Back-to-School Stuff You Don’t Need, but Want Anyway

Massagers, mammary mouse pads and more!


Published: August 30, 2007

Nothing sucks the fun out of the last few days of summer like shopping for school supplies. After an hour or two, most students emerge from stores with a basket full of plain Bic pens, Post-its and college-ruled notebooks that seem to only come in three of the most boring colors ever: forest green, black and (sorry, Fordham!) maroon. But with that newly acquired graduation money burning a hole in your pocket, there is no better time than now to spice up your supply run with these nonessential but fun goodies.

USB Massage Ball

$14 at

Here’s a warning for you, freshmen. College is all fun and games until it’s October and you’re knee-deep in midterm papers and projects. After being a slave to your computer for eleven hours, shouldn’t there be a way for your computer to give back? The tech-junkies at (where they attach a USB drive to pretty much everything imaginable) have figured out how, with their palm-sized vibrating massage ball. Plug it in, switch it on and take comfort in knowing that you’re one touch away from technological relaxation.

Waterproof MP3 Speaker

$129 at

Grab your shampoo/faux-microphone and croon to your favorite tunes with this sleek, waterproof mp3 player. Battery-operated, the speaker has a detachable USB drive with 2GB of storage, or about 12 hours of music. The best part? The tower is slender enough to fit in your shower, on your desk or wherever else you want to bust a move. Just be sure to keep bath time fancy footwork to a minimum, superstar.

Busty Mousepad

Thanks to the “Breast mouse pad ever!” (according to the official Busty Mousepads Web site), you can cure carpal tunnel and look like a pervert all at the same time. Will it impress your date? Probably not. Will it make you an honored proponent of the Feminist movement? Definitely not. But at least its gel-filled mounds will cradle your wrists as only artificial breasts can.


$50 at MoMa Design store [44 W. 53rd St.],

Maybe you miss Mom’s annoying wake-up calls, or maybe you’re just a glutton for morning punishment. In either case, Clocky is sure to provide. Created by a graduate student with a habit of hitting the ‘snooze’ button for hours, Clocky is an alarm clock on wheels that speeds off your nightstand and rolls around your room until you chase it down and turn it off. If having to run around after a mobile clock isn’t enough to rouse you from dreamland, Clocky’s R2-D2-like squeaks and chirps will annoy the hell out of you just in time for your 8:30 a.m. philosophy class.

Come in/Go away Ambigram Doormat

$25 at

Don’t give people mixed messages; let your doormat do it for you. In a foul mood? Give potential visitors a fair warning that you don’t want to come out to play today. Once your inner turmoil has ebbed, alert the masses by simply turning the mat around to extend a warm welcome.

Staple-Free Stapler

$8.99 at Target [8801 Queens Blvd. Elmherst, Queens],

If you must shop for school supplies, at least make it eco-friendly. Regular staplers get jammed all the time, resulting in finger injuries and about a dozen twisted staples, which is not only annoying, but pretty wasteful too. This ‘green’ gadget miraculously cuts tiny strips of paper and uses them to weave your papers together. Think of it like saving the planet, one ‘staple’ at a time.

Owl Notebook

$10 at Rare Device [453 7th Ave. Park Slope, Brooklyn]

Upgrade your blah notebook pile with this delicately designed book from South Korea. The cover is decorated with an owl drawing, with more designs on its inside pages. Take it to class or use it as a journal to scribble your innermost thoughts. Either way, it sure beats bland Five-Star notebooks.