hong kong

Hello Kitty Safe to Protect Your Priceless Hello Kitty Regalia

For anyone searching for the perfect place to store your priceless Hello Kitty(™ © ® etc.) regalia. Now you can store your Hello Kitty jewelry, Hello Kitty-shaped diamond, photos of your Hello Kitty tattoo, and (most precious of all) your Sanrio stock certificates in fully licensed style. Of course why anyone would require a Hello Kitty safe is beyond most mere mortals like myself. I tend to put my safe in an inconspicuous location (it being a safe and all). And make no mistake this is the real McCoy with all the trimmings - fireproof, digital lock, tempered steel, the works. You’ll sleep easier knowing that any safe cracker worth the name will be deterred by those cold dead eyes and oddly positioned whiskers...

hellokittysafe
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Crunchatize Me Cap'n!

A quick post after a long break. I needed something to kick off the dust, get me motivated to blong again. And nothing invigorates you like a gum-shredding, sugar-jagging "bowl o’ the Cap’n’. His unsettling floating eyebrows notwithstanding, I’m happy to return that snappy salute. Crunchatize the world, Cap’n!

crunchatize
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Long Hiatus

Apologies to my loyal reader(s) for the long hiatus. Some new posts very soon. Thanks for checking in.
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Diverchok. Snow White's Favorite

An unfortunately blurry shot of a Spanish cookie in Wan Chai. Who do I know its from Spain? Says so right there! And Diverchok sounds so spanish, yes? Or should I say Si

I’m guessing Diverchok is an attempt at mashing ‘diverse’ with ‘choc’, which is a common term for chocolate (outside the US). Still its not the most appetizing of names, a rather sharp edged word in contrast to eternally soft-focused Snow and her lil’ birdy companion. Just can’t see her in a glade surrounded by songbirds, extolling the joys of diverchok in dulcet tones...

diverchok snow white
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AmericanSoft - We Love Soft Green Tea Cookies

A cookie from Japan. A few choice nuggets here - first the name is truly inspired. I can only imagine they are referring to those disquieting ‘soft-baked’ cookies from Pepperidge Farm(?), that have a shelf life of twelve years and maintain their ‘softness’ throughout. Who knows what preservatives/embalming fluids they use to accomplish that. Also these are green tea flavored cookies; while chocolate and green tea is actually quite popular in Japan (and tastes great actually), I would venture that the vast majority of Americans are a) unaware that green tea exists, and b) would never intentionally eat green tea-flavored cookies, no matter how gooey soft they may be. Unless forced to of course, say while trapped in a Japanese import store during one of those increasingly popular zombie outbreaks…

americansoft
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In a Hurry But Trendy-Overbooked But Superlookee

A three story hanging ad from Times Square in Causeway Bay. Would that we could all stay trendy even when in a hurry. Love the expression on her face as she’s checking her watch. I am concerned - but beautifully so! Don’t’ think anyone will wait around to see those pants…

My favorite aspect of this isn’t the pants or the tagline though, its the asterisked line below. Surbookee mais super-lookee, which translates to ‘overbooked but superlookee.” Apparently the French, famous for having a different word for everything, don’t have a word for superlookee

inahurry
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Extravagance Purple Blue Tone Hair Laurel Crown-one Head - Very Stylish!

A bizarre (even by cantopop) standards) hairstyle for Aaron Kwok. I swear this guy must never sleep - he’s in every major canto movie, does an album and concert tour for laughs, and pimps half the mens’ products available here. While this getup can’t quite match the bubblegum crown from his last concert series, it still qualifies in its own right; woven hair crown and gold lame suit anyone? I keep thinking something is lost in translation, but locals tell me there is really no rhyme or reason to it. Apparently the more bizarre the better. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the actual songs, album title, etc.

aaronbluecrown

Morbidly curious despite this, I googled it and came across this great chinglish mash up. This is from an actual website - obviously whoever posted ran it through a translator:
William Chang exquisite real hair materials, as material woven of a two-tiered crown. Shots the Youyi extravagance purple blue tone, while this feature is of the double crown and Aaron Kwok hair like connected together, do hair laurel crown-one head, very stylish! Aaron said: 'Uncle design really ingenuity, and a sense of humor, especially hair stylist and Herman will crown woven into two levels, the a metaphorical new dance Pro feast concert again presents, but the show process will reinstall feeding both metaphorical also doing good idea! 'Though it may take nearly three hours to change hair surgery, but Aaron are completely happy!
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Make the Fun Girls Invented Booty Roller Squad From Onaland Insweat

Make the Fun Girls Invented Booty Roller Squad From Onaland Insweat. But of course...

makethefun
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The Ultimate Whitening Pair - Crush & Eject

Yet another whitening product. This has become a huge business in Asia, some women going for actual bleaching, which leads to an odd juxtaposition of white face and tan/brown body. And its beyond going for a ‘Western’ skin color - Japanese and Chinese traditions of beauty both glorify alabaster complexions, ‘pale moonlit’ princesses etc.

Still what caught my eye is the bizarre use of ‘crush’ and ‘eject’ - words not usually employed for beauty products after all. Also the beauty mask looks haunted, even malevolent (perhaps due to the violet back-glow?). And whats with the flying puzzle pieces? So crushing and ejecting will simultaneously implode and explode your problem skin? That doesn’t sound too pleasant. But as the saying goes, ‘beauty knows no pain’…

crusheject
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Pearly Gates - Master Bunny Edition

From the Sogo department store in Causeway Bay. Pearly Gates is a Japanese golf clothing brand; of course to Westerners the term refers to the gates to heaven, so I’m honestly not sure what they’re trying for with name. Golf wear fit for heaven? Or golf wear that will smite you down and send you there? But the odd brand name is surpassed by their latest rollout (hard to read but on the golf bag): ‘Master Bunny Edition’.

masterbunnygates

I’m usually wary of using the now hackneyed expression, but its apropos here. WTF? What do bunnies have to do with golf? Was ‘master edition’ too straightforward somehow? “We’re named pearly gates, we have to make it sound odd - how about master bunny?”
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The Fashion Trough is Actuality, Not Novelty

A definite keeper from my brother Matt, this one from Croatia. Always good to be reminded that brutalizing English is a global pastime. “The fashion trough” is a particularly memorable concept if nothing else.

fashiontrough

Also its creator had a go at brutalizing English grammar as well, and to devastating effect: ’The fashion trough the spo(rt) is actuality it’is not’ a. novelty that is sport.’ Number 10. You know I never thought of it that way...
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Sunderball, Decorative Light for Tomorrow

An unfortunately rushed, blurry shot of a toy in Wanchai. The owner had your typical hypocritical reaction to photographing in his knockoff laden store, i.e. ‘How dare you take pictures of my illegal copyright violations! You insult all of China!” Needless to say I don’t’ think this product is actually a knockoff. Also I don’t see any self respecting company suing to protect the rights to ‘SUNDERBALL, decorative light for tomorrow’…

sunderball1

sunderball2

Yes in the future, all decorative lighting will consist of science experiment plasma globes like this one. Nobody will get any work done of course, as they will be too entranced by the mesmerizing dance between lightning and flesh. And the lights will have names that have absolutely nothing to do with lighting–or sundering
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She Loves SUITS

