A quick scan of Wiki tells me that they first crashed onto the scene in 1982 and are named Chia Pets after the plant Salvia hispanica, common name chia. Apparently this is edible, much like the alfalfa sprouts that one might consume on a lovely salad or samich. Perhaps you may think the same thing I did when I saw Salvia in the name. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Salvia, this is also a herb, only one that is used by kids these days as a hallucinogen. This however, was a dead end. I had postulated that one would only purchase such a novelty item on the supposition that the plant must posses some sort of recreational uses, but further Wiki-search has put the proverbial kibosh on that theory.
Anyone out there remember Sea Monkeys? Damn those were cool. Well, when I was like 6 they were cool. Then someone broke the news to me that they were just brine shrimp. Talk about a real downer. I would put that one right up there with the Tooth Fairy not being real. I loved those little aquatic monkeys swimming around in their little sea cage. I imagined them doing all sorts of funny, underwater, monkey shines. (see my earlier post for examples!) I tell you what, someone was thinkin'when they marketed brine shrimp as Sea Monkeys. They got my parents money!
I won't even go into the farce that is the pet rock. P.T. Barnum said it best,(although this is even disputed as to what he really said) "There's a sucker born every minute." God bless free enterprise.