Feds Seize Thousands Of Ugly Electrocuting Hair Dryers From Hell

  stings

See those ugly ass swirly neon hair dryers/butt fluffers? Well they just got busted, like suckers, at the illegal ports of Miami and Los Angeles. Thousands of them. 13,000+! Apparently if you use these things to dry your hair or fluff your butt you get electrocuted and then explode, maybe. Isn’t that the whole fun point of it, though? There are layers and layers to this thing (not really).

Customs and Border Protection explains how it rooted out these shiftless illegal hairdryers in a targeting operation:

Washington — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized thousands of hair dryers recently that were determined to constitute a “substantial product hazard” under U.S. law, for failing to have adequate immersion protection. The potentially dangerous hair dryers were identified through a nationwide targeting operation by the CBP Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC).

As a result of the targeting operation, CBP officers in the port of Los Angeles seized an entire shipment of 9,768 hair dryers that lacked shock protection for consumers. Lack of proper shock protection could lead to an electrocution if contact is made with a water source. The port of Miami had a notable seizure of 3,614 hair dryers that also lacked proper shock protection for consumers. These two shipments, containing a total of 13,382 hair dryers, had an estimated domestic value of approximately $229,998 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,506,517.

It’s the wussification of America, ain’t that right, Conservative Comedian? Back in the old days, getting electrocuted by an ugly pink swirly death machine and butt fluffer was a badge of honor. Now everything’s just abortion this, welfare that…

[CBP via Chris Moody]

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Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell

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122 comments

    1. tessiee

      No, the first time she saw Newt's newticles, her brain short-circuited and fried her hair; it's looked like that ever since.

  1. Barb

    This would be my second choice for a Valentine's Day gift for Sarah Palin, right behind the GE 4-slice shower toaster.

      1. Tundra Grifter

        My Mom bought us a set of those – they were called "Jarts."

        Heavy steel points with big rubber fins – dangerous as hell. No question about it.

        1. Gunner Asch

          My favorite toy was a blowgun with 6" steel darts. I could sink them 2 inches deep in the trees from quite a ways off. Of course I played with it on a suburban street, to no one's concern – least of all mine. This would have been '57 or '58. The good ole days!

          1. Tundra Grifter

            GA:

            We made our own. Copper tubing for the blowgun. Chuck a stick of steel coathanger into an electric drill and make a point on a sharpening stone.

            The "feathers" (fletching?) were foam rubber coated with glue.

            Those suckers would stick well into a board.

  2. Biff

    …failing to have adequate immersion protection…

    I think someone is unclear on the concept of hair-drying.

    1. actor212

      You have to know that those silly "Do not use while sleeping" warnings came in response to some lawsuit where, you know, someone fell asleep using a hairdryer and burned her (or his) house down.

      Similarly…

      1. James Michael Curley

        Yes, believe it. Someone fell asleep while using her hair dryer in bed and burned down the house. I through a lot of the junk out but I read it in a Products Liability newsletter from years ago. The reported decision merely gave the plaintiff a pass to allow the law suit to continue. Never bothered to follow up.

  3. Callyson

    That reminds me, I need to get a new vibrator. The old one broke. (Really, manufacturers need to make these things more durable…)

    1. chicken_thief

      If you are anywhere near VA, you could just tell them that you are preggers and wanna end it – unlimited free probes!!!

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      They can take away my cattle prod when they ply it from my cold, dead….,

      Wait, you meant a different form of blowing, right?

  4. chicken_thief

    "…for failing to have adequate immersion protection."

    Am I the only one that waits until I get out of the shower to dry my hair?

    1. tessiee

      *looks around to make sure nobody is watching*
      *shamefacedly puts pink hair dryer back on store shelf*

  5. SayItWithWookies

    I don't know if it's worth seizing those things — in all likelihood, anyone who buys something that ugly at a one-thousand-percent markup is just a mutilation or death waiting to happen anyway.

  6. chicken_thief

    Functionality aside, I think they should be sent back to wherever because they're fucking hideous looking. They been sitting on a dock since '62 or what?

  7. YasserArraFeck

    So, the manufacturers suggested retail is ~1000% greater than the estimated domestic value? I think The Fucking Delusional Optimist Electrical Co. needs to redo their numbers.

  8. BigDumbRedDog

    Shouldn't the invisible hand of the free market be taking care of this? Get out of our business gubmint!

    1. SorosBot

      the government shouldn't get in the way of people who dry their hair in a running shower or full bathtub from Darwinning themselves away.

  9. DocChaos

    "These two shipments, containing a total of 13,382 hair dryers, had an estimated domestic value of approximately $229,998 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,506,517."

