Who would want this, and why is Expedia giving away 250 of them?
Have you ever loved a celebrity so much that you wanted their autograph?
Okay, that's pretty normal stuff. What about a lock of hair? An item of clothing? A severed hand?
We are now officially in serial killer territory, and for some reason Expedia and Joe Jonas are condoning it with their "Helping Hand" giveaway. The travel company teamed up with the "Cake by the Ocean" singer to offer 250 lucky "fans" — in this case referring to the original meaning of "fanatics," e.g. uncomfortably obsessive people — a molded replica of Jonas's right hand.
Refered to as "the ultimate travel companion," it's being given out free on a first-come-first-served basis. The stated function is to provide "a symbol of support" as people start to travel again.
According to Expedia's page explaining the giveaway, "An open hand is the symbol of 'here to help.'" It's meant to reassure the owner that "someone's got your back."
You're also supposed to have it with you "every step of the way." Meaning that, if you receive one of these hands, you're supposed to take it on vacation with you, holding onto it anytime you get nervous — in the airport, on the plane, in your hotel room, in the heart-shaped bathtub — and pretending that Joe Jonas is there with you.
It's actually not that creepy of an idea if you're, for example, a nervous flyer...or Game of Thrones's Sophie Turner. But it turns out that there aren't 250 Sophie Turners who occasionally have to travel without their 250 Joe Jonases. What there are — unless Expedia has vastly overestimated the demand for their "extremely limited offer" — are at least 250 weirdos who want to hold Joe Jonas's hand so badly that they don't mind if it's lifeless, discolored, and not attached to the rest of Joe Jonas.
At least Kathy Bates in Misery wanted all of James Caan to herself. She didn't take a sledgehammer to his leg so she could remove it and carry it with her and "have a leg up in life," or some nonsense like that.
No. She broke his leg to trap him with her so she could connect with the person she had formed an unhealthy attachment to — not his disembodied pieces.
Even the promotional imagery for the offer — with Jonas awkwardly reaching out to the camera — makes it look like a loop is about to close around his wrist and slice his hand clean off.
It's unclear how any of this is supposed to be good for Expedia, Joe Jonas, or for Mercy Corps' COVID-19 response — to which Expedia is donating $100,000 in a seemingly unrelated bit of charity that is shoe-horned into the giveaway page. But that doesn't mean that this bizarre promotion has to go to waste.
It can end up serving a higher purpose if — instead of taking entrants' data and selling it to advertisers — they gave it all to the FBI. What might seem at first like a PR misfire could turn out to be a revolution in the field of federal watchlists!
Why wait for an obsessive fan to get caught lurking in the bushes outside Joe Jonas's house before you start monitoring their activity and getting that restraining order processed? Just offer the stalkers something only they would want, and they will gladly provide you with their name, email, street address, and phone number so you can start keeping tabs on them. And it doesn't have to stop with Joe Jonas and Expedia.
Zappos can give out some of Zendaya's toenail clippings. Carvana can offer air fresheners that smell like Ed Sheeran's underwear. And if quip wants to get in on the action, did somebody say "a mold of Lady Gaga's tongue?" No?
But for anyone who still wants to hold a model of Joe Jonas's hand badly enough to risk of being targeted by the FBI's new anti-stalker task-force, the entry form is still up. There's always a chance that thousands of like-minded weirdos haven't beaten you to it...