I’m a sucker for a bizarre useless invention. But even better are the ads attempting to demonstrate the need for the useless invention. Who knew that cracking an egg, wiping your butt, or using a blanket could be so vexing? (Even better is the Snuggie parody — it’s foul-mouthed, so be warned.)

Then again, as a teacher and consultant, I have a different reaction when a student or client presents me with an idea for an opaque (at best) product or service. I have heard some doozies! And to be honest, I always worry a little bit that my expression betrays my utter bewilderment upon hearing some of these, especially in front of a whole class. Sometimes you just want to shake the person and say, “Who on earth would buy that? WHO???”

The truth is, while crazy products can be funny when you see them in ads or online, it can be confounding — even a little disturbing — to hear about them directly from the prospective entrepreneur who’s in the idea stage. In those cases, a crazy-ass product is no laughing matter. It’s just a bad idea.

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