Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Advertising and Mail and Products, oh my!

(Editor's note:  I will freely admit that some of this stuff is outdated, old news. That's because I started this post in mid-November and then abandoned it for reasons I can't remember, but I'm assuming it had something to do with an emergency baby bath or a call from school saying Zoe had another faux illness and wanted to come home.  But, like finding leftovers in the back of the fridge, when I noticed this forgotten post in my drafts folder today I decided I'd better either finally serve it up or toss it out.  So I threw in some new semi-fresh ingredients, mixed it up, and now here it is - your luke-warm, recycled, not-quite-entirely-past-the-expiration-date blog post for the day. Bon appetit.)

Lately I've come across some things that made me think in greater quantities than I wanted to and about topics I didn't really feel like ruminating upon.  Of course in all fairness, I could say that about anything - concentrating is not my strong suit these days.  The first thing was something Gerry pulled up on the computer and showed to me.

This is a real ad in Milwaukee.  I don't know about you, but I think it might  be a little over the top.  I can tell you this for sure: it didn't make me feel even a teeny bit bad about cosleeping with Maddie.  Or my older two, when they were babies.  It probably didn't have much of an effect on the vast majority of cultures worldwide, whose co-sleeping rates are higher and SIDS rates are lower than ours.  Or on the study done at the University of Notre Dame showing that, as long as the parents aren't drunk, strung out out crack, weigh 4,000 pounds, or curl up to sleep in a bean bag chair on the dirt floor of their shack in the wilderness with no heat other than the warmth emanating from the lit end of their burning cigarette, co-sleeping is actually safer.  The ad did have one effect however, which was to make me like Milwaukee a little less, after a lifetime of Milwaukee enjoying my relative ambivalence.

Okay, sorry for the rant.  Luckily for you I feel a little less personally affronted by the next item, so I'll try not to go off on a tangent.  It just made me wonder, "Don't we have pigs in America?"  And that was not something I would have predicted I'd have to wonder.

For one thing, I have to assume that local pigs, not having required first-class airfare and luxury hotel accommodations on their way to my sandwich, would cost somewhat less than $7.29/pound.  Also, I don't care much for the fact that it doesn't specify from where it's imported, partly because some imported ham is described as being "made from the finest hand carved raw materials," which, again, is just a tad too vague a description for a food item, in my opinion.

Then there's this one, from the Camera Roll of Random Pictures on Gerry's cell phone, which I think speaks for itself.  It's just so wrong on so many levels.

I wish I could say I saw this next one in person, but I found in on the innerwebs.  Still, it's out there, somewhere.  Or it was, anyway.

Naturally everyone and their mom got all outraged about it, so Wodka took the billboard down, the result being that now EVERYONE has heard of Wodka, whereas before the controversy only about four people outside of Poland had ever tried it.  Congratulations, activists!  Evidently one of those four people is Martha Stewart, as Wodka has a clip of her on their website doing vodka shots.  Martha's nothing if not classy.

Next, I will introduce you to a major component of my multi-prong plan to never lose my baby weight, which is (get ready to write this down) consuming large quantities of junk food.  One of my latest faves is this caramelly-delicious flavored popcorn.  Are you drooling yet?  I know, this stuff is evil.  Yet still (back me up, here), although I'd never try to describe this as a healthy food, I would say that popcorn is the main ingredient in this snack.  I mean, if you were asking someone to pass it to you, you might say, "Hey, could you hand me that popcorn," or, "Why don't you quit hogging all the popcorn and save some for me," or something  that included the word "popcorn," right?  Well, I thought so too, until I looked at the ingredients (I know, that was dumb) and learned that somehow, though the bag appears to be full of popcorn, popcorn is not the main ingredient.  It's not even second.  No, popcorn is preceded on the list by three different kinds of sugar.  So when referring to this food, now I'm going to have to start saying, "Hey, I suggest you get your hand out of that bag of brown sugar, corn syrup, sugar, and popcorn before I'm forced to smack you around," or something like that.  Or I would, if I hadn't already polished off the whole bag.

There's nothing more entertaining to do while you're wolfing down ham of suspicious origin and sacks of sugar disguised as popcorn than reading the mail.  I'd like to speak with the graphic designer who created this mailer.

I get it - they're saying the personal loan they're offering will help pay off debt you already have.  Or that their personal loan can help you pay for a class where you'll learn to carve large-scale sculptures.  Or whatever - I don't know, I didn't read it.  In any case, we all know that A LOAN IS  A DEBT, but thanks for reminding us of that right on the front of the advertisement in which you're trying to get us to sign up for a new debt loan.

Tired of thinking about money you owe other people?  Have no fear, just crack open the next envelope.  In it I found a bona fide check made out to me (or, made out to me in a name that's no longer legally mine, anyway) - a major cash settlement in a lawsuit I'm not involved with in any way nor do I remember ever hearing about.

You're reading that correctly; I'm officially now a one-pennyionaire.  Or I would be, if I'd cashed it, but I was afraid to due to the dire warning printed above the check: "You should consult your tax professional regarding the impact this distribution will have on your taxes."  Dang IRS, always wanting a piece of every cent I earn.  (Editor's note:  I love how lawyers and investment firms and insurance companies are always acting like everybody has a Tax Professional on staff, just sitting by the phone waiting for you to call him up and consult him about something.  "Yes, I had to consult my Tax Professional regarding the tax implications of firing one of my gardeners and using those funds to hire another private chef, since I expanded the kitchen by 4,000 square feet when we redecorated the maids' quarters."  I'm  my tax professional, buddy, and I can tell you that I don't know diddly squat about the impact of anything  on my taxes.)

And finally, I'd like to share a helpful tidbit from the cover of a parenting magazine.  I'd tell you which magazine, except I let Maddie play with it and she chewed that part off (which I believe they advise against on page 98).  Anyway, parenting magazines in general are full of great advice that you'd probably never figure out on your own, such as this.

Sorry it's so blurry - my camera battery was
running low. Plus I had the sugar jitters from that popcorn.

This was on the cover of the magazine, so teaching us how to sneeze was one of their top stories in that issue (back in 1992, or whenever this was published - I'm a little behind on my reading).  Which actually I shouldn't make fun of - this might've been a Newborn magazine, and heaven knows when you have a newborn you can use all the help you can get.  Really, I guess that's true even if you don't have a newborn.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


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