Airport security. It’s only ever a problem if you look like someone who would blow up a plane or do something stupid in an airport. For every exaggerated story you hear of a 90-year-old woman being anally fisted by a TSA worker with a superiority complex there’s several thousand inspections where the only conversational exchange is “Please step through the detector. Thank you, enjoy your flight.” Airport security isn’t the worst thing about flying, in fact walking past a row of apathetic and self-hating people of various heights and weights is almost like walking through a carnival house of mirrors in a sense. The worst thing about flying? Fucking SkyMall.
There’s a copy of a SkyMall catalog sitting in the seat pouch of every seat on every plane in the United States. Seriously. SkyMall’s pages are full of bullshit so inane the only way they ever make any money is by boring you to fucking death. When you’re in the middle of a three-hour flight the only way to waste time is to dare a conversation with the person sitting next to you, tamper with the smoke detector in the bathroom, or read the magazines sitting in the pouch in front of you. The in-flight proprietary magazine is always crap and all of the articles are about places you’ll never visit or musicians you introspectively correct yourself on because you thought they died a decade ago. That leaves SkyMall and the only way a 7-way car charger would ever look enticing is if the only other available option for entertainment involved jumping out of a moving plane.
After one SkyMall-enhanced flight too many I realized I had enough. No more SkyMall. I found myself cynically bashing and berating every product in the magazine while sniveling and coloring peoples’ eyes in. And then I had an epiphany. I should make fun of this shit online.
During the flight I formulated the idea for what would become the website “The Sharperer Image“. I decided to visit SkyMall.com and download a couple hundred product pictures that I found personally appealing and began altering their ad copy to something a bit more spiteful, sentient, disgusting, and deplorable. My goal wasn’t to make fun of just The Sharper Image (an actual American company who sells things through SkyMall) but to instead parody it with a company that seemingly knows their products are total shit and unabashedly produces them anyways knowing people are too stupid to know any better. I only settled on a name based off of The Sharper Image because it was the easiest to mock and because nobody in their right minds can fucking spell “Hammacher Schlemmer”.
Is the company the “sharper” image? Hell no. They’re not even the sharpest. They’re sharper than sharpest; they’re sharperer.
I even invented a whole mythology for the fictional company. In 2004 the actual Sharper Image company faced lawsuits from their Ionic Breeze air ionizers due to the fact that they produced ozone as a byproduct. Ozone is great and all, it’s in our ozone layer (hence the name), but ozone itself is incredibly toxic to living things. It can straight up kill small animals, damage and scar plants, and in humans can cause respiratory illnesses and even failure due to prolonged exposure. In 2008 the company went bankrupt, and that’s where the story of The Sharperer Image begins.
Cited from The Sharperer Image’s company profile:
The company was rapidly falling apart but in the midst of the chaos of the bankruptcy a new brand was formed: The Sharperer Image. Spearheaded by a nondescript and unknown sentient force The Sharperer Image permeated the factories and production lines of the former Sharper Image facilities and began autonomously churning out the same high quality white collar products that originally made Thalheimer a millionaire with the sole exception of translating every products’ ad copy into a bizarre mish-mash of insults, pop culture references, and blatant hatred for humanity.
Yes, a haunted factory; one that produces terrible products that are sold in airport catalogs and to elderly retired people who don’t know any better.
The website itself is relatively knew, but it looks promising. It’s an authentic GatorAIDS/Twilight Foundry venture, so the people running The Sharperer Image are the same people you know and love from GatorAIDS. If you have a Tumblr, follow us. If not, bookmark us and check us out. The “update schedule” shows the average work week of the company. As it stands for the month of April we’ll have a new product every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Sunday we post fake meeting notes summarizing the numbers, highs, lows, and other odds and ends from the week prior. Saturdays are “Q&A” days where readers can submit us questions, comments, or product concerns for the company to look at and address. (You can submit questions throughout the week, but we only post answers on Saturdays.)
If you’re curious as to what gets produced by The Sharperer Image, then continue on. Below are some of the better submissions in the short time we’ve been online:
The product that started it all, the “Fart Recorder”, was based upon what I think was some kind of steam-therapy system for people with asthma or something to that extent. I looked right at it and in an instant said “she’s probably smelling a fart in that” and from there an entire website idea was born.
