Brutal Horse Tank

Neal Gee
November 10, 2012

Our friend Ray introduced us to a show called Shark Tank, which airs at 9 PM, Friday nights on ABC. The premise of this show is to pitch an idea for a product, either new or existing, to a group of judges, known as the sharks, and negotiate funding in exchange for a stake in the company or profits. The show is fantastically entertaining because you have crazy judges and knuckle-headed contestants (also known as entrepreneurs, but I use the term loosely). To keep the show honest, every once in a while youíll have someone propose a pretty good product, but the draw is clearly the knuckleheads. Fan favorites have
included Bag Bowl, essentially a piece of plastic in the shape of a cone that can hold a plastic bag while you fill it up, and Spatty—or what is really just a version of the already available jar spatula—a long thin spatula that is used to scrape product out of an almost empty container.

Let me tell you what is wrong with each of these ridiculous products. First, for Bag Bowl, why not just get a bowl? It will be a lot sturdier than a plastic bag. And you already have bowls, so you donít need to purchase some stupid product. Second, for Spatty, just throw out the remainder of whatever is in that bottle. It is most likely funky anyway seeing how it has been sitting in your cupboard for months. Iíve never thought to myself, boy, wish I could get that peanut butter that is now hardened from the bottom of the Skippy jar and make a sandwich out of it. You know why? ‘Cause Iím a responsible person and have a brand new jar of Skippy waiting for me in the pantry.

(Note from Joanna: Neal Gee is the cheapest person I know. Not only would he clean out the bottom of the peanut butter jar, he would go to the store, buy a new one, eat it, and then return it, claiming it was defective.)

But it is not necessarily the contestants’ faults. After all, if I could make a dime on some hare-brained idea I would clearly sell out. I have no qualms with the smut-peddler. And based on the ubiquitousness of the “As seen on TV” product line (see http://www.asseenontv.com/), someone must be buying this crap. No, I place the blame squarely on the sharks. They are the enablers. Mark Cuban, aka “Cubes,” who is worth over a billion dollars, is quite happy to fund an idea, reap the profits, and throw the chum overboard, in keeping with the sea theme.

As an exhibit I give you Rock Band. Rock Band is a bracelet that, get this, literally has a rock on it. But the guy that came up with this had the foresight to copyright the name, and as such it is probably worth millions thanks to the Rock Band video game empire. Apparently his Rock Band copyright applies to apparel, and therefore if the video game company wishes to have a shirt, it must pay him royalties. So what is a shark like Cubes to do in an instance such as this? Youíve probably intuited he would buy the product and name outright, ditch the ridiculous stone bracelet, and make a killing off the name. Well, my friends, youíre right!

But Iíve digressed from my original reason for writing this article. After a rousing night of Shark Tank surrounded by my good friends, and a subsequent “hurricane run” the next day with Ray (literally a run during hurricane Sandy), weíd like to propose the first ever Brutal Horse Tank (the name is purely coincidental, I assure you, and not meant to infringe on any trademark or copyright possessed by ABC). The premise is similar to Shark Tank, in that weíll propose a few ideas and decide a winner by a panel of judges, aka the Brutal Horses.

To make things as fair and level as possible, the judging will be double blinded. That is, neither the contestants will know who the judges are, nor will the judges know who the contestants are. Admittedly, this does create some logistical challenges as we need an independent panel of judges, and quite frankly, this is such a brilliant idea everyone will want to be a contestant. But Iím not going to work this out now; it will figure itself out.

For each round, of which there will probably be only one once the joke runs its course, each contestant can submit up to two ideas to the tank. These ideas can be serious or ridiculous. It is all of a matter of appeasing the judges. A single winning idea will be chosen, and the winner will receive funds to bring his or her idea to fruition. Okay, maybe not in reality, but weíll come up with some sort of prize that will make this more than just an academic exercise. We’ll probably just send the idea to the Shark Tank producers in an effort to get on the show. The ideas will also be posted to Brutal Horse as part of this article for the world to see, mock, and possibly steal.

(Another note from Joanna: Neal Gee will likely be proposing an idea for a store called Just Feces. This is the stupidest idea ever conceived by a biped, yet the concept has not died. WHY HAS IT NOT DIED?! I canít bear hearing about this store anymore…)

So thatís it for now. More details will be forthcoming. If you would like to be included in Round 1 of Brutal Horse Tank, email the editor of Brutal Horse at editor@brutalhorse.com.

neal.gee@brutalhorse.com
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