A couple weeks ago, an expletive-laden Australian website called Ship Your Enemies Glitter went viral.
The premise of the website is simple: for $US9.99, you can send an envelope full of glitter to someone you don’t especially care for. A note to the person is included in the envelope too.
The website got so popular so quickly that its founder begged people to stop paying for glitter bombs to be delivered to their enemies’ doors. The website sold last week for $US85,000.
Glitter is a messy, annoying craft supply, and though it’s sparkly and pretty, it’s notoriously impossible to clean up. What better gift to send to an unassuming someone who has wronged you?
After writing about the initial popularity of Ship Your Enemies Glitter, I forgot all about glitter bombs. Until this morning.
Around 11:30, I received a large, flat package in the mail. “You might want to open this outside,” our operations manager Sydney told me. She was pretty sure it was a glitter bomb, and based on the glittery stuff lining the creases of the mailer package, I was inclined to agree.
My colleague Jillian D’Onfro and I went up onto the roof of our office. I opened the mailing envelope — the sender’s name was Hugh Johnson, so maybe I should have seen this coming — to find an enormous piece of cardboard in the shape of a penis, and a ton of silver, sparkly glitter.
A note on the back of the cardboard phallus informed me that an aptly named website called shipadick.com had sent it to me. We’ve reached out to the company to ask about it.
The Daily Dot has a profile of shipadick.com on its website. It’s the brainchild of two friends, Marshall and Chester, and the website launched in 2012. Their website boasts an impressive number of products, but they’re mainly known for their $US9.99, 29-inch cardboard phalluses.
The creators say it’s a light-hearted website and definitely isn’t intended to be malicious.
Glitter bombing is typically an act of political protest in which activists dump glitter on their opponents — sometimes individuals who are opposed to same-sex marriage — in public. Some critics argue that glitter bombing is considered assault and battery, and doctors warn glitter bombs can enter the eyes and nose and can cause corneal damage.
To be clear: sending a female reporter a huge cardboard penis is, at best, tasteless and tone-deaf. I never ordered this, much less asked for it to be delivered to me. It makes me wonder if I would have been sent this same “gift” if I were a dude. And politics and health risks aside,
glitter bombing is just annoying. Even though I opened it outside, I’m somehow still covered with glitter, and my entire desk is too. It’s on my face and in my hair. It’s in my computer keyboard and my iPhone’s speaker. It’s impossible to rinse off completely.
Maybe you don’t think I have a sense of humour. And you’d be wrong, but that’s OK! I just prefer my PR pitches to come via email, and preferably in a non-phallic shape. I like my Mondays better when I don’t come inside looking like I’ve just emerged from Ke$ha’s dressing room.
If you’re seeking positive press for your website, it strikes me as counterintuitive to send a glittery cardboard penis to a female reporter. But if you’re looking to confuse, annoy, or anger someone, perhaps it’s something you’d like to consider doing.