Thursday, January 31, 2013

Horatio Hornlawyer

I understand that sometimes those overseas factories have a hard time figuring out what English-language words to put on their products.  I imagine it goes something like this (in, of course, another language):

Modeler: "Boss, I've finished the new figurine design."
Boss: "Great! Get it on the production floor."
Modeler: "Well, there's a problem. I don't have any titles for the books, and it looks silly to leave them blank."
Boss: "Can't you just make something up?"
Modeler: "I think we ought to use real book titles; otherwise, it'll look like we didn't even try."
Boss: "Where are they being shipped to?"
Modeler: "America, I think."
Boss: "They speak English in America, right? Hey, I think our company lawyer has some English-language books in his office. Go copy those titles down and put them on the model."

That's the only reason I can figure that you'd end up with an adorable little sailor-suited bear playing with his model sailboat, like this:

Isn't Sailor-Bear cute?

...While sitting atop a stack of law texts:

He'd better be cute. If you say otherwise, he'll sue you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Syntax is Hard Crossing

With the rise of housing additions in our area, I've seen some really weird and confusing street names pop up.  Sometimes it's "Stable Chase Boulevard" or "Ripple Run Drive" or "Center Crossing Circle" or other names that sound odd out of context.  But now even garden stakes are becoming a jumble of awkward juxtaposition:

Is this some sort of secret drug culture code with which I'm not familiar?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Free Ashtrays, Anyone?

This isn't really a terror -- more of a head-scratcher.  It gets an honorable mention for being thrift-store related, though.

When I was in high school, my friends and I used to eat at fine dining establishments like Dairy Queen because we didn't have much money and we liked sugar.  This was back in the days when smoking was still allowed in public restaurants in our city, and Dairy Queen had these sweet* little disposable foil ashtrays with stars on them. I have always hated cigarettes, but my friends and I sometimes picked up the clean ashtrays and made crafts out of them because... well, they were shiny, they were easily folded, and they had stars on them. They were also free, and we were broke high school students.  We had to get our kicks somewhere.

Fast forward XX years.  Smoking has been prohibited in restaurants for nearly seven years in this county, and I hadn't seen those disposable ashtrays anywhere for years before that.

Until this week:

The stuff of my teenage craft projects. I still have one that used to hang on my bedroom wall.

Apparently someone stole a stack of disposable ashtrays from a Dairy Queen, hoarded them for more than a decade, and then decided to donate them to Goodwill.

The best part? Goodwill priced these (formerly) free, disposable items at a magnanimous 49 cents each.  "Yep, ladies and gents, for only 49 cents, you can own your very own free disposable ashtray!  Join us next week, when we'll be selling plastic drink lids and paper napkins for the bargain price of 29 cents!"

* I use this term in the '90s slang sense meaning "awesome," not the more common usage meaning "adorable or cute."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love Is... Creepy.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've probably figured out by now that I really don't like cutesy little figurines with ditzy or affectionate sayings on them.  Perhaps it's a flaw in my character, or my healthy inner snark, or perhaps I just have stronger views on the nature of love and don't feel that it can be adequately conveyed by a badly-rendered clay lump and a trite phrase.

But a lot of that comes down to taste, and I have no real problem with other people liking such things.  Except when they're really weird or creepy or odd, at which point I feel a little justified in poking fun at them.

Gives a new, creepier meaning to that Jack and Jill rhyme about pails of water.

...And what part of love, exactly, is running around in the fields totally naked and collecting your tears in buckets?  Even Miss Havisham didn't go THAT far off the deep end when her boyfriend left.

(Well, okay, there was that bit with the rats in the shell of the wedding cake, and the ruined dress and things.  But at least the woman kept her clothes on when she went crazy.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Glowing Beaded Objects

In an effort to keep today's post safe for all ages, I'm going to leave the more obvious commentary up to your *cough* fertile imaginations.

I found a stash of these lamps (yes, lamps -- see the light strands and power cords? They're stuffed full of Christmas lights) at the local thrift store.  Their shapes were... perplexing.  It took me a long time to figure out what they were meant to represent.  Most of the confusion came from the color scheme, because my initial assessment would have been something more, uh, monochromatic.

Ready to make a guess?

Just picture one of these as a nightlight, and it gets even creepier.

Did you guess a lighthouse?  Well, neither did I, the first few times I walked by them, but that's the only G-rated thing I can come up with.  After all, they do light up.  Just like a lighthouse.  Or... yeah.  No.  I don't really get it, either.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Broccolliflowegrape Mug?

Today's specimen has yet to be identified.  Here's what we know so far, agents:

  • It's possibly representative of some sort of vegetative matter. Suggested theories so far are broccoli, cauliflower, or a bunch of grapes.
  • It's green. Sort of. Chartreuse, perhaps, is a better description.
  • It has only one arm.
  • It appears to be wearing shoes.
  • It has facial features, but it is somewhat difficult to differentiate them.
  • It appears to be either happy or demented.
  • Its hairstyle (if that is indeed hair) might have been inspired by either Elvis Presley or Mme. de Pompadour.

Just... brace yourselves.

And it's happy to seeeeeee you!
It's clearly intended to be some sort of mug.  Which presumably means that you're meant to drink out of it.  But look deep into its eyes, and tell me: Would you put this... thing... anywhere near your mouth?

I didn't think so.  Me, either.

Thanks to Yaexrae for today's submission!  (...I think.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shoot No Evil

This creepy little monkey looks like it must have once been a part of one of those sanzaru sets (the ubiquitous "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" monkeys). Unfortunately, it seems that this little guy failed to keep his mouth shut and ticked off Don Corleone or somebody, because he has what appears to be a neat bullet hole through his forehead:

Either he's speaking no evil, or he's smirking because he's secretly mocking you. I'm voting for the second option.
Granted,  I have never particularly liked anthropomorphic simians in any context (except perhaps this one), but knocking them off like the proverbial shooting-gallery ducks them seems a bit extreme.

So I'm guessing the hole actually supposed to be some sort of candle vent or something (though the whole back of the figure is hollow, so it shouldn't need one), but why would you design a figure with an opening right THERE? It just looks really weird.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Bug. A-Bug. Uh... Bug?

I... what... the...

I don't even know what to say about this one.

It's clearly some sort of bug.  On... stilts?  With striped clown pants. And bells on its ankles.  And it has a giant triangle cut out of its crotch.  Or maybe that's supposed to be a letter A... with feet?  Maybe the anklets are some sort of buggy house-arrest system?

It looks awfully happy.  I think it's waving at you.

But all that is beside the point.  We're not focusing on the real question here.  You may think the important issue is, "Who the heck comes up with this stuff?" But equally important is, "Who the heck BUYS it?!"

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2-pack: Counting Is Hard

No, that's not the latest single from an undead rapper.

This is technically not a Thrifty Terror, since it's in a retail store and not a true thrift or secondhand shop -- but it's a dollar store, so we'll give it an honorable mention.

I was walking through the baby supplies aisle, and noticed that everything this particular company sells comes in a 2-pack, labeled as such in the upper right-hand corner.  As advertised, many of the packages did, indeed, come with two items:  Two plates; two bowls with lids; two bottles; twelve spoons...

Wait -- twelve?

Counting is hard.

Yep.  Guess it's too much work to ask the graphic designer to stick a 1 in front of the 2 on the product card.  *facepalm*