A woman’s business attire retailer in Sapporo. I suppose the name is straightforward enough, but that’s not a phrase you’ll hear every day, if ever. “Yeah one thing about the wife. She loves suits.” Have to say the magenta mannequin doesn’t exactly work for me either, though compared to some mannequins its rather tame. Far better than the headless/mutilated variety, or those with heads like anvils (and yes I’ve seen an anvil-headed mannequin). I suppose the only question here is how much she actually loves them. Is she willing to die for suits? To kill for them if necessary? I pray we never have to find out…

shelovessuits
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Arrogant - We Are the Good Child

From a goody bag in Hong Kong. Unfortunately the rest of the image didn’t turn out, but theres a cute lil’ anime teddy bear waving below and to the left. I’m assuming he’s ‘Arrogant’; a rather odd choice for an aspiring kiddy icon. The surreal juxtaposition of his namesake and the ‘we are the good child’ tagline guaranteed inclusion here, but I was also struck by the choice of font. It’s none other than Disney’s ‘Walt signature’ which adorns a ton of Disney packaging and advertising, especially for golden agers like Mickey. Why you’d pick that font for anything is beyond me, but then again I don’t name teddy bears Arrogant

arrogant
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Blogrolling

A new ‘blogroll’. Unfortunately the slick new Rapidweaver 5 template I purchased doesn't allow for sidebar content to be positioned in the actual sidebar - very annoying. Anyway, here are some old ‘links of interest and a few newer ones. Enjoy!

http://www.expatsblog.com

http://www.mcsweeneys.net

http://www.mcphee.com/shop

http://www.boingboing.net

http://monkeybicycle.net

http://www.thebigjewel.com
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Handsome Mask for Whatever You Want to be...

A new addition to the ‘beauty mask’ trade here in HK. These masks are usually marketed to women of a certain age to remove impurities, wrinkles, and/or brighten the skin. Some actually bleach the skin with various whitening agents as well. Anyway they are usually quite expensive, and as with most beauty products the results are dubious. This is the first one I’ve seen for men exclusively however, though I can’t say I’ve gone looking. It seems all you need to be ‘cool, cute, sexy and macho (or) whatever you want to be’ is contained within.

handsomemask

Of course you could purchase an ‘actual’ handsome mask of say, George Clooney (or whoever is the latest heartbreaker if he’s a bit long in the tooth of your taste). That would be make dating difficult however, as you would have to mostly grunt and nod, lest your date notice that your overlarge yet handsome face doesn’t move much when you talk. Then again some women are drawn to the strong/silent/mysterious type. Just don’t be surprised when you notice that ‘Kate Beckinsale’ seems rather staid and quiet over dinner. And her face seems a bit too large, now that you think about it…
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Mr. Smoky - For Men with Good Taste

A fine coffee from our friends at ‘Fire’ in Japan. Nothing hits the spot on a cold Hokkaido morning quite like a hot can of Mr. Smoky. Its smoked coffee for men with good taste, like myself. Its also ‘the coffee with deep aroma’. Deep smoky aroma, not like those other brands with their ‘shallow moist’ aroma. And that’s MIster Smoky to you, pal…

mr.smoky
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Potato Boy is Zyagatakun

From our hotel in Niseko in Hokkaido Japan, home to some of the best skiing in the world, or so I’m told. Unfortunately I pulled my quad first day out. Still, my wife and daughters enjoyed the deep powder, which really was remarkable. Anyway Hokkaido is known for its excellent milk all across Asia, but in Japan its also famed for its potatoes. So it comes as no surprise then that the local mascot is a skiing potato, which I admit is preferable to a skiing dairy cow. He is a ‘zyagatakun’ which I’m guessing translates loosely as ‘local specialty character’. Mangled grammar notwithstanding–‘So,It’ s’ very Popular character – the fact remains he is very popular. They have a fireman version on the local firehouse, and Potato Boy graces street signs and tourist kitsch all over town. And in the interest of full disclosure, he did his job; at the end of our trip, I bought that t-shirt…

potatoboy
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Enigmatic Fabric No. C555 Contains ‘Fabric'

From a high end clothier in Sapporo Japan. Not made in Canton of course, which is probably for the better. Canton isn’t exactly famous as a fashion hub, even for overalls (that would be Topeka). Actually outside of the NFL hall of fame, there’s really nothing to recommend it, or Ohio for that matter. But I digress. This is the official signage that greets passerby:

fabriccontaining

Organic cotton, check. Carefully selected (for) quality and production region, check. But best of all, the enigmatically named ‘Fabric No. C555’ contains fabric, the most important thing discriminating shoppers look for in a… fabric.
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No Durian Allowed

A helpful warning at our hotel in Penang Malaysia, reminding guests that the infamously odorous fruit is not allowed on the premises. For those of you not aware of this ‘delicacy’, durian is a large soft textured fruit that smells like shit and/or vomit (and that’s being kind; others have described it as pig-shit with turpentine, medical waste, and gym socks). Aficionados insist that the flesh is succulent with a consistency like custard, superior in texture and smoothness to almost all other fruit. Having tried it (in the form of a custard cake roll) I can safely place myself in the former category. The only thing I’ve personally ever tried that was worse is Nattō, a Japanese ‘delicacy’ composed of slimy, decaying mung beans that has the taste and consistency of fresh vomit (someone else’s). But alas that experience is for another post. I can honestly say if given a chance you should try durian, if for no other reason than to have a baseline for the worst thing you’ve ever tasted…

nodurian
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SBooBS - Break My Trickeries!

A pencil sharpener from a newish Taiwanese company. The name is supposed to be ‘SB-BS’ with an infinity loop between the letters. I’m afraid to most native English speakers it reads “sboobs’ however. I don’t think I need to go into why that doesn’t work well (unless you’re selling boob joke paraphernalia). The tagline break my trickeries is more than adequate for inclusion here, but out of morbid curiosity I looked these guys up, and turns out they have a whole slew of ‘office revenge’ products. SB is supposed to be ‘stab back’ and BS ‘backstabber’, so the infinity loop means to retaliate somehow(?). This particular device is supposed allow you to pretend to shove a pencil down the office gossip’s throat while sharpening said pencil. The package also warns you not to use it as food or sports equipment…

breakmytrickeries

Their website has this helpful blurb and diagram that explains it far better (or more colorfully) than I can. “So many trickeries in my head! Sharpen your pencil as hard as you are smashing all the bad ideas! When the pieces come out of my mouth, all fortune will come to you!” The diagram shows the bad luck going in and good luck coming out, and its got a ‘piquant degree’ of 5 stars, which I’m guessing means its pretty hot?

breaktrickeries1

They have a bunch of other anger management tools in their stable, which I’ll save for later post. I’ll include this pencil sharpener that drives the point home far more graphically–hey I made a pun!

