What were they thinking?
Ever since Adam snacked on the forbidden fruit and was chased naked out of the Garden of Eden, mankind has bitten off a bevy of bad ideas.
From skinny-dipping Presidents to toxic tooth fillings to singing pop stars who can’t carry a tune, 100 of the Worst Ideas in History is a celebration of humanity’s historical―and often hysterical―missteps that have started wars, sunk countries, wrecked companies, scuttled careers, lost millions, and even endangered the Earth.
How a confused chauffeur helped start World War I
Who turned down the greatest product placement opportunity in Hollywood history
How a Chicago White Sox game helped hasten the demise of disco
The toad that nearly ate Australia
The most dangerous children’s game ever invented
And so much more (of so much less!)
Spanning politics, pop culture, fashion, sports, technology, and more, this irreverent and witty book is packed with fun photos and sidebars, tracing how these thundering brainstorms turned into blundering brain farts-and the astonishing impacts our faux pas and foibles still have on us today.
About the Author
Michael N. Smith, as owner of his own advertising production company, has written and produced hundreds of humorous (and not-so-humorous) TV commercials, radio spots and corporate videos over the past 25 years, for a gaggle of clients across our great land. His work has garnered numerous honors, including CLIO, ADDY, EFFIE, New York Art Directors and TELLY awards. He also created the popular cult comic book character “Pete the P.O.’d Postal Worker,” as well as a children’s book parody by the same name. He’s penned features for National Lampoon, Men’s Exercise, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, Buffalo News, St. Petersburg Times and San Antonio Express News. Mike kids history, but always with love. He lives with his wife, Debora, and son, Andrew, in California.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
They are priceless, multifaceted jewels of misjudgment. Masterworks of the moronic. Steroid-juiced stupidity wearing a size 9XX dunce cap embroidered with one simple word: “Duh.”
They are the colossally, cringingly, often laughably bad notions that have leapt from the short-circuiting synapses of some of the world’s brightest (and dimmest) brains, now faithfully chronicled here as 100 of the Worst Ideas in History.
Hailing from the worlds of politics, popular culture, international relations, finance, business, sports, entertainment, and news-from the near and distant past-these shoddy concepts have started wars, sunk countries, wrecked companies, scuttled careers, lost millions, endangered Earth, and left the bad idea’s mommy or daddy as red faced as, well, your mom or dad will be when they learn that you like to dress your pit bull as one of the Backstreet Boys.
On this rollicking romp through the bungles and stumbles of humanity, we’ll:
Meet the U.S. president who starts each day skinny-dipping in the Potomac.
Sample the “dental hygiene product” that could rot your teeth.
Get an earful of the hit singing group that can’t really sing.
Munch on the tasty new snack food that might just give you diarrhea.
Drop by the restaurant chain named after a derogatory term for African Americans.
Encounter the famed archaeologist whose discovery of the “missing link” is revealed to be a monkey jaw glued to a human skull.
Stick an angry ferret down our pants for fun and prizes.
Plus so much more (of so much less).
Peppered with scores of info-taining photos, “Hey-I-Didn’t-Know-That” factoids, and perspective-gaining “Afterthoughts,” this collection of our species’ most stupendously stinky thinking spotlights how the ideas of yesterday-from funny flubs to the stunningly strange to classic mind-bogglers-continue to resonate in each of our lives today.
Without further ado and in no particular order, here are 100 of history’s thundering brainstorms that turned out to be blundering brain farts.