Truth In Advertising

This comic is a completely true story, except it was less Josh yelling at a Brookstone employee and more me and my wife making fun of all the vibrators masquerading as “personal massagers” on their shelves.

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If you start on the left side of the “massager” section, you see some plausibly legitimate, semi-medical devices. There are some big, sturdy pieces of machinery with multiple rubberized contact points contoured to the shape of the human spine. As you move to the right, it’s like the evolutionary chart of the vibrator. They get smaller and more cylindrical, lower power (more buzzing and less percussing), more ergonomically shaped for one handed use and more focused on stimulating a specific, conspicuously vagina-sized area. The packaging also shows less and less people making the “OUCH! My back hurts!” face and more of the “I’m having a glass of red wine, taking a hot bath, then laying a towel down over my good sheets,” face.

Of course, if you look at it from right to left it just seems like ladies are demanding more and more cumbersome and industrial erotic implements. It’s like the tiny ones on the right are for humans and the multi-pronged jill-hammers on the left are for bears and rhinos and to aid in the collection of bull semen.

In reality, people have been using personal massagers to get themselves off since their inception and some clever marketing person just decided to start designing them towards their actual use rather than their intended purpose. Still, the cheeky box art, exploding with innuendo is rather amusing.

Speaking of bang-machines, have you seen the trailer for Hysteria? It looks pretty great as far as lady-gasm based films go.

COMMENTERS: What’s the silliest “this is totally a vibrator” item you have ever seen in a store? When’s the last time you saw a product advertised as one thing that was CERTAINLY supposed to be used as another thing? Are “massagers” the only industry that does this? Why can’t we just sell vibrators on regular store shelves next to the tupperware? People need to keep their leftovers from spoiling and they need to get off.

The Judas Cradle

[Posted 6/24/11 ] I’m still a few comics behind. Thanks for your patience.

My wife and I took out daughter to the fancy mall a few towns over because it has a nicer indoor playground than the one near our house. I stopped in the Brookstone to poke, fondle and sit on things I had no intention of ever purchasing, as one does. There was a new massage chair which was marked down from $3499 to $2000. What a deal! [Seriously, though. When you can take $1500 off of the price of a useless gadget that no one needs and it still costs over two grand, mistakes are being made on all sides]

Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made a thing! Check out our University of Gallifrey Fighting Time Lords Shirt over at Sharksplode.

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Before you could say,”Memory foam pillow!” I plopped myself down in the pulsating papasan. If Picard had one of these on the bridge, they never would have stopped to check out any unusual pulsars or gas clouds. That is to say, it was a pleasant seating experience. Not phenomenal, but pleasant.It actually had areas (as illustrated above) to insert your forearms and legs. Getting fully situated in this comfort-monstrosity was not unlike suiting up in a battle mech. I half expected a neuro-piston to be driven directly into my brainstem once my limbs were secured. I pressed the “Full Body” button on the remote, but kept my finger hovering over the “Happy Ending” button, just in case the opportunity for full release presented itself.

Just then a salesman walked over, grabbed the remote and said, “Mind if I make some adjustments to increase your pleasure?” As a rule of thumb, this request should always be denied. Regardless of where you are, or who is making it, just say no. The chair latched onto my limbs more tightly and tilted me back so far as to completely remove any chance of escape. He then pocketed the remote out of my reach (literally making me a captive audience) and started reciting his memorized pitch for this particular chair, which I immediately tuned out. Having been in sales for so long, I can always identify the cadence of words that are meant to sound spontaneous but have been spewed for on autopilot so often as to advertise the damage they are doing to the speaker’s will to live. When a sales pitch is repeated by a mortal over 100 times, it becomes of series of killing words. It’s more of a hex, than a list of product attributes. The salesman becomes merely a bullhorn through which this dark monologue is passed on. With each recitation his soul is eroded just a bit more. So, yeah… I wasn’t listening.

I was actually paying more attention to the guy next to him making the hard sale on some kid and his dad for an RC helicopter. How much could commission on a toy helicopter possibly be? A dollar? Two? He actually said, “What do I have to do to get you to take one of these hone today?” It’s a $40 piece of plastic, not a fucking Honda Accord. After my 15 minutes in “The Machine” were up (I had only intended to be there for 5 minutes or so), I grabbed my shoes and muttered something about sending my wife in to try it out before we made a decision. I don’t know why I play those games. We both knew there was no chance in hell I was going to buy an unattractive, impractical chair that cost the same as the nicest computer Apple makes, two 50″ flat screen TV’s or 5 plane tickets. I should have just been honest and said, “Thanks for letting me rub my butt all over your expensive bullshit. Maybe I’ll come back later and buy a digital picture frame for someone I don’t like because that’s a terrible gift.”

STORE NEWS: The HijiNKS ENSUE Store is closed for a few weeks so I can make some big, exciting changes. [READ MORE HERE] In the meantime you can still get shirts from Sharksplode and HE Book 2 from this very site.

INTERVIEWS: I did a really fun interview with Lauren Davis for Gamma Squad, and the full audio of my interview with ABC Australia’s Nerdzilla Podcast is HERE.

COMMENTERS: Have you EVER bought ANYTHING at Brookstone? No? Of course you haven’t. No one has. They are a front for some sinister organization that plans to overthrow the world’s governments with air purifiers and iPod speaker docks. Have you ever pretended to be interested in buying something expensive just so you could play with it? Give me your absolute worst example.