SkyMall sells a ton of stupid “LED laser” hair regrowth products. I would imagine -4 of them perform their intended duties. If you showed this to me, without any logos or text on it, and asked me what I thought it was I’d tell you it was one of those coasters they give you a TGI Friday’s that buzzes and chimes when your table is ready, so that’s exactly how I spun this item.
With this product I knew what was actually being sold: that giant nylon chair. They put a little guy in it to introduce it as a “novelty” but it’s actually just a nice way of saying “this giant chair is for obscenely fat people and can hold up to 600 pounds without ripping apart”. When I looked at the picture I decided to take a different route: sell the guy sitting in it. He looks like Teller (of Penn & Teller fame) so I figured why not? Then, as a joke I underhanded in the original chair with its own item number just because.
Part of the hilarity of SkyMall’s tat is that when you take away the name of a product and just show someone the picture sometimes it’s incredibly hard to guess what the original product was. Taken out of context, this item (which was a motion-detecting dog food bowl) looks like some kind of radar device with poorly Photoshopped food pellets in it that happen to look like Skittles candies being activated by a dog. Therefore, it’s just that: a device to let your dog, and your dog only, eat Skittles. It kills everything else.
This is another one of those “what the hell am I looking at” things when you take it out of context. Obviously it’s a pair of swimming goggles, however the confusion arises when you look at all the buttons and dongles hanging off of it and wonder just what the hell its purpose is. It’s actually an underwater MP3 player (stupid, I know hur hur) but I looked at all the controls and buttons and said “you know that would be better off as something that lets you understand dolphins”.
This product right here was an instant hit with our growing audience. It originally was a ridiculous puzzle cube that you put money inside of to give as a gift to someone; they can only get the money out if they solve the puzzle. I looked at this and saw an easy sick Republican joke in there, something about “making people work for their money”. One thing led to another and the ad copy turned out being hilariously spiteful, but unfortunately spot-on as far as American politics are concerned…
The Sharperer Image is something I’m really proud of and very excited about, and it’s kind of where I’ve been for most of the period that I’ve been MIA from GatorAIDS. Please check us out, and please pass us along to your friends. I’m very new to Tumblr so I’m learning as I go, but the response so far has been very reassuring!
I read a lot of books on a lot of different subjects. If you asked me what my favorite kinds of books are,\ generally I’d tell you that I enjoy reading literature on reptilian biology, media criticism, and the occasional humor compilation. That’s what my bookshelves consist of: one for sarcastic quips on everything, one for critical (and sometimes satirical) analysis of media, and one for an assload of books on dinosaurs, dragons, reptiles, and anything else that would make you believe my nickname “Dracophile” was earned and not self-appointed. It goes without saying one of my favorite stores to shop at is Half Price Books, a chain of second-hand retail stores that sends out coupons every so often and whenever I get them my inner Jew comes out and I go out and buy a fifty pound stack of books that I won’t finish off until, well, the next time they send me coupons I guess. If all I ever buy are installments of Roger Ebert’s Your Movie Sucks Shit Through A Straw and crusty old copies of PlayDragon then nothing can really explain what the hell I was doing in the cat section where I inevitably found the subject of today’s article.
Maybe during my mindless meandering throughout the store I was subconsciously looking for a copy of I Can Has Cheezburger to use as emergency toilet paper but I cannot be certain. Regardless, my search landed me upon a copy of 128 Ways To Say “I Love You” To Your Cat, an advice book that’s about as retarded as it sounds. Every single page of this book is full of life ruining “advice” so mindlessly bizarre and insane that the only person capable of writing this is what you would literally define as “crazy cat lady” and to be honest that same archetype is the only demographic this book could possibly be marketed to. Well, crazy cat people and Internet humorists, I guess. This book does not contain 128 ways to show affection for your cat, it instead showcases 128 different ways for you to become even more socially retarded than you already are, irreparably damage relationships, or die alone and surrounded by fifty cats that will most likely try to eat your rotting carcass because, as you know, that’s what true love is (and every voraphile’s wet dream come true). Apparently the author has fooled one too many people with this advice because the copy I purchased was clearanced out at one dollar which means people were obviously getting tired of this furry fortune cookie; this book was written for me, I was meant to find it in that Half Price Books.
