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Archive for the ‘Great Moments In Retailing’ Category

Today, we woke up to the referendum results. 52% of us said we should leave; 48% said we should stay; so we’re leaving, because that’s exactly how democracy is meant to work. I was one of the 48%, so it’s safe to say this isn’t the very greatest day of my life so far. So I thought I’d go to IKEA, because I’m basically quite shallow and looking at stuff with funny names and buying things I never knew I wanted makes me feel better about the world.

Unfortunately, everything they are selling today is horrific. Some examples:

This heap of dead rabbits:

Bright eyes, burning like fire

Bright eyes, burning like fire

This vat of slaughtered piglets:

Somehow rendered worse by the perspex sides

Somehow rendered worse by the perspex sides

This bin full of rats:

EWWWW

EWWWW

This child-sized cabin-bed (with integral night-time boogeyman):

IMG_2381

IMG_2382

This headless armless dummy dressed in a blue strait-jacket that wants to sell you an apron:

IMG_2383

This surgical experiment combining a frilly blue fish with a human eyeball:

IMG_2384

It gets worse the closer you get

The closer you get, the worse it becomes

This giant-sized photo of a leather vagina:

IMG_2386

This man who regrets his robotic hands:

IMG_2388

This woman being eaten by her own skirt:

IMG_2389

Finally, this psychotic bookcase coming to crush the other bookcase while the lamp and sofa look on helplessly:

IMG_2390

But hey, the Swedish word for “biscuit” still appears to be “kaka”! So that’s still fun.

IMG_2391

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Knob shop

When you go to the Knob Shop and come home with four knobs

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Coins Out

Reject coins

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[TEX MEX RESTAURANT, INT., EVE. HUSBAND AND I ARE HAVING DINNER BEFORE A MOVIE]

ME (tugging frantically on husband’s sleeve): Oh my God lookit lookit lookit!

HUSBAND: What? What? What’s the matter?

ME: Look at that menu!

HUSBAND: [LOOKS AT MENU. LOOKS AT ME. WAITS FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN]

ME: Look!

HUSBAND: [IS UNDERSTANDABLY NOT IMPRESSED BY HIS WIFE’S BEHAVIOUR]

ME: Just look! That thing! On the bottom! What is it?

HUSBAND: What? What? It’s just some fried…oh.

Chiquitos menu

ME: What is it? I think it’s a lizard. Does that look like a lizard to you?

HUSBAND: It does look like it’s got a head.

ME: Or a dinosaur embryo. Could it be a dinosaur embryo?

HUSBAND: Of course it’s not a dinosaur embryo, where are they going to get a dinosaur embryo? It’s a lizard.

ME: [VERY, VERY HAPPY TO BE MARRIED TO A MAN WHO WILL INDULGE ME IN MY WILLFUL MISINTERPRETATION OF FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY]

HUSBAND [THOUGHFUL]: That’s definitely an embryonic head. You can see where it’s folded over from being in the egg. And that’s some sort of arm hanging over the edge of the skillet. Why is it so fat, though?

ME: Baby creatures always have disproportionately fat middles. Remember what the kids were like?

Embryo chick in egg

HUSBAND: Or maybe it’s been genetically engineered to be really fat and meaty.

ME [RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY]: This is brilliant. I’m going to take a photograph.

[I TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, GIGGLING THE WHOLE TIME. AS I DO SO, OUR WAITRESS ARRIVES WITH OUR DRINKS]

WAITRESS [FROSTY BUT PROFESSIONAL]: Have you decided what you’re having yet?

HUSBAND [VERY QUIETLY]: Dinosaur embryo.

ME: Um…I think I’ll have the steak.

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apostrophe fail

Dear Mr or Ms Magi Pics,

See this picture? This is a screen-shot of your Magi Pics Stationery Studio TV advert.

You will please note that the text written on this bookmark reads, “YOUR SWEET!”

Unless the dough component of this product is genuinely meant to be a sweet (as in, “This is your sweet! I am giving it to you because I am your friend and I like you! Now please put it in your mouth and eat it!”) it looks like very much you’ve failed to correctly distinguish between YOUR and YOU’RE.

This makes me sad and angry. In fact, it makes me want to come round to YOUR house and jab you very hard in the face with a pointy stick until YOU’RE begging for mercy.