backstabber1
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Rise to Coma Fortunate

A t-shirt in Causeway Bay. As a rule I generally don’t take shots of people without asking first (which I rarely do anyway), but this one was too bewildering to pass up. And she helpfully stood still for a full minute while I struggled to find my iPhone and take this admittedly poor shot.

comafortunate coma-icon

First off there’s the utterly incongruous laundry recommendation icons across the top. What do they possibly have to do with comas? Are they to help the nursing staff when they launder it? And the tagline: rise to (a) coma fortunately? Is there anything fortunate about a coma? Not to be overly morbid, but the only thing less fortunate is dying. Though I suppose you do have a slim chance to wake up from a coma at least, so there’s that. Maybe she’s just an extraordinarily positive person…
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Cheesy Opera & Double Layers Indulgence

Yet another bizarre (though admittedly tame by their standards) local Pizza Hut abomination. Of course to American ears cheesy is slang for ‘unsubtle, and/or inauthentic’. Needless to say it’s not the ideal term for selling anything, even in the context of pizza and/or toppings. And speaking of toppings, this latest atrocity has ‘double layers indulgence’–an entire pizza mashed onto another, then loaded down with salami and scallops. The traditional repast of opera patrons everywhere apparently. Well, those and cheap mozzarella cheese, and the more the better! I especially love the scallop shell arrangement on the left. Very elegant, very… operatic? Now if I can just figure out a way to smuggle this double layered indulgence into the next performance of ‘Carmen’…

cheesyopera
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Frost Bag & Bearing the Thought of Being Alone

A Japanese gift bag(?) from Wanchai. Not sure what ‘frost’ has to do with it, though I’m assuming it’s referring to the doily and lace imprints. It’s not exactly freezer ready/food storage material…

frostbag

Regardless the more unsettling aspect is the blurb lining the bag itself. I understand the ‘lost in translation’ aspect of this–Hell I have an entire category devoted to them. But this has got to be the creepiest, most desperate copy I think I’ve ever come across. “I can’t bear the thought of being alone?” Who wants a gift with that written on it? Or more to the point, who’d want to hang out with someone who gave them this? Perhaps you wouldn’t be alone all the time if you chose better gift bags. A start at least. Just saying…
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Pants Story vs. Cardigan Tale

A newish clothing store in Wanchai(?). Ironically no pants were actually on display–if you’re going to tease me with stories about pants, at least have some in your window…

pantsstory

I entered hoping for some truly epic tales, perhaps about the birth of corduroy (the “Cord of Kings”), or an ‘up-from-your-bootstraps’ morality play about blue jeans. Unfortunately I was greeted by stacks of staid cardigans and bland pullovers. Cardigans generally don’t have a lot of stories to tell (outside of the occasional dark family secret or two; Uncle Jimmy’s not really your uncle, I gambled your inheritance away years ago, etc). But I suppose ‘Cardigan Tale’ doesn’t pack the urbanesque fashion punch of ‘Pants Story’...
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Only 49,999 Other Products to Choose From...

Yet another anachronistic Hell O’Kitty product. Why would you spend more (a lot more, as it turns out) for a sauce pan just because it has her ubiquitous likeness? Ah, but that question can be asked of almost every single one of the over 50,000 other licensed items. Fifty thousand.

Oh well, at least with this one you’d get the twisted satisfaction of putting said likeness directly onto a fully cranked gas burner…

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Eau de Pizza Hut

For all you Pizza Hutters(?) who secretly wished you could smell just like your favorite mutant pizza. No, really. Just looky here:



From an official fluff press release:

“Taking a cue from Internet nerd culture, Canada’s Pizza Hut has launched a marketing campaign based on a joke from its Facebook page: the creation of Pizza Hut perfume. The joke turned into a reality when the food chain’s advertising agency thought it would be a great way to commemorate its milestone of reaching 100,000 Facebook fans.

But sadly, Eau de Pizza Hut, a scent “boasting top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough,” (my italics) will only be shipped to a few of said fans. ”For now, we’ve only produced 110 bottles of Eau de Pizza Hut,” said Beverley D’Cruz, marketing and product development director for Pizza Hut Canada. ”But who knows what the future has in store,” she added. Until then, the rest of us will have to smell like Pizza Hut pizza the old-fashioned way.”

Which I suppose means rubbing a spare slice all over your face and chest? Oh to be one of those lucky 110, or their girlfriends. Assuming they have girlfriends. Well if they don’t now, they most certainly will after splashing on some of this instant chick magnet. After all, what sexy lady can ignore ‘top notes of hand-tossed dough’?
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Wbreze is SO Champagne

A t-shirt in Mongkok. Have to admit I agree with the sentiment: wbreze is so champagne. One of those obvious points that so often gets overlooked in our hustle-bustle modern age, when time just wbrezes by. Actually the best feature of this shirt is the random letters that form the word cloud around the ‘SO’. Oh and the built in collar and shirt tails are straight champagne…

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Jurassic Towel Origami, the Craft That Time Forgot

From a nearby high-end childrens bookstore. Glad someone finally found a use for all those fossilized towels lying about. Actually this is an interesting idea, and I’ll admit I’ve never seen anything quite like it. But it’s too ‘scary’ for young kids (at least the ones in the store at the time - no doubt the teeth and dead button eyes), and too odd for most older ones, though I suppose your hardcore dinosaur aficionado would go for it just to expand their collection.

But since when does origami use towels? Or allow for buttons and precut fangs? Seems like cheating somehow. Origami using only towels would be quite impressive. Probably easier with fossilized towels of course, but we all know how rare they are. And the corker is the tagline - ‘the craft that time forgot’. Perhaps ‘time’ needs to forget again…

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Manly Fashion Socks

From an ‘everything’ store in Wanchai. Unfortunately these are not: a) manly, b) fashionable, or c) socks. OK technically they’re socks but look at them! They look like they’re made of surgical paper tape. Like the barest legal definition of socks. I bet the octagenerians who buy them have no illusions about manliness or fashion quotient. Just toss them on the counter and be done with it. Its not like he’s thinking “The retirement center’s in for a real show now. Just wait ’til I lean out over my walker and expose my manly, fashionably swathed calves. Hellooo ladies…”

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Mega Mop (mini version) with Turbo Jet Propulsion

From a nearby domestic supply store. Seems the Mega Mop (mini version) is a big (small) seller. The wonderful juxtaposition of a mega/mini notwithstanding, this product also warranted inclusion here due to its unique power source. It is apparently able to harness the ‘theorem of Turbo Jet Propulsion to accelerate the spinning of gear/pinion’(note the handy embedded illustration of said gear).



One can only hope that the Mega Mop (mini version) doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. One shudders to think what that theorem could be applied to, and what havoc one could wreak with a turbo jet pro pulsed miniaturized mop and an agenda. Domestic terrorism indeed…
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Define Beauty? OK. This Is Not It.

