Monday, August 25, 2008

Trying unsuccessfully to make sense of the world in which I live

While perusing a high quality periodical this week (which is a whole other post in and of itself), I came across something startling. It took me by surprise, and I'll be honest, was more than a little disturbing.

What frightened me were two different full-page advertisements. The first one was for this charming product:


Monkey Cuddles, they call it. A miniature baby monkey wearing a diaper, holding a half-peeled banana to his cheek, and sporting a saucy little bow on top of his head. And all of this adorable cuteness can fit right in the palm of your hand.

Oh, the google searches I'm going to get this week for that paragraph alone.

But really. I must know.

WHO BUYS THESE?

I am guessing old ladies in housecoats and slippers, who shuffle happily between their shelves full of Marie Osmond dolls, and the yellow pictures of grandchildren from 1968 still on the walls. These are probably the same suckers victims who willingly send all their life savings to Mr. Liu Yan and his many relatives who have billions of dollars trapped in overseas banks. (Oh, Liu. All the horror, and yet you somehow manage to still send eight emails to me every day. You're such a trooper).

That demographic I kind of get. I will never BE that person, but I can begrudge the old ladies their little treasures. Whatever.

But this one I will never understand. Here we have disturbing advertised product number two:


Yes, a skeleton wearing blue jeans and a leather vest, riding a Harley that is decorated with other skeleton heads, and proudly sporting a pirate flag on the back of the bike.

Please help me understand. WHAT DEMOGRAPHIC IS BUYING THIS?

I could be wrong, but I just don't picture a tough, tattooed, chiseled biker taking the time to order himself a porcelain figurine. What would he do with it? Do you think he would put it in his curio cabinet that's full to the brim with miniature tchotchkies, and then proudly display it at his next Hells-on-Wheels meeting, where he and his crew eat homemade tea cakes that he tenderly serves on lace doilies?

Yeah. Not likely to happen.

And I'm not imagining granny in her housecoat wants the biker skeleton, either.

I really hope somewhere in this world is a factory full of unsold figurines. Because that would mean nobody bought this crap, and my life, as I know it, would still make sense to me.

Unfortunately, I am sure there are many a parcel in the mail today with these very things in them.

I think I must be missing the tchotchkie gene. Because I just don't get it.

[My apologies to any readers who actually own these items. Please unsubscribe from my blog. We clearly have nothing in common. You are definitely in the wrong place if monkey and skeleton figurines are your thing. No hard feelings, okay?]

40 comments:

♥Shally said...

I guess I must unsubscribe... **sigh**

Just kidding.

Both of those things equally scare the crap out of me...

Emily said...

I'm unlurking (you showed up as a suggested blog in my google reader) to tell you that I laughed so hard I cried while reading this. My knick-knack free self can safely subscribe to your blog.

Emily said...

Whatever Stie, I totally saw one of those biker skeletons on Josh's dresser last tike I was at your house. Nice try!

Queen B said...

Weird. Totally weird.

And I'm quite thankful you (and I) didn't get the gene.

Michael said...

I guess this is my official farewell to this subscription. It's been fun reading your blog, but I just can't part with my biker skeleton pirate or my little monkey cuddles...

I just shuddered when I wrote that last line about the little monkey cuddles. I guess I'll stay subscribed. But if you ever diss my figurines and curios again, that's it.

diane said...

I love the label on this post. I bet there are trailer parks filled with this junk.

Rochelleht said...

You can buy this tchotchkie for only 19 millions United States dollars.

What I want to know is: What were you doing reading the Enquirer? Enquiring minds wanna know!

Kimberly said...

Is that monkey actually a more expensive version of a littlest pet shop toy? Hmmm...weird?!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

Ah, I was so hoping you were going to give me one of them as a birthday present this year! MAN, now I have to find something else! I wouldn't want to make my triplet sister buy something she wouldn't want to have as a gift herself!

Amber said...

My BlogHer roommates thought the same thing about the bacon mints we saw in China Town. But then I was the one who bought and inflicted them upon everyone. Maybe it is the same for those dear treasures you found....

Kristy said...

The scary part? I probably work with or have worked with families that would own the skeleton biker. Remember, biker dude probably has a biker mama or girlfriend/wife that has to decorate his palace. Or maybe it's the kind of thing a kid gives his Hell's biker dad for Father's Day or other special occasion? It reminds me of the knick-knacks they sell at convenience stores/gas stations.

The good thing? I can safely keep subscribing to your column. Michael's comment is hilarious!

Robyn said...

I had to look up tchotchkie...now that I know what it means, I have to agree...I'm missing the tchotchkie gene too! Thank goodness! Those monkey cuddles just don't do it for me. Maybe the "coming soon" versions will be better...love the banana wagon! You're so funny!

andrea said...