Obviously, I won’t come round to YOUR house and jab you with a pointy stick until YOU’RE begging for mercy, because I am an adult. However, YOU’RE also an adult and I think it’s reasonable to expect you to be able to use YOUR words.

Specifically, I think you should be reliably able to tell the difference between YOUR (the possessive adjective) and YOU’RE (the contraction of “YOU ARE”).

For future reference, here’s a simple test so you can make sure YOU’RE getting YOUR spelling right in future:

If you can replace the word with the phrase, “You are” (for example, “YOU’RE frightening with me with the venom you have unleashed upon me for my admittedly quite high-profile bad spelling incident”), you want the word YOU’RE.

If you can’t do this (for example, “I can’t quite believe how much of YOUR time and mine you have spent on this. Please never ever talk to me again”) then you want the word YOUR.

YOU’RE welcome,

Cassandra

PS In the body copy of YOUR website, you have also confused “STATIONERY” (the products and materials associated with the act of writing) with “STATIONARY” (the property of being immobile).

Again, YOU’RE welcome.

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World's most tragic McDonald's toy

1. Unwrap toy

2. Blow air into toy

3. Contemplate the pointlessness of all human existence

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I find it in the Display With No Name, in our local convenience store. The Display With No Name is a cornucopia of weird shit your kids beg you for. It’s the display where they will suddenly swear on their grandmother’s lives that they have “always wanted” (for example) a flour-filled balloon with a face on it – even though you’re pretty sure The Display With No Name is the first time they’ve ever even seen such a thing.

And today, I am that kid, because I see this, and I instantly want it:

bicycle horn

Being a grown-up means having the sense to ignore the voice in your head that’s insisting you should put the bicycle horn in your basket. Today, I am not a grown-up. I am a small child trapped in a grown-up’s body. The bicycle horn goes in my basket. The normally chatty young lad on the till (a cheery bloke who can normally maintain a bright stream of light conversation while scanning the bar-code on your san-pro) is struck dumb when he sees what I am buying. The entire transaction takes place in an atmosphere of respectful silence. I don’t care. Being a grown-up means never having to justify impulse-buying a bicycle horn.

Back at home, I abandon the rest of the shopping in the kitchen. The guinea-pigs will keep an eye on it while I look at my Giant Bicycle Horn.

I’ll admit it: it was the phrase “Giant Bicycle Horn” that initially hooked me. It’s the odd specificity of “Giant” that really makes it for me – as if seeing the actual life-sized object isn’t quite enough for you to accurately gauge its true size. But the more I look, the more I find to love.

bicycle horn (2)

For my money, “Beat It Buddy” is possibly even funnier than “Giant Horn”. But I appreciate it’s a personal thing.

And while we’re at it – what’s the deal with the mouse?

Beat It Buddy Crop

Possibly it’s related to the angry monster cat:

monster cat

What’s going on here? Is the cat trying to make the mouse run away? And if so, why? Why does a cat need a horn to scare a mouse? Mice are scared of cats all by themselves. Most cats I know spend hours of their lives trying to not let mice know they’re sneaking up on them. There’s even a phrase for it – “Playing Cat and Mouse with each other”. Honking a giant bicycle horn is pretty much the opposite of your average cat-mouse interaction.

Also, the mysterious shouty words scattered randomly across all the remaining blank spaces! Idiot! Get the Clown! Red! This baby’s got your back! Klaxon! Honk! There is literally nothing about this box that I don’t love. It’s an enigmatic design classic. I put in on a table so I can admire it.

And then, my son gets home from school.

“What’s this, mummy?” he demands, homing in on the New Thing in that unerring way small people have.

spock tricorder

“It’s…a bicycle horn.”

“But why is it here?”

Because it has a monster cat and a terrified mouse and a lot of shouty words and it uses the words “Horn” and “Beat it” and I have the sense of humour of a fourteen-year-old schoolboy.

“Um – I just thought it looked interesting. What are you doing?”

Son gives me the very patient look he uses when people he loves act like idiots.

“I’m getting it out.”

astonished cat

“No, let’s not do that -”

HONK.

“Cool! That’s really loud!”

HONK. HONK. HONK.

disaster area

“This is really good, mum.”

HONK. HONK. HONK. HONK. HONK.

“I’m going to use this as my new weapon.”

HONKHONKHONKHONKHONK.

“Let’s put it away, shall we?”

“But we’ve only just got it -”

Trekkie facepalm

I have been suckered by The Display With No Name and I have only myself to blame.

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