November 30, 2011

Adorable rickshaw — a terrible or an awesome gift?



According to Jessica Grose at XXfactor ("What women really think"), this is a terrible gift — "completely insane" — because "even if your wealth is at Bloombergian levels, no one in the universe needs a $2,200 limited-edition rickshaw from Anthropologie.... Populist outrage is way too easy to inspire with such fripperies..."

Populist outrage? Fripperies? If that's supposed to be economic analysis... hello! Consumer spending drives the economy. The country needs people to buy things. What's with the Puritanical whining about having fun tooling around town in a colorful rickshaw? And the price is $2,200? Has Grose noticed the prices of normal bikes? This thing is a bargain! In fact, if you click through to Anthropologie, you'll see "This product is no longer available." I'm not surprised. It's totally adorable. I had fantasies of riding around Madison in the passenger seat of this thing. Why, it would be the perfect gift for Meade!

What women really think... You tell me: Who's speaking The Mind of the Woman: me or Jessica Grose?

61 comments:

John said...

I agree that it would be the perfect gift for Meade.

And since it is your gift to him, can we assume that you would be doing the peddling?

Perhaps you could hire a homeless person to peddle it while both of you ride in the back.

http://youtu.be/m9bSrjv8BDs

John Henry

Scott M said...

That IS pretty cool, but not for $2200. I think a reasonably handy weekend craftsman could knock that together in a couple of weeks.

SeanF said...

You are both speaking the mind of a woman. There is no such thing as "the mind of woman."

SeanF said...

Sorry, that should say, "There is no such thing as 'the mind of the woman.'"

ricpic said...

Not everyone is consumed with envy, Jennifer. Some folks even smile on others good fortune, crazy as that may seem to someone steeped in the present zeitgeist.

Drew W said...

Fripperies? Shouldn't she check with Robert Fripp on that?

codeweasel said...

Grose is a fine one to talk.

In one of her previous pieces she mentioned her penchant for buying $400 blouses because she needs to "feel attractive at big events."

pm317 said...

oh, oh, I am so waiting for Chip Ahoy to put you in the passenger seat of that thing draped in a Sari with a veil over your face and Meade (in a turban of course) pulling your weight in the front. ha..ha..

Henry said...

A lovely gift. Perfect for pedaling about the graveled paths of your parklike estate.

Please stay off the roads with that thing. Drivers hate us bicyclists enough as it is.

Ron said...

I can see it now..."Althouse of the August Moon"

E.M. Davis said...

Wait, so Meade now gets to haul your ass all over town?

Kit said...

I love it and, too, would love to be carted around town in it. The only one I've ever ridden in was at the San Diego Zoo, except the (very in-shape) guy wasn't pedaling, but running us up to the gate.

dbp said...

What's not to like? It is cool looking and you could earn a bit of spare cash in tourist season. Also, it is big enough to do a weekly grocery run.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wait, so Meade now gets to haul your ass all over town?"

Meade bikes up hills repeatedly for exercise. I would be the equivalent of a hill. Everybody wins.

Ann Althouse said...

Can't you just picture us in/on this contraption, riding up State Street, joining an impromptu protest parade around the Capitol?

Ann Althouse said...

"What's not to like? It is cool looking and you could earn a bit of spare cash in tourist season. Also, it is big enough to do a weekly grocery run."

Yes, exactly. You could make money with this thing. Women would love to be given a ride. They'll pay you 20 dollars for a 2-mile jaunt.

I bet you could make $100 in an hour or so.

Firehand said...

"It's frippery! Nobody NEEDS this!" Well, Miss Grose, who the hell appointed you to decide what people NEED to buy? Or what anybody does with their money?

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allie said...

Meade must wear the latest in coolie fashion, bare chest and pantaloons, whilst pedaling frantically through Madison, pulling his beloved.

Bob_R said...

Go for the Charlie Chan mustache, Meade!

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I've looked at the prices on three-wheel and four-wheel bikes. Not rickshaws, just bikes. And in comparison to those, that thing's pretty reasonably priced.

pm317 said...

@Ann:Yes, exactly. You could make money with this thing. Women would love to be given a ride. They'll pay you 20 dollars for a 2-mile jaunt.

-----
I was going to comment on this. In downtown Frederick, MD, the city gave a few young people rickshaws like this last year to cart people around and make a few bucks.

MayBee said...

That would be such a cute way to bring kids to school or to get an ice cream cone!

Carol_Herman said...

I agree. Think of what you'd save in gas.

Heart_Collector said...

Yeah because spending 2k on a bike is way to extravagant and ridiculous.

That looks like it could be a great gift to really give a family some hilarious time together.

