Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Frightening Face of Freedom

Another psychotic ad from Diesel, the same people who brought you the stupid "live fast" spaghetti dude. I'm not sure what they mean by the fact that "freedom is now sponsored" by this clothing manufacturer. Can freedom have a sponsor? And if so, does it have to display the company logo on its race cars?

I'm not sure what the marketing folks at Diesel where thinking when they thought up this ad. They must have been whacked out on goofballs or something. This is like a nightmarish version of following the yellow brick road.


I have to be honest: this kid scares the bejesus out of me. He looks like the love child of Jack Nicholson and an Umpa-Lumpa.

Zome Face

Today my wife and I were searching online for educational toys, and we came across some interesting project kits from the Zome company. Pretty cool stuff. However, I couldn't help but notice the little girl's face on this DNA kit:

What's with the expression? Is it kids just having fun, or is there something about this product that contorts the face of young ones? Is it so neat that it makes your face pucker up as if licking alum? Does this little girl have "challenged" DNA? If it were only a matter of this one label, I wouldn't think much of it, but I found a similar image on another product:

So what's with the girl here? Did the dog make a certain deposit at her feet? Does she have some sort of animal virus, suggested by the packaging? And is this the same image that the Zome company is using on both labels, or did they have her make this face at least two different times? The former possibility doesn't disturb me as much as the latter. Let's take a closer look at these faces:

I can't tell if they are the exact same image. Can you?

Do I really want to buy a toy with this face on the label?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bah, Humbug!; or, Why I Hate Black Friday

Boy, what a day it's been so far, going to my local super Wal-Mart for a few needed food items this morning and having to deal with annoying shoppers clawing their way through the merchandise so as to take advantage of Black Friday sales...although I don't know what kind of sales they were having, since Wal-Mart prices are already so low.

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and already I'm tired of Christmas. But there's one bright spot during this mad dash between holidays: it gives me the opportunity to feature weird and/or disturbing Christmas advertisements, signs, and labels on the Gallery.

Here's something I first put up on the Gallery of the Absurd back in August, under the heading "Silent Night, Holy Night?". The attempted cuteness of this advertisement, wrapped around a nougaty center of horror, is perfect for what I experienced at the store this morning, so I thought I would showcase it again:


While at the store, I also had to listen to the annoying holiday muzak they played over the loudspeakers. Of course, it being Wal-Mart, they've been playing that damned music since Halloween. It's enough to make you want to sh*t. And speaking of that, here's something rather disturbing I found in that bastion of tastefulness, the Things You Never Knew Existed catalog. Santa's outhouse, doggy doo ornaments, and a mooning Santa....joy to the world. I'm not sure what it is about Christmas and scatological humor, but apparently somebody with the company thought people wanted to buy this crap (no pun intended):

Nothing says "happy holidays" like Santa and defecation.

And to make my day even more annoying, I saw this banner advertisement on Yahoo this morning. Since the banner is rather long and had to be shrunk to fit on the blog, click on the image below to get a better look at it:

Can McDonald's make my holiday wishes come true? Really? And just think, I've been selling them short all of these years. And no need for preparing that holiday poultry. Just buy a batch of McNuggets and watch the festivities begin! I guess the people who brought us the scary Ronald baby and the Arch Deluxe Line Dance are perfectly suited to know how to satisfy the public.

I'll feature more holiday-related ads, signs, and labels in the days to come, ones that demonstrate the true (commercial) meaning of Christmas.

Yeah, I know. I'm a scrooge. But I'm a lovable one.

UPDATE: I just learned that a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in the early morning today when shoppers in Valley Stream, Long Island, stormed the store in search of bargains. Merry Christmas, you a-hole shopper/killers. The Gallery of the Absurd wishes that Santa leaves you a lump of coal in a "very special place."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a "Best of All" Thanksgiving!

This morning, while preparing our family's Butterball turkey, I noticed this in the preparations sheet that came with the turkey:

Did we really have "the best of all" turkey, or did those quotation marks disqualify my holiday happiness? Another mystery for the crack team at Don't "Quote" Me on That.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! May your every wish come true on this most American of holidays!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pitas...the Freshmakers

There are several restaurants out there that are called Pita Gourmet, but only this one advertises their sandwiches as "fresh."

I wonder if "you" could get "salmonella" from eating there?

Another fun entry for the Don't "Quote" Me on That section!

Felt Balls

I don't know, maybe it's just the juvenile side of me, but for some reason I find the term "felt ball" funny. Go ahead and say it...felt ball. Makes you kind of giggle like an immature high school student, doesn't it?

There are many felt ball kits (he he!) out there, but I found this one on the Jonathan Green & Company website. You can also find on their website a Storytelling Gnome Kit:
What is a storytelling gnome? And why exactly is he sitting on the limb in that manner? Is that a broken twig sticking up from between his legs?

I wonder if he has felt balls.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where Does Your Head Want to Go Today?

