Certain products are definitely OK to rent. Like a car. Or a tuxedo. Or the cheapest room at a Motel 6 when you find yourself strolling down I-85 at midnight with no pants.
Things are weird at home.
But a Los Angeles-based company caught the internet’s attention this week for renting something completely unexpected: wives.
Yes, the Rent-a-Wife might just be as horribly misogynistic as it sounds. Because it’s pretty much what you think it is: a housekeeping and odd jobs service where renters can choose a “wife” from three pricing tiers, ranging from the Starter Wife to the Good Wife to the Trophy Wife.
The company’s founder, Juliette Bresnahan, says most of her clients are actually women. So, who the hell knows?
What really matters is that, clearly, if you just surf the Web long enough, you’ll find lots of really weird stuff you can rent.
So I did.
Alas, when I started Googling “rent a …” followed by each letter of the alphabet (minus vowels and X) to see what would autofill, this is what I found:
Rent-a-Bay: A self-service garage in Kent, Washington, Rent-a-Bay is where you can work on your own vehicle with the same professional conveniences of a mechanic. It’s a good idea, but there’s also a 100% chance I would kill both myself and others in the process of changing a spark plug.
Rent-a-Center: This is a fairly well-known store for rent-to-own furniture and appliances. It’s also not a bad rebuilding option for the Phoenix Suns.
Rent-a-Dreads: This one sort of blew me away, for it has nothing to do with leasing a temporary dreadlock weave like the words might suggest. It’s actually a term used in regards to female sex tourism. In the Caribbean and Central America, male sex workers are often referred to as Rent-a-Dreads.
In America, a male sex worker is simply known as “Dave with access to Craigslist.”
Rent-a-Friend: This site claims to have “Friends from around the world available for hire,” perfect for anyone who just needs a buddy. Some of the activities they say people are using Rent-a-Friend for are sporting events, wine tasting and hot air balloon rides.
“Hi. I’m Gary. Would you like to ride in a balloon with me?”
“Hi. I’m Tina. No.”
Rent-a-Goat: This is just what it sounds like. You rent a goat and then let it eat unwanted plants and weeds. But, really, I just want to get one for my dog.
“Mikey, this is goat. Goat, this is Mikey. If you need me, I’ll be inside shopping for friends.”
Rent-a-Home: A house leasing company in Greensboro, North Carolina, somehow managed to come up first in my Google search. Which isn’t very exciting. But right below it was Rent-a-Husband.
Their slogan is “For those jobs that never get done!” which leads me to believe they specialize in renting out alcoholics who like watching football.
“My Rent-a-Husband was just as advertised! The garbage disposal is still busted, and he left the toilet seat up. Would definitely use again. Five stars!”
Rent-a-John: If you live in the Carolinas and need a temporary outdoor toilet that doubles as a sweat lodge, these guys have you covered.
Rent-a-Kid: This is the title of a really bad Leslie Nielsen movie from 1995 about a guy who rents out orphans. I actually found it on YouTube and watched the entire thing when I literally could’ve been doing anything else with my time. Like riding in a balloon with Gary.
Rent-a-List: Put that coffee down! This lead generator aims to help people in sales find potential customers to sign on the line that is dotted. A … B … C … Always Be Cluttering people’s inboxes.
Rent-a-Midget: Lacking morals? Having a party? Looking for alternative entertainment? You’re in luck.
“Barb, I have the perfect idea for Brian’s bar mitzvah reception!”
Rent-a-Negro: Back in 2003, damali ayo — who, officially, doesn’t capitalize the first letters of her name — created this (now-defunct) website as a form of “Web-art-performance” based around the fact that she felt like a “professional Black person” to her white friends.
Through Rent-a-Negro, she created a special mock rental form so White people could request services such as touching her hair, teaching them how to dance and speaking with their racist grandmother.
She eventually turned her art experience into a book called “How to Rent a Negro.”
Because that’s what I need on my shelf.
Rent-a-Pet: This led to several articles about renting animals. On that note, my dog is now available for quinceañeras.
Rent-a-Quote: Turns out, this is a term used to describe someone who will shamelessly provide a comment to the media on pretty much any topic. Usually, this person’s motivation is money and/or exposure.
I enjoy both. Call me.
Rent-a-Ruminant: Ruminants are mammals that eat plants and then barf out the cud. Thus, we have yet another service for renting out goats. I wonder if my new friend Gary knows about this.
Rent-a-Swag: Comedian Aziz Ansari portrays the character Tom Haverford on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” In the fifth season, he comes up with a business idea for renting expensive clothes to boys in middle school who, because they are still growing, have parents who won’t buy them nice things.
We had Rent-a-Swag growing up. It was called crappy hand-me-downs from my brother.
Rent-a-Text: This just takes you to a site for textbook rentals. When I was in college, I once opened a textbook. It was exhausting.
Rent-a-Van: It appears Enterprise strategically cornered the Internet market for when you absolutely, positively need an all-white windowless van. They’re perfect for driving slowly down sorority row while breathing heavily. Chicks dig that.
Rent-a-Wheel: This is the “largest rent-to-own custom wheel and tire retailer in the nation.” Excellent. I’ve been thinking of tricking out my Saturn.
Rent-a-Yurt: Ask anyone. Nothing is more fun than camping in a large round room.
“Ha! Ha! Whee! No corners!”
So, if you want to rent a yurt lodge somewhere in America, Yurt Lodging will help get you there. Because we all want a round room at the end of the day.
Rent-a-Zilla: This search leads you to a specifically titled strip from a Web comic called MegaTokyo by Fred Gallagher and Rodney Caston. It involves ninjas and jails and monsters.
Kind of like my bris.
But that’s a long story. And I’m saving it for my balloon ride with Gary.
Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.
Jarrett Bellini | CNN