Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bunches of Bois d'Arc Goodness

In late September the small rural town where I live and work--Commerce, the Bois d'Arc Capital of Texas--holds its annual festival, The Bois d'Arc Bash. The theme of the event is the based around the fruit of the regional tree, the Bois d'Arc...also known as the Osage Orange, the Hedge Apple, the Hedge Ball, and the Horse Apple (Latin: Maclura pomifera).

It's one of the many autumn events that are held in this part of Texas, and this weekend my family and I attended the festivities. And as with many small-town carnival-like activities--complete with parades, rides and games for kids, refreshment vendors, various kinds of food products on a stick, local musicians, and more than its share of merchants selling stuff--it gives you a sense of what the community is like. It also provides the kind of fodder that is perfect for the Gallery of the Absurd. This year, I took a few pictures of signs that not only fit nicely into the Gallery, but were shot with love and are meant to give you joy.

It seems that this booth is always at the Bash. I've never taken the test, but I wonder what would happen if I did.

Events like this are always great places to scope out the inappropriate usage of quotation marks. And this year didn't disappoint me.

I wonder how big this spa actually is. Should I get one? Will it fit in my bathroom?

It seems that Micky Air Brush Design goes by its abbreviation, MABD. But with those qualifying quotation marks, I wonder if it's really Micky who will be doing the air brush design for me?

I've heard that there no such thing as a free lunch. Guess the same goes for a Wal-Mart gift card.

I guess that technically, this isn't a sign, ad, or label, and as such, it really shouldn't be in the Gallery of the Absurd. Still, it is advertising homemade jewelry, isn't it? Also, it's just too damned frightening not to show you.

I can't wait until next year's Bois d'Arc Bash! Can you?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ho-Made Goodness

When visiting Utah's Zion National Park, please be sure to visit the Thurderbird Restaurant, home of the "ho-made pies."

You know, I'm wondering what these "ho-made" pies are like. Are they hygienically sound? Do the have a slight fishy smell? Do you have to go through a disreputable "middleman" to order one?

I Can't Go On. I'll Go On.

So which is it, stop or go? This must wreak havoc on your clutch.

Mixed messages, unclear intentions, contorted meaning...something like the workings of the McCain campaign.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Carrying Your Thing

Someone sent this to me back in the days of the original Gallery of the Absurd. I've since lost their name and contact information, but I do still have the image. Let me share the joy with you:

I didn't think you were supposed to do that in public. Isn't that how Paul Reubens, AKA Pee Wee Herman, lost his Saturday morning television show for kids?

So Which Product Goes Where?

For some reason it just struck me as strange that they would package a toothbrush, along with "valuable oral care information," along with a pregnancy test.

What if someone isn't sure how to use a pregnancy test? If they use the toothbrush instead, does it change colors or display a "yes" or "no"? And what about using the test stick as a means to oral hygiene? Maybe it would be effective in getting any "swangy" taste out of your mouth (see previous Gallery entry).


I guess creating new words or phrases is one way to sell your product. But I really wonder about the advertising folk who came up with the word "swangy."

Is this bling for the tastebuds? Is this the oral equivalent of skanky? It sounds to me as if this "delicious taste sensation" is rather nasty. For some reason, I get the feeling that it leaves an aftertaste not unlike that created by putting a sweaty, smelly foot into your mouth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Naked Clown Calendar

"Naked Clown Calendar"....I know, that sounds like a new pretentious punk band, doesn't it? Well, it's not. In fact, it's something much darker and more frightening. The Clown Conservatory Class of 2008 has created a calendar with many of their graduates, naked and in clown makeup. (Insert appropriate shivering sounds here.)

I guess this qualifies for entry into the Gallery of the Absurd, since their website is, in essence, and advertisement. A colleague of mine, Brad Klypchak, alerted me to this phenomenon, and I'm not sure what to think of him because he did so. I'm wondering what I did to offend him and deserved to be made knowledgeable of this.

These are just a couple of the models featured in the calendar, thankfully sans nakedness. There are many more, and if you're a glutton for punishment (or perhaps a masochist), you can go to Naked Clown Calendar website. You'll find that the sales of the calendar go to combat multiple sclerosis, so it's definitely for a good cause. In fact, I probably should be ashamed that I'm poking fun of the naked clowns, since, after all, it does help those in need. But I'm too frightened now to feel any shame or guilt.

And Speaking of Jelly....

Here's an ad someone (I've lost the name) sent me a few years ago. You don't have to read the language to understand the distributing implications here.

Some might call this cute, some might call this effective advertising, but I call it frighteningly similar to other images found on the Clowns Are Scary portion of the Gallery. What do you think?

Jellied Kitten

Here's a little nugget of yummy goodness brought to you by the good folks at Whiskas:

Mmmmmmmm! Little kittens in jelly. Thems good eating!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Room with a View

Here's an interesting ad, something that might just be the answer to the economic turmoil generated by problems in the housing market.

Now if all homes had something like this "for entertaining & enjoying the views," we might not be in this mess we're in. Perhaps this is something that John McCain can take into consideration when he re-re-revises his position on our current financial crisis.

What Must They Think of Their Customers?

Here's another interesting contribution from dedicated Gallery of the Absurd watcher, Dave Carvell, something that he found at that bastion of curious cuisine, Taco Bell:

Look at the fine print at the bottom: "Made with natural fruit flavors. Products contain no fruit juice." Nothing's too good for Taco Bell's customers! Why go for the real thing when you can just inject a few flavors here and there? And remember, you deserve this.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 9/23/08

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for this week:

I don't know, I just find this guy annoying (thus, his inclusion in the blog). Maybe it's the fact that he brazenly wears red socks with the suit. Maybe it's the image of him "hovering" in the first picture. Or maybe it's just that frigging smug look on his face in that second image. Whatever the reason, he deserves to be showcased this week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cootie Quotes

Here's another "quotable" image from Bethany Keely's wonderful "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks:

This picture is packed with weird nougaty goodness. First off, the sign is for an eating establishment called Cootie Brown's. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd take a chance in eating at a place with the word "cootie" in its title. But wait folks, there's more! Check out the "real food" underneath the name. This makes me wonder what "Cootie" (if that is his "real" name) is actually serving.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Do You Need a Lawyer? Duh!

