Does She Get to Keep It?

This is a poster advertising Octupus card rewards (like an ATM card but much more versatile) at a nearby Jusco, a Japanese dollar store chain with tons of kitsch and craft supplies. I assume this is a reference to the Year of the Ox, though its clearly a cow. Oh well, the woman is certainly ecstatic with it's appearance, though I wonder if she gets to keep it, and if she realizes what she's getting into if she does. Not an ideal pet for a 700 sq ft apartment.

The cowering clerk at the register also looks rather put out; perhaps this happens a few times a week, and once again he'll to clean up after 'midas' takes a gilded dump on his scanner. Must be really hard to get metallic cow dung out of all the little seams...

Aww You Guys - Find Whatever You Like

A strangely named shop in Hanoi, and one of the few english-only signs in Hanoi. I couldn't decide if this was meant to have an aww shucks tone - 'aww you guys... find whatever you like, ya hear?' or have an on-the-verge-of tears ring to it: 'stop it you guys... ok fine... you go ahead and find whatever you like... see if I care... f*ckers.' Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to peruse the shelves, so who knows, maybe it goes back 500 metres and is crammed top-to-bottom with a mind-boggling array of quality merchandise, truly everything we'd ever need. Or not.

Pizza In a Cone - Finally an Answer to Those Annoying Slices

From a restaurant window in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. This has to rank as one of the most unappetizing (and ridiculous) food concepts I've ever come across. Honestly who would want their pizza this way? Weren't McPizza pockets bad enough? (Yes there was a 'McPizza' in the US decades ago, and yes it was as evil as it sounds). Anyway when did it become to challenging to eat pizza in the traditional 'slice' format? Has anyone ever bitterly complained about unwieldy slices, and fervently wished they could enjoy their pizza in a convenient concentrated cone? Needless to say my wife and I were both rather put off by the thought of getting halfway through one of these monstrosities, then hitting the thick knot of congealed cheese and pepperoni nuggets trapped at the center...

Dead Sea of Life

This is an outlet in TST near the Chatham Road. I assume they sell various ointments and bath products made from 'Dead Sea' salt, which supposedly has wondrous rejuvenating properties. Why this salt is superior to any other salt has never been explained to me, though the biblical references surely don't hurt sales.

For what its worth you can float in a foot or so of water there; I've actually done this in the Salt Lake in the US, and it is pretty wild, though the heat and the trillions of sandflies tend to dampen the fun fairly quickly. Anyway I was obviously taken by the sign - you can't be a sea of life and a dead sea simultaneously my friend; not a lot of gray area between the two...

Muscle Worker Dance Show

A poster for a 'Muscle Worker Dance Show' at the 'WHY' club in Causeway Bay(?). I guess the more well known 'Construction Worker Stripper Review' was already being staged by their bitter archrivals over at the 'WHAT' club.

I suppose a 'muscle worker show' wouldn't be that unusual a strip club in the US that occasionally caters to bachelorette parties (usually made up of tipsy secretaries and bitter divorcees). But these guys either have a brutally dry sense of humor (pretty doubtful) or they missed that newsflash about the Village People being gay fantasy icons. So it makes no sense to charge 'gents' $200 HKD at the door - hell they should pay straight guys $200 just to get them inside. Unless this is a gay club; but then why let ladies in free, or offer them unlimited free drinks? Why would gay men pay $200 for a chance to get straight women drunk? Maybe that's why they're called the WHY club - Why? Why the hell not?

Who's Dope? The Bro5, That's Who

A poster for the 'Who's Dope' dance competition. It seems some in HK have wholeheartedly embraced street dance culture (if 'culture' is the correct term) right down to the ludicrous names - Tommy x Bro5? Is that supposed to be a play on 'bros'? And the tagline - 'Dance Forever in my Life'? God I hope not.

Anyway do we really need a competition to determine who is in fact dope? It seems all the dancers represented here are living incarnations... manifested in their recycled breakdancing moves, faux gang signs, sparkly shirts, hats worn at rakish angles, and of course baggy jeans belted well below the pelvis.

I must confess I'm a bit concerned that too much dope will be concentrated in one place during the 'final'. Usually the hyper-dope crew assembled to judge spread out the dope to manageable levels across the planet (unlike our friends at the Hong Kong Funky Dance Centre, who seem to want a concentrated funk implosion - the fools). Could we see the unintentional creation of fusion right here in HK, powered not by deuterium reactors, but dope?

'80s Stoner Chick Returns

This is another window display from our friends at AnotherFCK, the hipster geniuses behind the "Dream World" geek posted last month; it seems they're now playing up the classic '80s stoner chick. I especially like the matted-hairspray look matched with the monstrous flower clip. Now you too can act heavily sedated and/or bored out your mind while hanging out in the school pot dealer's basement. Then its off to combat the munchies with some nasty 7-11 nachos, followed by some serious bitching about angst, suburbia, and that weird smell coming from the couch.

'Norse Trade Route' - the new A&F

This is a t-shirt adorning a weekend dad in Victoria Park (for what its worth he had no problem with my taking a picture - unfortunately the picture didn't turn out well, and his head got cut off by a jungle gym).