From a MTR subway ad. Our friends at Canon ask us to ‘define beauty’, apparently with the help of this bizarre counterexample. Yes thats a huge black disco ball ‘eye’ on her forehead, and yes her neck is surrounded by a ring of blond wig hair. At least I hope thats wig hair. And it matches her fake blond wig - it’s the little things. Reminds me of the famous Supreme Court justice quote regarding pornography - ‘I know it when I see it.” The converse is obviously true…

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Archie Meets Kiss - Zombie Edition?

An utterly bizarre comic book from a store in Mongkok. I’ve always wondered who actually reads Archie; I’ve never met anyone who confesses to doing so. Apparently its been around since World War 2, so somebody does. Anyway what makes this issue even more bizarre (apart from it being in a 7-11 in deepest darkest Mongkok) is that KISS is a quintessential 70s band, so it seems that the Archie gang are hooking up with KISS 30 years too late. At least they are hip to the latest zombie craze (at least I assume they’re zombies - no blood and missing flesh, but hey its Archie). I was tempted to buy this out of morbid curiosity, but the thought of bringing it up to the register gave me pause…


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A Few Links of Interest

A few links of Interest. Feel free to comment or send other ideas along. Please peruse my ‘links to other work’ to the right to see some of my other short fiction, humor, and/or satire offerings…

http://www.mcsweeneys.net

http://www.mcphee.com/shop

http://www.boingboing.net

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Fuel Britannia

Just a quick post. The phrase ‘rule britannia’ doesn’t resonate with Americans of course, but I have to give the lads at Weetabix credit for a painful if effective pun. Now if they could just make their products edible...

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Fun TV Dongle

An admittedly poor shot of a bus-side ad, but in my defense it was moving away at the time. Apparently the dongle in question is an Android USB add-on (or something). Suffice it to say the name leaves a great deal to be desired - it sounds vaguely sexual, like an outdated Brit term for male genitalia. I suppose they were referencing dangle? But it doesn’t dangle, not that I can see anyway. But far worse it calls to mind the infamous term’ dingle berry’ - one would think anything close to ‘balls of fur-covered feces (or faeces as the Brits spell it) stuck to butt fur’ would be avoided at all costs…

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I Will Ascend to Poodle Heaven on Cyan Blue Wings

As you may have surmised from my previous posts, I am no fan of poodles (or yippy little dogs in general). Honestly my time in HK has only solidified my disdain for them, even moreso their owners. After all these dogs didn’t ask to be bred into mutant sizes and pampered, though most seem to enjoy it, even act entitled to it. But this is the first time I’ve actually felt genuinely sorry for a poodle:



Yes those are supposed to be angelic wings shaved and dyed into its back. Whoever committed this atrocity this must also know about printing, because they’ve chosen three of the ‘Holy Quadrality’ print colors - cyan, magenta, and yellow (this is the ‘CMYK’ that non-designers always ask about, the K standing for black).

ANYWAY, back to the travesty above. Is it not enough that you shave little balls and frillies into the thing’s coat? Must you also dye its ears and tail pink? Must you give it blue angel wings? I often wonder if other dogs snicker at this stuff, and if the afflicted poodle secretly hates its owner for the public humiliation. Probably not, as they are being chauffeured by a personal attendant in their own private stroller at the time...
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Blue Hair - We Provide with Good English Services

A twofer in Wanchai. Not only a great name for a hair salon - assuming your clientele composed of aged matrons who go in for the ‘blue hair’ affect of course (and the occasional Katy Perry wannabe too I suppose). But its also a striking example of almost surreally poor advertising.

First, the name. The ‘blue hair’ phenomena is one I’ve never understood btw; in fact in the US its become slang for the poor, mostly white older women who actually get the treatment. But how does making your gray/white hair blue make it somehow more attractive, or draw less attention to it? It’s like a cruel joke perpetuated by a fashion color theorist, insisting that a blue tinge somehow makes white hair look more dignified or pleasantly contrasting.



Fortunately the folks at blue hair are happy to answer such questions, especially those in English. Note to proprietor: if you are going to advertise your superior English services, at least get the grammar on your signage correct…
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Blingo! Voting for Men, Women, & Whatever He's Supposed to be...

From a recent bus stop ad for a ‘get out the vote’ campaign here in HK. Actually it’s humbling to see voting being actively promoted and taken seriously. Unfortunately many Americans love to brag and lecture about their democracy, but don’t bother to vote themselves, or even stay minimally informed. There are many reasons for that of course, some better and/or more cynical than others. Regardless I’ve always been impressed by the demonstrations etc. here in HK. They don’t take voting for granted here, and their defiance carries real risks and consequences.

Anyway back to the snark: I’m simply baffled by the inclusion of the gentleman on the right. They’ve got the generic ‘eligible man and woman’ covered, bu I’m not sure what demographic he’s supposed to represent. Bling angels? Flaming breakdancing coaches? Over-the-hill (over the top?) Cantopop singer/comedians? Bingo! And better yet, blingo!

Well If nothing else he’s memorable, and definitely gets one’s attention…



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Goldenrukkai Mowhawk of NY

A t-shirt for sale in Wanchai. There are a ton of faux Abercrombie tees here, as well as a disquieting number of real ones. I personally have never cared for the entire ‘walking billboard/free advertising’ aspect of such things, but oh well. Regardless this one is truly inspired, if for no other reason than for the debut the newly minted mystery word Goldenrukkai

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Bear Beer. OK This is Too Easy

A new(?) beer in 7-11. Always wondered what beer bears drink? Well now you know. Didn’t’ know there were any bears in Hong Kong. Must be Canadian.

Apparently they aren’t held to the infamous 7-11 ’no shirt no shoes no service’ code that we humans are - though I think that’s enforced more in North America than here in HK.

Then again who’s going to bring that up to a bear? He’s probably already had a bad day, and tapping his shoulder and saying excuse me sir you’re not wearing shoes or a shirt (or pants for that matter) will only turn out badly. Just politely smile, take his money and let him be on his way.

Any of those f**king porcupines come acting like they own the place, though….

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Barbeque Shapes - Cheddar Too!

A quick post - seems Arnott’s couldn’t decide on a proper name, so they just went with ‘shapes’. Not sure if that’s just incredibly lazy or intentionally obscure on their part. Still some poor soul spent a good deal of time on the logotype, which also sucks have to say. If you get something to work with like this, couldn’t you try something interesting? At least several different… shapes?



Also the fact that they have hexagonal barbecue shapes and rectangular cheddar shapes makes no sense. Does anyone care? Is anyone blindly reaching into the box, then feeling relieved when they feel eight sides? Whew - thank god these aren’t those rectangular cheddars. Perhaps they use them to train chimps to sign?

Finally the moniker doesn’t exactly make you want to rush out and buy some. You know what I could go for right about now? Some shapes!

