I put letters into words into sentences into paragraphs that explode into coherent narratives.
In homage to the old saying, I present 5 free-thought short descriptions, based entirely on random photos I took with my phone:
1. When Life Gives you Lemons
Since childhood, Edgar had hated lemonade. On the warm summer days when his friends would cool off with a glass of the tart-but-sweet concoction, he would pretend he wasn’t thirsty. He never understood the appeal; it looked like urine, had to be ice-cold to be any good, and the sugar seemed only necessary to mask the taste of the main ingredient. As he grew up, he began to avoid lemons entirely, worried they would taint the pleasant mental connections he had with certain foods. At an Asian friend’s picnic, he had accidentally eaten some lemon chicken and the sourness did not dissipate for many hours. Life was very uncertain for him as a boy, but he was certain that he did not like lemons.
Post-College, Edgar lived the dream. He excelled at everything he did, made the right connections, flirted with the prettiest girls. He landed a job with a prominent corporation, improving internal processes and winning over several affluent clients. His superiors took note, promoting him handsomely in both responsibility and pay. This new level of authority put Edgar in direct contact with the committee that oversaw international business and he was invited to share his ideas about the future of the company. Excitedly, Edgar donned his best suit and appeared in front of the distinguished committee. As he astutely gave his speech, a pitcher sitting on the conference table caught his eye. There, taunting him, wishing him nothing but failure, was a carafe of lemonade. The chairman of the committee noticed that the liquid had gained his attention. He offered a glass to Edgar. Surprised and aghast, Edgar refused. The committee sat slack-jawed by his sudden change in behavior. One older, stubborn gentleman noted that, “everyone likes lemonade!” This comment launched the rest of the group in a cacophony of argument. Accusations that only terrorists disliked lemonade flew wildly. Edgar was at the epicenter of a maelstrom of confusing, but hateful nonsense.
After he was laid off, Edgar fell from a position of prominence to one of lowly servitude. Needing some kind of income, and not being welcome at many other corporations due to his “Anti-Lemonade thus Anti-American” attitude, he was forced to take a job as a nighttime stock boy for a local grocery store. Depressed, he trudged to work everyday, remembering his once wonderful existence. On one particularly warm May afternoon, his supervisor asked him to update the signs for the fruit area in the produce section. Apprehension forced stomach acid into Edgar’s throat. He knew what vile, yellow skinned monstrosities lurked in the produce section.
Edgar grumbled and angrily stomped his way into the computer room near the back of the store. In a moment of clarity, he suddenly knew how he would earn his revenge against the accursed citrus, as he opened the a new Photoshop file. A wicked smile crept across his previously sullen face, as he watched the green and yellow sign come sliding out of the printer.
2. “Poke” stands for “Pocket”?
Being the spawn of an old, forgotten god and a primal element is not easy. Most people do not understand you, especially when you have a reputation for shocking people to death or burning things down. Having a body made entirely out of electricity also makes things like dating or holding a job rather difficult. Years of torment and nonacceptance had crushed the spirit of an otherwise bright and energetic entity. Sparky, as he had been dubbed by cruel, flesh-based children, was on the verge of ending it all. That was until the day that he heard of a wonderful country named “Japan”.
Sparky knew that there must be a place for him in this kooky land; these were people had embraced a giant fire-breathing lizard, eating raw fish and humor that centered around stealing a lady’s underpants. After doing some research, Sparky was determined to save up his money to buy a plane ticket to Tokyo. Most airlines had a strict, “no beings made of a raw form of nature” policy, so it was some time before Sparky secured his passage to the Land of the Rising Sun. After rejection by US Airways, Air Japan, and United Airways, Sparky received a positive response from Virgin Pacific Airways, who apparently catered to the “unusual” crowd.
Upon arriving, Sparky immediately set out for the Nintendo headquarters. While his exposure to video games was limited, as he tended to melt any device he touched, Sparky was sure he could provide an invaluable service to the company, even if it were just to generate perfectly green energy. While sitting in the waiting room, Sparky noticed a poster for “Pokemon”; an eccentric game that focused on collecting and working collaboratively with various “monsters”. His heart leapt. Perhaps he could be one of these Pokemon!
Soul-crushing grief passed over him as a Nintendo employee informed him that Pokemon was a fictional, video game fantasy. If liquids did not disagree with him so violently, he would have liked a stiff drink. Dejected, he wandered the streets of Tokyo, reminiscent of a rolling black out. He cried tears of pure lightning, lamenting his social plight and cursing his immortal father.
A young Japanese marketing exec found Sparky wallowing on a street corner. He saw in Sparky a young elemental spirit, capable of informative advertising. It was not long before Sparky had landed a contract; his main focus, alerting people of the danger and death associated with being anywhere near him, or his baser parts.
3. The Hazards of Climbing the Corporate Ladder
“The presence of children in a workplace often forces safety into the spotlight. Many claim that children are the future. We all know that robots are the future. Robots are made of metal, don’t need things to protect them and consequently care little for safety. But we do not live in the time of robots yet, so safety for our children, who will eventually be us, is paramount.”
