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Shopping Hazards

15 Aug

Classified Ads are Often Nuts

1. Plague bike


This guy is selling his bike with the romantic notion of being able to ride to places with dead cheetahs AND dead skunks. Also the cheetah has been lightly shaved.

2. Demon bike


This guy’s bicycle sounds demon possessed. I imagine it in the garage with its gears spontaneously clattering away, and things breaking off of it without warning…

3. Bile bike


This guy has a bilecycle. I’m not sure what that is, but I don’t think I want it. I like how he had two stabs at the word ‘bicycle’ without success.

Fashion. Why.

1. Choose your battles


This guy’s girlfriend has obviously forced him to wear this hideous garbage, because he clearly looks miffed and a bit embarrassed (and totally whipped), and she looks cross but slightly exhilarated, like she just won something. “You will stand here for this photo, or so help me…”

2. Someone has to pay


Just so we’re clear, the shirt is emblazoned with a HUGE shiny decal that says, ‘Young, Reckless, Wild, and Awesome’. Because you shop at the mall. Right. Even the mannequin can’t believe he has to wear this.

If you have to praise yourself on your own t-shirt, especially using some drunk 50-year-old clothes-builder’s idea of how young people hope to be seen, then you’re probably the opposite, and you deserved it when you were bullied as a child.

3. Wow you look like the man of my dreams


This mannequin reminds me of someone that I usually associate with the nightmare of clothes shopping.

I can't quite put my finger on who...

I can’t quite put my finger on who…

Child’s Play

1. Costume that is everything

My kid wants a tiger birthday-party this year, so we’re on the lookout for tiger dress-up outfits.

tiger chewie

This costume-hire Website must have some interesting employees.

Boss: ‘Describe a tiger.’

Designer: ‘It’s really long-haired, and looks like a novelty brown shag rug that’s been given peroxided highlights all over.’

Boss: ‘Describe Chewbacca.’

Designer: ‘He’s really long-haired, and looks like a novelty brown shag rug that’s been given peroxided highlights all over.’

Boss: ‘Wonderful! How about werewolf?’

Designer: ‘It’s smooth and orange with black stripes. Looks like a cat.’


Pictured left: Zebra. Pictured right: George W Bush

2. Sapiential


Happy study wisdom pullulate.

3. Use your Illusion


Here’s your stupid fairytale carriage, Kid, but you’re living in an illusion state.

4. Butt injection baby


This baby laughs when you push its stomach and cries when you inject things into its rectum.

More Eastern Knockoffs

1. Michelle-Pfeiffer Man


2. Flower story


3. Plainboy


4. Boo!



Sex(ism) Sells

10 Jan

1. Only one?

This silly ad has been plaguing the right side of my email window for the last week:


Now, firstly, although that dress is quite distracting, I would still expect the copywriter, art director, forex-company guy, or someone, anyone, who saw this before publication to have noticed that ‘woman’ is in the singular. Is it just her who loves successful men (and is she bad with noun-verb agreement)? Do I have to be successful and track her down?

But secondly, are there not women who like to throw their money away on the finance markets? Must women also aspire to become successful men who are loved by woman?

2. 1st for really facile women

Maybe the dumbest cliche men have about women is that they are all really nuts about shoes and phones and chocolates. So when making an ad just for women, there’s no way an advertiser would just roll out that tired, lame generalisation. I mean, that would just be insul…

1st for women 1

3. Oh, and hair and shopping

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the dumbest generalisation is that all women love shopping and having their hair done. I  could picture the guys in ‘Mad Men’ spitting this one out when they’re actively trying to insult their repressed, domesticated wives.


[Excuse the rubbish pic quality. The copy roughly translates as: ‘Until they make a doll-yourself-up trolley, you can rely on Go! Woman to get you through a rough day’].

4. Honourary mention: other kinds of women

Here’s another retarded ad from my email provider, targeted to my specifically male needs:

Casual club other kinds of women

I’m a man, so obviously I’d like to have all sorts of women on the side, and when I do, Casual Club will hook me up with, um, let’s see: married women, engaged women, single women and, uh… that’s all the marital statuses but I have this other block to fill… uh, women women? Slightly bored women, judging by the picture? Bored of being neither single nor married nor engaged women, perhaps? Maybe reading-a-book women?

Update: 2nd Bite at the Apple

The good people at gamble-on-forex have tried again with a reformat of their ad, and once again failed to notice any problems:


The new version also reveals that their model’s hair really does go on for ages. That must be quite a burden.

Th Abbrvtn Mst Stp Pt II

10 Feb

A colleague emailing about assignments seems to have valued brevity over dignity, once more choosing ‘ass’ as the abbreviation of choice, with surprisingly un-self-aware results. My favourite paragraph:

Ethics 3 essay (major ass) is due when presented in term 2.  If not presenting, essay is due 16 May but that is close to Ben’s big ass.

Samsung Random Copy Generator

3 Jan

Samsung phone box reads 'trim off the bubbles / glitter your styleSamsung presumably make some good stuff, because people keep buying their kit. I just haven’t come across any.

I owned two profoundly faulty TV-to-DVD recorders for a while. I also owned their E330 cellphone for about a month, before realising that it was the worst phone ever made. As I am extremely forgiving and impossibly cheap, I recently bought the M620, which I discovered is the second-worst phone that I’ve seen (it was for my wife, and since it requires about 6 or 8 button-presses just to choose and confirm an sms recipient, she went back to her decade-old Nokia that has about 3 minutes of battery life, as it is still more advanced and more convenient than the Samsung).

Design stupidity is one thing, but it seems that Samsung’s knack for no-worky technology is possibly finding new applications in automatically generated copywriting. We’re all accustomed to absurd copywriting styles. There is that preposterous esoterica that sells electric shavers that will revitalise your soul. There are those meaningless promises of blenders that are more than just spinning blades, they’re a lifestyle choice. But shouldn’t the words at least have reference to something? If the copywriter is getting 400 an hour, surely mucking around with fridge-poetry magnets for 30 seconds between games of solitaire is a little dishonest?

So the best they could do is “Trim off the bubbles. Glitter your style.” I was unable to locate any bubbles, glitter or style in the package supplied.

I don’t know, perhaps it would be fun to write copy for Samsung. There really is no pressure when there’s no accountability. Your TV? “Twiddle your rheostat. Spank that participle.” Try to guess what this one would be for: “Citrus the umbrella. Circumcise your schoolbus.” It’s a ceiling fan. Obviously.

At least there’s a happy ending to this one for me. While we were away for the holidays, someone did their Christmas shopping in our bedroom. He must have been on drugs or surprised by the housesitter, because in his haste he stole the Samsung. Poor guy.


3 Jan

Toy coffee creamer bottle called 'Creap creap'The Chinese put out a phenomenal amount of stuff plastered with a language and character set that is not their own. Still, some attention to detail would be nice…

This is a tiny toy coffee creamer tub. Creap pouder is definitely going to bring down the tone of my daughter’s imaginary tea parties.