One of the best and possibly the shortest fads of the 1970s was known as
streaking the Pet Rock, which lasted for about 6 months. For those of you too young to remember, the Pet Rock was Californian entrepreneur and advertising guru Gary Dahl's answer for people who wanted to care for a subordinate companion but didn't want to bother with feeding it, cleaning up after it, etc. The "pet" would arrive in a brown cardboard box complete with holes for air, some straw for bedding and a comical 32-page care manual that was replete with puns and jokes and even contained a section dedicated to training your Pet Rock (while the manual stated that tricks like "come here" and "shake hands" were nigh impossible to coax out of a rock, the command "attack" was noted as being fairly simple to achieve, albeit requiring some assistance from the pet's owner). After the Christmas shopping season of 1975 helped push some 1.5 million units into the shag-carpeted homes of America (making Gary a millionaire in the process) the product experienced a quick decline in sales and was discontinued just a few months later. Gary went on to become a success in the advertising industry and eventually authored Advertising for Dummies in 2001.
If you're feeling especially groovy and have the urge to own a low-maintenance pet, that even your apartment manager won't mind, you can still get one of these amazing "creatures" today including all of the classic packaging accessories. Of course here in the 21st century we do things a little differently so the product has now been upgraded to include USB (I would have added Bluetooth, everything is better with Bluetooth).