Preposterous products: New pre-chewed pencils help kids concentrate?

From the Who Thinks This Stuff Up? files, there's a new pencil on the market, designed to help your kids concentrate in school. The British company Concentrate recently launched a pre-chewed pencil design. It's not really pre-chewed, it only looks like someone's been gnawing on it.

The company studies things that distract kids in school, and then designs products to help students focus. They say that these pencils are cheap but effective, because kids won't get distracted chewing on them if they already look like this. Um, hello? I see some flaws in this logic.

First of all, who says you can't chew and concentrate at the same time? I'm a long-time pen chewer myself, but it was never something that required a lot of my attention. I graduated with dozens of mutilated pens and straight A's, thank you very much. In fact, bad habit though it may be, chewing pencils or biting nails or cracking knuckles or whatever annoying thing that you do mindlessly while learning about the New Deal might even calm your nerves in a way that helps you concentrate.

I also know what it feels like to have a chewing compulsion, and I doubt these nasty looking pencils will deter anyone, really. A real dedicated pencil muncher will hardly notice the marks, and those who are bothered will simply reach for a different pencil. Or, you know, not buy these in the first place.

The verdict? You get points for creativity, Concentrate, but these pencils aren't going to revolutionize education. This idea stinks like #2.