So it has come to this: The makers of three different wearable blankets arguing, in the New York Times, over who pioneered this obesity-accelerating technology. We are truly a pathetic nation.

Direct sleeved blanket sales are apparently one of the few strong and growing sectors of the U.S. economy. From nothing at the start of 2006, the QVC-hawked Slanket topped $4 million in revenue and hopes to more than double that this year. Snuggie has sold 4 million $20 blankets since October alone, according to the Times story.

Buying the blankets, presumably, are all those laid off workers with extra time on their hands, along with shut-in homeowners depressed over impending foreclosure.

For those people, Slanket inventory Gay Clegg has a message: The Snuggie is shit.

A snowboarder who has competed professionally, Mr. Clegg, 29, grows a scruffy beard between QVC appearances and has a laid-back, surfer-dude attitude, reflected in the Slanket's motto: "Spread the Warmth." But the Snuggie leaves him cold; he calls it a "cheap knockoff" that "undermines the integrity" of his Slanket.

"Knockoff," eh? Well a Times investigation (about time!) has revealed a certain Freedom Blanket, which went on sale eight months before the Slanket and three and a half years before the Snuggie. The ripoffs have quite possibly made a child cry:

"My daughter sees it and says, ‘That's the blanket that mommy makes,' " Mr. Iannuzzi said. "As a father, I have to explain to my kid that that's how America works."

Hey Iannuzzi: It's not your competitors' fault that you didn't notice the recession suddenly made TV advertising time cheap enough to sell ridiculous products to neo-invalids all night. But that's not the lesson you should pass on to your daughter. Instead, tell her you will never again make the mistake of underestimating America's hunger for products that help fully realize fat slobdom. (The parody advertisement up top explains the concept quite well.)