Last week, we saw how charisma (and Mongolian-themed bellowing) can cajole strangers into giving you money for old rope on Kickstarter.
This time, we take away the charisma, keep the old rope and add an infomercial that’s harder to watch than a man chewing off his own legs.
The brief: £20,000 needed to make an ice cream scoop that protects the wrist from the strain of scooping hard ice cream using an uncomfortable-looking bit of metal.
The need for the ErgoScoop, we are informed by an election-season-smear-ad-style voiceover, is that "carpal tunnel syndrome is the major cause of injuries, time off and worker’s compensation claims in the ice cream dispensing business today".
To hammer home this crisis, we are treated to a heart-stretchingly slow sequence where a scooper reaches repeatedly into an ice cream cabinet like a drugged bear rummaging through a fire, before unleashing a collection of bizarrely ethnic yelps of agony upon contact (“Oi vey!”, “Mama Mia!”). It’s all a bit Alan Partridge:
The saddest bit is the sense that the inventor feels he has solved one of the world’s great problems. He thinks he’s invented the next wind-up radio, when in fact he’s just made a thing that makes the user look like some kind of scoop-fisted pound shop Wolverine.
He talks about "hundreds of thousands" of dessert servers toiling with mangled wrists, and offers $500 donators the chance to be distributors, further growing the ErgoScoop empire.
This kickstarter, like so many, falls down on its investment rewards: if I pay this guy enough to make his thing, he'll let me sell it for him. Where do I sign up?
At least the Khans had fun in offering me next to nothing. The best I can get here is ice cream scoops at $25 a pop.
Think I'll just get one for £5, and wave goodbye to my wrists.
Fred Crawley is group editor for asset finance & accounting at VRL Financial News.