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Fall Home and Car Care Special Section Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 23, 2010
“Go balls out!”
By Zach Simeone
I’m a real minimalist when it comes to decorating.
While various electronics litter my apartment, some new and some old, my walls are pretty much blank, and the few mementos strewn about the room are the only things that really give my room character.
So when I first heard that some people like to hang artificial bull testicles from underneath their car, I admittedly felt a bit out of my depth, but also intrigued, and maybe a little disturbed.
Sure, I’ve seen bumpers branded by just about every band, animal rights organization, and religious group in existence, and there’s an abundance of different comedic or philosophical quips that you can stick on the butt-end of your car. I always liked the sticker that read, “You don’t have to believe everything you think.”
My car, like my sleeping quarters, is free of any decoration, aside from the University at Albany parking stickers, and my 2009 “press” sticker, which I’ve been too lazy to replace with the 2010 sticker. But it’s comfortable, it’s fast, and it gets me from point A to point B.
So why would a car need a scrotum?
“The top reason is humor,” said John Saller, owner of BullsBalls.com. He said that, when he started his business in 1995, no one else was selling the prosthetic testes, so he seized the opportunity. Since then, he has made millions marketing the dangling car ornaments.
“Most people in the blogs and everywhere else, they think it’s more of a macho thing,” Saller said, “and I suppose that has to do with it also.”
Saller still remembers the moment he was inspired to manufacture car genitals. He was living in Arizona, as he does now, and he was out with his friends.
“At that time, I belonged to a four-wheeler Jeep club,” he began. “We were out one Sunday, climbing hills and everything, and one of my friends was going up the hill in his Jeep, and we were standing at the bottom. Somebody yelled, ‘Go, Ernie! Go balls out!’ and I kind of had this vision.”
He went on, “So, I thought about it for a while, and searched online, and no one else was doing it. So, I thought, ‘What the hell? Give it a try and see where it goes.’”
Saller was already an online merchant of sorts, which he used as a jumping-off point for BullsBalls.com.
“I got out of the Navy in ’64, and I spent 20-some years in southern California, doing what a young man does: partying and working for someone else,” Saller said. “When I moved to Arizona, I stumbled onto another product that’s still going today.”
Saller began selling custom military-style dog tags on ID-ideas.com, a website that is still very much in business.
“I did well on that, so I took that money and invested in the Balls project,” he said.
He spent $5,000 on his first mold. At first, most of his customers were male; now, men and women of all ages buy his balls, and he has dealers and distributors selling them across the country, as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and parts of Australia.
“I’ve got some places where you can order them to put on your truck before you pick it up,” Saller said.
He says he owes a great deal of his success to the advent of the Internet.
“I don’t think these would have taken off as well as they did if I tried to sell them in the store, but online, you reach such a large audience,” said Saller. “I think I’ve got six molds now because we’ve got different size categories and price ranges something for everybody, all the way from big bulls balls, to little keychain balls.”
And they vary in style and color.
“The most popular one is chrome,” Saller went on. “After that, the flesh-colored ones, and probably the blue ones for that connotation, and we’ve got pink ones for the ladies.”
I was comforted to learn that Saller is a minimalist like myself, especially when it comes to balls.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘What colors you got?’” Saller explained. “They say, ‘Oh, I want something for my red Chevy.’ I say, ‘What the hell? It’s a set of balls.’”
One thing’s for sure: It brings new meaning to wearing a rubber.