Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Days?

The happy days might be over for Tom "As Seen on TV" Bosley, star of the 1970s hit show, Happy Days. I found this ad in a freebie newspaper that comes through the mail:

He's gone from being the good-humored father of Richie Cunningham to a helping little old ladies sell their crap at flea markets.

Oh Tom, Tom, Tom.....what has happened to you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Carlton's House of Many Things

I used to live in Dahlonega, a small town in the northern part of Georgia and near the southern tail of the Appalachian Trail. On one of my biking routes in the area, there was this out-of-the-way place that apparently sold many different items--I never stopped by to find out in detail what they had in stock--but one thing that struck me was its sign. I thought that since yesterday I featured an incomplete and weird sign on the west coast, I'd present an equally perplexing sign from the east coast as today's Gallery of the Absurd entry:
This sign is amusing enough as it is. But to get the full effect of Cartlon's House of Many Things, you need to see it in its full and glorious context:
I'm not sure which is the more entertaining junkyard: this one or Sanford and Son's.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Now Chowing

Here's something that a friend of mine, Sally Cruikshank, alerted me to:

It was recently posted on TwitPics by Julie Rico, who was kind enough to share it with me. Julie says that the Tower Theater is located on the corner of 6th and Broadway, a major thorough way for Latino/a pedestrians and shoppers in downtown Los Angeles. So when in the area, be sure to stop by and chow down.

And for that matter, please visit Julie Rico's Gallery...as well as Sally's Fun on Mars.

Monday, April 27, 2009

No Clowning Around

Once again, another circus/carnival is coming to the town I live in. It seems like we have almost as many of these things as there are people in this rural area. There was one here last month, and then another just a few months before that.

I guess waiting for clowns is one of the only things to do here in Commerce, TX.

God, what a frightening thought....

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 4/27/09

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of April 27th.

This one is from an older catalog and something that I featured in the original Gallery's "Annoying J. Crew Model" section:

What the hell? They're painting a house in their pajamas?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Putting Our "Store" in "Teachers"

When in beautiful Sterling Heights, Michigan, please visit The "Teacher's Store."

While there I'm "sure" you will "find" something you like, and even "learn" a thing or two...such as when and when not to use quotation marks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Heidi "Ho"

The Germans have given us many memorable figures throughout history: Ludwig van Beethoven, Kurt Weill, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kraftwerk, Joseph Goebbels. And in this pantheon we now have Heidi Klum.

I was traveling on Delta the other week, and greeting me on the cover of their Sky magazine was Klum:

The story on her was insipid, as you may expect. But I got to thinking, what has she done to deserve this kind of attention? The woman appears on fashion magazine covers, parades around in a Victoria's Secrets bra, and then there's the idiotic reality show, Project Runway. And I want to read about this person while being cramped in a small space in coach?

Of course, you know what the editors of the Sky magazine were thinking. Klum has one major selling point:

Eye candy....sure. But it's a shame that someone with more substantive contributions to life wasn't the cover story. I guess that some things inflated and taken out of context just look good to some people.

To me it's just plain stupid.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anonymous Alcohol

Here's a sign from part of a liquor store chain in California. I think this one is in Los Angeles.

Remember, the wonderful world of liquor is just 12 steps away!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UnEarthing Fun

Happy Earth Day from the Gallery of the Absurd. Hope that you're turning off your computer when you're done surfing and that you are recycling the tissues you use when crying tears of joy for the absurdities found on the Gallery.

And speaking of tissues, here is an advertisement for Earth Day that is being placed on trees and in public bathrooms:

Shouldn't this sign read, "Don't wipe your hands off me," or "Don't wipe your hands on me"? I don't know about you, but I rarely wash my hands with tissue or any other kind of paper products. They just don't create as good a lather as water does.

Everyone is getting into Earth Day, even businesses that print T-shirts:

Just look at how happy this one model is to be wearing "cool new stuff":

Really makes you want to go green, doesn't it?

And here we have every kid's favorite backpack-packing munchkin, Dora the Explorer:

I'm not entirely convinced of Dora's dedication to earth-friendly activities. Check out the many Dora the Explorer toys at Fisher-Price. I'm sure that there are a lot of chemical toxins that go into the making of these products. What's next? Does Boots the Monkey produce some kind of carbon emission we aren't aware of?

Seriously, let's everyone try to conserve resources, okay?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Name Game from Hell

Here's an advertisement I found on the back of a magazine:

I'm not sure why, but I find this a bit depressing. It's sad that someone would do this with their child's name--especially on paper to give it that "heirloom look"--because it really

S is for sad, the things parents do
U is for the ugly scars they will leave on you
C is for the crap that has caused mental strife
K is for kitcsh that will make up your life
S is for the stuff that therapists might try
To convince you, dear child, that your life is a lie.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beat It

Here's a sign from Wagner's Meat, a local grocery store chain in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Say no more.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 4/20/09

This is how the J. Crew folks describe one of their recent line of T-shirts:

Isn't that special! Such care and attention goes into every J. Crew item, regardless of how stinky and sweaty it's going to get.

