    Samir: Yes, this is horrible, this idea.

  24. posted by Amanda on

    @Erin – Actually, this was an April Fool’s Day joke. http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/looflirpa/

    However, like several other items thought up for the same purpose, Think Geek decided to really make the item because of customer demand.


    @Rachel – “Finally a unitasker that you can post without someone getting their feelings hurt.”

    To tell you the truth, I’m a little offended by this post. This item is clearly intended as a joke, so it seems like a lazy cop-out for a unitasker post. To point out parts of ThinkGeek’s description that is already making fun of itself doesn’t take any creativity.

  25. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Amanda — The first rule of Unitasker Wednesdays is that there are no rules for Unitasker Wednesdays. You can’t be upset about us selecting an item that was produced as a joke because there are no rules for Unitasker Wednesdays. Jokes, not jokes, all are fair game.

    We simply ask: Does this make us laugh? If the answer is yes, then we’ll probably run it. Non-taskers, multi-taskers — they’ve all been featured. Taking offense to a Unitasker Wednesday item is pointless. We are not going to take the item down nor are we going to create rules just because you want them. There are no rules.

  26. posted by kbfenner on

    I dunno–this looks pretty useful to me. You can keep papers from flying away, threaten annoying colleagues, use it as a hand pacifier/worry beads type thing….it lends a touch of nature and Zen-like calm to the bustle of our techno-workplace….it absorbs radiation (it gets warmer if it’s next to something warm, so….)

    Gosh, I got to get me one.

  27. posted by TheChristianMinimalist on

    Like…ummmm…if someone really wanted one they could just…ummm…make one. Buy one? Ha! ha! Ho! Ho! He! He! (etc.)

  28. posted by Robbin on

    I loved my pet rock. Even as a 10 year old the health care line “if your rock bleeds, immediately call the I.R.S. They’ve been trying to get blood from a stone for years!” made me giggle. It still sits in its “crate” on my bookshelf.

    From this site, it looks like you could fill UTW for eons! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. posted by Shalin on

    Sad that this is even on sale – mostly because no one would buy it with an ounce of value in mind. …so, this version would be considered the physical embodiment of “Amusing but Useless 2.0”? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  30. posted by gypsy packer on

    Hope the stupid things can be put out to street vendors. It looks like the ideal product to get money out of the hands of affluent idiots and into the hands of the unemployed.

  31. posted by Malcolm on

    On my desk sits a smooth rounded river stone, about 3″ in diameter – it’s been there for 15 years now – from time to time I think it might make a good paperweigh – thanks to Spencer I now realise it is in fact a CORDLESS PET ROCK! Thank you Spencer…

  32. posted by DixonHill on

    Wireless Pet Rock FTW!

    My favorite unitasker paperweight is an old, well-worn solid brass Brunton compass made by Stanley London.

    Actually, as both a paperweight and compass, I suppose that it’s a multitasker after all. And the mirror has come in handy from time to time… a more industrial/steampunk version of a makeup compact I suppose.

  33. posted by Andrei on

    I’m thinking next year… Wireless enabled Pet Rock!

  34. posted by warf on

    It’s not a joke, and I thought it would be funny to mention that I saw one of these in person, before I saw one online.

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