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Summer Vacation and/or Holiday

Just returned from our annual US visit, which included time in Canada as well. And yes they still have a queen on all their money, though she’s not actually Canadian - well technically she is, but - its a little complicated…

Anyway, despite lingering 12 hour jet lag I hope to post some suitably snarky imagery and/or commentary very soon. Thanks for to any and all loyal readers for checking in, and welcome to any newcomers who’ve stumbled onto the site expecting reverent posts about Hello Kitty and/or the Queen of Canada...
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Bo Bo Good Shoes

A shoe outlet in the Wanchai market near the MTR. Not much to add here, but I will give them credit - the name is memorable if nothing else. Would make for a catchy jingle too…

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Alien Endorsed Explosions w/ Free Tattoo

From the candy rack of a nearby grocer. The name kind of sells itself - who wouldn’t want popping candy that explodes? Says so right on the bag! But the alien (I believe they are referred to as ‘Grays’ in the official UFO literature) flashing gang signs is priceless and utterly baffling - what do they have to do with popping candy? Perhaps the candy was reverse-engineered from Area 51 wreckage. And you get a free tattoo…

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Even You Will be Dandled by Peek-A-Boo-Zoo

A rather innocuous toy from Wan Chai. The toys themselves are rather boring, typical Hell O’Kitty knockoffs. At least they’re available in more than just ‘Cat’, as you can choose from ‘Sheep, Bear and Rabit’. One hopes rabit is not a combo of rabid and rabbit.



Anyway the bit that really caught my wandering eye was the package copy:

‘Babies love to be dandled(?) with Peek-A-Boo. Not only babies, even you will be delighted with the actions.

Thats right, even you will be ‘dandled’ with delight, which sounds vaguely perverse. And last but not least the mysterious kicker: ‘Contains two songs’…
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Authentic Glow-in-the-Dark Lady of Fatima

From a souvenir shop in Lisbon, where you can buy a glow-in-the-dark Lady of Fatima, just like the real Lady! These are authentic reproductions of the vision of the Virgin Mary that spoke to a trio of child prophets in the 1930s. The reports subsequently made the tiny hamlet of Fatima famous, at one point drawing a crowd of 70,000 there to witness the sun ‘dancing’ among other things. These souvenirs refer to the later miracle in which the Lady continued to glow an eery, phosphorescent green long after the sun went down…

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Cheesy 7 - When 6 Just Won't Do

Yet another local Pizza Hut abomination. I assume this had something to do with the Hong Kong Sevens, (which to the uninitiated is a seven-a-side rugby tournament that’s become the premier sports/carousing event in HK). I suppose the local marketing gurus thought they’d hit gold with this tie-in. ‘Cheesy 7’ has a nice ring to it-unless you know American slang of course. In the US cheesy can also mean overdone and/or inauthentic. But what about the meticulously assembled ‘7’ composed of the namesake cheese wedges? Now that’s quality. Actually that’s a ton of work for the poor designer tasked with constructing a ‘realistic’ rendering in Photoshop, but I digress.

Still, who wouldn’t want 7 different kinds of cheese on their pizza? Nowadays mere ‘mozzarella and a dusting of parmesan’ just doesn’t cut it for avant-garde pizza aficionados. But adding 5 more, including cream cheese? Wham! Now you’re talking! You’re talking about 1500 calories a slice…

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Inssssspirador

A bus-stop ad in Lisbon. The tagline is enough for inclusion here - I will refrain from saying I’m insssspired to purchase this sleek vacuum, or that I find the use of a half-naked male model interesssting. Can’t really file this under ‘Super English Force’ as it is Portuguese (technically).

The company no doubt assumes their clientele is mostly female; either that or they’re going after the burgeoning buff-metrosexual-who-vacuums-while-shirtless demographic. Note that the vacuum shaft is at full vertical too. Can’t imagine that was intentional…

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Denimholic

A Japanese fashion magazine(?) from HK airport. Apparently one can have too much exposure to high end jeans and skirts. Seems this poor soul is no exception, the unlikely but telling face of addiction. A tantalizing fabric indeed: so egalitarian yet elite, so casual yet couture, so cruel…

You see more and more of these forlorn beauties on the streets of Tokyo, their vulnerable anime eyes staring off into space, chewing their once immaculate manicures to the nub, in search of just one more hit of pricey denim…

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Crookers w/ Style of Eye & The Heavy

A concert poster from Lisbon. I was devastated to find that I just missed the Crookers (not to be confused with those wannabe poseurs The Crooks). To say nothing of the warm up band, Style of Eye.

I also missed Gentleman, who were *finally* joining forces with The Heavy (not sure if they mean the movie villain archetype or just something that weighs a lot), and seasoned vets Pow Pow Movement.

It seems the global trend of brutalizing English words and/or American slang continues unabated, even in places that should know better, like Portugal. And this despite actual fines; apparently in France you must now pay a substantial fine to the Ministry of Culture for using English words instead of French in any advertising. Sacred Blue!

Ironically the best name out of the bunch is the hardest to see - Like the Man Said, in the lower left corner. I’d pay serious euros to see them. It would also give me a chance to get rid of my soon-to-be worthless euros, but I digress…

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The Charity for Especially Difficult Children

From the Hanoi Airport a few months back. Seems someone has finally established a charity to help those parents suffering from especially difficult children. I didn’t know obnoxious ingrate brats were such a problem in Vietnam. Perhaps its a charity that allows the Vietnamese to help out their less fortunate American counterparts…



(And for the record - yes I realize this is a well-intentioned charity for disadvantaged kids, and yes I did donate to the charity box. Just can’t pass up a title like that. Kudos to Grandma Jackie for spotting this)
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Cubic Pastry

Lately I’ve had a strange hankering for something cubic, preferably composed of dried and pressed pork shreddings. Looks like I’m in luck. Oh joy.

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Saddam Hussein's Sublime Air Safety Technique

It seems that Saddam Hussein performed at least one civic-minded act in his lifetime. Apparently during a visit to Hanoi he was appalled by the poorly illustrated emergency door section. He chivalrously volunteered to pose for the airline’s next safety brochure.



Say what you will about the despot, but he obviously knew his way around airliner safety equipment. Just look at that form. Sublime technique. And check out the sporty yet practical stain-hiding travel blazer...
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Bling-Encrusted Hello Kitty Trove

From a store in Happy Valley that specializes in bling-coated accessories, especially Hello Kitty stuff. Considering how popular both Hell O’kitty and bling are in HK, I’m not surprised they’ve stuck around despite the outrageous rent.

And just look at the selection - A Hello Kitty clock anchoring the display, a working retro bling phone, a 5 pound bling purse (great crime deterrent - who’d want to steal that?) Also several impractical but hyperbling iPhone covers. Be warned though - the Stitch and Hello Kitty options are about 3 inches thick, so mere mortal pockets won’t do. And of course a blinged-out black model Ferrari, complete with gull wing doors. Just like the real Ferrari. The doors I mean.



Speaking of cars, the owner tends to park across the street. I had a few pictures of this from previous outings, but unfortunately this is the only one I could find:



Yes that is bling lining the window’s weather stripping, and yes the union jack is solid bling, with pink stripes. There’s was also decal in the window forbidding photos - like she can enforce that somehow. I love the fact that she coats a white/pink Cooper with rhinestones and Hello Kitty paraphernalia, and then forbids photography...

