Precious Cargo

18 August 2010 | consumerism

Since I donated my car to 826 National, I’ve been just a little bit less stressed out.

I watch the DPT ticket cars on my street missing their permit placards for our neighborhood, and I sigh happily. I sail past traffic on my bike in the Mission, overloaded with groceries but happy for the exercise. The now-empty driveway I come home to seems a little lonely, but it also represents no more risk of sidewalk-parking tickets and no more paying insurance on a car whose windshield was probably going to cave in within a year.

But there is one reason I do still miss my car, and that is acquiring a watermelon.

Watermelons — whole ones, mind you — don’t fit in bike baskets. And they definitely don’t fit in the arms of an 8-months-pregnant lady like me.

So, behold! The Japanese have invented the Perfect Thing for this modern dilemma.

The Watermelon Stroller

marugoto tama-chan, the watermelon stroller

The name of this refrigerated fruit transporter is Marugoto Tama-Chan, which translates roughly as “whole round thing [cutesy name]”.

Google Translate delivers some more entertainment:

Tama-chan is the whole season, and even when cool or warm depending on the season OK.
The outdoors is the really shines more! Hot summer day is a whole watermelon “Tama-chan” into the swimming GO! By train to the core support so cool cigar socket.
We carry easy to carry with wheels rotate 360 degrees telescopic more!
And as cold weather heating cabinet is big success! Canned coffee and tea, meat, etc. “Tama-chan” if put in, you can always receive a warm still tasty.
Also, I put in the rookie of the constant cold temperature guests delicious rice.

It charges in your car (I think that’s what is meant by “so cool cigar socket”), which gives me a little bit of a “so then what’s the point” feeling, but it also charges by regular A/C. Being Japanese electronics, one would actually have no problem getting power to it here in the U.S.

There’s an appeal to specified-usage, tailored gadgets. Images of walking down the street happily pushing my watermelon baby home from the store in a chromed-up hyperbaric chamber on wheels put a smile on my face.

But at $230, I have to decide that I don’t really miss watermelons all that much. My car insurance for a quarter of a year cost roughly that. And anyway, I’ll have a real baby in a stroller soon enough.

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