|Art by Mike Lee|
YOU HAVE NICE SKIN. I'M NOT JUST SAYING that. It's . . . nice. Almost too nice. I mean, it's in good shape and all, but it's also a bit . . . bland. I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean, sure, you've mottled some over the years — a zit scar here, a track mark there, moles — but from where I sit, you are one smooth human.
Have you considered Advertution™?
On your journeys, you may have noticed some of the office-building-shaped 3-D advertisements looming over Highland Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard and along the Sunset Strip. Actually, those are still office buildings, they're simply being more productive by Advertuting™ themselves to the Gap and Levi's and Disney. Same buildings inside, moneymaking Advertutes™ outside.
November 1998: Casa Sanchez (www.casasanchez.com/home.html) in San Francisco's Mission District (2778 24th St., 415-282-2400) begins giving away free lunch forever to anyone who gets a tattoo of its Jimmy the Corn Man™ logo — a vastly sombreroed mariachi straddling an immense Major Kongstyle corncob rocket. With burritos going for $4.50 and your choice of beverage — beer, even — included, daily patrons could conceivably eat the cost of the tattoo in about two weeks. (In a cross-promo, Mom's Body Shop on Haight Street does the full-color inkwork for 80 bucks.)
November 2003: The Walt Disney Co. offers a lifetime of free Disneyland admission to citizens willing to have vinyl Mickey Mouse ears surgically affixed to their heads. Microsoft offers free 2Ghz Pentium V systems with Windows 2004 to Linux users willing to tattoo the Windows logo on their foreheads and attend weekly meetings. God offers eternal happiness to patrons who wear miniature replicas of the instrument of torture used to murder his son every day and attend Microsoft's weekly meetings. Universal Pictures offers to pay funeral expenses plus $250,000 to uninsured terminally ill citizens willing to die onscreen (action-adventure style). AT&T offers free Roaming for Life™ with hypodermal cellular implants from Mom's Implants on Highland. Free batteries, too. Trojans offers free condoms for life to hookers who tattoo the Trojans logo on their thighs, buttocks or foreheads. Calvin Klein offers two weeks in rehab for the same.
Half advertising, half prostitution —
Advertution is The Solution™.
Blimpsign.com of Burbank (www.blimpsign.com) brings portable, modular, inflatable advertising devices to the masses with its Blimpscreen and Blimpboard, from which all manner of visual irritants and/or high-quality consumer entertainment may radiate in the most temporary possible ways. A pleasantly surrealistic, 561Kb time-lapse QuickTime movie (www.blimpsign.com/BlimpA01.mov) encapsulates roughly 15 minutes of setup time into something far more interesting than most CalArts grad-student projects, saving you the drive up to Santa Clarita and the awkward “It was really . . . really good” when the lights come on. Just pull the plug and it practically disappears.
They say caring for pets is good training for bringing up children. One of the Internet's most misspelled pet-tattooing sites, Tatoo-A-Pet [sic] (since 1972) still claims to be the “Worlds [sic] Largest” something, and invites us to download a 3Mb QuickTime movie (www.tattoo-a-pet.com/tattoo.mov) to prove it. “He's a good boy! He's my fella!” we hear as we watch someone wearing nail polish — remember nail polish? — encrypting the fortunate boy/fella's nethertummy with a deep-blue “TNYA 1021.” “Your TV set, VCR, bicycle, and most appliances have serial numbers stamped on them,” the ad copy reads. “This was set up to identy [sic] goods and trip up the criminals . . . If you don't wish to tattoo your pet . . . we offer a lifetime numbered hot line tag, at a one time rate of $25.00 (USD) for all the animals you own.” Incidentally, what are we supposed to do when we find “TNYA 1021” — scan it into our pet-tattoo databases? Suggestion: If you're planning to ink up your pet, consider doing so with a series of non-random characters; e.g., your pet's name, address, phone number, e-mail address. See the beauty of that?
“Don't be surprised if it smells suspiciously like springtime in your neighborhood soon. Chances are your nose is not playing tricks, but has detected the new Mr. Clean Springtime Fresh, the latest Mr. Clean fragrance.” Procter & Gamble, manufacturers of everything without which life itself would cease, is celebrating the 40th birthday of Mr. Clean (www.mrclean.com), the popular muscly mysophobiac who breaks into your house during soap operas, cleans shit up and splits. “Cleaning with Springtime Fresh scent is not only easy, it's invigorating . . . like the sensation of opening a window and letting the smells of spring blow in with the breeze.” (Mr. Clean lives somewhere far, far away.) After you've celebrated with cleaning tips, thrilled to the history section and downloaded your Windows 95 screensaver (www.mrclean.com/mrclean.zip), be sure to visit Procter & Gamble's home page via (www.-) pimples.com, dandruff.com, diarrhea.com, bacteria.com, gums.com, sinus.com, underarm.com, badbreath.com or, if you must, www.pg.com. I'm gonna go close the window.