Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Quirky Props for Characters - Bizarre Stuff For Your People

There are many places you can get ideas for personal belongings that set your characters apart.

When I fly United, the greatest source of entertainment is the Sky Mall Magazine. 

I can’t believe what wise guys invent and others, less wise, buy.  Writers, take note; a quirky character can own quirky things.  Sky Mall is full of inspiration. On the most recent trip, gone was my favorite - the Lawn Yeti - which always made me question the mindset of crypto zoologists. 
The new Sky Mall featured improved items to thrill those-with-everything who crave unnecessary and ludicrous gadgets. 

Appropriately, I listened to Madonna’s Material Girl as I thumbed through the catalogue and saw a blow up thing that you’re supposed to lean on, not your face, your whole body.  On the next page, I learned I could rest secure in the knowledge that I could make a perfect pop-up egg in an electric Eggmaster – like it’s hard to use a pan????  Then to complement it, page 25 offered Environmentally “Green Gourmet Cookware.”  Really?  Must we be P.C. even when we cook?

Since much of my writing involves food as a theme, I thought something like that could come in handy for an oddball character.


I turned the page and puzzled over a faceless watch  -  a wrist band where the time shows up on the links of the watch band.  Why? I asked myself. Haven’t all the gear-head, gadget-loving people moved on from watches altogether?


Then there came the Miocrodermabrasion System that will clear those pesky pores, featuring a pore-sized vacuum straw, no kidding!

Great for a spurned wife seeking a new lover or a desperately insecure teen maybe?

If pores weren’t your problem but your butt was, the Magic Benefit Panty promised to give those who are butt-less a seriously great bubble butt.  This is quite important when dancing these days…especially if you are shaking you stuff to the namesake song: Bubble Butt.
The last one truly confused me – a shirt with pockets under the armpits.  I could understand it if it was meant to hide a container of deodorant.  But I’m sorry, a passport, jewelry, and credit cards under your arms?  Really?  It advised me to put my cash there.  Really?  Who’d want it after it’s been to Sweat Heaven and back?   If your character wants one, it’s called a Compression Security Travel T-Shirt.  With seven (yes seven!) hidden pockets, it’s only $69.95.  But they don’t offer reimbursement for the pain of scraped and chapped underarms.  I can see a character suffering after wearing such a thing for a few hours as he perspires heavily as the bad guy sits next to him with a dinner knife aimed at his ribs.
Sky Mall isn't the only place to discover quirky belongings for your characters.  At Uncommon Goods you can find ideas for outfitting your nerdish secondary character.  He might like a ray gun sculpture which can be had there for only $170.   
Or a skateboard stool...  
And for your wealthy couple a map made of license plates.  They'd only need to fork out $3,900

If one ignores the other, maybe he hides in an ostrich pillow.


Or wastes money on a Back To The Future Flux Capacitor!

A Caticorn Cat Unicorn Shower Curtain?
Being the foodie that I am, I was especially attracted to the Spam and Ketchup cookbooks.  Each only sets your cook back about $10
And if your character is a low budget foodie, maybe he has a $13 Wilton 'Football' Novelty Cake Pan.
For your kinky romance character the handy dandy Baby Banana Toothbrush with Handle.

Because you also want to engage your readers senses, they also sell cookie dough or zombie cologne.
ModCloth will thrill your quirky teen with a taco purse
                              a jaws necklace
and math leggings for your genius cheerleader.
Have fun tooling around on these and other quirky gift sites for props. They are great places to find the little fun belongings that bring characters alive. Do you know of any cool places to find prop ideas?