There are 128 pages of “advice” in this book, but for the purposes of convenience — and being able to invoke Fair Use by means of media criticism to avoid having my ass sued by a cat molester — here are a select few of Fancy Feast proportions. (Like with any graphic-intensive article you can click any image to enlarge it.)
In the preface of the book author Beth Pratt-Dewey details her first kitty encounter that turned her on to companions of the feline variety. Every bit of sexual innuendo in the previous sentence was entirely intentional. In her story she talks about how she met her first cat in a supermarket parking lot, let it ride in her car, and that it vomited in the car as well. Despite the fact that her backseat was now covered in bile and undigested Whiskas cat treats her instinct was not to throw the cat out of the window while going 70 MPH but to instead keep it because the cat’s antics were “cute”. Replace “cat” with “homeless man” in her story and read it again. I’m willing to bet if she gave a ride to a homeless hitchhiker and he threw up in her car she wouldn’t say “Awww how adorable I’m taking you home with me forever and ever and EVER!!” No, she would say “What the fuck? GROSS. Get out. GET OUT OF MY CAR!”
To compliment her newfound furry friend Beth decides that felines with weak stomachs are suitable sources for relationship advice and regardless of the nature of your significant other, be it a millionaire or international superstar, if your pathetic cat hisses at him you know he can’t possibly be good enough for you, right?
The advice on this page isn’t so much an “I Love You” because it’s more like “How to Not Be a Total Dick to Your Cat or Any Animal You May Own”. I’m not even highlighting this page for the advice printed on it anyway, I’m including it for the advice it infers in the picture. If you’ve ever even heard of optical illusions then you’ve most likely encountered the “pop cube” illusion, a wireframe cube figure with accompanying text that asks you if the cube is facing toward you or away from you; it’s a perspective and depth illusion just like the “do you see a vase or two kissing people” image. I invite you to take a second look at the 51st page of advice, then, and see if you notice anything that seems to flicker in and out of perspective like that. Give up? Our cat owner is either comfy and cozy under the covers of her bed or is sporting a huge (but strangely placed) erection… most likely because of Fluffy. See it now? Great! Now you can’t unsee it.
It’s not nice to kick your cat off of the bed, but if you find yourself feeling yiffy at three in the morning it’s okay to use Fluffy as an outlet for your lack of a sex life.
There are times when I realize that this book is clearly not meant to be taken completely seriously but when anecdotes like these are nestled in between small nuances like “don’t roll over in bed” and “only buy MeowMeow the best kitty litter” it blurs the reasoning behind everything, and besides, you know there are awful people out there who regretfully had kids and don’t take care of them because MeowMeow deserves only the best. This advice boils down to outright child abuse, favoring a pretentious animal that hates your guts over another being that has the capacity to demonstrate affection. Perhaps if I didn’t know of any cases off hand I wouldn’t be so inclined to include this page, seething with hatred over the matter. It’s an awful thing to imagine, but somewhere out there someone has a cat and a newborn child and only one of them gets showered with attention. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
Declawing cats is something that is largely debated among people who use their furry friends as crotch warmers and those who just couldn’t care any less. Personally? I can tolerate cats to an extent but they are by no means my favorite animal but even I consider declawing a pretty awful practice. If you aren’t familiar with what it actually entails in summary it’s a permanent solution to Patches ruining your furniture by having the final small bone of his toes cut off at the joint. To compare it to you, the reader, that’s like someone giving you a manicure by severing the end sections of your finger where your fingernails grow; yes it is painful, and yes having it done to your cat is so far from the opposite of saying “I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH” that in an Orwellian future such as the one where this book takes place it can only be summarized with “double plus ungood”. How can you make up for going all Jason Voorhees on your kitty’s paws? You can buy him fake nails.
Because that certainly makes everything okay. Dick.
I cannot speak fully on behalf of dating websites and dating services because as much as I should probably be using them I don’t so I don’t know if there’s a checkbox or a field for “Has a photo album of his/her cat and desperately wants to show it to you”. I may not be a relationship counselor but I do know that anybody who wanders around carrying a scrapbook of their cats is basically carrying around a 14″ x 14″ box of Boyfriend Repellent with a heaping helping of “holy shit that’s awkward and creepy” for good measure. By the time you spiral this far down into cat insanity you’ll likely be about 20 years past the “do-able” stage of your life anyways, your obsession with cats and wearing sweaters made of your pets’ fur having ensured you’ve lived a lonesome life, so in essence the lonely middle-aged individuals carrying these books around may as well be showing you a book of their biggest mistakes in life, all of which happen to be cat-related.
