Some time last year when I was taking the 6 bus home from Midtown, a tall businessman next to me on the crowded subway drew his arm up, and, with a small "clink," hooked himself onto the subway rail with a sort of portable hook made of flat plastic weave.
A friend of his pointed and said, "What's that?"
"You know what?" said the man. "It's just a thing that hooks on to your wrist and it's supposed to protect from germs. I saw an article about it in the New York Times years ago, and they were talking about how it was going to be the next big thing. So I bought it. And I have literally never seen anyone else using one since." He shrugged. "But I like it." It was an odd, amusing story, and for the next year I kept an eye out. Nothing.
I mention this because two days ago, I accidentally missed my bus stop and wound up way down near 28th and 3rd Avenue, and was obliged to walk north back to the work I'd missed. And while I threading between 3rd and Lex, I passed a general store...and it had the strap for sale in the window! Not only that, but next to the strap was a cutout of the very same article that must have inspired this first guy to buy his. (New York Times, 2003.) Must be a very persuasive article.
Anyway, the company's called TranStrap. Since I'm neither short nor particularly germ-phobic, I'll be saving my $17 or so. But they're not only still in business, but seem to be very funny people. Check it out: www.transtrap.com.