Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Delicate Art of Consumer Seduction

This will be the first in an exclusive Party Pony series documenting the delicate art of consumer seduction--the most compelling and inviting window dressings, mascots, advertisements, and taglines designed to please and tempt the consumer.

In the Christmas category, we have these examples:

Longing for some new negligee to tempt the man in your life? Don't look further than Main Street Hosiery on Mamaroneck Avenue. Not to be outdone by Bergdorf's in the city, Main Street Hosiery spent weeks arranging their jolly display of a 10-foot tall humanoid female about to whip off her sexy black robe, and a small, angry gnome who is clearly ready to nip under her nighty or flash us--either way, it will be perverted and wrong.

Also a jolly holiday tradition at Main Street Hosiery, Griselda the mannequin fondles her pink terrycloth robe while contemplating the red panties. Which shall it be tonight, which shall it be? But wait! The flannel suit on the wall behind her is FOR SALE. Oh, rapture!

Who among you knew that Smurf is called, in other tongues, Pitufo, Schlumpf, and even SCHTROUMPF? Isn't that how two Smurfs make another Smurf? Look, the Schtroumpf are Schtroumpfing again! Look closer and you will see that one of them is dressed up as a crab, while another one appears to be a carrot. Their eyes are filled with a mad light. No wonder these toys are so perennially popular!

This mascot for Veloce Pizzeria in NYC makes me regret every diet I have ever been on. His whole aspect says EAT. In fact, it says EAT ME. I AM GOING TO PUNCH YOUR LIGHTS OUT. When eating items with pepperoni on them, do we need an angry, snouted hog-thing staring at us in a menacing way? Yes, we do! Note the teeth, suitable for edging pie crusts.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

All Doped Up and Can't Even Drive My Big Rig

We all know about the common side effects of SSRIs and their ilk: nausea, dizziness, fecal urgency, murder, and other mildly aggravating symptoms that are well worth the relief and well-being--the very same, mind you, that one might also get from a sugar pill stamped with the words "Eat me and be happy! I am a magic Jesus pill! I heal your fucking woes you silly depressed so and so!" Such type would be very small and you are probably too depressed to find your glasses, and even if you did you'd be worrying about the grammatical accuracy of the statements, so never mind.

But when was the last time you called in a complaint about side effects to the drug company that peddled you its latest panacea? Think about it: The poor devils who are writhing on the floor thinking their genitals are being nipped by aphids aren't exactly in the position to dial a 1-800 number and rattle off a list of complaints. Nor is that guy in the backhoe loader who just crawled into the shovel bucket and started whimpering for his momma. He'll go home and have a beer and think it was just a bad day and he will never call that troubling side effect in, will he?

This is why I have determined that a whole host of unreported side effects are going...unreported. In a journalistic foray into truthiness, I feasted on a whole bunch of these mood-alerting Scooby Snacks during one particularly gloomy and rainy long weekend, when even painting my toenails and singing lighthearted songs about daffodils and bunnies failed to lift my spirits.

Here was my menu--a delectable array of the finest that Big Pharma has to offer us poor, weary souls.

The Results of My Very Scientific Experiment:

Effexor: Stabbing electrical pains in the medulla oblongata, followed by a desire to outrun one's demons via fast and reckless highway travel. Occasional belief that one is a squirrel, and must mate with one's kind. Visions of angels coming down from the Heavens and prodding one with fondue forks, coupled with the maniacal laughter of unseen children. Vivid sense that the scent of poo is in the air. Realization that it is one's own poo.

Lexapro: Imbued with a sense that one is a salmon, and one must swim upstream with all deliberation. Attempts to do so in the kitchen sink are met with futility. A wish to eat poisonous plants is followed by a trip to Burger King, where the alarmed kitchen staff find a surprise, naked visitor at the burger station, trying to construct a warrior helmet made entirely of beef patties. The trip home results in vomiting and hearing a choir singing "These Boots Are Made for Walking."

Wellbutrin: Oh, I'm not sure one can talk about this drug. One did very bad things while on it, including a romp through a nearby shopping mall where one tore apart a candy store and ran about shrieking "I am the King Eel! I will bite your duodenum!" However, feelings of anxiety were greatly relieved and one had the best sleep in decades.

Prozac: Feeling great! So not depressed anymore! Except for that weird deadening of all erogenous zones, including the earlobes and buttocks. The feeling got so acute that one started slathering oneself with butter, whipped cream, and other foodstuffs in an effort to feel something, anything! Tried stabbing at self with a butter knife. Wound up lying on a platter with a pomander in one's mouth. A wonderful drug.

Zoloft: Became convinced that this all was just a dream, a lovely dream. Thought the world was an apple or a pomegranate, and one could eat it in one bite. Imagined that one had invented the whole world and all its history in a kindergarten daydream. Finally recognized that one was in Hell, and was attacked by fire, burning lakes, brimstone, hornets, and little fellows with pitchforks. Met with Satan and think he is overrated. Still possibly in Hell, although it is hard to tell, and my gym instructor will not divulge where she learned her craft.

Cymbalta: Depression hurts. Damn it, it even hurts one's damn dog, and other pets. Decided that they would all be better off dead, without one's gloomy presence. Murdered animals with pitchforks and staves in a large ceremony that included a giant Cookie Puss ice cream cake from Carvel as a celebratory after-hours feast. Mmm. Cookie Puss, you are so good. You are one's overlord.

Pristiq: Felt like a wind-up doll that some other, bigger force was controlling. It made one do awful little jigs and pick up the garbage, and perform unnatural acts. Simply frightful.

Xanax: Not an SSRI, but a benzodiazepine. However, after all the other pills and goofballs, needed something to come down and chill-ax. Also needed steely calm to battle the laser-eyed moon marmots, who now outnumber us and will soon overtake the capital.