    So a domestic value of about $17 each, but an msrp of over $180?

    Is this like when a drug seizure has a "street value" of 10 million dollars, but that's really just the inflated msrp that no one actually pays?

    1. YasserArraFeck

      What's the difference between these and politicians?
      One is an ugly unreliable bargain-basement producer of hot air..and the other is a hair dryer.

      boom boom

  10. Dudleydidwrong

    Anybody who would pay over $150 for one of those things would vote Republican. Hell, Anybody who would buy one of those things for $1.98 at the local Dollar General would vote Republican.

    I'll bet that Callista has two.

    1. YasserArraFeck

      one for herself and the other to inflate Newt in the morning – all that bloviatory hot air doesn't grow on trees, you know.

  11. Mumbletypeg

    I'm gonna have to check snopes or something. Can't seem to Google up the origins of the hair-dryer electrocuting risk — not where it dropped in the bathtub anyway, unless that's how a lot of fried balls ' accounts found their way into the ether-archive.

  12. prommie

    FiveBelow is frantically searching for new stock. Newell, my man, this is hardly snark-worthy, so the FTC mandated GFCI devices at some point (probably under pressure from the GFCI manufacturers), and now, all of a sudden, it is some heinous sin to import hairdryers that are no more dangerous than every single hairdryer ever sold before 1987? My father worked in a Dutch Boy paint factory for years; the name of the company that actually owned Dutch Boy was "National Lead." It was perfectly harmless, until one day it became deadly poisonous! Guys used to walk around the plant covered in white lead powder, like they were in a flour explosion. Then they would shower and use non-GFCI hairdryers, and drink radiator-distilled moonshine! Men were men, in those days.

    1. Biff

      One generation out, a newer one in: after they banned lead, some industries began to use barite as a substitute. I made a living for a time hauling barite from a remote mine here in Nevaduh. You really get a feel for why shit gets so expensive when you realize that you can only legally haul 5 cubic yards of this stuff on a semi rated for 80,000 lbs gross.

        1. Biff

          I know! I should've been able to cross the scales at 140,000 lbs if I wanted to! It was my truck, right? Who else could it possibly hurt?

  13. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    They should just re-label them "Tasers" and sell them to the Iraqi and Afghan Governments. That would be the true American way!

    1. tessiee

      Especially since You Know Who would have used them on her 'do the next *day*, don't'cha know, you betcha *wink*.

  14. meatlofer

    So Newt was blow drying his cock,and Callista,asked "what are you doing?" and Newt said,"Warming up your dinner!"

  15. Tundra Grifter

    Why do hair dryers have a sticker warning "Do Not Use in Bathtub?"

    Because somebody tried that and it didn't end well…

  16. BigDumbRedDog

    These hair dryers are programmed to automatically give everyone who uses them a giant bouffant and lee press-on nails.

    1. Gunner Asch

      When my daughter was about 5 she thought lee press-on nails were some sort of magical talisman leading to a life like a Disney Princess. I'm not sure she actually knew what they were.

  17. emmelemm

    I actually still use a hair dryer old enough to not have the immersion protector doohickey. Cuz that's how I roll… on the edge.

    1. tessiee

      Sometimes I microwave my entree for 5 minutes, even though the package says 6, because that's the kind of crazy chick I am.

  18. missemish

    I had a hairdryer that said "Do not use while sleeping" You just know SOMEONE did that and was like "I WAS NOT PROPERLY INFORMED OF THE LIMITATIONS. YOU MUST PAY MY MEDICAL EXPENSES!" Now it's on the tag.

    1. tessiee

      One of my workplaces had a metal ladder for… installing stuff, I guess, who knows?… that had a warning to the effect of, "WARNING!! THIS LADDER IS METAL! METAL CONDUCTS ELECTRICITY! DO *NOT* STAND ON THIS METAL LADDER WHILE HOLDING A LIVE WIRE!!"

      Three guesses how they came up with that one.

      1. sunmusing

        Being an electrician this is a little embarrassing, but….years ago…..just after 'lectricity was invented, I was using a CORDED drill with an extention cord at the top of a 24' aluminum ladder, I needed a little more cord to reach the metal beam I was drilling into, well, I got the bit stuck, jerked on the cord and by chance a sharp area on the ladder skinned the insulation and the hot wire made contact with the ladder. Have you ever seen the "120 volt dance?" t'wern't perty. There was nothing to do but slide down the ladder, through the sparks and welded metal, to a not so soft landing. While I was on my back trying to asses the damage, a fella who had witness the light show and daredevil act, came over, looked down and very calmly said, "There are two things to remember about electricity, One..you can't see it, and Two..it can kill ya." I don't remember much else other than… I purchased CORDLESS drill the next day. Anyway, reading instructions is for pussys.

