Friday, January 6, 2012

I Would Like to See the Market Research That Led to the Development of This Product

Last week Precocious Daughter and I went shopping at our local Tuesday Morning. If you don't know, this is a chain of stores that sells overstock items, closeouts, and assorted more or less useful items at a discount. The stock changes constantly, and you never know what kind of bargains you might snag. Like a brick-and-mortar, or a higher-end Big Lots.

Anyway, it's a great store for mindless browsing, which is what PDaughter and I were in the mood for. Beloved Spouse was having a bit of a meltdown over a failed Christmas gift assembly, and we got the hell out of Dodge before someone said something ugly. Actually, after more than one of us had already said something ugly. So that horse was out of the barn. The point is, PDaughter and I drove around aimlessly for a little while (one of us had the steering wheel in a deathgrip and was muttering under breath about a**hole spouses, but she got over it) until I got the idea to go to Tuesday Morning.

I swear to God there is a point to this story.
So the store was being manned by a nerd, who immediately took a shine to PDaughter and me, probably because he recognized us as kindred nerd spirits. Nerds dig me. Also, we were wearing awesome hats, and we were acting like a couple of maniacs masqerading as a suburban mom and daughter. I mean, we were downright adorable.

We were like Thelma and Louise, if one of us was
a lot older and the other one was a lot cuter.
 It's hard not to get the giggles in a place like Tuesday Morning. It's chock-full of unexpected delights. They had ribbon candy! You know, like the stuff that lives in old ladies' candy dishes and gets all stuck together so no one can ever eat it, which is OK because it's kind of gross? They had boxes of that stuff. And Jonas Brothers digital cameras! These made me nostalgic for 2006, which is probably the first time anyone has ever written those words. They had ceramic hedgehogs for only seven dollars! How many times have you held a bottle of sleeping pills at 2 A.M., ready to swallow them all and wash them down with Drano and thinking how differently your sorry life might have turned out if only you'd known where to purchase a decorative ceramic hedgehog? I know, right?

Suicide is not funny, but this picture is hilarious.
 But the highlight of our browsing had to be the Chicken Lance Armstrong Dog Squeaky Toy.

Go ahead, read that again. I'll wait.

Here it is phonetically.
 Oh, you don't believe me? You believe they had a chocolate bar in the shape of three pigs laying snout to tail in some horrible porcine version of The Human Centipede, but not the Chicken Lance Armstrong Dog Squeaky Toy? Well, they did.

I couldn't make up something like that.
Not without requisite amounts of hallucinogenics.
I don't know how a chicken can be expected to strap its feet into those special pedals on a racing cycle, but clearly this one is going to give it the old college try. It should be child's play compared to holding the handlebars with chicken wings.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Yes, I took my Prozac today. No, wait. You're thinking, how do I know this is Lance Armstrong and not just a Chicken Random Dude Dog Squeaky Toy? Well, look at it! As soon as I saw it, and immediately after I crossed myself and made the sign of the Evil Eye, I assumed it was Lance Armstrong. It's wearing the famous yellow racing jersey, it's clearly a professional cyclist because of the corporate logo (Team Balloon Dog), and it's obviously only got one testicle.

Granted, that was a cheap shot at Lance Armstrong's cancer battle.
But this is the honest-to-God logo for the Testicular Cancer Society.
Remember: Support your testicles.
OK, I'll stop now.
 Still, this Chicken Lance Armstrong Dog Squeaky Toy is definitely intended to be identified as such by people who aren't insane. Here's the back of its jersey:

Nice tail.
 That's right: This is Lance Freaking Armsquawk. Could be worse; it could have said Squawkstrong. That balance of wit and satire is so delicate. I think they made the right choice.

I did not purchase the Chicken Lance Armstrong Dog Squeaky Toy. Its eyes kept following me around the store, and I thought my soul might be in mortal peril. Plus, Darling Dog would have wanted to chew it up had I brought it home, and that would have been a shame. It's a work of art. If it had been Chicken Lance Armstrong Dog Squeaky Toy Standing in a Clamshell, it would be in a museum.

Hell, yeah.
And so I left Chicken Lance Armstrong Dog Squeaky Toy in its natural habitat on Aisle 7, taking only a few photographs to commemorate the sighting. I did buy a ceramic hedgehog for PDaughter. And one of the horrifying pig candy bars, which I refused to take a bite of. I should have bought some ribbon candy. I'd go back to Tuesday Morning and get some, but I'm scared. It might still be there, contemplating me with its dead painted rubber eyes.

It haunts my dreams as only an anthropomorphized chicken cyclist chew toy can.

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