And look, this guy is ecstatic to have on one of their jaspe tees. I can just imagine his thoughts now: "Damn, I feel so heathered, authentic, and vintage!"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Too Cute for Comfort

This week I've been posting a lot of disturbing entries--e.g., anorexic models, fellating clowns, hyperactive teens, yellow goo, and right-wing nut cases--so today, I wanted to tone things down a bit and tap into the more sensitive side of popular culture. Here's an advertisement from Georgetown Dolls that I featured in the original Gallery of the Absurd, and I thought I'd share it with you again:

Pathetic whining has never been so nauseatingly adorable.

And look at her eyes. Do they remind you of anyone?

Remember..."After all--she just wants to go home--with you!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Is It Evil, or Just Plain Stupidity?

Here on the Gallery of the Absurd, I usually feature signs, advertisements, and labels that have nothing, or little, to do with the political climate.  Marketing and business folk give me more than enough fodder for the Gallery.  But today I wanted to feature an ad, or perhaps it's a sign, that highlights a recent political event:  
Tax day was on Wednesday, and if you watch the news, you know that a bunch of people gathered in various parts of the country to hold a "tea party" to protest what they see as unfair taxation.  I'm all for the right to protest, and I strongly encourage it, but this disingenuous display of "patriotism" is so sickening, it pushes the boundaries of reasonable civic-mindedness.  Notice the sign above, it's reliance on the revolutionary phrase, "no taxation without representation," and its rhetorical stance, "What would the founding fathers do?"  Did anyone even think about the whole "representation" part of this protest?  Unless you live in the District of Columbia (and they have a legitimate gripe), everyone has congressional representation.  If you don't like the tax codes, then contact your representative and/or vote him or her out of office.  This shrill cry about representation is not only a sad commentary on the gullibility of certain people, but it's a bold-face lie.  What is more, did anyone attending these tea parties stop to wonder where this large deficit, and our current financial woes, originated?

And it only gets worse.  I found this sign/ad on website called The Community Organizer, whose subtitle is "United Against a Socialist President."  ??!!  Do these yahoos even know what socialism is?  And there are many similar right-wing organizations out there.  This particular website is filled with disinformation and even offensive material.  For instance, they're advertising a chia head with Obama's face (along with racist undertones) with the words, "Show Barack the respect he DESERVES!"  displayed underneath.  

If this weren't so offensive, this would be really, really sad.  The Community Organizer screams at the top of its site, "Don't be a sheep, be an American!"  And therein lies the greatest irony of all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fellating Clowns

Here's another entry for our "Clowns Are Scary" specialty page, an advertisement for comic, magician, and all-around entertainer, BJ the Clown:

The picture in the ad looks so happy, so innocent. But I don't know...I'm just not sure I would want a clown with the name "BJ" to entertain my kids.

Oh, there are cute animated images on this clown's website and here's one of "BJ's personal favorites":

For some reason, this depresses me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Too Much Fun

I was in Spokane, WA, a couple of weeks ago attending a conference and seeing some wonderful friends. When I arrived at the airport, and while waiting for my suitcase, I noticed this sign in the baggage claim area:

I've nothing against theme parks, but I'm always suspicious when I see ads or billboards for places (such as parks and casinos) with images of people whose expressions are happy to the point of being painful, even masochistic.

Ask yourself: do you really want to have that much fun?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yellow Goo

This fortune cookie wrapper seems innocuous enough, but I wonder what this yellow stuff is in the bowls.

I guess, since the iconic person is is surrounded by and partially drawn in gold, that he has "golden food" in the bowl, perhaps something representing rice. But there's nothing appetizing about the goo in this image.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Face Filler Fun

Given the focus of this week's Annoying J. Crew Model, I think today's Gallery entry is rather appropriate. This is the cover of an Avon catalog that recently found its way to our house (how it got here, I have no idea):

As my wife pointed out, why would they want to feature a close-up of a syringe (and one with pretty colors and patterns in it, no less) on the cover of a catalog whose purpose is to sell facial products that are alternatives to injections? Shouldn't there be instead a picture of a sexy-looking jar of creamy stuff you rub on your face?

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 4/13/09

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of April 13:

Really skinny, unnaturally thin, models really piss me off. And J. Crew employs a number of them. And on the latest catalog, they feature one on the cover.

You can look through the April catalog and see this model throughout, many times standing sideways like this, just to demonstrate how skinny she is. She's a stick!

