Several years ago someone came up with an idea which made them a lot of money but was very inexpensive and they even patented this idea. It seems that people who lived in apartments weren't allowed to own a pet because of messes they made.
This person came up with the idea of a pet rock. That's right a rock for a pet. A rock was cleaned, smoothed, then placed on florist's moss into a small cardboard box with some decorations on it or if wanted you could buy one in a small wooden crate or box. A small card describing the rock's personality was included and a name which could be used for the rock. An example for a rough rock would read, "My name is Rowdy because I am a little rough around the edges and like to have fun. I have been known to hurt people if I can get them to fall on me. I love being rubbed the wrong way so I can rough up your fingers." A smooth rock may have this caption, "My name is Slick Chick. I love being smooth because that means everyone loves to slide their fingers over my satiny texture. I love to travel so put me in your pocket and take me along. You may run your fingers over me and pet anywhere and anytime."
These pet rocks sold for anywhere from $1 in a cardboard box to $5 in a wooden box or crate. The cost depended on the quality of the rock and the container. People would carry their pet rocks with them and rub their fingers over them when they became nervous or worried. Some of the rocks had eyes glued on them other had ears, tails or whatever the designer decided to put on them. The more expensive ones were covered in fake fur or rabbits fur.
Yes, the crazy Americans enjoyed their pet rocks because they didn't require feeding, messy clean ups, medical bills, innoculations, or someone to care for them if they had to be away from home. Some people still have their pet rock packed away and keep it for a novelty item to show their children and grandchildren. Some still have theirs and use them as a worry stone.
Americans are a little crazy but they also have a great imagination to come up with a pet that cost next to nothing to create but makes the creator millions.