Monday, January 31, 2005

A wrongness, a wrongness!

I am fascinated by people who want to sell their foreheads for advertising space on ebay. Like the Martian in "Stranger in a Strange" land, I "grok a wrongness" with this act. Who are these people? Who were they? Who do they hope to become? There are dozens of them on ebay, try searching for "forehead advertising" and enter their shocking world - you'll never be the same again.

Case 1 - a man and his dog

This is John, aged 33. He will shave his head, wear a wig, even jump out of a plane "the skies the limit" (except nudity thank goodness). And if that's not enough, meet John's dog Buddy:

Buddy is also willing to be shaved in order to meet all your advertising needs. What I like about Buddy's ebay page is that it's written by John as if in Buddy's own voice "I enjoy moonlit walks and rolling in stinky stuff with my friend Spanky a German shepherd mix." Buddy is willing to have his fur shaved with your logo. I wonder if the RSPCA are interested?

So far, John has one bid (for $1). Buddy is yet to get a bid. Incase you're wondering why Buddy is involved in all this, it's because he needs the money for "an electric training fence and collars", he's been hit on the highway before you see. And if that's not enough to tug at your heart-strings (and I'm practically ready to bid myself), Buddy ends with "Come on take a chance on this old dog you won't regret it!" It's a line I've used myself.

Case 2 - Father frequents local skate park

Meet a nameless 40 year old father from Frement Ohio: "Father frequents local skate park and recreation center." Is it me, or is there something a bit sinister about the word "frequents." And if that doesn't freak you out, then how about this: "best months to advertise on me would be any time after march where as i can be more active and exposed to people ." Again, it's the word "exposed". Advertising a picture of yourself with a child is quite popular, see also here, this guy is a "JANITOR AT A CHARTER SCHOOL" and promises "NOT TO WEAR HATS FOR ONE YEAR."

One "forehead for sale" page I looked at had a list of questions from potential buyers displayed. Most of them were insulting: "This is exactly what is wrong with the word - corporations 1: You 0!" Another bidder promises to spend 8 hours a day at shopping malls and tells us "remember: people like weird". A lot of these pages use CAPSLOCK and display little regard for the arcane laws of the apostrophe. Some of the sellers are rather optimistic - it is not unusual to start the bidding at $15,000.

These forehead adverts induce so many different emotions in me at once - I want to laugh. But I also want to cry. And put my hands to the side of my face and scream. And I often want to correct the grammar. I guess the people who do this should be applauded on their chutzpah and business accumen. In the future, maybe we'll all have the phrase "Coke is it!" inscribed on our faces. But I hope not.

1 comment:

mark Q said...

as for the forehead-renting, park-lurking stranger- my question is this...whose obviously frightened child is he clutching in that picture?
along these same lines, i just read an item in the newspaper the other day about a guy in NYC that got a tatoo on his arm that states "SAVE MARTHA" (yes, as in Stewart). if he is fortunate enough to someday pollute the world with offspring, this will be an exciting conversation piece for the grandchildren.