hello, dear reader, this page is me being crabby about things I see as wasteful and stupid, worthy of ridicule because they are so clueless about what's real in life, how things work or what a person needs to be happy.  if you enjoy snark and sometimes find yourself shaking your head at a dumb new product that doesn't fill a need, only the landfill, then read on.  you have now been disclaimed.




We gladly accept your nominations for the 
Gift Basket From Hell.


STINKY STUFF,
NASTY FLAVORS

very possibly the most ridiculous product ever, ever, ever. (although it was a close race with the thing that puffs chemical smoke in the air over and over, apparently hypnotizing family members...) if you follow the above link, you'll find a list of several different "stories" you need to check on - each comprised of five "scents" (read: artificial chemical smells with odd and decorative names - and we DO like the names) that "play" on a special "player" (which you must also buy of course), and the cherry on top is the celebrity sponsor - a woman described as "An artist [whose] vision applies creativity and inventive thinking to every facet of life." (ever seen any concert footage?  this chick strikes her single, imagined thigh-minimizing pose and, aside from tossing her head and carefully waving her arms, does not move for an hour as she hoots and howls her songs which all sound the same.)  but after all, "Because the scents change every 30 minutes, your nose never gets bored."  yep, you Need this Now, America.  also see mark morford's take on this appliance from hell.
new stinky smells or funny flavornames I've found since fall 2004 - I've made the effort not to duplicate any of the gems archived below.
Bacon Chip with Cheese
(cookies for dogs)
Oceania
Angel Whispers
(... have a smell??)
Spring Showers (ouch)
Creamy Custard (this is a smell, not a flavor - hmmm)
Garden Bliss
Refreshing Spa (eat it? smell it? who knows?)
Day at the Seashore
Lightning Twist
Pacific Surge (kinda poor taste, huh?)
Morning Fresh (as vs. Original Fresh and Island Fresh, below)
Sport (as vs. Pure Sport, below)
Guess the Mystery Flavor (that's what it says)
Baking With Grandma (why not actually, you know, bake something?)
Clean Impact
Empowermint (good one!)
Fresh Meadow (no donkeyberries)
Mountain Rain (as vs. all the other kinds of rain, below)
Donkeyberry Punch
Lightning (deodorant! yow!)
Warm Vanilla Sugar (soap - sounds sticky)
Sparkling Wave
Fresh Charge
Cool Charge
Crisp Breeze
Harmonization
Holiday Traditions
Holiday Celebrations
Rush
Waterfall Mist
Light Breeze ("...will blow you away")
Clean Slate
Cool Rush (apparently Cooler than just Rush, above)
Silver Ice
Ocean Energy
Morning Garden (far, far different and better than any of the garden smells below)
Spring Splash (byproduct of the Spring Showers, above?)
Fresh Rapids (there are very few Stagnant Rapids, but o well)
and the amazing, unimaginable Ionic

ALERT!  HORRIBLE NEW PRODUCT: A STINKY THING THAT HOLDS UP THE TOILET PAPER ROLL.
(scent: paradise breeze! 
does this make you laugh, too?)
AND NOW THEY URGE YOU TO 
"FIND IT IN THE AIR CARE AISLE!"

  I've become interested in the not-of-this-earth scents and flavors that american manufacturers feel are necessary to decorate their unnecessary products with.  even more fascinating and repellent are the names given the awful chemical concoctions sending bad molecules up your nose into your tender brain.  I've started collecting them.  some of the names aaaaalllllmost mean something - they evoke an idea that upon closer examination dissolves.  but some are exhileratingly dizzy.

did this all begin with ranch dressing?

I THINK WE HAVE ANOTHER CHAMPION WEIRD ONE HERE:
how about the quite-nazi 
Alpine Purity (tm)
and its brother
Marine Purity (tm)

Another weird ad line: 
"Coming soon!  New Intuition Cucumber Melon" 
RUN!!

THANK YOU FELLOW CURMUDGEON JG ("CATHY COOK") FOR THESE MYSTERIOUS (and REAL) SCENTS
arabian night (tm)
carmen's hat (tm)
dragon's blood 
forest dew(tm)
good earth (tm) (and yuck)
havanna (sic) blue
india moon (tm)
latin lover (tm) (say what?)
magic garden (tm)
matador (woo!)
misty mountain (tm)
mysteriosa
night queen
nirvana (tm) (smells like teen spirit, no doubt)
peace of mind (tm) ("tm"?)
polo crest (tm) (toothpaste for ponies?)
sensuality
sky
summer day (tm)
zen (tm)

ATTENTION ATTENTION - HERE'S ONE THAT RANKS (!) RIGHT UP THERE WITH "RANCH"
roasted ranchero

FOR SPEED FREAKS 
impact (ouch)
peak ("peak?" what does "peak" smell like?)
victory (smells like cordite, blood and oil)
icy blast
extreme red rush
crazy berry bolt
overdrive
orange action (cheney's favorite)
island blast (bikini, perhaps?)
triple berry shock
electric blue raspberry
adrenalin 
energy 
energy rush 
extreme blast 
mountain rush 
spring burst 
thunder punch 