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Snuffaluffagus and/or Truffala Dress

A bus stop ad for ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine here in HK. Mostly in Cantonese so couldn’t read the cover girl’s name. Seems she likes to flaunt her hard-earned wealth by wearing dresses made of pink-dyed snuffaluffagus skins (though it looks a bit tatty for that - perhaps they screwed up the tanning process? Snuffaluffagus is notoriously delicate fur). Or is that truffula tree? Or scalps from those little troll pencils? Either way its obviously very expensive - and very entrepreneurial...

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Happy Birthday from Your Evil Skeleton Pals

Another freakish card from Xue Hwa. One of those instances where the Mainland manufacturer must have slapped whatever image they had handy behind the text and said “Run that mother! We’ve got a quota to hit!” Can’t imagine who would want and/or appreciate a gaggle of evil glowing-eyed skeletons wishing them a happy b-day. Still the grim reaper guy is waving at least, and the bats are flying in a loose ‘happy birthday-ish’ formation...

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Cactus-suited Hello Kitty Joins Death in a Snowglobe

From a 7-11 store window in Central. Seems Hell O’Kitty has landed another sponsorship coup, this time partnering with Death itself. Not sure what they are selling exactly, but it apparently involves a Cactus suit for Kitty, a rather depressed looking Death - ‘can’t believe my agent talked me into this’ - and a snowglobe. For what its worth said snowglobe was not for sale inside the 7-11 (yes I looked).

Would that the ‘real’ Hello Kitty was doomed to such an eternal fate - trapped with Death incarnate within a hermetically sealed prison, while forced to wear a ridiculous (even for her) outfit. Though I’d honestly feel sorry for Death...

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Mandarin-Peel w/ Snake's Gall Juice - The Best Choice Souvenir

If you’re ever in Hong Kong, be sure to pick up some mandarin-peel w/ snake’s gall juice, an authentic local favorite, and the ‘best choice of hong kong souvenir’. Yep can’t walk ten feet without tripping over someone convulsing on the sidewalk, purplish froth drooling out between clenched teeth. Good for rebalancing the Qi apparently. And just look at that shiny comet underline - Its got to be the best!

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Chocoseum - Mona Lisa's Smile in Stamped Chocolate

A surreal brand of cookies from South Korea. Just the thing to satisfy one’s all-too-common craving for small chocolate biscuit cookies stamped to resemble famous iconic paintings. In fact just writing about it makes me want to visit the ‘Chocoseum’ post-haste! I wonder if they have Munch’s ‘The Scream’...

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Have Very Strong Power to Run in Water and Land is Very Easy

A throwaway post-xmas offering. Another toy from the same store as super copter alloy helicopter. A bit hard to read unfortunately. Seems that the ‘RC’ has full functions: stop, back up, advance, right and left turn (nice of them to include the left option). And just look at those tires! I wonder if they’re made of super copter alloy adapted for terrestrial usage. Regardless, its strongest powers are to ‘run in water, and land is very easy also’ as well...

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Super Copter Alloy

A remote controlled copter for sale in Mongkok. Rather boring to be honest, not much to look at. But wait, its made out of ‘super copter alloy’! Stronger than titanium, lighter than spider silk! Why, its well nigh indestructible! Better snap this up before the various government and military players descend on the store to confiscate it...

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Good + Good = 2 Goods = Double Plus Good?

A tourist trap t-shirt merchant near the Ladies Market, no doubt stocked with the usual ‘Lost in Hong Kong’ and ‘Bruce Lee is my Homeboy’ selections. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your sense of taste and/or irony) the classic American ‘My [insert relative] went to Hong Kong and all I got was this lousy t-shirt’ was not visible from the street. And ‘have a nice tee’ is certainly a clever if ill-fitting tagline. Oh well, at least they’re doing their small part to educate shoppers on tried and true mercantile skills like basic arithmetic. Or maybe it’s a clever Orwellian reference, a nod ‘Double Plus Good’ from 1984? Or not.

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De Showy Masquerade w/ Bubblegum Crown & Gold Foil Hair

Über star Aaron Kwok is at it again with a new concert/album/monstrosity. I can’t look at his ‘crown’ without being reminded me of a monstrous smear of freshly chewed bubblegum. Why anyone thought that pairing a pearlescent pink blob with gold foil-encrusted hair would look good is beyond me. It’s certainly ‘de showy’ I suppose. What’s scary is that by HK costume standards, this is rather understated...




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Elvis Whoppie Twist vs. Red Velvet Whoppie Pie

A new (and unfortunately hard to read) Starbucks offering, the Elvis Whoppie Twist. Don’t know if a ‘whoppie’ is a traditional British item, but pairing Elvis with anything will surely kick it up a notch, no? I assume the twist is a reference to his famed hip gyrations? He didn’t sing ‘The Twist’ though, did he? I think that was Fats Domino.



Anyway, assuming they go for authenticity, it should be basketball-sized and feed 15+ people just like Elvis’ favorite sandwich, the infamous ‘Mile High Sandwich’ (officially called the ‘Fool's Gold Loaf’). For those of who unschooled in Elvis lore, this consists of a 4-pound loaf of hollowed-out buttered white bread filled with peanut butter, grape jelly, and burnt bacon. It is then deep-fried for good measure. It would serve 4-20 mortals - or one Elvis.

Of course if you’re looking for a more appropriately sized whoppie to tide you over, there’s always the Red Velvet Whoppie Pie (a remarkable name in its own right)...



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Sichuan Saliva Chicken

I think this speaks for itself; no need to dwell on what and/or whose saliva. That its listed under ‘appetizers’ makes it even more poignant. Unappetizers perhaps?

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...Like I Need a Knife Below my Ribcage

The tag for a cheaply made ‘life-size’ skeleton decoration from a toy store in a street market in Wanchai. Not much here - I was just taken aback by the almost nonchalant knife sticking out of just below the skeleton/ghost’s ribcage (which I’m told is a very effective place to stab someone). He looks more annoyed than scary though, like the addition of the knife is really just shit he doesn’t need...

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Ice Means Jewellery, Oream Means Cash

A hoodie for sale in Wanchai. Not sure what ‘oream’ is - I assume that’s supposed to be ‘cream’? Not that that would make sense either. I had to snap this photo rather hurriedly, as knock-off stores such as this ironically don’t take kindly to people taking pictures of their copyright violations. I’m assuming this is supposed to be funny in a hip-hopster way? Can’t say that I’m up on my hip hop phraseology, but ‘ice means jewellery, cream means cash’ certainly sounds like your typical tepid faux gansta cliche.

Anyway the last line says ‘the two things which make the’. And that’s it. Make the what exactly? Make the native English speakers snicker? Or maybe I’m completely naive, and ice oream really does make the...

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Greatest Falafel On Earth - Best Gyro Ever!

In case you were wondering where the greatest falafel on Earth resides, or the best gyro ever. That means since the dawn of time, or gyros at least, which is apparently a long time indeed, judging by the featured Egyptian nobility.

