There are a few things in life that make me inexplicably happy no matter what mood I’m in…things that restore my faith in humanity and lift my spirits regardless of what’s going on. Flashmobs are one of those things. I just grin even at the idea of random people coming together under the purpose of bringing cheer through a surprise dance. But there is another convergence of random people bringing joy that I want to talk about today: the phenomenon of satirical Amazon reviews.

The comment section of an Amazon listing seems an unlikely place to find joy, and for most product listings this is probably true. However, through coordinated efforts that are beyond my understanding, there are a small number of products that people have singled out to receive a veritable concert of mockery in the review section. And the results? Hilarious. Laugh-until-you-cry funny. And they make me very, very happy.

Phantom Amazon satire reviewers: I know making a mockery of Amazon reviews is probably a thankless task. You spend your time and creative energy for no money and little recognition. And to you, I’d like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU. Thank you for making the world a better place through sarcasm.

Here are a few of my favorite reviews, but to really get the fullness, you’ll have to click through and read them all on Amazon.

” I am taking a Spanish class and saw this pen in a store with packaging both in English and Spanish. Since I had to write a short essay in Spanish and I only speak English, I thought that this pen was perfect. But I tried to save some money by buying these on line. Notice that this packaging is only in English. I started writing my essay but it only came out in English (which will work for most people). But I needed the bilingual pen. Very disappointed.”

Playmobil Security Checkpoint

“I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital. The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I’ve heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I’ll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).”

Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

“For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. “Use a knife!” they say. Well…my parole officer won’t allow me to be around knives. “Shoot it with a gun!” Background check…HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger. Then, after a fit of banana-induced rage, my parole officer introduced me to this kitchen marvel and my life was changed. No longer consumed by seething anger and animosity towards thick-skinned yellow fruit, I was able to concentrate on my love of theatre and am writing a musical play about two lovers from rival gangs that just try to make it in the world. I think I’ll call it South Side Story.”

The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee

“This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn’t have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn’t settle for the first thing that comes to him. I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt. Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the ‘guns’), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.”

Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon

“I’m a Vegan, but a closeted Tuscan Whole milk drinker…if anyone in my commune found out, they’d banish me to the netherlads of Bacontopia, to be ravaged by the ills of a factory farmed hell hole of a society that you pukes wallow in…with that, I make straw purchases from unlicensed dealers to circumvent existing codes of conduct within our commune. I do this on the darkest nights under cover, in living fear of being caught & judged & convicted…but it’s all because of Tuscan Whole milk…luscious, thick, rich, creamy & brain freezing cold!!! OH SHEVA!!! HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL!!!”

Uranium Ore

“This product doesn’t work as well as I would have hoped. I kept three cans in a terrarium with my 4 pet turtles for two years (starting when they were 11). Today, while they are definitely teenagers, they completely lack the following: -Any kind of karate skills -Prounounced valley accent -Tendency to fight crime -Dislike of my paper shredder There may have been an effect, however, as three of my turtles now seem to enjoy pizza.” 
“There is little doubt now that David Husselshaft is a major force in the music business these days. I’ve already been a fan for many years, but an amazing thing happened recently which I have to share. The doctor said my dog Cherish had only days to live. Desperate for any sign of recovery, I played this CD in the garage for him 24/7, and not only did my dog die, but so did 2 cats and all of my plants. My neighbor came down with a rare form of stomach virus, the one causes massive cramping and explosive diarrhea. Boy did I prove that doctor wrong! The song “Hot Shot City” is particularly good.”

Wheelmate Laptop Steering Wheel Desk

“Wow is this thing great! I use it as a “mini-bar” when the friends and I go out to the bars. I can quickly fix multiple shots of tequila for myself and the friends as we drive from one bar to the next. We also discovered that if you place a pillow on top of it and turn on the cruise control you can catch quick naps on the interstate. If you swerve to the left or right the rumble strips on the road wake you up in plenty of time before you get into trouble. I can now take longer trips without being tired!”

Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable

“Transmission of music data at rates faster than the speed of light seemed convenient, until I realized I was hearing the music before I actually wanted to play it. Apparently Denon forgot how accustomed most of us are to unidirectional time and the general laws of physics. I tried to get used to this effect but hearing songs play before I even realized I was in the mood for them just really screwed up my preconceptions of choice and free will. I’m still having a major existential hangover. Would not purchase again.”
“Read this book before going on vacation and I couldn’t find my cruise liner in the port. Vacation ruined.”

Any other hilarity I’m missing in the comment section of