WEATHER-THEMED 
outdoor fresh (possibly related to "outdoor spring," see below)
soft ocean mist ("bring the relaxing experience of the beach home to your clothes" - contains sand, perhaps? what does it smell like? never mind)
mystic rain (oh please!)
glistening snow
strawberry breeze
sunshine clean
fresh rain (as vs... ?)
sun fresh
after the rain 
bright sky 
gentle breeze 
frost 
meadow rain 
orange breeze 
outdoor spring 
rainshower 
raspberry rain 
satin breeze 
sunny days 
cool shower
sunkissed breeze

SEASONS OF YOUR NOSE 
sense of spring (?)
outdoor spring (not the ones in your bed?)
the smell of christmas®
spring burst
spring renewal 
spring waterfall 
spring water
summer berries 
summer fresh 

COLD-THEMED 
cool & clean (get this:) ®!
cool wave
fresh charge
cool charge
icy blast
glacial falls
metallic ice (?)
tropical chill (huh?)
fresh snow
natural cool
arctic force 
cool fusion 
icy surge 
frost 
cool shower

SAY WHAT?
whisper (get it? har har)
soft 
linen sunshine (which they translate into spanish as "ropa blanca con rayas de sol" - "white clothes with sunbeams" - even better)
amber and wild rose (amber has a smell? dead ants?)
vitamins
sea minerals
sun fresh
mountain fresh
holiday memories
tropical moment
healthy tropical sensation (too much info)
italian-style wedding
country (yep, just "country")
caribbean catch
outdoor (that's right, just "outdoor")
straight 
fresh baby
auto 
fresh cotton 
fresh paradise 
fresh rush 
fun nuggets 
mud & bugs 
powder fresh 
powder pearls 
pure sport 
rockin' ranch 
satin breeze 
spa fresh 
summer fresh 
super pet 
tropical satin 
velvet powder 
clean mountain

WATERY 
sparkling waters(tm) (smells bubblier than tap water)
aqua reef
ocean
herbal springs 
natural springs 
pacific fresh 
rainforest falls 
rainforest fresh 
sparkling ocean 
spring waterfall 
spring water
waterfall 
whitewater fresh 
cool shower

BOTANY BAY 
floral escape (does not specity "to" or "from")
linen & cotton flower (very abstract)
gardenia del mar
alpine spice
gentle blossoms (as vs. violent blossoms)
violet dazzle
botanical bliss 
botanical silk
nature's silk
petal bliss 
floral passion 
floral fusion
silk blossom 

EDIBLE FRIGHTS 
shimmering citrus
pear illusion
peach shimmer
berry sparkle
citrus & tangerine (isn't tangerine already... oh, nevermind)
bubble fruit 
glistening pear 
shimmering pear 
kissed peach (sic)
melon burst  (messy)
orange breeze 
radical apple 
vanilla indulgence 

BERRY SPECIAL SMELLS 
berry fusion 
berry picking (includes blood and skunks)
raspberry rain 
summer berries 

GARDEN OF STINKIN' 
seaside garden (where little grows)
butterfly garden 
country garden 
dream garden 
mystical garden 
starlit garden 

MOODS WITH A SMELL 
pure sport
tranquility
original fresh (as vs island fresh, see below)
island fresh (more "jerk-y" than original fresh, above)
evening at home 
floral passion (probably precedes floral escape, above)
perfect harmony 
vanilla indulgence (unclear on the concept)

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THE "AMERICANS WILL BUY ANYTHING" DEPARTMENT
now b. crocker actually makes SLOW COOKER HELPER DINNER MIX.  coming soon: shelf-stable boiling water
red lobster has a new (as of early 2005) line of lobsterriffic entrees.  among them:  "lobster in paradise;" "lobster crusted salmon" (I'd pay a dollar to see that); and the mysterious "lobster chops."  wouldn't you think a lobster - even a big old maine lobster, which these are not not not - would have some mighty tiny chops?  even if boneless?  perhaps it's all-you-can-eat lobster chops.
headline from ad for nasty fake drink mix crystal light, "sunrise classic orange flavor" - "You may never drink orange juice again."  well, not if crap like this kills you first.
newish from imperial sugar:  yes, they've finally found a way to overpackage brown sugar by packing it in pre-measured, non-recyclable one-cup containers, three to a non-recyclable shrink-wrapped package - ever see how they package crisco now?  that's the model.  do you know anyone who's afraid to touch brown sugar?  
jones soda's thanksgiving 2004 flavors included turkey-and-gravy - this isn't loathesome, just funny
please do not buy anything with a "ripeSense" label - a package label with chemicals that change its color according to the "ripeness" of the fruit inside, so the fruit can be packaged unripe and untouchably in sealed plastic coffins.  these will be used first with pears, then avos, kiwi, mangos and melons.  hey, we need to smell the produce!  don't try to sell us four of anything at a time!  and don't package stuff so we can't see it all!  
new preparation H "portable wipes."
as versus ... ?