1. item number one is sort of like sea monkies. remember sea monkies? you KNOW you wanted some of those.

2. item number one is also like monchichi. remember monchichi? you KNOW you had one.

3. item number three is probably purchased by a son for his mother. a biker son. it's a way of connecting the generations. you are cold and callous to mock so openly that which unites a divide.

when's your birthday? you're getting both.

D-dawg said...

I have no words. Those little items both scare me. I love your label though!

Annemarie said...

Both are utterly disturbing, but the monkey one I actually have a harder time with. FRIGHTENING.

Bridget said...

Andrea with the monchichis. That cracked me up. I totally remember those things.

Yes, those items are very, very scary. Apparently there is a market for that crap.

Christy said...

I don't like having anything displayed in my house that doesn't have a useful purpose - hence I have a very dull house. Those monkeys remind me of trolls. Whenever I come across something like this I repeat my mantra: It takes all kinds to make the world go round.

Laurie said...

The monkey is the scariest, but I did see a Dateline/Primetime/20/20 on people who raise monkeys as their children (there's now a rescue home and everything). My guess is it's those folks/freaks who buy the monkey cuddles.

crystal said...

I'll tell you who the demographic is: old ladies in housecoats & slippers who have a son who is a tough Harley biker.

And Harley-biker-son has a birthday coming up.

Holly said...

I can't decide which is more disturbing. I think the monkey because behind the veiled monkey baby innocence is something highly disturbing. At least the skeleton is just a skeleton, Harley or not.
Still. Creepy.

Holly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You just know some little old granny is going to get that skeleton for her biker grandson this year for Christmas! :)

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

You mean I have to unsubscribe? After all this time? JK

Lisa-Marie said...

Hey, thanks! You've helped me get a jump on my Christmas shopping. I have a mother in law who would really like that monkey!!!!

Kristi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristi said...

I just stumbled across your blog and love it already. I had just had the pleasure of meeting this little fellow in a magazine recently and had a god laugh. There was another little monkey figurine that my family and I had been passing pictures of back and forth and then I stumbled on this little guy. I agree, who really buys these things? Who comes up with them? I can't wait to read more of your posts.

Kimberly said...

I think you should add to the list the "lifelike baby figurines." Those are creepy.

Jenibelle said...

My sister in law has the motorcycle one proudly displayed in her kitchen. No joke.

White trash r us.

3leftturns said...

Now I have something to display next to my Dungeons and Dragons figures... Do they take Visa?

Anna said...

I have to say the demographic for those little darlings is the same demographic buying the high quality periodical where they are advertized. OUCH!

Lauren in GA said...

I will gladly give up my biker and scary monkey figurines for the sake of our friendship.

Seriously, this post had me laughing so hard...you bring up some very valid points...what self respecting biker would order that?

Perhaps his, "old lady" would order a biker figurine...and by, "old lady" I don't mean a cute little grandma in a housecoat...hmmm, maybe a housecoat made of leather?

Nikki said...

Oh my goodness you made me laugh SO hard with this post!! Love it!

Anonymous said...

What trips me out is that you used the word "chiseled" to describe a biker. Here on the west coast, it's more like beer bellies floppin over Levi's! Add that vision to your list of distrubing things!

calibosmom said...

This kind of stuff actually makes me angry-a TOTAL waste of resources!!! It's just like when teachers hand out pencils instead of candy for Halloween. I"D RATHER THEY HAVE THE CANDY!!! At least it doesn't fill up my junk drawer. BTW, SCHOOL STARTED AND I"M HOME ALONE!!!

Lynsie said...

I have to say the monkey scares me more than the biker skeleton.
And I do love your analogy of what tattoo'd biker would do with one of these... hehe

wenderful said...

Thanks for that post. I smell a white elephant for the next Christmas Elder's Quorum party. Which periodical?

Chrysanthemama said...

Yikes, I'd definitely say "white elephant" like the previous poster!

Ashley said...

Because I love reading blogs, and i blog surf a lot, I found your blog. This picture caught my attention only because I saw it this past weekend in our Sunday Newspaper.....I was like "what in the world? Who would even want to have this in their home"...I kinda wanted to know how many that company sold and it its a lot, I'm going to start making stupid scary stuff for my get rich quick scheme.

Ilene said...

THANK YOU! I have been wanting to a post about these lame accessories forever but was too lazy and your version is way better than the one in my head.

Next on the list of things to critique are the clothing items advertised in the coupon sections of Sunday papers- you know, those crazy grandma bras, circulation-helping pantyhose, and house coats.

Wendi said...

Don't be hating on my collections!
I hope to pass them on to my children one day.

I have your addy...don't think one of these babies won't show up on your doorstep one day unexpectedly.
I am just saying.