By The Editors / April 5, 2019

Staff Picks: Our Editors Name Their Favorite Somewhat Useless Item

Staff Picks: Our Editors Name Their Favorite Somewhat Useless Item

Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the things our editors have been digging on recently. This week we’re sharing our favorite, least useful, item we own. 

Pop-A-Shot Home Dual Shot Arcade Basketball Game 
I’m convinced I was the most talented pop-a-shot player on the planet at 12. At my peak, I could score 231 points in a minute, which, even in this culture of flaming-hot sports-talk takes, makes it safe to call me one of the top 10 best players to play the game since former Marymount College coach Ken Cochran invented the game in the early ’80s. I retired years ago, and only shoot now on the off chance I’m mulling about my childhood basement. The old set doesn’t get much use these days; the scoreboard’s shot, the balls are deflated enough to earn me a four-game suspension from Roger Goodell, the carnival tune that used to signal the end of a round has gone silent … but vestiges of that 2007 magic remain. Stay tuned for the upcoming doc, 30 for 30: He Called Bank— Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor

Buy It Here: $279.99

W&P Design Clear Ice Mold
I’ve been banned from using these silicone ice cube trays by my S.O. because they take up waaaay too much space in the freezer. So I have four different molds to craft spheres, spears (for water bottles) and oversized cubes sitting on top of a kitchen cabinet, gathering dust. My favorite ice maker not in use: the Clear Ice Mold, which forces all the water impurities into the base of the tray, leaving a giant crystal clear cube on top. It looks like what you’d find at any great cocktail bar. The day I get a real freezer, cocktail party’s at my place.  — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor

Buy It Here: $35.00 

Onepiece Marius Onesie
I’m a grown man with a onesie, but I never wear it because I realize how inconvenient it is as a clothing vessel. If I’m going to lounge around my poorly climate-controlled apartment in the winter, I want it to at least be convenient. Getting into a onesie is not particularly convenient nor is it optimal for lounging how I prefer to lounge, as any typical disgusting male does from time to time: with at least one hand down my pants. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just comfortable, OK! The onesie isn’t uncomfortable — in fact, it’s downright cozy. I’ve also attended at least one onesie-themed party before, as you all will, at some point in your life. And not just any onesie party, but a onesie party at a palatial estate in Connecticut that was the downfall of one of my best friend’s relationships because his then-girlfriend refused to wear a onesie and it made him salty. Good times. It is also acceptable for holiday-themed parties. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition

Buy It Here: $179.00

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
Due to my chosen profession, I will most likely never own a traditional status symbol. No Rolex Submariners or Porsche 911s for poor ol’ Alex. Instead, I opted for a sort of intellectual status symbol: The Power Broker, Robert A. Caro’s Pulitzer Prize-winning doorstopper about Robert Moses. Did I tell the bookseller at Three Lives & Company that I was going to read it tout de suite when I bought it three years ago? You bet. Have I done so much as crack it open? No chance in hell. I’m sure I’ll get to it sometime far, far in the future (just like everyone else), but until then, boy does it look good on a bookshelf. –Alex Lauer, Senior Editor

Buy It Here: $17.68

SteriPen UV Water Purifier
There are definitely websites that will tell you how and why this thing works. Today at least, this is not one of them. But I can tell you that on a thru hike a few years back, I said to my friends, “I hope this thing works,” stuck it in a bottle of river water, and then proceeded to drink that river water without incident. I have not used it since, but I keep it near at hand in case of another thru hike and/or the eventual and sudden dissolution of civil order. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief

Buy It Here: $99.95

The American Felling Axe
I own an axe. I live in Brooklyn. I will probably never use that axe for anything, but damn the axe looks cool in that big vase we also don’t use for anything save for decoration. (I should mention the reason there’s nothing in the vase is because I accidentally killed the plants that lived in it). The truth is that I bought a Best Made American Felling axe because I found myself up against some very big pieces of tree that had fallen all around outside my apartment after Hurricane Sandy and I wanted to do my civic duty clearing it as best I could. When I realized “I don’t have an axe!”, I decided to remedy the situation. After a little searching, I ended up seeing what Best Made had to offer and thought, “Now THAT is an axe!” and clicked the purchase button. It’s cool looking and will never chop a damn thing, but I really had the best of intentions. Now I’m just some dude in Brooklyn with an axe. A really great looking axe. — Jason Diamond, Features Editor

Buy It Here: $188

Pillbox Bat Co. “Welcome or Beat It”
Very much in the same vein as Jason’s axe above, I am the proud owner of a hand-painted baseball bat from Pillbox Bat Co. (who some of you may remember from our recent coverage). I do not play baseball. Hell, I don’t even frequently watch baseball. But I do live in New York City, and crazy shit has been known to happen here. And thus, my weak justification for bat ownership (outside of “I dunno, it just looks … cool”) is that in the event of a break-in, civil unrest, zombie apocalypse, etc., I’ve at least got a handsome weapon handy. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director

BUY IT HERE:  $195

OtterBox Trooper LT 30 Cooler
In addition to being one of many hats, I am a man of many backpacks. But only one of them can keep water, beer and assorted deli meats and cheeses appropriately chilled on a hot day. That I’ve never used the Trooper LT 30 Cooler from OtterBox to store anything remotely perishable or brought it outside of my apartment does nothing to diminish that fact. I currently use it for storing other backpacks. But when I finally use it for its intended purpose — which I will, some day, I promise! — it’s gonna be a beery, meaty summer eve indeed. — Evan Bier, Staff Writer

Buy It Here: $299.99

Dallas Cowboys Trail Rider 10X Straw Cowboy Hat
Howdy. We are living in the year of the cowboy. I have no facts to back this up, but there is something in the air screaming yippie ki yay. I will credit most of this to Kacey Musgraves, who won the Grammy for Album of the Year with a brand of  hippie-space-cowboy country-pop that really speaks to me. Which is new considering I’ve lived on the East Coast my whole life and Southern culture is a bit foreign to me. The only time I did venture down south was to visit a friend at The University of Alabama when I was 18 (which was a whole other kind of culture shock). We made a pitstop in Nashville, and I felt the need to buy a cowboy hat as a souvenir — when in Rome, ya know? And the only time that thing has been on my head is in that Nashville souvenir shop. It just hangs on my wall, and I can pass it off as decor. But because it’s the year of the cowboy, I have a western, cowboy-themed birthday party (not for a child) to attend this weekend, and after years of collecting dust, that hat will finally see the light of day. And if you, too, want to celebrate the year in style, may I suggest heading over to Stetson, who have an array of hats, like this western straw with a leather hatband, to fit whatever kind of cowboy you identify as. Logan Mahan, Editorial Intern

Buy It Here: $129.00

Nota bene: If you buy through these links, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits on some items