Anyway turns out it’s not in Lebanon or Greece (or Egypt), but in a small side street cafe in Seattle. Who knew? Also who knew that the ancient Egyptians enjoyed falafel and gyros? Or baklava? So when in Seattle, just look for the kissin’ camels. And remember, that’s ‘Zaina’ for food, drinks, and friends... AND THE BEST GYRO EVER!

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1 Clip Attack # - No Pain No Game?!

A truly freakish ad for a jeans/fashion company. Unless they extensively photoshopped this shot, those really are clips all over his face. Which leaves one to wonder: what the hell are they thinking?! What has this got to do even remotely with pants? Why would I want to buy jeans that remind me of this? Is this what their jeans do to one’s genitalia? I can categorically state this a game nobody wants to play...

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Put a Justice Wheel in Your Belly

A recent web ad that caught my eye. I’ve actually become quite adept at not reading/paying attention to these locale specific web ads. Of course I’m aided by the fact that most of them are in Cantonese and thus illegible to me. But the prospect of having a ‘justice wheel in my belly’ sounds quite compelling. And they have the ‘answers’ to boot. No idea what that means of course, but it sounds far more empowering than being ‘Unisys Check Encoded’ or ‘SEBI India Compliant’...

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Only the Dead See the End

From a couture store called “Mr. Lolliporter” - more on him in a later post. This is part of their ‘naively’ racist Red Indian line, but its stands alone for sheer oddity. Only the Dead See the End indeed. What does that mean exactly? The dead can still see, or everyone will be dead when the end comes, which is technically true, I suppose, it being The End and all. Not like someone going to be around to see the credits when the time/space continuum winks out. Except perhaps the enigmatic Mr. Lolliporter...

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The Old Banana Eating, Bible Thumping Screaming Eagle Motif

Truly bizarre marketing. Security software(?) packaging that features the now ubiquitous ‘anthropomorphic banana eating, bible thumping screaming eagle’ motif. How many times are marketing gurus going to trot this old cliche’ out? Seriously, you can’t use it for just anything. Hackneyed imagery doesn’t sell product gentlemen, quality does...

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We Promise! We Will Take Care of Your Stomach!

A bizarre ad for the ‘Food Forum’ restaurants on the top floors of Times Square in Causeway Bay. It seems a slate of chefs is reassuring their throng of devoted fans that they’ve got their backs, or rather stomachs. Odd that the stadium is filled almost entirely with Americans, but who knows, maybe this is from the ‘Food Forum Chefs’ recent world tour. Of course, we’ve heard such statements from the chefs before, like when they promised to protect social security and stop bank foreclosures. At least this in one area they can claim expertise. Still, four master chefs for a million people seems a stretch; one can only hope that they’re adept at doubling, or rather millioning their recipes...

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Truffle Pig

A candy bar(?) for sale in HK. More proof that Asian marketers don’t have a monopoly on poor branding. Honestly who would want to buy this? The inference of course is that you are either A) eating a truffled pork candy bar, or B) you are a truffle pig. Even if you like truffles, and know how they’re gathered (highly prized pigs trained to smell out the underground delicacy), this seems like a bad idea. Nobody wants to think of themselves as a pig, period. Or would be flattered by the comparision. Hey, how about Hazelnut Swine? Now that would sell like hotcakes. Or pigcakes...

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Purrdon Me, Sir

A t-shirt for sale in Maine. This could be forgiven in HK (almost) as the owner might not speak English well enough to get the pun (a term I use here in the technical sense only). But for a native speaker to wear this, even ironically, is the stuff of nightmares. That said, if you are going to have this on your shirt, having it spoken by a debonaire cat with a rakishly curled whisker mustache and sparkly tophat is better than nothing... actually it’s not.

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Gimp Rolls, Scoubidous & Boodogglers

I came across this potentially unsettling item in the ‘meeoowwch’ craft store. Not being an especially scrapbooky person, the first thing that came to my mind was the gimp from Pulp Fiction. Somehow I don’t think that’s what the store had in mind...

Turns out there’s a bourgeoning underground of Gimpers, though calling them that may get me impaled by scrapbooking implements. Apparently they prefer to call themselves Boondogglers. Of course there’s another camp that refers to the art as Scoubidous. Sounds like a Harry Potter faction. Probably is one. Anyway I also wondered if the Boondogglers and Scoubidousers ever have craft-fair brawls, or travel in armed packs and pick off the occasional old or weakened apostate. Maybe they even have occasional defections to the ‘dark side’, and they knit up elaborate (and incredibly strong - this is plastic lace coated wire) restraining devices for their fallen sisters. Or not.

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Long Hiatus & Thanks

Greetings - just a quick thank you to the tens of readers who check in reliably, and a welcome to the occasional surfer who stumbles in looking for legitimate Hong Kong product and/or music reviews. Also apologies for the long hiatus - we have just returned from a long visit to the US, and I hope to post some new stuff very soon. I also hope to upgrade my cutting-edge blogware to update the page design, and hopefully allow for implanted videos etc.

As always thanks for stopping by and tell your friends and enemies.
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Snappy Joe the Jeepster

I recently found this shot from the Heritage Museum, home of other toy legends like Mr Smash, the Clockwork Walking Smash Martian and Col. ‘Hap’ Hazard.
Behold the infamous ‘Snappy Joe’ the Jeepster, who had his teeth replaced with a jagged set of steel fangs. Even added teeth to his jeep. Apparently he didn’t think his psychotic eyes were intimidating enough; perhaps he felt insecure being a jeepster around all those tanks. Of course Joe’s fellow troops gave him a wide berth regardless, especially when he went on wild joyrides around the base. He would often blow through intersections while waving a live grenade around (at least I think thats a grenade, or maybe its a pumpkin?). Somehow I don’t think Snappy adapted well to civilian life...

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beLIEve

A t-shirt for sale in SOGO. I honestly can’t decide if this is a fashion/chinglish disaster or an example of brilliant tongue-in-cheekiness. The jarring disconnect between the unicorn/rainbow motif (which would be worn unironically by your average HongKonger) and the tagline beLIEve is truly remarkable, especially by irony-blind HK standards. If it is intentional, then my opinion of at least one HK fashion designer has skyrocketed. If it isn’t, then it’s still a priceless example of unintentional, completely discombobulating irony at its finest...

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God Makes You Try Pop Pop Pizza

Looks like Pizza Hut has brought in the Big Man himself to get his flock (or these rapturous HK ladies at least) to partake of their latest contraption pizza, the ‘Pop Pop’. Have to say it would take divine intervention to get me to try this abomination: sausage buds (with squirt bottle mayo), garlic shrimp, hot dog chunks, pineapple, and what appears to be twisty cheddar/mozzarella nuggets. Love the enticing platters in the background showing the various ingredients on cheeseboards with garnishes - just like in a real Pizza Hut kitchen! Not sure where the Popping occurs though. Perhaps its the sound of your stomach wall rupturing as God forces you to eat a monstrous slice of ‘pizza’ that weighs more than you do...

