Bang for your buck

Engsiong Tan
3 min readMay 5


Literal pop for your money

I have seen many useless things being sold. I have purchased some of them especially exercise equipment on informercials. I have seen luxury items that are just advertising for criminals to steal them. At the end of the day, as long as the buyer is happy, they can buy expensive teddy bears or comfort blanket for all I care. It is their money. Then sometimes, something quite useless and expensive comes along.

Elephant gun

There is a firearm that is designed to kill elephants. I can understand the reason for buying them as elephant can be impervious to modern small calibre assault rifle rounds. There was an elephant in the Kuwait zoo that was used as target practice by Iraqi troops. The elephant survived the war but killed herself. There was a story that a few special forces troops met an angry elephant in the jungle. The sole survivors mentioned that the GPMG and two assault rifles could not stop the murderous elephant. Once upon a time, wild elephants had tusks.

Photo by Zoë Reeve on Unsplash

Even if the elephant gun is never used, I can still understand a person buying it. It is like an ejection seat in a fighter plane. Even Maverick has to use his ejection seat in both movies. I can swim and I have never used life jackets but I also look for them when I board a sea vessel.

First stab a shark

Imagine paying a premium price for a knife. Full Disclosure: The knife is discontinued. It was billed as the world deadliest knife. This is one of those items that you cannot see actual usage since YouTube would most likely take down the shark killing video. Moreover, customers with negative reviews are not in a position to return the item. Or leave a negative review.

To use the world deadliest knife, you have to first stab a shark. One can quickly see the flaw in the first step. (I am skipping the steps of seeing shark and drawing the knife.) Then press a button so that compressed carbon dioxide can be injected into the shark. The swimming thing that has sharp teeth and is more muscular than the hairless ape with a knife. In the shark’s home ground with your life hanging on the balance. Did I mention that the carbon dioxide injector also has limited rounds? So no pressure whatsoever.


The knife did feature in certain crime shows so you could use it as a weapon to stump the police. Except that you are still having the same issues as using a knife. Blood splatters. Literally getting your hands dirty. Having a good alibi. I can understand the appeal of owning a record breaker. I had a former boss who boasted about owning the world’s slimmest watch. The catch is that only fools will be impressed with the weapon. There is a reason why nobody is selling the elephant knife.

Photo by Stoica Ionela on Unsplash

Actual record

If you are a rich person with time on your hands, you can probably use the knife as a hobby. The rest of world can either stay away from sharks or use other tools or weapons to kill sharks. I know that the knife is sold as a defensive weapon. However, there are about a hundred shark attacks a year globally so it is likely that the knife is never used on a shark. Finally, there is a better solution. Shark proof suits. The shark can attack you first. The downside of the suit is that you can only brag about costing the shark a handful of teeth.