For those of you still seething about how things went down with your most recent ex, Valentine's Day can feel like a slap in the face. A day when all the fury you felt from being ghosted, cheated on or argued with can come screaming back to the surface, just like that lover they swore was out of the picture.
The best revenge is being totally over that fool, loving yourself and moving on to bigger and better things. But not everyone processes the end of a relationship that way; some get closure by sending vindictive gifts to their exes. Behold all the messy options, organized in order of increasing vindictiveness:
If your ex has ever said anything awful to you online, not only will TrollCakes.com put that phrase on a cake and send it right back to that meanie, the "bakery and detective agency" will also include a copy of the original comment inside the box to remind ex bae what they did. Previous examples include "U LOOK LIKE A RAW CLAM," "YOU DONKEY WITCH" and "WOULDN'T SMASH."
For the mere cost of a Forever stamp, some people are sending their exes a piece of their mind in the form of an anti-Valentine.
February is awards season, but America still doesn't have Relationship Razzies. A company named Boldfaced has stepped up to fill that void with rude ribbons, which are designed to let someone know they are terrible.
Nothing says "Our love has withered and died and it's all your fault" like sending an ex rotting flowers. For those concerned that the dead roses might turn into a potpourri-making opportunity, there's also an option to send flowerless thorny stems.
Name a Cockroach
Remarkably, the Bronx Zoo is trying to dress up its "Name a Roach" gift as a romantic thing. "After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant," it says. "Give the gift that’s eternal and Name a Roach for Valentine’s Day." But it's only a matter of time before someone names a roach after their ex and sends them the digital certificate, forcing them to live with the knowledge that somewhere out there is a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach with their name on it.
Name a Roach... Then Feed it to a Meerkat
El Paso Zoo has taken the Name A Roach idea to its logical conclusion by then feeding the insect to a hungry meerkat. The Zoo's idea has been so popular, their Facebook page now features page after page of named cockroaches like the one above. If you look closely at the top right-hand corner, Chuck D appears to have been targeted. (No word yet on whether Flavor Flav is also in the bunch...)
For $19.99 plus free shipping, The Payback will send your ex a "Dead Smelly Fish."
Incredibly, PoopSenders.com is a real website. Offering a variety of excrement—specifically "cow dung, elephant crap, gorilla poop" or a "combo pack"—PoopSenders promises anonymity, “no paper trail” and the option to pay cash so one's little revenge spree won't even show up on bank statements. Inside every package, just to be especially irritating, is a little card letting the recipient know that PoopSenders will never reveal who sent the "gift."
Believe it or not, eBay has a host of purportedly haunted items for sale, ranging from furniture to jewelry. This clown's current owner (a paranormal investigator, naturally) even went to the trouble of including a photo of the doll with an EVP meter, so buyers can be safe in the knowledge that "this doll is demonic in nature and will cause paranormal activity."
Pavlok Wristbands are designed to give the wearer an electric shock every time they do the thing they're not supposed to be doing. The wristbands are programmed to zap the wearer out of bad habits, like smoking or not exercising enough. But they can also be controlled remotely by someone else, via an app, which means one could conceivably send an ex 350 volts any damn time they felt like it. The trick would be getting them to put it on in the first place. It does look like a Fitbit. Just saying...
Also, just kidding... All of these gifts are fun to think about, but we don't advise trying any of them for real.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Good luck out there.
For arts stories you won’t read anywhere else, come to KQED’s Arts and Culture desk.