Friday, August 08, 2008

Galactitags: Quite Possibly the Geekiest Thing I Own

Way back in the mid- to late-'80s, I was reading a copy of Omni magazine in the school media center (the high-falutin' successor to the term "library", the place we now know as "where students update their MySpace pages away from home or the Apple store.")

Omni was a pop science magazine that looked as if it were published by a softcore pornographer, because it was. (Bob Guccione of Penthouse, et al.)

Anyway, there was a blurb for a product: "Galactitags" -- dog tags stamped with the pulsar map that's on the Pioneer plaque. The gimmick was that, in the event you were abducted by aliens, if you managed to escape and flag down a Good Samaritan alien, the pulsar map would be enough to guide you back to Earth. (Additional gimmick: Money-back guarantee if the tags couldn't get you back to earth.More in a 1987 NYT article about various gimmicky things.)

It was peace of mind of sorts, for only $11.95 (or so) plus shipping and handling. Also available in gold or silver plate.

Also naturally, I had to have them:


Now, the clinking and rattling got annoying after a while, so I put some rubber silencers on them. Also, because of metal allergies, I had to swap chains and cut some clear plastic report covers to keep the tags off my skin. It got very complicated.


Anyway, I still have them.

The domain isn't active right now, so I don't know if you can still get the originals, but there's at least one, similar knockoff: Location Earth Dog Tags.


Susie Felber said...

That's SO COOL. I'm serious.

Joelogon said...

Thanks, Feb.

ShanePBK said...

They do look pretty cool indeed. Omni was a great mag back in the day.

Adam said...

The knock off ones seem to have two little humans giving the Nazi salute.....

The site says: "[they] are shown with
their hands waving as a gesture of goodwill"

I don't think so, I reckon they're surplus dog tags from Germany circa 1939

Joelogon said...

It's always about ze Germans with you people, isn't it.