Xbox Calculator

Yesterday’s haul was a little closer to the “junk” side of things, rather than the inherent utilitarianism of enormous pine cones, or the adorable whimsy of Baby Benjamin Franklin. Not by design, though; this item wants to be useful, but since computers exist, and I’m not a high school student who ever has to do math for any reason*, there’s only sort of a point now. Check it out:

That’s what four scheduled yard sales (plus three blue-light specials**) nabbed me: a calculator in the shape of an Xbox 360 controller. It’s not labeled as such, but that’s definitely, definitely what it is. That’s actually what I love most about it: Usually when you see a generic representation of a modern-day videogame controller, it doesn’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before (and half the time it doesn’t even look like it would work), presumably due to the reason that nobody likes a lawsuit. This guy, though, is clearly an Xbox 360 controller. It even has shoulder buttons.

I bet your calculator doesn’t even HAVE a “no” button.

According to, this calculator is from the 2010 Staples back-to-school collection:

The Staples Game Controller Calculator is where number crunching meets…video game playing?! This calculator looks more like a Play Station 3 controller than a tool for school. It makes math fun, but might get confiscated by a teacher, because of its uncanny resemblance to a game! … The calculator doesn’t actually have any games on it, but it might be a little distracting in class; even the on/off buttons are fun to play with!

For a fun game, point out all the things that are wrong with that description.

I also SAW some really neat stuff—like a three-foot-tall half-mannequin, which seemed to be stuck in a “hello, how are you!” kind of pose, and a table-sized book that appeared to be a very old compilation of newspaper articles, open to the headline “Women’s New Place in the Sky”—but I have yet to develop the appropriate testicles to stand there and take pictures of people’s things while they’re staring at me. These people do it. I don’t know how they do it.

Total spent: $0.25.

* Like, what’s up with that? Hey, school—why did you make me spend a dozen years learning complicated mathematical terms and functions that had no real purpose in the real world? …Also, science? What was up with all that science, school?

** The term “blue-light special,” coined by my mother, refers to a bonus yard sale that you’ve come across on the way to another yard sale. It is derived from the “blue-light” specials that Kmart used to have, wherein, without any prior advertising, a yard sale would appear in the electronics section.

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