I'd Like To Welcome "Eccentric Fire Extinguishers" To The List Of Things I Hate

Some of the most fascinating people in history have been what many would consider "eccentric." Rocket scientist and ceremonial magician Jack Parsons; billionaire and bottler of his own urine Howard Hughes; and singer, TV shooter, and man who thought he could move clouds with his mind Elvis Presley are just a few of my favorite true eccentrics.

But, conversely, some of the worst people in the world are those who go out of their way to convince people that they're eccentric when they aren't. 

Do you know what kind of people don't need to convince others they're eccentric? The eccentric.

The worst example of a product that people can buy to promote their faux-eccentricity I've ever seen slapped me in the face the other day when I came across this ad:

Eccentric fire extinguishers: because the purpose of a fire extinguisher is to show off your extinguisher is to show how lovably kooky you are, not to, y'know, extinguish fires.

Here are a few of the different styles of eccentric fire extinguishers you can buy so your friends know just how wacky you are if a candle tips over and lights your kitchen fire:

Alright, so we've got one with fish swimming it. Hilarious. Another with one of those signs that points in a bunch of different directions (I don't get that one at all). One with coffee beans, because don't bother me 'till I've had my coffee, amirite? And one with a fake whiskey label, which I'll concede is my favorite because as you might be aware, throwing whiskey on a fire wouldn't do you much help, although I hope the person who buys one isn't aware of that.

Look, you can even buy an eccentric fire extinguisher with an eccentric person on it!:

These would be purchased by people who describe themselves as "quirky." I've said for years that if someone comes up to you and tells you they're quirky it's code for "I'm annoying."  As an adjective, "quirky" is a lot like "MILF." You don't get to bestow that upon yourself, others have to say it about you for it to count.

I hate that there are people out there who in a time of crisis — like when an inferno is raging in their living room — would rather show of their "eccentricity" than actually deal with the conflagration at hand.

Perfect, I've been hoping for an opportunity to use my new Salvador Dali fire extinguisher. Isn't it wacky? I have a lot in common with Dali actually. I have a tattoo of those melting clocks on my forearm if you want to see them...

How about you start spraying that thing at the base of the fire and put out the goddamn blaze?!

The evil part of my brain kind of wishes that these eccentric fire extinguishers were filled with silly string, so when the time came to actually use them they'd be worthless. I mean, I'm not saying I want people to get hurt, but poor decisions have consequences.

The stoic red fire extinguisher is the only one you should ever buy. Red is easy to see when you're in a panic, and it gets the job done efficiently.

I'm going to have my own Smokey The Bear moment here (by the way, is anyone else suspicious that he always seems to be present when there's a forest fire? Just a thought): Only you can prevent the sale of "eccentric" fire extinguishers to the faux-eccentric by not giving the satisfaction of people buying into their antics. It's exactly what they want.

If you want to be truly eccentric don't take shortcuts. 

Get an exotic pet, buy the Elephant Man's remains, sleep in a hyperbaric chamber, build and then live at your own amusement park, catch on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial. 

That's what the truly eccentric would do (okay, all of that was just Michael Jackson).


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