Biking with my wife and daughter on that thing down the cape cod canal on a beautiful fall day would probably be one of those memorys that brings a warm peace that wraps you up in forever when your lying on that oh so cold deathbed.

John said...

My daughter lives in San Juan a few blocks from the coliseum. Whenever there is a concert or other event, people park on the streets in her neighborhood.

there are several rickshas cruising around offering to take people the 2-4 blocks to the coliseum. Don't know how much they charge but they seem to keep pretty busy.

John Henry

rhhardin said...

Parking around the house is a problem.

Fact about bike trailers: no matter how streamlined you still have to haul all that weight up any tiny hill.

If the weight is a good fraction of your own, every hill will be twice as steep as before; and you notice that there are an awful lot of hills, when you include the ones you never noticed before.

And of course you spend most of your time on hills, owing to an unfortunate property of denominators.

Carol_Herman said...

Meade bikes up hills?

You have "hills" in Wisconsin?

I thought the biggest threat would be falling into the lake.

And, I don't know why tricycles went out of style. I'd be like a Vermont farmer on the highway ... not caring at all ... that men on two wheelers were trying to pass me on the bicycle lane.

Here? With the overhead canopy ... you can even toodle about in the rain.

WIN-WIN

Fprawl said...

While on assignment in Miami's Coconut Grove enclave, we underlings stuck the manager in one while drinking beers at the sidewalk cafe'.
We happily paid $1 a minute to watch her glide around the block and she happily watched the young man work up a sweat.

Craig said...

Congressman Manny Pacquiao pedaled one of these on the streets of General Santos in Mindanao for several years before he took up boxing and tipping American elections in favor of sitting senate majority leaders.

rhhardin said...

Greenspeed is said to the final word in trikes.

Ann Althouse said...

"You have "hills" in Wisconsin?"

You need to learn about the last ice age and what it did to Wisconsin. We're in the "driftless area." Does that mean nothing to you?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Can't you just picture us in/on this contraption, riding up State Street, joining an impromptu protest parade around the Capitol?

You would need to perfect your ergonomically correct "Queen Wave" so you could smile and sedately and wave upon those not so fortunate. Maybe wear a tiara too. That would be great! Really. You should do it and take video.

Seriously. Get one of these ***

Not only do you get your exercise, you can save the world (or something) by not driving your car to the corner market for those quick grocery trips or take along a good picnic lunch, blankets and all for an afternoon in the park. I have one and love it.

****But WAIT there's more. If you buy one today using the Althouse link you will be supporting this blog and putting moolah in your hostesses pocket!!! Order NOW!!!!

There....never let it be said that I'm against capitalism or you monetizing your blog

:-D

Ann Althouse said...

Two drifters, off to see the driftless area/There's such a lot of area to see... by rickshaw.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Thanks, rhhardin! I hadn't found those in my research.

And again, a cursory look at their prices indicates this rickshaw is moderately priced. $2,900 to $9,000 and up!

shirley elizabeth said...

I would totally have my husband pedal us to church in it.

Also, all of Anthropologie is filled with "fripperies." It's the point of the store. And why most women can't get enough of it.

MayBee said...

Also, all of Anthropologie is filled with "fripperies." It's the point of the store. And why most women can't get enough of it

Ha, Shirley Elizabeth! I was just going to say that.

Ralph L said...

I prefer my sedan chair.

Kit said...

You need to learn about the last ice age and what it did to Wisconsin. We're in the "driftless area." Does that mean nothing to you?

There, they don't call them hills, they call them coulees.

Meade said...

Also, for a premium, I could sell parking spaces in our driveway to football fans and then carry them to Camp Randall Stadium on the rickshaw.

John Burgess said...

I see lots of tricycles in my part of FL, what with the Amish/Mennonite community. This rickshaw has a certain pizzazz, though.

My suggestion for improvement would be to replace the rider and bike gears with the engine and transmission of that TT sitting in the garage. That would solve the hill problem rather nicely. The power-to-weight ratio ought to be amazing in its own right.

Allie said...

Courting with the coolie in the coulees, how romantic is that, sigh....

Meade said...

I'll it put it up on ebay and see what the market will pay.

$500?

virgil xenophon said...

Will Meade be wearing a Chinese "Coolie hat?" LOL

Ralph L said...

Women get off on seeing a man work for them. Don't think the reverse is true very often. Hoovers and suds aren't sexy.

Meade said...

I should get a second rickshaw bike and deck it out with Recall Walker flags and sell rides during capitol square demonstrations to the unionistas.

I'll donate the proceeds to the Reelect Walker campaign.

Would that be wrong?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Women get off on seeing a man work for them. Don't think the reverse is true very often. Hoovers and suds aren't sexy.

