Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pet Rocks Psychology Center

Gary Ross Dahl, the creator of the wildly popular 1970s fad the Pet Rock, has died at age 78.
The smooth stones came packed in a cardboard box containing a tongue-in-cheek instruction pamphlet for "care and feeding." Dahl estimated he had sold 1.5 million of them at roughly $4 each by the time the fad fizzled. The Pet Rock required no work and no time commitment.

I was 14 years old at the time Pet Rocks appeared on the scene, so obviously, I was not of the age to participate in this fade.

In fact, regular readers of this blog know quite well that I did not start talking to rocks until my college years, and by then these beauties were no longer available for sale. *sigh*

It might be hard for today's generation of "yutes" to comprehend just what the heck was the draw for those who purchased these inanimate Pet Rocks. Kids would lock themselves in their bedrooms, stroking and talking to their Pet Rock, sometimes sharing their innermost fears with them or just the latest school gossip. How sad that such a large percentage of lonely kids in the 70s fooled themselves with this illusion of friendship and isolated them from reality.

Thank goodness for social media, right kids?

R.I.P. Mr Dahl. You were a marketing genius. I can't help but wonder how he would have fared with this idea in front of the Shark Tank.
 Full Disclosure: While I never owned a Pet Rock, I did have Sea Monkeys and an Ant Farm.


  1. Never could understand Pet Rocks, but I did admire GRD, the marketing genius who bamboozled so many into paying good money for so little.

    BTW I had plenty of rocks, but I never paid a penny for any of them. Some nice person had placed them in my yard so that I could find them and give them a good home.

    I did have Sea Monkeys and an Ant Farm, but they paled in comparison to raising a bunch of frogs from tadpole-hood.

  2. "...Some nice person had placed them in my yard ." cube, I've heard of TP'ing someone's house, or sticking hundreds of plastic forks in their lawn. But I've never heard of dumping stones on someone's lawn. You grew up in an intense neighborhood!

    And who needs social media (or pet rocks) when one had sea monkeys, ant farms and tad poles?

  3. Wow.
    I thought I had posted a pithy pertinent comment here and looking back, I see it didn't post.
    And I can't remember what it was.

    People know of Jesus' fondness for Peter, but few know the original text said, Thou art Peter, and upon this pet rock, I will build my church".

  4. I like THAT pithy comment Ed. You know what they say... If you can't remember the other one, it must not have been that important.

  5. The Pet Rock required no work and no time commitment.

    Ideal for certain types of people, IMO.