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Live a Sportive (& Healthy) Life

A very quick post - this was next to the bowl + bowl cafe sign. Not much to say other than I am now inspired to live more sportively, whatever that means...

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Hair Homer

A new(?) salon in Causeway Bay. Seems they spent a great deal of time and effort on a name (and signage) that makes absolutely no sense. It is memorable if nothing else, and makes for a nifty double h logo. And they’ve certainly chosen a grungy edgy font for themselves, though again what that has to do with either hair or homers is beyond me...

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Desiccate the Spring

A dehumidifier ad from a few months ago. 90+% humidity and its attendant mold etc are big problems here in HK, and most people own at least one unit like this, and several dozen absorbing containers placed throughout their closets. So I think I can see what they are trying to do here, but its yet another case of too clever by half - we’ll use ‘desiccate; so scientific and official sounding! Don’t see people actually wanting to ‘desiccate the season’ and kill off any emergent springtime plant life...

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The Pizza Gods Are NOT Smiling

A new addition to the ranks of unnecessary food innovations - the ‘pretzel pizza’. Seems the folks at Auntie Anne’s Pretzelwerks weren’t content with unsettlingly phallic ‘hotdogs in pretzel dough’ (see epicureans on the go - 26/11/2010). Now they’ve scandalized the Pizza Gods themselves with their latest travesty. And lo the Pizza Gods are not smiling. They are perhaps relieved that the ‘pretzel pizza’ is at least flat, and not pretzelized somehow (or worse pocket-shaped , the ultimate abomination). But they cannot be happy with another mutation. Why must companies constantly crank stuff like this out? Who craves a pretzel dough pizza? Why can’t they just stick to what works? And what of the Pretzel Gods? Are they smiling? No, they are weeping, dear friends. Weeping.

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uMama Warms a Legendary Diva

The latest in massage/relaxation technology. HK is rife with such gadgets, ranging from full-body massage recliners (which retail for thousands US) to small handheld gizmos, to more midrange contraptions like this. The preposterous name itself warrants inclusion here, but there’s much more here worth commenting on. First off there’s the unique (and luxuriously comfortable) design which allows it to address the ‘neck, shoulder, back, and tummy’ simultaneously. Can’t say I ever needed a tummy massage after a hard day, but it must be just what a ‘legendary diva’ needs to maintain her... legendary diva-ness? I love the small control pad on the front too, discreetly nestled in the brushed faux leather - makes it look like the spacesuits from the more early Star Trek movies. Have to say it reminds me of the shoulder harness for a high end roller coaster more than anything else though.

Still, who cares what it looks like when it got a name like ‘uMama Warm’. It begs for someone to exclaim in a suitable rapper or jersey accent - “Umama? I warmed umama last night!” etc etc...

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Bring On the 24-Herbed Clockwork Oranges!

A truly bizarre album cover concept for the local cantopop band ’24 Herbs’. They are purveyors of the usual HK saccharin-sweet boy band crap, with song titles like Turn It Up, Bring It On, Fashionista, and my personal favorite Chillax featuring Taiwanese rapper Soft Lipa(?).

Now it seems someone had the brilliant idea of doing a full-on Clockwork Orange branding campaign for their latest album and concerts, complete with clubs. bowlers, eye makeup and steel-toed boots. Which leaves me to wonder: did they actually watch the movie? Do they have any idea why those guys dressed like that, and what they were up to? Do you really want your boy band linked to costumed fascist sociopaths? Suffice to say I hope they don’t take the marketing too far, and go on a stomping foray into their adoring audience, accompanied by a stirring rendition of Beethoven’s 9th...



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Mr. Blean

From an iPhone shop in Causeway Bay. I was initially drawn to the hyper-bling assortment of iPhone covers; a few unique offerings sprinkled in with the usual hello kitty, disney and playboy knockoffs. Somehow I don’t think the bling ‘apple’ logo is legitimate either...

Anyway what really struck me was the bling coated bobble-head Mr. Bean in the lower left corner. Should he now be referred to as Mr. Blean? Bleang? Or is that last one simply too hard to pronounce? Looks like he’s come into some serious money recently, and has acquired up some proper swag, including a rakish nose stud, and what appear to be bling contacts...



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Yes, Those ARE Bungie Cords

A huge recently taken down construction site billboard in Causeway Bay. Yes that really is a shredded bungie cord shawl. I have to give credit to whoever thought this one up though. It must be damned difficult to come up with any new or interesting fashion props for photoshoots, as just about very ‘normal’ idea has been beaten to death, resurrected, then beaten to death yet again. I will say that it has interesting color and texture, but they’re bungie cords. This one has to fall into ‘that’s not only silly, but probably really uncomfortable’ category. That thing must weigh 20 pounds. One bonus though - if that overly fierce looking model in need of a weapon, or is ever stuck out in the boonies and her bumper comes off, she’ll have an ample supply of bungies readily accessible...

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Life Begins From Here

A store window in Beijing. Apparently life begins not at conception, or after you’ve graduated, or even with a dream. It begins with a complete set of discount chinese crockery at low low prices. Or does it emanate from the mouth of the odd, crazy-eyed lion dog on the right?

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They Already Have Ears

Some cute lil’ doggy outfits from the overly devoted folks at dogdogcollection. Seems its not enough to put your little mutant breed of choice into a Burberry sweater, cause they get sooo cold in subtropical HK. No, they now offer cute ‘outer dog’ suits in both pink and blue, and bunny suits as well, complete with cute lil’ bunny ears. Forgive me, but don’t dogs already have ears? Oh well, it’s not like logic comes into play here. And if you are going to spoil your already hyper-spoiled little prize as badly as dogdog’s customers do, then said dog should at least have to put up with some humiliation. How I’d love to hear the other dog’s commentary as they pass in the street; “Oooh, nice outfit, you pick that out yourself? And in baby blue too, really suits you....”

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Bobo Fan Club Vs. Bonobo Fan Club

A ‘recommendation’ sticker at a nearby restaurant. I found the name ‘bobo fan club’ odd enough to include here. Later out of curiosity typed in the site address. Apparently Bobo is some local celebrity chef (or maybe just a ‘professional celebrity’, one of many ‘outdated’ stars in HK with enough name recognition that people will still pay them to come to parties and be seen with them). I assume he doesn’t know-or care-that ‘Bobo’ sounds like the name of a clown or circus chimp to American ears...



I recognized him later on a wall in Happy Valley. This is his ‘look’ apparently - silver hair, goatee, and pristine white shirt. At least his name must carry enough culinary cache that he gets some foodie endorsements, like for this wine fridge outfit.



Anyway it occurred to me that it would be much more fun to have a ‘bonobo fan club’, restaurants that have earned recommendations from our nearest genetic cousins, the infamously promiscuous bonobos. A restaurant sporting a bonobofanclub.com sticker would guarantee scandalous entertainment if nothing else, provided free of charge by the swinging clientele, at least until the cops showed up. Wouldn’t do much for the appetite, however...
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