This is the kind of safety description that until the mid 1990s, was included with many Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) approved products. They had little to do with the product itself, and often spiraled into misdirected tangents about nothing relevant or important. Many found the descriptions comical, and wished more government sectors would take the “silly” approach in administering their respective area. Being a particularly dry area, many O.S.H.A. manual writers began to interject their own personality into their work.
Unfortunately for people with a sense of humor, O.S.H.A. eventually decided to locate the root of the problem in an attempt to look more professional. In doing so, they upset a lot of writers who after many years in their positions, had become disenchanted with the daily grind. These writers were harmless on the surface, but held much power over the internal workings of the organization. As several prominent wordsmiths were let go for this silly digressions against the administration, other writers decided to take revenge for their fallen comrades in ink, in the most appropriate way possible.
Using their career long connections, they managed to get the following product information included with all sales of a certain brand of ladder that was known for its instability and inability to achieve O.S.H.A. approval:
“The wonder ladder will save your life. Jobs you thought impossible before, you can now do without even thinking. While the wood on the ladder may look thin and cheap, it is in fact a space-age composite built for strength. It may sway wildly when you stand on it, but that is just the nano-technology of the physics driven stability matrix taking effect. The more beer your drink before you use the ladder, the safer it becomes. The metal parts may seem sharp or rusty, and they are, so don’t cut yourself on them. Only stupid people cut themselves on ladders. Lastly, please use the top rung as a step, as often as possible. You’re not using the ladder to its full potential or theoretical height unless you precariously perch yourself atop this amazing ladder.”
4. One Flew Over the White Fungus Bird’s Nest Drink
This is just totally gross.
I can only imagine what it tastes like, and why in any capacity, someone would pay money to drink it. I once accidentally consumed some Indian beef tea which was arguably the worst experience of my life. I somehow think drinking a can of this stuff would be worse.
My friend Justin and I located this product at an Asian grocery market in Philadelphia, PA. We were waiting for some of our fellow cohorts to arrive to eat a delicious helping of Pho soup-stuff. Obviously, I had to take a picture of this drink as it was odd, even for an Asian market.
I assume the marketing meeting for this went something like:
Marketing Director: “Ok, we have a new product to promote in the US, but we need to translate the Chinese characters for the description of this drink into English, and we gotta do it fast…does anyone know how do to that?”
Group of employees: ::silence::
Marketing Director: No? Ok well, let’s just make something up. Bob! What’s the first word that comes into your head?
Marketing Director: “Oh, how Aryan of you Bob, great. ‘White’ it is. Susan, you next!”
Marketing Director: “What? For real? The first thing you think of in a board meeting is ‘fungus’? Ok, whatever, no time, moving on. Kelly, you’re young, hip, what can you add?”
Kelly: “Birds are pretty!”
Marketing Director: “Yes they are Kelly, but we’re selling a drink here…a weird Chinese drink. Help me out!”
Bob: “Birds live in nests!”
Marketing Director: “OK…I can’t argue that. A little weird, but let’s roll with it. Steve, read me back what we’ve got.”
Steve: “White Fungus Bird’s Nest Drink.”
Marketing Director: “…You’re all fired.”
The thing that impresses me the most is that they correctly used the possessive apostrophe.
5. If I only had an Arm
Political correctness has reached an all new high (or low, depending on perspective). You can’t call anyone anything anymore, for fear that they have been branded the next, previously unheard of, protected class. Long gone are the days of little people being “midgets”, mentally challenged people just being “slow” and handicapped people being “freaks”. We have to fall all over ourselves to make sure everyone is happy and never even remotely offended by anything we might begin to consider thinking about possibly saying.
The middle-upper class is most responsible for this role, as they are the first to be labeled “discriminatory” even if they are less guilty than other people around them. They cannot even be politically correct about themselves and must often refer to themselves as imperfect, to make weird looking people feel better. In an attempt to make everything P.C., we have reached a level of correctness that borders on the absurd.
Some modifications make sense. A handicapped ramp for example; a wheelchair is a poor staircase navigator. Others make significantly less sense. Removing the word “brainstorm” in attempt to not offend people with epilepsy is a good example. It would not take long before people with one-in-a-billion mutations would require their own sort of social protection.
Why are all statues carved in the form of the “ideal” human; where are the homages to the classic man-monsters like Centaurus or Enceladus? Because people don’t like to look at ugly things. It seems unfair that creatures of equal importance and influence would fade into historical obscurity, simply for being ugly. But it is the truth, and it is this history that drives our current, inane political correction movement.
Soon we will see door knobs for people of all kinds of varying heights, regardless of how they impede the function of the door. We will have urinals placed on the ceilings of Men’s restrooms, for those random few who can’t seem to urinate downwards. We will see safety and protocol abandoned, just so no one gets their feelings hurt. Hell, some might even argue that one day we will have models, statues and even manikins that reflect all manner of physical deformity, just so we can see how cute that sweater would look on someone with a 4 foot long arm.