Thursday, December 26, 2013

Duck Shit

For me, the most depressing part of this holiday is seeing Duck Dynasty sugar cookies with a seasonal theme. Can someone please tell me what in the hell this obnoxious phenomenon has to do with 1) cookies, 2) Christmas, or 3) basic sensibility?

Christmas is supposed to be a time of love, acceptance, and tolerance, and for recognizing a figure who embodied these qualities. So where does Phil Robertson fit into all of this? The real scrooges here, though, are the money grubbers at A&E. Despite their "suspension" of Robertson, viewers will be able to see his hairy puss in the new season beginning next month. I guess "good will toward men" is fine as long as it doesn't affect the bottom line.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mr. Weenie!

When in beautiful Peru, Indiana, be sure to stop over and enjoy the goodness that is Mr. Weenie.

This was witnessed on our drive up to Indiana over the weekend. My holiday is now complete!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Spatula Facts

I got these new rubber spatulas the other day: 

What struck me were the "helpful hints" on the back. I'm glad that they told me that it was the smaller spatula that would fit in narrower spaces. Otherwise, I would have been at a complete loss.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

All I Want for Christmas Is a Delkus Face

This was a poster I found at my local AutoSplash Car Care Center: 

Pete Delkus is one of the local meteorologists here in Dallas. I know this is for a good cause, and god bless him and the folks at WFAA for doing this every year. But that caricature of Delkus kind of creeps me out.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lemon Freak

What's the deal with this Brisk Lemonade mascot?

What kind of freak of agricultural nature would create a lemon with four eyes? Think about it, won't you?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Crap-e Christmas

This is one of the reasons I hate holiday advertising: 

Why do you need to "seize" Christmas? Why not just enjoy and celebrate with family and friends?

Screw you, Nike, and that idiot wearing your dumb-ass hoodie! How's that for seizing the holiday spirit?!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sam I Yam

This syrupy image is provided by good friend, Tracy Floreani

I'm not which is more disturbing: the image of Sam, the mascot, or the fact that he's called "Sugary Sam." What might that suggest?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Evil Gummi

A good friend of the Gallery, Nick Zachariasen, sent in some gummy bear version of an energy drink:

In the words of Nick, "mascots generally shouldn't have rape faces."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Goodman, Badman

John Goodman, no!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Roll'r Derby

Here's something I found the other week and had previously shared with my friend Brian:

There are many things about this that make me curious. Why is that woman holding the roller as if it were a microphone? What's that expression on her face? Why is the lint flying all around her if the roller is supposed to be effective? And what's the deal with "Roll'r"? I guess it just had to be trademarked.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bringing It All Back Home

Hello once again Friends of the Gallery:

Back in June I wrote that The Gallery of the Absurd was going on hiatus, and that this was due primarily to competing responsibilities. I was finding myself devoting more non-work time to other endeavors -- i.e., the podcast and blog, The Comics Alternative -- and having little left for the Gallery.  But with a backlog of weird ads and product labels, with the continued encouragement from my demented friends who keep sending me strange stuff (and you know who you are Al, Brian, Trace, and Nick), and with the marketing crap of the holiday season upon us, I thought that I might find some time, and find it in my heart, to resume entries on The Gallery of the Absurd.

I'll keep it as a simple blog, for now, but I've decided not to base it on scheduled postings. That means that I won't feel impelled to post something almost every day, and I won't maintain the ongoing weekly features such as the Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week and Retro-Adtivity (at least as of now). That was becoming too time consuming, and I want the Gallery to be something that everyone, including me, can enjoy. So for now, I'll be posting weird entries as I find them…which is exactly what I did back in the late 1990s with the original Gallery of the Absurd

All of that being said, please relax, breathe a sigh of relief, and look forward once again to the sweet, nougaty satisfaction that is The Gallery of the Absurd.



Monday, June 17, 2013

The Gallery on Hiatus

Dear Friends of the Gallery:

As many of you have noticed, I have not been posting entries on The Gallery of the Absurd since mid-March. This isn't because of the lack of fodder for The Gallery (far from it), but rather, it stems from a redirection of time and energies. Last year my friend Andy Kunka and I began a podcast, The Comics Alternative, a weekly show devoted to the discussion and analysis of comics (primarily indie or non-superhero titles). Furthermore, over the past couple of months we have been developing The Comics Alternative through enhanced episodes, increased sponsorships, and with plans for a substantive blog, complete with book reviews, critical analyses, and interviews. We've been putting a lot of work into this endeavor, and I have found that this has been limiting my free time...including the time I have devoted to The Gallery of the Absurd. Several of you have contacted me to ask 1) if I am okay -- and yes I am, thanks for asking! -- or 2) if I had quit doing The Gallery of the Absurd. I won't say at this time that I am stopping the Gallery, but due to competing endeavors (i.e., The Comics Alternative), I'm putting the Gallery on hiatus. I may come back to it in the near or later future, but for now I'm taking a break from updating The Gallery of the Absurd.  However, there are PLENTY of Gallery entries for fans to (re)visit, including most of the entires that made up the original Webby Award-winning Gallery of the Absurd from the 1990s. So please, enjoy those. Besides, the original Gallery wasn't a website that was updated daily, but a repository of strange ads, labels, and signs that grew more slowly and developed over time.