Here's an ad I featured on the original Gallery of the Absurd in the late 1990s. It came out around the time that Microsoft was really playing up its online services and using the slogan, "Where do you want to go today?"

My comments on this ad are the same as when I first put this up: what does this freaky looking disembodied head have to do MSN?

Screwing with Your Movies

When in New Port Richie, Florida, be sure to visit MegaFlicks. Their sign says it all!

This is another image that has been making its way around the web.

I wonder what kind of movies they really carry?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Penny Saved...

In an uncertain economy, it's good to know that Office Max is doing its part to help consumers save.

Once again, let me thank Scott Gilford for his funky contributions to The Gallery of the Absurd.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 11/24/08

Here's your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of November 24, 2008.

Is it me, or is this dude wearing a sweater that is much too small for him? Maybe he threw it in the dryer or something.

And what's with the forlorn look on his face? Did his mother recently die? Did he chip a perfectly manicured fingernail? Did he just remember that he forgot to shave? Did he discover that he didn't get a part on the New Beverly Hills 90125?

Chad...the sensitive J. Crew model.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Attack of the Giant Climbing Tomatoes

Plump and juicy science fiction, and in your own back yard. I assume that the discrepancy in size is the result of the ad's composition, where the woman on the ladder is in the background. Then again, maybe not.

Thanks to Karen Lee Watson who sent me this image, and who was disturbed by these juicy beauties. I can see why.

Clown Meat

Since this is a product with a sign and a label, I think it's fair game for the Clowns Are Scary section of The Gallery of the Absurd.

This photo from a grocery store in the UK has made its way around the web, and you might have already seen it. If not, then just take a good long look at the horrors implied here. The words "pork" and "clown" shouldn't really go together, should they? Also, the thought of putting something clown-related into my mouth scares me sh**less.

If you look closely at the sign in front, it says that it's made out of 80% pork. I cringe to think what the other 20% is made of.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Won't You Take Me to Pee Town

Now that's what I call smart: having your kid wear something with "pee" on the front.

Mucho thanks to my very good friends, Brian Donahue and Tracey McHenry (the one in the picture admiring this item with a look of longing), for finding this in the one and only Pee Town, Provincetown, MA.

My Trip to Brookshires

Brookshires is a local grocery store chain here in northeast Texas, and the other day I went there with my camera. I had noticed that recently they had begun an ad campaign that is supposed to tap into the anxiety many people are feeling about food and gas prices. The illustrations featured in this campaign sort of frightened me, and I thought I would share these disturbing images with you, the Gallery of the Absurd audience.

Our journey begins outside of the store, where they have hung a large banner announcing the savings people will get when they shop here.

Notice the woman in the car. She seems to be on some kind of medication, and I'm not entirely sure which one. With that strange, far-off stare, she reminds me of Laura Bush, another Texan.

Upon entering the store, we find a sign for prescriptions savings on the inside door. The woman in this poster is a little scary...it's like she's gritting her teeth, not wanting to be a part of this ad campaign. And maybe she has in her hand the medication taken the woman above driving in the car.

We move on. Right in front of the fresh meat counter is this sign on health and beauty aids. I have no clue why this sign is in front of the meat department. Or why the woman in the sign looks so spaced out. Maybe she's hanging out with the woman driving the car.

Walking from the meat department to the dry food aisle, we find another sign, this one hanging from the ceiling. It's the chick in the car once again--and this time the car is made out of a dollar bill, just so that you get the message that this is the place where you can save!--driving in front of a road sign for the "Kitchen Cabinet."

I don't really know what the "Kitchen Cabinet" refers to. I could find nothing to decode this mystery anywhere in the store. I did notice, however, that the African American woman in this image is the only one not featured by herself in a poster advertising something. Hmmmm....curious.

I hope you have enjoyed this little romp as much as I did.

When in northeast Texas, please visit Brookshires, where you will find fun and savings for the whole family!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thick and Quick Does the Trick

My wife knits, and the other day she told me about a brand of really nice yarn, Wool-Ease, that had as it's registered slogan "thick and quick." Since I have a twisted , and at times "naughty," sense of humor, I found the slogan amusing.

I guess thick and quick does the trick.

I was told this Gallery entry wouldn't sit well with knitters, since many swear by this brand. I'm bracing myself for the negative onslaught...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Men in Blah

Here's an entry I featured in the original Gallery of the Absurd. This was in a flyer that I found in the newspaper advertising Men in Black merchandise to coincide with the release of the film.
Boy, these are two really cool dudes, huh? Take a closer look and see how effective they may be in selling a product.

No wonder the movie was such a big hit.

Heidi-Ho!

Here's a scan of a carton of eggs I recently bought at the story.

There's nothing really strange about the packaging--unlike the C. Everett Koop egg carton I found several years ago--but there's something the company's mascot, Heidi Hen, that I find a little curious.
Do we really need "the Hen" to follow her name? Can't we see she's a hen? And since this is a carton of eggs, wouldn't we just assume this? And why give her long eye lashes so as to heighten her femininity? Don't we assume that a female chicken would be laying the eggs?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hillbillies Rule!