And in some of her pictures, wearing certain loose-fitting clothes--of course, what wouldn't be loose fitting on her?--she looks like some kind of emaciated heroin addict. Truly pathetic.

For a more healthy alternative to the female physique, be sure to go to About-Face, a website dedicated to educating its readers on the harmful effects of media and marketing when it comes to women's body image.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Road Not Taken

Ah, bureaucratic simplicity at its best.

Thanks to David Yates for supplying this little tidbit of British culture.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Frightening than Ronald?

Today I saw a disturbing commercial on television.  It was for the new Spongebob promotion at Burger King, and it's disturbing on so many levels.  Outside of the frightening King dude--whom I've always felt was pure nightmare fuel--there are the square-butt dancers and the resurrection of Sir Mix-a-Lot.  See for yourself:


I used to think that McDonald's had the fast-food corner on evil.

Perhaps now I should reevaluate things.

McCheaper by the Pound

And I thought Americans were the only ones who McCheapened mass taste buds.

Many McThanks to Keith Lichtenauer who found this sign while checking out the culture in Luzern, Switzerland.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Of Mac and Men

There aren't many kid shows more insipid than Hannah Montana. There are many reasons to hate this media phenomenon and see it as a harbinger of pure evil, not the least of which is the fact that it's become a vehicle for Billy Ray Cyrus to reenter our cultural consciousness. But just when you think this crap has been marketed to capacity--movies, concerts, t-shirts, toys, soundtracks, underwear...and who knows, perhaps even a brand of ipecac--along comes the Kraft corporation:

The thought of eating little bits of Miley Cyrus is really disturbing, and almost pedophilic. It gives a new meaning to "consumer culture," doesn't it? (By the way, I hope that top piece of macaroni on the package is a microphone.)

And while I'm on the subject of Kraft...Sometimes the labeling of their various brands of mac and cheese really makes me wonder.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of "premium thick 'n creamy." How about you?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

...with a Little Penicillin on the Side

I was at a Red Robin restaurant last week, and on the table was a small advertisement for their new Burnin' Love Burger.

I'm not sure I'd want to put anything with the words "burnin' love" into my mouth.  Isn't that something that a shot of penicillin usually cures?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Nation under a Brew

Janine, my friend and dedicated Gallery watcher, saw this van on the way to the library the other day:

"Russian beauty, Russian culture, Russian beer".... So is the subtext here that brewski is supposed to define a people and an entire nation?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Laughing Matter

During my travels this past weekend, I had a layover in Salt Lake City, and while waiting for my connecting flight I thought I'd take a look at the various stores all bent on seizing the attention of the airport's captive audience. Outside of some shop specializing in jewelry and knickknacks, I found this:
I guess this would fit in the Gallery since it's sort of a sign or advertisement for the shop.  And it reminds me of the frightening display I saw at last year's Bois d'Arc Bash in Commerce, TX.  Also, check out this display a Gallery watcher found in Thailand.  

Just keep saying to yourself, "I'm in a safe place, I'm in a safe place, I'm in a safe place..."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jeepers Creepers

I thought that, given this week's Annoying J. Crew Model, the advertisement below might be rather appropriate. Click on the image to get a closer look.

Lose the creep, enjoy the butterfly.

Thanks to Greg and Dionne Navarro for their crusade on behalf of feminine comfort.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 4/6/09

I like advertisements of women in bikinis as well as the next person--or I guess I should say, "next guy"--but when it comes to J. Crew models, you just don't know what you'll be getting with even this simple pleasure. Notice the woman in the top image, and where her left hand is located.

Hmmmm. I wonder if the catalog editor has a "simple pleasure" of his/her own?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Yard o' Beef

Here's an image I featured in the original Gallery of the Absurd.  Believe it or not, this product that I'm holding in my hand (yes, this is me) is called "Yard o' Beef," and I had received it for the holidays.

Wish I had scanned an image of the label on this bad boy, but all I have is a picture of me holding the meat product.

Thanks, B-Boy, for reminding me about this traumatic moment in my life.

"Watch" Out

Here's another entry for our special feature, Don't "Quote" Me on That

Make sure that you put "safety" first and are "careful" of those crossing the streets.  Their "lives" may depend on it.

Thanks again to The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

Sun worshipping, a real old time religion.

This bit of paganism is brought to you by C. B. Rollins, who found it in the Memphis yellow pages.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April's Fool

Today's Gallery of the Absurd entry is rather appropriate for April Fool's Day. It's a wrapper from a sugary food item I found at a local Mexican grocery. The freaky little clown on the wrapper caught my eye--in a rather horrifying way--so I just had to get this to see what it was all about. Plus, I thought this payaso would fit quite nicely in the "Clowns Are Scary" portion of the Gallery.
Go ahead, take a good long look:
Enjoy the day, won't you?
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