So until later, keep your eyes open for the absurd, and contact me if you find any weirdness out there!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Veggieclean Nancy

An advertisement from the local Santa Cruz newspaper, Good Times

The weird thing about this ad isn't the "veggieclean" part, since a cleaning company can be environmentally conscious (and that's good). No, the weird part is the presence of Nancy Reagan.

Kind of sad.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Funky Taste of Passion

Something I saw stuck at a stoplight in Dallas: 

Do you really want to taste "passion" in your morning coffee?  Wasn't that why you took the shower?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cute Crap

Some might find this packaging cute.

I just find it annoying.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/11/13

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of March 11th:

This guy's gait looks unnatural, like he's just learned how to walk.

Either that, or perhaps he pooped in his pants just like the Annoying J. Crew Model from February 25th.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Filled with fine meaty goodness, it's this week's installment of  


Deliciousness from 1946:

I'm not sure which is more disturbing: the tamales in a jar or the smiling grocer holding them up for display.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Santa Troll Broom Thing?

I saw this in a Dollar General store the other day, but I'm not exactly sure what the hell it is:  

The description on the box says something about "the trolls of the mountain," but the image looks something like Santa Claus.  But then the banner over santa troll's head reads "A touch of country magic."  So what does "country magic"--and what exactly is country magic?--have to do with Santa Claus or trolls?  They're trying to sell brooms here, so why the mixed layers of references and imagery?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blind Exploitation

Here's yet another flyer I recently received in the mail:  

I'm scratching my head here, trying to figure out why the kid is in this advertisement.  What does he have to do with the content of the flyer?  It's for an organization called Heritage for the Blind, but this boy doesn't seem to be blind at all.  And there's nothing about the service, or the way it is framing itself, that suggests anything child-friendly or kid-related.  I know that market and design people like to use children in their ads to give things a particular feel -- something is innocent, something is pure, something is good for the family -- but what the hell is the function of this kid? Is he going to come tow your truck?  Is he threatening to visit your home and blind you?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jet Freak

From another flyer I received in the mail recently:  

I don't want this mascot's image anywhere near whatever I plan on putting into my mouth.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 3/4/13

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of March 4th: 

If this dude weren't already injured, I'd want to break his legs...just for looking like a real dumb ass.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Memories of Mom's Liver

Mmmmmmm.  What's cooking?  Something smells good this morning.  What is it?  Might it be this week's installment of 


Something sizzling from 1959:

"Mornindine" was the trade name of pipamazine, a drug prescribed for women during pregnancy, supposedly to help alleviate morning sickness.  It was eventually pulled from the market because it caused hepatic lesions.

But screw mom's liver!  As long as she gets up to make everyone breakfast, and dad doesn't have to dirty his hands, who cares?  Right?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Toilet Rainbow Baby

Last week I posted a not-very-well-thought-out flyer from C&W Plumbing, here in the greater Dallas area.  In that ad there was a picture of a kid's face -- apparently their trademark -- in a drain with the words "We'll wash away your troubles!" directly underneath.  Here's another one from this paragon of the plumbing world: 

A couple of things here.  First, you still have the kid's face next to (and apparently associated with) the object of their service, this time a toilet.  Second, there's a rainbow coming out of the bowl.  Is this any kind of commentary on the value of the baby, or perhaps the kind of things the baby's parents have been eating...or some strange signifying of both?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Sanitary Twist

A recent commercial for Tena sanitary pads:

What's so happy and dance-worthy about a sanitary napkin?  As my wife asked when she first saw this commercial, shouldn't they instead be upset, discomforted, and pissed off?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Busty Language

Oy!  More incongruous web ads!  

Here are a couple of recent ad links that came up on my Facebook page, both for the Pimsleur Approach language program.  Tell me, what do the women in these ads have to do with learning Spanish?  

And of course an obvious question, what "selling points" do these two women have in common?

For more of these annoying advertisements, check out the Gallery entries Trans Dad, Weird Prick Trick, Gland Error, Breast Savings, Boob Loan, and Sleep Rack.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Everett Leaves the Coop

Today C. Everett Koop passed away.  In memory, I'd like to feature an entry with Koop that I posted back on June 13, 2008.  However, the very first time I posted this was in the original Gallery of the Absurd back in the late 1990s.  Goodbye, Mr. Surgeon General.

