It’s a telescoping pole with a flexible gripper for your phone at the end. Inside, a cable connects the button on the handle with with your phone. Click the button and it takes a picture! From three feet away! People call them selfie sticks, but I’ve never used mine for selfies. I do things that are a lot worse.

OK, I’ll admit it. I did not attempt to acquire a selfie stick on my own. This particular one was sent to me by Syfy Channel, as part of a Sharknado III swag bag. I guess their goal was to include at least one horrifying item in with the shark candies, just to remind you that Sharknado is a monster movie. As I am naturally drawn to the darkness at the heart of life, I was immediately intrigued.

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After a night of experimentation, I realized that the world has completely misunderstood these devices. They are not selfie sticks. They are REACHIE STICKS. Here’s how I know.

My beloved housemate isn’t home, and for some reason he’s decided to leave his door closed. This lack of transparency seems problematic.

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But in the interests of openness, I’d like to note that there is a rather large gap under his door. In fact, it’s just about the right size for me to slide an iPhone 6 under it, guided by a long metal stick.

Oh look! there are my beloved housemate’s ceiling and doorknob — seen from the INSIDE of his closed door! All thanks to the wonder of the reachie stick. What if he’d been the kind of guy to commit a crime, and then leave the bloody knife hanging to dry on his doorknob? I could have blackmailed him into cleaning the cat box for a month.

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Let’s explore some other rooms to see how far our reachie stick can reach.

Oh, look — it’s Mr. Bear! Sorry I snuck this phone around the corner and caught you on the can! I WAS JUST TAKING A SELFIE.

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Don’t worry — the lighting is great. You’ll look fantastic on Instagram, even without filters.

With the reachie stick, you can also explore places you’ve always been curious about. Oh like you HAVEN’T wondered what it’s like in there. The cats love it. It looks so cozy.

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Look at that great ambient light, people. No wonder the cats go in there all the time. I mean, I don’t want to put my hands and face inside, but thanks to my reachie stick I know why cats prefer a litter box with a shell.

There are other things I want to know about my cats, too. Like what it’s like to be all up in their faces when they are trying to eat. There’s my cat, Space! Hi Space!

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Don’t you love to sniff weird things that I stick in your face? Start sniffing! I want to see what it’s like to be the thing you are sniffing!

Wait, where are you going?

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OK, let’s try this with my other cat, Time. He’s a lot more into sniffing things, and he runs more slowly. Hi, Time! SNIFF MY PHONE.

The reachie stick really gets right in there, so you can see the terrified boredom in his eyes.

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Dammit, Time! Don’t sniff that hard!

My neighbor Ed is downstairs right now, doing some work in his study. If we just use the reachie stick to go out the window, and down the lightwell, we might find out what he’s doing!

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Oh hi Ed! Wow, you are in a weird position. Let’s find out more.

Wait, what? Why are you yelling? I’M JUST TAKING A SELFIE.

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Let’s do something a little safer. Using the reachie stick, I can almost capture the insane size of one of the eight bookcases that holds my book collection. I always wonder if there’s dust up there on the top shelf.

Is that dust or just the ashes of my former ideals?

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Now I want to know if there’s dust BEHIND the books. It’s not that I have an obsessive need to keep things clean and orderly. I’m just CURIOUS.

Does that look dusty to you? Should I spend the next three hours dusting in there?

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You’re right — I should do something more productive with my special reachie stick time. Let’s try up-pantsing my special friend, who is calmly attempting to type things on the internet next to me at the table.

Oh, let’s do that with the flash on. Look at that leg! Rolled up sock! I’m dying here. I’ve seen too much with my reachie stick. I’ll be in my bunk.

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Contact the author at annalee@gizmodo.com.
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