A Gallery of the Absurd watcher in New Jersey sent this to me a while back.

A divorce attorney for those who are unaware of their obvious need for one!

A Quite Penetrating Label

Any comments I could make here would verge on the painfully obvious. So I'll just leave it up to you, the reader of this humble blog, to contribute your observations.

Thanks to Marvin Melton who alerted me to the web home of Hog Wash Automotive Products.

Are You Having Fun with "Your Own Cap'n"?

Isn't "your own Cap'n" a euphemism for something or other?

Special thanks to my wife, Amanda, who bought the box of Cruchberries where I found this "fun" picture.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stuck at the Butt Station

Here's another nugget of frightening joy brought to you by the people who publish The Lakeside Collection catalog.

"Butt Station"??!! I don't know about you, but there's something disturbing about getting my stationary items from something sitting on a toilet.

There must be something marketable about things sitting on toilets. This reminds me a lot of the clown toilet brush, one of the first ads featured on the Gallery of the Absurd.

What Does She Smell Like?

Here's something that was a part of the original Gallery of the Absurd. Click on the image for a closer view and read what Pat Mayo has to say:

I bet this woman is fun at parties.

Thanks to a couple of folk going by the name of Moon and Mink for bringing this fragrant ad to my attention several years ago.

Fun with Bananas?

Okay, I'm really getting tired of this. Almost every time I buy a bunch of bananas, there's some cutsie and/or suggestive sticker on them. Then again, these are good Gallery fodder, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Here's one I found the other day when I bought a bunch:

Didn't I hear this used as a pick-up line in a bar?

For other banana sticker-related fun in the Gallery, go here and here. This is becoming a trend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pooh Porn

Let me share with you a truly disturbing ad I found in one of the many catalogs I receive in the mail. This one is from The Lakeside Collection. Outside of the annoying cuties factor, there are other parts of this ad that creep me out.

The image below, for instance. What the crap is this "snowbaby" doing to Pooh? And why does Pooh have such a big smile on his face? And what exactly is meant by "sledding"?

Think about it, won't you?

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 9/15/08

Your Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week!

This just isn't right, using kids like this to peddle your wares. Isn't childhood tough enough without having to be an annoying J. Crew model?

And what the hell is this girl doing?

Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be J. Crew models.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tanking Out on Happiness

Here's another picture I took while visiting North Carolina. I stopped at a gas station and was greeted with this happy image on a cage of propane cylinders:

That's it! The real meaning of life, and the true path to happiness! Full propane tanks. Why didn't I realize this sooner?

AmeriGas. Doesn't that sound like some kind of national intestinal condition? Perhaps something that is a result of McCain's politics?

Luggage, Exciting and New

Last month I traveled to my hometown, Charlotte, NC, to visit my family. While there, I happened to stop into a Harris Teeter grocery story and saw this standee:

The thing that struck me is the whole theme to this giveaway campaign. It's so retro, something that reminds me of my childhood (which can be both good and bad). Plus, I was glad to see that Ted Lang--TV's lovable bartender Isaac Washington--is still finding work. Let's take a closer look at this standee:

Ted, we mourn the loss of your smiling face on TV. In the miasma that is reality television and "true life" dancing and making over, your happy grin is sorely missed.

...great, now I have the theme to Love Boat on my mind, and it will probably be stuck there all damned day.

Life (?) in the Fast Lane

Here's another ad sent to me by Gallery friend, Jennifer Berger, executive director of About Face. This one is for the company Diesel, that, according to this ad, is supposed to be all about "successful living."

What kind of life is it when you have to eat on the run in such a dorky way. And speaking of dorks, take a closer look at the dude in this ad:

Is that pasta sauce all over his face or what?

Friday, September 12, 2008


Here's the cover of a puzzles book I recently got for my kids. Does this make me a bad father? Click on the image to get the full effect of the clown picture:

I find it curious that this is published by a company called PennyPress. Is this an accident? It sounds strikingly similar to Pennywise, don't you think?

Having Best Gallery Entry

Here's a photo of a sign that my good friend, Monica Osborne, found outside of a shop at Venice Beach, CA:

Looks like someone is in need of simple grammar lessons. I guess Bikinis tend to make some guys a little dim.

Guns and Roses

Here's a sign for the Texas Gun and Guitar Show that is going on this weekend at the Texas Musicians Museum. I'm still trying to figure out the connection between guns and guitars. Maybe I shouldn't think too much about this much, but instead just accept my fate that I'm living in Texas.

Much thanks to my good friend, Hunter Hayes, for pointing this out to me.

What do I have the feeling that Sarah Palin would want to attend this event? In fact, her story would be perfect for the Gallery of the Absurd.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 9/8/08

It's been a few weeks since I've updated the Gallery of the Absurd (the beginning of the semester took it's toll on my time), but now I'm back to bring the kind of joy that is the Gallery. Being away, I've neglected to provide you with the Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week. So in my first posting since we began our fall semester, I give you the Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of Sept. 8, 2008:

This is the cover of the latest J. Crew catalog. I don't know, but there's just something about the look on this woman's face that makes me wonder about her mental capacity. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Why does the word "Duh" come to mind when I see this image?
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