Having difficulty finding a smooth, vaguely potato-shaped stone that is also roughly the size of a potato? Are you sick of going from quarry to quarry searching for that one rocky potato of your dreams? Or have you perhaps already found that stone potato but don't have a leather pouch to wrap it in? Well, you can now buy one at Nordstrom – with or without the leather pouch.
Sourced from the Los Angeles area, the smooth stone is wrapped in vegetable-tanned leather that's secured by sturdy contrast whip-stitching. Short of ideas on what to use it for? Nordstrom has some suggestions: "A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It's up to you."
The "it's up to you" is key here: Nordstrom is selling us choice, freedom and autonomy – democracy, essentially – which I think we can all agree are good things. Then why did I get angry about capitalism and consider buying this stone just so I can find Nordstrom's HQ and throw it through one of their windows? Because it feels like a vapid ponzi scheme, that's why.
If you're about to do the same, just hold on for a minute, because this isn't what it looks like on the surface.
After consulting my spiritual adviser about going through with the aforementioned act of vandalism, it was pointed out to me that this is probably just an incredibly meta marketing stunt: Nordstrom is clearly aware of the outrage such a transparent swindle is likely to arouse: people will click, they will share the link in angsty Facebook posts, and publications such as this one will write about it.
All of these things will lead people to Nordstrom's site, potentially people who have never even heard of Nordstrom before, and those people will see that Nordstrom has a sale going on right now, which might lure them into making a purchase. At the very least, it's cheap and easy PR.
It says the product isn't available, probably because there is no such product. This is obviously a very self-aware gag. Touché Nordstrom, I'll hold my hands up and admit that you got me. Here's your free publicity, you deserve it you clever so-and-so's.
Or, alternatively, maybe there really is a demand for smooth, vaguely potato-shaped stones in leather pouches out there. If Nordstrom has identified that, then they're bloody geniuses.
Head over to Nordstrom to get more of the stone's specifications.