C. Everett eat his eggs. I found this on the inside of a carton of eggs I bought.

From Reagan's Surgeon General to shiller of that incredible, edible orb. Egg-cellent!

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 2/25/13

The Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of February 25th:  

There's something weird about the way this woman is walking.  It's like she pooped her pants and is trying to step carefully.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spock Smacks

Beam me up, Scotty, because it's time for this week's     


A classic Sugar Smacks box cover from 1969, telling us that "Space energy comes from Sugar Smacks": 

The good Sugar Smacks people at Kellogg's, the same folk who brought us 

Vitamin fortified ethnic stereotypes  

The scary face of Lou Jacobs paired with a reference to atomic destruction

A free toy, the dismembered body of Mary Hartline, circus star

And a laughing Andy Devine...'nuf said.

For more breakfast cereal fun, be sure to check out the website of Mr. Breakfast, where I found all of these images.  Don't let Mr. Breakfast's weird grinning face scare you away.  It's a site well worth digging through!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jim Henson's Trouble Babies

I received this flyer in the mail recently: 

Why did the designers of this advertisement choose to include the phrase "We'll wash away your troubles!" right underneath the image of the cute baby?  Is this message for overburdened parents?  A coded reference to black market babies or perhaps infanticide?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Freak Tooth

A dentist's sign in Dallas, TX, shot from a distance: 

I've seen a number of cartoony smiling teeth as dental mascots, but there's something about this one that just crosses a line.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Phelps Doobie

A Subway standee I saw in a Walmart:  

Given Michael Phelps's drug-related admissions, I had to wonder what that long, tightly wrapped cylindrical thing was in his hand.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

De-Cluttering Oprah

Usually I try to adhere strictly to advertisements, signs, and labels on The Gallery of the Absurd.  But I guess the cover of a brand magazine is a kind of label, right?  This one was just too good to pass up: 

How about de-cluttering your life by refusing to buy vapid ego-generated publications such as this?

Did the cover designer give any thought to the potential irony of this layout?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 2/18/13

The Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of February 18th:

Sometimes when I look at pictures of these models, I just lose all sense of empathy and compassion for my fellow humans.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Zu Zu Is Coming for You

Get ready for a weird, painful ride on this week's trip through    


In the first years of the twentieth century the National Biscuit Company (later Nabisco) came out with a kind of ginger snap called Zu Zu.  Their mascot was a freaky-looking clown thing that was supposed to be fun and their cookie.  But beneath the surface of this smiling, painted face lies a darker truth.  Let's take a look, shall we?

A newspaper ad from 1910.

Innocent looking enough...right? 

But then, things begin to get a little weird and disturbing.

What at first appears to be a kid-friendly icon...

Turns out to be something akin to that scary clown doll in Poltergeist.

Pretty soon, little minds are infiltrated, all innocence is lost.  "The youngsters soon caught on," huh?  

And then the true nature of Zu Zu appears before us, in all of his dark and sinister glory.  As Yeats put it, a "blood-dimmed tide is loosed." And "a perfect ginger snap" becomes the last sound we hear.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Le Grand Statements

Here is a sign outside of a very modest strip mall in the north part of Frisco, TX, using French in a lame attempt to add gravitas:  

Sad, really.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ham King

Johnny's Ham King:  

The name really says it all.

Thanks to the blog, Tour de Hood, for today's Gallery entry.  As stated on its website, it's all about "Detroit, in all its insane glory, on two wheels."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blocked Up by Fish

Poster found at the Half Shells Fish Grill in Plano, TX:  

I saw this in the restaurant's bathroom, which I guess is only appropriate, since that dude on the right looks very constipated.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ticket to Hell

Go to Hell.  Go directly to Hell.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 2/11/13

Asking that age-old question regarding what J. Crew models do in the woods, it's another installment of the Gallery of the Absurd's

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week

An image from the current J. Crew website:

Looks like she's in the forest, bending down, getting ready to take a dump.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

John Wayne Gacy Has Nothing on These Guys

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Because it's time for this week's installment of    


This is an actual ad that Goldsmith's Toyland (in Memphis, TN) ran in December 1963:

BoBo and JoJo as "two lovable, laughable clowns"?!  Hell...these freaks make me shit my britches just looking at them.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Trans Dad

Another in a seemingly endless series of incongruent web ads:  

Hear, hear!  Let's educate out cross-dresing or transgendered dads!

Thanks once again to Mike Halleck, well schooled in the many absurdities found on the Interwebs.

Changing LINKS