If you’re ever cornered by one of these individuals there is no escape. You will be converted into a makeshift life counselor and be forced into reading all 47 chapters of The Adventures of Sandy and Her Cat Muffins including its work-in-progress sequel How I Died Alone. By the time they’re done you will be the one needing counseling, so run. Run fast, very fast.
Assuming their disposition still lands them a mate (perhaps a misappropriation of the term “cougar” mislead someone) there’s always the chance that after years and years of thinking imitating a cat is “sexy” they may actually chase their significant other away; for the record, asking your lover to role play as either Simba or Nala is most commonly the straw that breaks the camel’s back in these relationships. With people so jaded into treating their cats like their own kids there’s a high probability they’ll end up filing custody suits over their recent divorcee demanding ownership of Froo Froo (and likely child support until the animal dies because they don’t live past 18). If only it were legal to marry your pets these people wouldn’t be holding up the courts with their petty arguments and suits; they would instead be holding up regular church services by having weddings constantly while forcing government officials to take time off of their busy schedules of taking bribes to consider if polygamy laws apply to pet marriages, and while the government is too busy attending to psycho pet owners’ demands for attention… 9/11 Part II happens.
Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. I saw it in a movie on Lifetime.
And finally, if all else fails and your lifestyle has led you down a depressing road in life where you’ve chased away your lovers, resorted to having sex with your cat, disowned your children, chopped your cat’s fingertips off, made a scrapbook out of your cat’s life, and finally divorced your husband because he thinks your cat obsession is scary you can always sit down and put together a list 127 of the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made and make #128 a killer hook meant to troll anybody looking to make fun of you and your book, you sneaky little cat fucker.
I’m on a roll with these “10 Years After” columns, really. I’ve done Pokemon, Ace of Base, and the actual 00’s decade itself. In the aforementioned article about the decade in review I had a section about how far Nickelodeon Studios has fallen from grace and a phrase from what I wrote got me thinking; the phrase in question being “somewhere around the Nickellennium the train derailed and crashed through the side of the Fail Station”. The “Nickellennium” as it was called was part of a whole Y2K marketing thing that Nickelodeon started to ring in the new millennium, and while the previously mentioned quote was only part of a larger joke it actually reminded me of said marketing campaign. I started thinking about Nickellennium.
For those of you who are too young or just don’t remember, Nickellennium was actually a six-hour long movie (no commercial breaks either) that cataloged the thoughts, dreams, ideas, and hopes of kids from around the world as to what they thought about the future. It really was a monumental undertaking and likely the last good thing Nickelodeon has ever produced, but I mean… seriously, putting an 11-year-old in front of the camera and asking him about the future is only going to end in him saying something he’ll regret when he’s in his 20’s. I thought about it and wondered what it would be like to revisit that production a decade later to gauge either how close or how far we are from everything that was said in the film because I’m expecting it to be hilariously skewed towards “THIS MILLENNIUM SUCKS SO FAR”, but mostly just because I’d like to make sure Frank (9, Georgia) cringes when he is reminded “in the future maybe we can talk to dolphins”.
Nickelodeon aired Nickellennium only once (four times on January 1st, 2000) and has never aired it again since. I scoured the Internet for copies of the film (either VHS or torrent) and came up with nothing. Not even a YouTube mashup, just two commercials. I went as far as contacting Viacom in regards to obtaining a copy as well as explaining my reasoning about “you should air it again since it’s been a decade”… but since they are Viacom they ignored my letter completely. I didn’t even get a form letter in return, I guess Viacom doesn’t bother to contact you unless you infringe their copyrights by uploading a homemade iCarly music video celebrating your love interest in Miranda Cosgrove on YouTube (not speaking from experience of course). My last resort was to get in touch with my awesomely cool friends at Everything Is Terrible! to see if perhaps somewhere in their vast library of VHS tapes they had a copy of Nickellennium but sadly they did not. They get a special shout-out anyway though because of the aforementioned amounts of awesome they possess. Buy their movie. I mean it.