arm&hammer "enamel care" toothpaste "with liquid calcium" makes a claim that it "fills in" stained enamel.  now, let's think.   doesn't that seem to be, well, impossible?  especially once you've rinsed and spit?
charming little disclaimer off in a corner in 4-point type in a Land Rover ad:  "Tread lightly.  Drive responsibly off-road."
from nike: a wristwatch designed for "adventure athletes" which features a "hydration timer that can be set for any interval."  yes, folks, it's a watch that tells you when to drink water.  another sign of the apocalyse.
ok, this is indescribable, so you have to go see it for yourself.  be patient between the steps the little frog is performing for you so you don't miss anything important.  is it truly necessary to teach toddlers that they need such a silly product?  go here and press the "flushable toilet wipes" banner to the right of the frog.
this whole "get comfortable with fish" thing makes me uncomfortable.
procter&gamble brand-saver coupon insert, a page featuring cents-off coupons for toilet paper and two kinds of fabric softener.  large photo of a dad and young son cavorting in jammies and towels.  headline: "everyone smells nice, even the boys."
oh look!  a new, nonrecyclable, non-reusable package for baby food!  STUPID!
hey, are we americans yet?  dude, yer dog needs this - no, he DESERVES it!
a lovely little local ad that someone paid good money to run in the chronicle.  I detect non-pc typeface, veiled insults to your intelligence and taste, denials of the quality and value of the product, stupid punctuation abounding and ugly line breaks.  get yours today!
another waste of energy, all the way from the focus groups to the marketing campaign.  a waste of food, if it were in fact food.  I don't know anyone bored enough to need this.
ok, I don't get the associations here.  this is another one of those mystery mascots.  why?  why?  why?  are they saying the marines are twisted?  are they saying it's twisted to like actual fruit instead of candy?  are they saying you have to eat this or go to bootcamp?  also note frightening flavor Tropical Storm (as vs. Desert Storm I guess)
Q.  how come no one has named anything Dessert Storm yet?
A.  because no one can spell anymore and they don't get it.
"New Sauce for Dogs!  I*MS Savory Sauce TM - Spoil Your Dog Healthy!  3 Irresistable Flavors!"  an eleven-ounce squeeze bottle says it contains "up to 20 servings."  this is so absurd in just so many ways that I won't even start.  you're welcome.
is there actually an Old Sauce for Dogs?
sorry, let us move on.

See? See?  I'm really not the only one who feels this way.  check out this terrific and funny column by mark morford, As Satan Scrubbed My Toilet  It's a slew of new, disposable products that really scream "Screw the planet, I'm an American!" Life is good
New Toyota headline: "How can you celebrate a national holiday without towing something?" well, how indeed
"Look for NEW Friskies® Hairball Treats!" yuck.
rhetorical question, I really don't want to know - what's the difference between go-gurt and go-gurt rush?  (see frightening new flavors, left)
this is not lunch - pepperoni-flavored sausage-like item, american pasteurized processed cheese product stuff substance thingy, pizza-flavored hydrogenated crackers, artificially-flavored and -colored tropical punch sugar drink, and a reese's peanut butter cup.  but it IS an oskar mayer lunchables® brand lunch combinationsTM.  and it ain't cheap!  do moms really give these to their kids?
new from clorox - a whole new line of cleaning products with teflon, which is probably just the addition your drinking water needed
alarming new noxema tagline - "clarify beautify electrify" 
here comes the fourth of july
actual products for sale just before the fourth of july 2003.
even pets are not safe
just the thought of these plug-in stinky things makes me crazy.  but to have them especially to inflict upon your poor pets?  they promise to "reduce or completely stop" behavior which includes "urination, defecation, barking, whining, whimpering" in your dogs, and to help your cats "adjust to new environments, new pets and new people."  what is in this stuff - roofies?  the big problem I see here is the laughably bad photoshop compositing.
frightening new twist on the easter bunny
ewww!  it has bunny ears, but the rest is a duck, or maybe a goose, with a pink, spiked mohawk, a studded dog collar, a mean expression, a burst of gore exploding from its neck... and the final touch, a nose ring.  but it's a duck...  advertising bubble gum jelly beans.  gotta be a sign of the apocalypse, ducks with nose rings.
don't go to sleep!
domestic violence, medicating someone without their consent, very bad copywriting, and the thrilling promise of no tiggling effect (sic).  plus it looks like a little fire extinguisher.  yet another product to hide from the kids.
buy me, I'm patriotic
marshall field and anne klein say, support the economy (oops!  nope, it's imported) and dress yourself up like World Trade Center Barbie.  a hundred and fifty bucks.
spiritual awakening
so this is what it means to be... vegetarian?  buddhist?  on crack?
traditional medicine
maybe chinese, maybe jewish, maybe martian.  I'm politely suspending disbelief until they get to the "cola or fruit juices" part.
for those in charge of caring for males
whatEVER this is trying to say, it's insulting to EVERYbody.

Deck The Halls and Call the Maid: Unclear-on-the-Concept Holiday Decorating

Holiday Baking: Too Dang Much Trouble. Further Unclear-on-the-Concept Holiday Decorating

Bad Copywriting Award (Ad Division) 2001

Deodorant with Multiple Personality Disorder and Presumptuous Flavornames (and check out the illustration for "ambition" - what are we saying here?)

Doctor Knows Best

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