Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sorry, But It's Time for More Creepy Graphics

While I freaked out at least one reader with my post on the Frankensteinian book jacket, I am compelled to write again about graphic design.

Working as I do at a feed store, I am up close and personal with many products, and get to witness vicariously the joys and sorrows that must be the daily fare of designers and advertisers. For example, one rubber toy YELLS that it is "THE WORLD'S BEST DOG TOY!" (It puts that claim in quotes. Maybe they are "air quotes." How am I to know?) But when I first noticed that string of words I thought, "Huh. I thought THE WORLD'S BEST DOG TOY! was a half-rotted duck rolled in cat poop and buried under a pile of sticks."

Here's the latest product to catch my eye:

My dog--according to this image--will upon receiving this toy become irate/evil (note the eyebrows), take a bunch of meth (note the eyeballs), and slaver after my blood (note the teeth). Not only that, but my dog will ENJOY it (note the self-satisfied grin-like expression).

How, oh how, is this supposed to sell dog toys? Because I don't know about you, but living with an animal descended from wolves, an animal that has a full jaw of sharp teeth and the instincts of a predator, would be frightening enough. I would give my dog toys to soothe it and make it forget that I am weaker and really should be a prey species and have separated it from its kind and forced it to be my entertainment slave. I would not give the dog toys that render it feral and make me have to curl in a ball and try to protect my soft organs.

However, I don't own a dog. I have cats. Which, while always on the verge of ripping open my arm, are rather small and easily-managed. Maybe dog owners like to live in fear. Maybe dog owners want their pets--oops, excuse me, companion animals--to transmogrify and at the same time anthropomorphose into Jack the Ripper.

I guess we all like to live on the edge somehow. Therefore:

Dear Dog Owners (or Friends of Companion Animals if you prefer),

I have enclosed for your enjoyment a dog toy. For your dog. When you give this toy to your dog, you will need to run As Fast as Humanly Possible to your specially-designed anti-wolf/freakish-Jack-the-Ripper-Sweeney-Todd-Ted-Bundy- chimera panic room (not that it'll help, since your dog can run faster).

Or you must Resign Yourself to Fate.

Either way, it'll be good for you! Exercise! Adrenaline! Excitement! Living-on-the-Edge!

We hope you tell your friends about this marvelous opportunity.

Yours Truly,
The World's Most Ill-Conceived Dog Toy Company


arlopop said...

As a dog (companion animal) owner I think the dog illustrated in the graphic shows a distinct level of intelligence and intent (albeit rather predatory) that is all but absent from my pets. My dogs seem to spend most of their lives wondering how they got here and what it was they were intending to do five minutes ago. So anything that might actually encourage some frontal lobe work, regardless of the inherent risk to my well-being, might be welcome.

But then my companion animals are just dim. Which would explain why they're my companions.

Blaize said...

Sorry to hear about your stupid dogs. I have two stupid cats, so I sympathize. And I could send you one of those toys if you think it might make them, well, think.

daimon said...

I want to call myself a flaneur to. here are some scrumptiously archaic terms. here are funny cakes.

Tonia said...

I read your comment on Angelina's post about living with someone as slowly being flayed alive with fine grained sandpaper. I feel like that is a really apt description.-tonia

Blaize said...

Thank you for the links, daimon.

Hey, Tonia. Do you know the myth of Masyas the satyr?

It was his flaying, as described in Ovid's Metamorphses, that I was particularly thinking about.

Tonia said...

I didn't make the connection, though after reading the wiki it sounds vaguely familiar. Reading your comment came literally minutes after I was thinking I would rather have a root canal without anesthesia than continue living with someone. It isn't the person that I am living with that is the issue. It is living with A person, anyone, that is the issue. I think (could totally have this one wrong)Katherine Hepburn said,"Live close and visit often." That could be paraphrased for me as, "Live in a neighboring state and visit sporadically." I too, am not marrying material. Something I was aware of at a young age. I always enjoy reading your comments on Angelina's blog and your postings on this one. -tonia

Jeff said...

amazing blog!

Blaize said...

Thank you, Jeff!

cathy gaubert said...

oh. my. god.
my silent heaving giggles have just roused my baby asleep on my lap.
dang it. but it was worth it.
and now i get to type in 'saxiness'...who comes up with these word verifications??