By now you’re probably saying “welp Dracophile looks like you can’t find a copy of it may as well not post anything” but that’s where you’re wrong. More wrong than the dolphin guy. Nickelodeon went all out with this year 2000 stuff and they published two books that were essentially Nickellennium without the wacky zany musical interludes about the future and spaaaaaace. One of them is called The Future According to Kids, and you bet your ass I tracked down a copy of that. If I can’t relish in the memories of Y2K by sitting on my butt and watching a grainy VHS tape I can do so with a brightly colored book. My intentions were to revisit the thoughts and hopes of the children interviewed and gauge how close (or far) we are to their aspirations, and damn it that’s what I’m going to do. But first, let’s start with the other of the two books, ______’s Book of the Future, a blank “scrapbook” that you could fill out with your favorite things at the time of the new year and other little odds and ends like “the price of a gallon of gas in 2000” so that when when our SUV’s drink all of the dinosaurs we can look back and say “wow I remember when $3.00 a gallon was cheap!”
I bought a copy of this book secondhand and one of two things was going to happen, either it was going to be filled out by someone already and I could make fun of his (or her) thoughts on the future or it would be blank and I could scribble in some witty banter on my own time. Turns out both are true! The previous owner of this book managed to write his name on the cover… and nothing else. I guess he did that so he wouldn’t forget his name in the new millennium. Anyway, here’s some scans of
Danny’s Dracophile’s Book of the Future.
(Click any page to enlarge it.)
RFSHQ won’t be RFSHQ unless we have approximately five million mad-lib comics. Mr Fuzzy offers something new with Calvin & Hobbes. We can’t disrespect it that much, so most of us honored the comic strip by imitating the humor of it. Sort of?
– The RFSHQ Forums
Just recently in school we were given books called Word Power. Our English teacher is making us use these so we have a “better vocabulary” and sound more intelligent when we talk. Look, I know these words… I just choose not to use them. If I did ponder about this inkling and indeed vocalize using these extravagant pieces of language then most people would not be able to comprehend what I was speaking about. See what I mean? You have to read that sentence more than once unless you’re an English major, or have no sense of humor… in which case you’re an English major.
Anyways, I was reading through the pages. Not really reading, more like flipping through them to get a breeze on me, when I came across a chapter that had vocabulary words for sex on one page and on the very next page were words about religion.
Section 5. of sex and the tongue
Section 7. under and over (oddly named chapter of Religion part)
Those two don’t mix. However, with today’s high standards of school learning about God whilst learning how to properly court a female would be acceptable learning in the 11th grade. So… heads up! Professor Draco is going to teach you how to date a full-on religious chick using these fine words from Word Power.
Firstly, lets get to know our words before we begin this lesson:
libidinous — pleasure
lascivious — wantonness, desire
lubricious — slippery
licentious — permission
lewd — sexually inappropriate
lust — desire
Libidinous, lascivious, lubricious, licentious, lewd, and lust are six adjectives that indicate sexual desire and/or activity. Next, lets learn about the words of God, right on the next page:
agnosticism — skepticism of god
theos — god (greek)
monothiesm — beleif in one god
polythiesm — beleif in many gods
atheism — beleif in no god
Now on to the lesson. Let’s say you’re at church one day and you have the sudden urge to bang the lights out of the your choir’s hot main singer. Well, using the words you learn today, you can! Yes! Even the ugliest holy man can get some booty! The following script is what will happen 99% of the time. Follow this and remember this and you are almost guaranteed some ass!
You: “Hey _______ that was some nice singing you did today.”
Girl: “Thanks ________ I’m glad you liked it.”
You: “How about you and me go out and get a bite to eat later?”
Girl: “Sure that sounds fun!”
You: “Hey, ________, listen. Recently I’ve had the lust of getting your licentious to libidinous myself in your lubricious yum yum. Your monotheism makes me so hot.”
If all goes well, the fact that you saying monotheism makes you horny combined with all those big words, you should actually get ass right in that restaurant. If not, well at least the confession booth is right there.
What you can also do if you’re a pedophile is write a book. Since all those sex words start with L you can make a Dr. Seuss rip off!
Lewd Larry Laid Lots of Lubricious Labia and Launched Load in Lucy’s Lascivious Lips.
It’s just that simple everyone!
And if you’re already out of school and married, then hump! Because God says it’s okay! Or, at least, this book does.