  19. mavenmaven

    I still have all the tags on that say "under penalty of law, do not remove tag". So I guess that makes me a big government libunatic.

  20. Maman

    How did you know that my daughter uses her hairdryer to keep her butt warm? Do you have camera's here? Can I get access to them? She's crazy, that one is..

  21. prommie

    Many vending machines have a warning sticker on the front that I call the "Homer Simpson Warning," which shows an illustration of the machine tipped over on top of, and squashing, someone.

  22. missemish

    I thought the McDonalds Coffee is hot lawsuit (is that even real) totally ridiculous, until I actually had coffee there and holy fuck it is hotter than any other beverage I've ever been served. Surprised it wasn't boiling in the cup.

    1. James Michael Curley

      Yes it is real. Mickey D guaranteed the humongous punitive damage award they got when it was discovered; a.) They had a policy of having the coffee at 180 degrees to keep so they did not have to have their people respond to requests to warm up cold cups of coffee and b.) They had memos showing they were award of the danger if the coffee spilled on the customer but a.) was pre-eminent because they felt at a cooler temperature they wasted too much coffee.

      1. missemish

        ahHA! Yeah, it was definitely a case of "Okay, I take it back this is NOT ridiculous at all, that is TOO HOT."

  23. sezme

    See, this is why we have government: to make it safe to blow-dry our hair while taking a bath. Can anyone think of a better definition of progress?

  24. James Michael Curley

    I had to defend a law suit by a plaintiff who fell in a supermarket when she did not see and tripped over one of those bright yellow signs they place on spills to keep people from slipping in the spill. Plaintiff stated at the dep in response to "What were you doing immediately before your fell?" "I was looking for a coupon in my purse." Motion for Summary Judgment – Slam Dunk from the half court.

    1. prommie

      Did the coupon have a warning advising not to peruse coupons while walking around, Mr. smarty-pants attorney for WalMart? You're just lucky you were up against a stupid plaintiffs lawyer who didn't think of that angle. Is it reasonably foreseeable that a store coupon would be read by someone who is walking around the store? Its so foreseeable, this borders on a purposeful act, they set up a trap, a pitfall for the unwary, by distributing these coupons knowing people would have to organize and sort them while walking around a store that is a veritable obstacle-course of spills and safety cones!

    2. MilwaukeeKent

      I have a few questions. Was the spill actually dry at the time she fell over the approximately 20 inch tall sign? Do you recall approximately what time the spill was brought to the attention of management and the sign placed? While the defendant (store) did take industry-standard precautions against the initial hazard of the spill, they failed to practice due diligence on follow-through for an additional known hazard.

  25. tessiee

    Well, great.
    That's just great.
    And just how am I supposed to fluff my butt NOW? Answer me THAT, Mr. Big Shot Customs Know it All!

  26. Oblios_Cap

    I'm sure glad that I got my wife's Valentine's Day gift before they made that seizure. I'll have to try and remember to tell her not to use it in the shower.

  27. thetimchannel

    "Those aren't hair dryers your honor. Those are forced air heaters for upscale dog houses, aka Mutt MiniMcMansions"
    Enjoy.

      1. thetimchannel

        I would have bet five to one somebody would jump in with that observation. I had to resist the temptation to reply to my own post after hitting the submit key yesterday.
        Enjoy.

    1. MadBrahms

      First they came for the lightbulbs, but I was not a lightbulb. Then they came for the hairdryers, but I was not a hair dryer…

      Truly, we live under tyrrany.

  28. Troglodeity

    Fortunately, they weren't able to sell too many of them at the "manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,506,517."

    1. MadBrahms

      By the time it gets on FOX News, it will easily be 10 times that. Or possibly just "suggested retail price of Egypt", who knows.

  29. MilwaukeeKent

    Somebody lost a bundle on these. You can out-source to China and save a bundle, but that trusted contractor over there is sub-contracting to who knows how many small shops, on lowest bids, so this is what you get. Lose control of your production chain and you might lose your product.
    Speaking of weird warnings and lawyers, I've got a tape of a radio contest disclaimer that goes on for 2 minutes 19 seconds, all to a hip-hop soundtrack. "changes in national mood" is one highlight. The time-lag of online listening versus actually hearing it on a radio takes over a half-minute to explain. That's one lawyer with too much time, too few clients or both.

  30. thetimchannel

    Somebody email me the link to the "Hitler" parody on this when it comes out please. The dialogue is already starting to form in my head.
    Enjoy.

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