Then the women aren't doing it right.

Cleaning the bathrooms should always be done in the nude. That way you can shower off all the soap and chemicals at the end in a nice sparkling clean bathroom and your clothes are still clean and dry.

Nude cooking is also a good idea....unless you are frying something. Be sure to be cooking something that you can set aside for a while too.....just in case.

John said...

Speaking of tricycles, I see a number of these in large industrial plants. They are often used by mechanics to get from place to place carrying tools and parts.

A large basket will carry a lot.

John Henry

edutcher said...

We should all chip in and buy one for the 200 pound 8 year old to pull his parents around.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wait, so Meade now gets to haul your ass all over town?"

Meade bikes up hills repeatedly for exercise. I would be the equivalent of a hill. Everybody wins.


Are you saying you've put on a couple of pounds over the summer?

Allie said...

Meade must wear the latest in coolie fashion, bare chest and pantaloons, whilst pedaling frantically through Madison, pulling his beloved.

Then Ann should be dressed like Mme Chiang Kai-Shek, in a silk brocade cheongsam and an embroidered fan.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Women get off on seeing a man work for them. Don't think the reverse is true very often. Hoovers and suds aren't sexy.

Then the women aren't doing it right.

Cleaning the bathrooms should always be done in the nude. That way you can shower off all the soap and chemicals at the end in a nice sparkling clean bathroom and your clothes are still clean and dry.

Nude cooking is also a good idea....unless you are frying something. Be sure to be cooking something that you can set aside for a while too.....just in case.


Isn't there a scene in "Water For Chocolate" (or something like it) where a husband gets all turned on watching his wife on her hands and knees from behind, scrubbing the floor?

Canuck said...

I don't like how it looks, but I'm not a big fan of the aesthetic style of Anthropologie.

When I get outside in the summer I like to be moving, not sitting.

But small children might have fun sitting in this.

In terms of the Puritan reaction, I'm guessing the recession in the USA is causing Americans to get frugal. Maybe the wider culture is starting to follow, like Eleanor Roosevelt serving cheap, bland food in the White House.

Allie said...

Meade said;
I should get a second rickshaw bike and deck it out with Recall Walker flags and sell rides during capitol square demonstrations to the unionistas.

I'll donate the proceeds to the Reelect Walker campaign.

Would that be wrong?

11/30/11 10:10 AM
Yes, so wrong.

Ralph L said...

Meade will have to incorporate as No Walker Transport Co.

David said...

We don't "need" most of the stuff we buy. I bet that even applies to little miss purity of soul, Jennifer.

paul a'barge said...

Jessica Grose

Look Ma, no tits!

Amartel said...

"Who's speaking the mind of woman:?"
Answer: Neither. Women do not speak, nor think, as one. Contrary to popular belief.
Neither do men.
Speak for yourself!

Anthropologie markets its product for a particular type of woman: educated/credentialled, moneyed, bohemian, probably liberal. Ms. Grose is more likely than not that woman, an Anthropologie Woman. In her opinion, this rickshaw product by Anthropologie is not something that is appropriate for Anthropologie Woman.

Amartel said...

Right. Thank you. The photo. Exhibit A: Anthropologie Woman. All that's missing is some flimsy cotton schmattes and matching non-matching beads and the tableau would be complete.

Peter said...

Back in the '70s my stepfather had a pretty bad series of small strokes. He became unable to drive and then, later, became known for going about our smalltown on his three wheeled Schwinn.

It helped him keep his independence and, I believe, the excercize added years to his life. Ann and Meade should really get one, only they should take turns or maybe Meade pedals out, Ann pedals back. Add health and years to both lives!

Sigivald said...

You think XXFactor is ever supposed to provide "economic analysis"?

(Like all "woman-targeted" web content, it's crap, axiomatically and automatically.

Real interesting things are not "women's" any more than they're "men's".

"What women think" is no more a monolith than "what people think", and less interesting because of the limitation combined with the faulty assertion of homogeneity.

A pox on them all.)

That she thinks "need" should control consumption simply tells me that she has no business even pretending to do economics.

(The comments more or less make the same usual errors; "let them eat cake" as a response to the existence of expensive salt and pepper shakers?

The same old delusion, that the wealthy are wealthy at the expense of others.

Which boils down to the fixed-wealth fallacy, and ignores creation of wealth.

I'd dismiss it as "not even wrong", in Pauli's phrase, but it is in fact completely wrong.)

Holmes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holmes said...

It's Green. Therefore it doesn't matter if it's really expensive archaic crap. In fact, that's often the point.

Kirk Parker said...

I can so see Althouse dressed up as Mme Chiang.

Also second the call for a Chip animation!