Things that Make You Go: The Clapper Plus

Anyone who's allowed to know knows why I've been a little internet MIA the past couple of days. BUT... emotional rollercoasters aside, the show must go on.

Who remembers the momentus day when THE CLAPPER made the scene? I don't. I wasn't born yet. And I'm willing to bet some of you weren't, either. I remember the commercials, though. I used to get so excited. It was a light you could turn on by clapping your hands twice.

I know, right? How Star Trek was that? It was easily the coolest thing since Chia Pets*. And Chia Pets? They're pretty cool**.

I don't know how many of you were like me, but I longed to have one. Every Christmas I expected the family to get one, but it never happened. I assumed Santa was hording them all. That upset me, but who could blame the guy? He probably spent hours outside his workshop or house, clapping the Christmas lights to life.

Even now, nearly 25 years after it hit the scene, there are still Clapper commercials. How amazing is that? And yet... you have to wonder... how did those things last as long as they have? We have so many neat-o things out there, like Google Voice Search on a cell phone, that it just seems like clapping your hands to turn on your lights is a little... meh.

But The Clapper is not what made me want to write this segment of "Things That Make You Go..." No, this segment was brought about by The Clapper Plus.

I seriously need to step back and say "what the heck?" to this little invention.

In all fairness, it's got all the cho-cho's and wham-wham's that the original Clapper has. Clap your hands twice, the lights come on. Clap your hands twice again, they turn off. Awesome.

But what gains it it's "plus" title is the fact that it comes with a remote, for those moments when clapping just won't do... and if we're all honest with each other, those moments do happen, no matter how much you prepare.

You're probably thinking to yourself, "that sounds pretty practical, what's with the WTH?"

Well, if you'd stop interrupting me, I'd get to that.

What draws the WTH reaction from me is the other function of the remote. You can use it as just that, a remote to turn the lights on and off in those horrible instances when clapping is out of the question, or you can mount it to the wall and use it as a switch.

Wait... what? I thought the whole point of getting a Clapper was because you didn't want to (or couldn't) use the light switch... am I right? Or did I badly misinterpret 21 years of Clapper commercials?

I get the idea of the Clapper. I get the practicality of the remote. But why why why would the marketing reps think that having a switch option would make it more appealing? That doesn't make sense to me. If you're going to get up to use the mounted remote... why not just use the light switch? Some could make the argument that "maybe it's all the way across the room" but to that I say... so? You're already up. A little walking won't kill you.***

I don't claim to know marketing techniques, but I just cannot wrap my mind around this. Everytime I hear it, I'm just like... Double You. Tee. Eff. Everytime I try to imagine what went down in the planning meetings for this, I always imagine the scene from Robots, where that one board member is dropped through a hole in the floor for suggesting that Bigweld might be at the Bigweld Ball.

"What can it do?"

"We'll stick with the clap on, clap off thing... but we'll throw in a remote, for those moments when clapping just won't do."

"Like when babies are sleeping!"

"Exactly! And, if you don't want to hold the remote, you can mount it on the wall, and use it as a switch!"



"We're dating."

"Wait. What's the point of having a clapper if you're just going to mount the remote on the wall as a switch? Why not just use the actual switch, and save yourself the money?" *dies*

"Any other objections?" *whole room shakes their heads* "Excellent."
It just... I can't... it doesn't make sense. It just doesn't. Like why... I don't know. It just makes me scratch my head.

So, readers... this will be the way I end most, if not all, of my TTMYG posts... with a question for YOU! YES, YOU!

No... no... not you... behind... yes! YOU!

Can any of you think of any other practical reasons to have the remote mounted on the wall, rather than just use the switch? Or any uses for the remote other than just using it as a remote? Leave a comment here or, if you'd like, shoot me an e-mail at

I look forward to seeing your answers!

Until next time, stay classy blog readers.

*The Chia Pet was also out before my time, but it DID come out before the Clapper. The Clapper made the US scene in '86, the Chia Pet hit the scene in '82 I believe.

**There was a Mr. T Chia Pet. Mr. T. You really can't get much cooler than that... though I would kill for a Chuck Norris Chia Pet. You could grow his BEARD!

***If anyone has ever lost someone, or their own life, due to walking, I apologize. I did not mean to come across as heartless... but in my experience, no one has ever died from walking.

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RightThinker said...

Well my friend... a reason to mount it on the wall might be for "the look". To make it seem there is a light switch there when there really isn't. Also, if you know where you will most need a switch you could put it where you want. You also failed to mention the Chia-Obama too.