I looked up 'NTR' - apparently this bold new brand has yet to have its official roll out. But Abercrombie and Diesel beware - the Norse are coming to establish a trade route, and woe to any who dare oppose them. One would assume that Vikings would be more interested in raping and pillaging, though truth be told they did a whole lot more colonizing and founding kingdoms like 'Muscovy' (aka Moscow), but I digress. This is the 21st century after all, so global trade rules the day...

JESSI'CAR' - For Car-Loving Fashionistas

Wow. It seems the publishers of JESSICA (a fashionique highend magazine here in HK) have done my work for me. Not much to add to 'car-loving fashionistas'... to say nothing of cleverly adding 'car' to the end of JESSICA - a masterstroke of wordplay.


This impressive little icon graces the window of a shoe shop here in Happy Valley. I was never a fan of the whole Mario Brothers/Donkey Kong thing; in fact I found it's popularity quite perplexing, especially considering the fact that it a) made no f**king sense, even as video games go, or b) it had the most annoying music and sound effects ever created.

Still someone obviously liked Mario enough to purchase a diamond/rhinestone encrusted version of him, apparently in the hope that it will help sell shoes(?). I wonder if any of the women browsing the various pumps and stilettos here are swayed by Glammario. Maybe they also sell the whole outfit in ladies sizes - nothing says glam or 'tricked out' like a bejeweled paperboy hat, overalls and work boots. Somewhere there's an evil "glamwario' plotting to pry those precious gems off our beleaguered hero. And yes the fact that I know there is an 'anti-mario' called wario - despite my best efforts to avoid such useless info - is quite annoying to me.

House of Small Potato

This is a cafe(?) in Causeway Bay. Unlike the House of Blues in Chicago, Small Potato doesn't offer big stars or blues legends (or pasteurized covers and overpriced drinks either), but your second home, a place to unwind with other unknowns and well, small potatoes. You can strip down to socks and underwear, play a few lazy games of go-fish, watch original 'Battlestar Galactica' reruns on the analog TV, or cheer on the newbie guitarist up on the makeshift corner stage as he butchers 'Mannish Boy'.

I'm assuming the zoot-suited potato is an allusion to jazz aficionados, but its frankly hard to tell. He does have a rather contented expression though, so maybe this would be a nice place to while away an afternoon...

Pursuit WIll Go By 18 Wheels!

Another t-shirt from North Point - Pursuit WIll Go By This! I like the Old Glory trailer, but the tricked out NASCAR truck cab cranks it up a gear; check out the ground effects. I wonder if the cab has a 'Calvin & Hobbes' sticker, with a maliciously grinning Calvin urinating on the hated #84. What or who is actually being pursued is not clear, but whoever it is better be ready for a goddamn ass-kickin'. Good to see some 'friends don't let friends drive chevy's" spirit alive and well so far from the heartland, err, homeland. I'd love to watch the pursuee's panicked eyes as he/she/it checks their rearview mirror, and sees #83 roaring up his tailpipe, bearing down with a special delivery of Stars and Stripes and a little thing we like to call freedom...

Happy Mexican Girly

A poster for Liz Liza's spring collection at SOGO, the new 'happy mexican girly' line. These ladies are on the forefront of human-anime hybrids, carrying the Japanese fetish for big eyes to its logical extreme. Indeed its now all the rage for 'girly' - hypercute Asian women - to sport contact lenses with enlarged pupils and sparkly irises. This is supposed to make the eyes look even larger and anime-esque. I've seen a few kids in HK wearing them, and its a bit unsettling up close; they look like more frightened than cute, and they seem unable to see peripherally. Apparently several eye doctors have come out against them, as your real pupil can't deal with the extra light etc. Alas beauty knows no pain, as they say.

Out of curiosity I googled Liz Lisa - the website I found is mostly in Japanese, but from what I could gather it seems the spring collection is bereft of actual 'mexican' designs. Heaps of 'happy' and 'girly' though...

Head Shop II

A hair salon in Ap Lei Chau. For Americans of a certain age the term 'head shop' usually refers to a store that sells pot smoking paraphenalia, or 'recreational tobacco water pipes', the 'legal' term for them. Honestly has anyone EVER smoked tobacco out of a bong?

Anyway the name was just enough to justify inclusion here, though the added 'II' piqued my interest - where is head shop I? Must be pretty impressive. Also I like the subtle hair follicle and the clinging pink bubbles. Head Shop I actually rinses out the shampoo - and then uses the pink water for 'recreational tobacco inhalation'.

Some Very Happy Beach Toys

This is a store window for a new boutique in Happy Valley. I looked up Anna Rita N, which turns out to be a high end Italian fashionique outfit. The ad campaign is from Italy, so I that lets the locals off the hook so to speak. I was literally stopped in my tracks by this one - not by the model and her admittedly distracting legs, but by the bizarre inclusion of blowup clownfish at her feet. They really seem to appreciate the upskirt view, and she seems happy to engage in a little exhibitionism. Not sure what or who this is supposed to entice; voyeuristic beach toy fetishists? Leg aficionados with a hidden desire to be Nemo?