Since this week's Annoying J. Crew Model attempts to touch that hillbilly in all of us, I thought this would be an appropriate follow up:

This is another ad from the fine people at Things You Never Knew Existed, those that brought us "Jimmy Carter" and his old cap. Just think, folks, this company is helping to sustain our economy. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be Billy Bobs.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 11/17/08

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of November 17.

There's just no way around it: this picture is about as stupid as they get.

What is this, hillbilly chic? Should we get in touch with Sarah Palin?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Real Ronald McDonald House

The truth behind America's favorite fast food tripe.

Just don't ask them to supersize anything for you.

Thanks to J. Clark for finding this sign and bringing it to my attention. I think this place is in Marienville, Pennsylvania. Visit it next time you get an itching for some grease, won't you?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Late Great Endorsers

This entry in the Gallery of the Absurd is dedicated to those stars from years gone by, but who have unfortunately passed on.

Here's an image that I had featured in the original Gallery of the Absurd back in the late 1990s. I found this in a grocery bag after I was shopping at Smitty's, a small grocery store chain in West Lafayette, Indiana. I wasn't sure what Red Buttons had to do with groceries, but it intrigued me nonetheless.

Red Buttons: February 5, 1919 - July 13, 2006

Here's another ad I placed in the original Gallery. When I was a kid watching Green Acres, I really had a thing for Eva Gabor. I think I found this ad in a mailer I received when I was in graduate school. The weird thing is that Eva Gabor died in 1995, and that was a couple of years before I found this advertisement. It makes you think, doesn't it?

Eva Gabor: February 11, 1919 – July 4, 1995

Someone sent this to me a few years ago. Here's that lovable drunk, Foster Brooks. I remember him when he was on the Hollywood Squares and other such game shows in the 1970s. It's nice to know he put his celebrity to good use, helping people even before the advent of Viagra.

Foster Brooks: May 11, 1912 – December 20, 2001

And here was an ad that a former Gallery watcher, Alan Peschke, sent me. He found this in a Radio Shack flyer. A Pocket King James Bible...just what you need in that burning ring of fire.

Johnny Cash: February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003

R.I.P. dear celebrities from my youth!

Eliminate the Middle Man

A couple of years ago, someone sent me this advertisement from their local newspaper:

I certainly hope that this was a misprinting. I'd hate to think that food producers had come up with a way of eliminating the middle man when it comes to diarrhea.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wiping Your Mouth with Big Boy

Moist towelettes gone horribly wrong!

There's just something about the combination of the terms "Big Boy" and "moist towelette" that really disturbs me.

Jimmy Carter??!!

Tis the season...to get butt-loads of useless catalogs. One of them that I got is from the company Things You Never Knew Existed, mostly stupid crap that nobody with any taste would really want. Here's one of the items I found in the most recent catalog, a "How the Hell Did I Get This Old" cap:

Is it me, or does this guy look a lot like Jimmy Carter?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Be a Funpig!

A slice of Gallery goodness, brought to you by the good folks in Moab, Utah. What, exactly, is a "Funpig"? And if we knew, would we really want him or her at a place called Slickrock?

We've got Mark Shumate to thank for this special picture, who asks all of us to become "Funpigs" in our own ways.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 11/10/08

I bring you your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of November 10, another model who isn't able to walk a straight line:

This is what happens when a J. Crew model stops off at the local bar before a photo shoot. Perhaps she was partying down with this dude.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What Does Pride Taste Like?

This is from a box of Tennessee Pride frozen sausage and egg biscuits. At first I didn't think anything of the packaging, but then my son pointed out how freaky the little Tennessee Pride boy looked.
Then I started to look closer at the box, and this is what I found on the back:
That sent me over the edge. And the horrors of this product don't end here. Believe it or not, there's an actual song about Tennessee Pride products. Click here to listen to the jingle. But be warned: your life will never be the same afterwards.
And as an extra added bonus...we have a questionable usage of quotation marks. Why is "taste the pride" in quotes? Is the freaky Tennessee Pride boy saying this? Should we not really taste any pride? And what does pride taste like, anyway? Is it spicy? Does it have a fishy aftertaste?

Enjoy Yourself with Mr. Mystery

The cover of an activity book, great for travel!
What gets me about this are the words at the bottom: "Hours and hours of 'by-yourself enjoyment.'"
This is curious on multiple levels. First, why do they put "by-yourself enjoyment" in quotes? Is it not really enjoyable? Can you not really do it by yourself? Also, why did these guys register the phrase "by-yourself enjoyment"? But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this fun book are the very implications of "by-yourself enjoyment." Hours and hours of this? Wouldn't you be sore after awhile? And is this what secret agent spies actually do?

Thanks, once again, to the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks for providing this image.
Changing LINKS