Sticker: We Have Hopes Because We Have Love...

From the packaging of a set of kiddie stickers given to my youngest daughter. Unfortunately a bit hard to read here, but it says "we have hopes because we have love" under the big "Sticker" label. While dressing up products with nonsensical English phrasing is quite typical in Asia, few if any offer such stirring musings as this. Yes, sometimes its the little things that remind you of what's truly important in life, things like hopes, love, and stickers...

Makes for a great mantra too - we have hopes because we have love, and we have love because we have sticker, and we have sticker because we have hopes, and...

.

Cafe Dream On

A cafe in Causeway Bay, which I was unable to find an entrance for, though I confess I didn't try especially hard. It sure looks dreamy - note the fans and outdoor speakers as well as a Parisian street lamp to add a touch of Champ Elysees.

I assume the owner didn't realize that the phrase 'dream on' sounds innocent enough, but can have a negative connotation in normal usage. Or maybe thats the whole point; it's supposed to be inaccessible and dismissive to peons like myself, available only to the select few VIPs who know the secret tunnel entrance. Want to partake of our exclusive coffees and exquisite pastry treats? Dream on little man, dream on...

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...

'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...

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...

Might Want to Reconsider That Name...

This is a hair salon in Causeway Bay. Pretty tame compared to 'dragon beard icy crispy candy', but not the ideal choice if for someone selling coiffure expertise. Unless they specialize in the über-grunge anime hair so popular with the HK hipster set. I suppose I could wait outside for a bit and get a before/after shot: first the normal haired customer entering with, then exiting an hour later with full-on 'Robert Smith from the Cure as Manga hero...

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)...



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...

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?

Dodge-Em Tricky Action

One of the last of the trove that is the Heritage Museum. I thought they couldn’t top ‘Mr. Smash’, but ‘Dodge-Em Tricky Action’ gives him a run for his money. I love the innocent little ‘duck and cover’ kids riding the bumper cars; I especially love that some bored museum employee posed the little girl shaking her fist at the rapscallion little boy who’s about to ram her. Hopefully she’ll employ some artful dodge-em tricky action and send him flying into the patriotic border ring...

Placenta Infiltration Therapy

A new skin treatment at a local spa. Bizarre enough phrasing to proudly stand alone, though it does make one wonder exactly whose placenta is being infiltrated, and how...

Cringe-Inducing Cardoor Kitsche on a Hover Car

A cardoor decoration from Beijing. I initially stopped to get a picture of the car’s name, the ‘Hover’, which is apparently a new SUV from a Chinese car company called Great Wall - no really. I hope they weren’t trying to rhyme with ‘Rover’. If so, someone in their international marketing dept. needs to brush up on their English. Also they might want to know that ‘hover car’ has obvious futuristic connotations; I assume people arent’ buying this vehicle with the expectation that it will in fact well, hover. By the way what ever happened to the flying cars we were all supposed to have by now? Maybe Great Wall has something up their sleeves, hopefully more practical than their namesake landmark...

But I digress. as I stopped to shoot the aforementioned quirky name I saw what I thought was an oddly colored door pad, only to realize that this was a novelty item the owner had no doubt purchased while very, very drunk. Having a set of fingers trapped in a cardoor is the most unsettling car decoration i’ve ever seen, far more than the old ‘cabbage patch baby hanging by its fingers in the car window’ that thankfully fell out of favor years ago. This is cringe, even nightmare-inducing stuff for anyone who’s ever actually done this, ie slammed their fingers in a car door. I literally pulled my hand back in reflexive horror when I saw it. Suffice it to say it doesn’t make the car hover any better either...



LUCID CUBE... Air Freshener or Dream Enhancer?

One of the odder taxi dashboard adornments I’ve seen - an air freshener named ‘LUCID CUBE’. Not sure if they had anything in mind other than ‘hey it rhymes!” A waste of a funky name really, as I can think of any number of interesting devices that could use a moniker like this, say a virtual reality generator, or an REM sleep brainwave booster. Maybe it really is a lucid dream enhancer disguised as a dashboard air freshener - which would explain why our driver kept weaving around unseen obstacles and driving like a waking nightmare...

In the Blue Ocean Palace There Are Many Programs, Including Water-Larkishness

From a brochure for a resort outside of Beijing. Apparently Blue Ocean Palace has a hot spring pond whose grounds are constructed entirely from green jades. Wow. As if this were not enough, they claim to be the ‘first place in Beijing’ to boot; a veritable paradise of water sports (surfing and drifting) and spa treatments like ‘hydropathy-care’. Impressive lineup, but they also have venues for bowling, billiards and hairdressing. But it’s their singular ability to offer ‘water-larkishness’ that seals the deal for me. When’s the last time you were able to waterlark indoors? Exactly.



And as you can see by the accompanying shot of the pool, there is potential for water-larking aplenty. Never mind that the bizarre juxtaposition of stalactites, transplanted sections of cave wall, jade tiling, blimp hangar ceiling, and a flotilla of inflatable pool toys will melt your brain...

No Magic Jackets or Better Safe Than Static

A warning sign from a Chinese gas station. Glad to see they’re covering all the bases. No matches, gas cans, sparks from metallic tool repairs, and most importantly no magic jackets.



Or is that static producing clothing (no matter how über-fashionable or yummy warm they may be)? Oh well as the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “better safe than static”. It sounds much more noble in the original Mandarin...

Understand Classical: Witch-hatted Garlic Cloves Signify Roast Pig's Knuckles

Another selection from the previously mentioned menu. Nothing says classic Beijing cuisine like roast pig’s knuckles, and nothing signifies classic pig’s knuckles quite like a pair of witch-hatted cloves of garlic. Obvious really...

Even if the Trend is Changing, the Same is to Adhere to Taste - The Trendy Options

A bold, farsighted quote from the ‘trendy’ menu section of a Beijing area restaurant. I’m guessing they are trying to say something like new recipes still need to taste good. I could get the characters properly translated, but why spoil the mystique? And as quotes go, it’s far more thought provoking this way. Although I can’t say it made their entrees taste any better...

Close To The Distance Near Civilization

My first post from our Chinese New Year trip to Beijing. A sign from the men’s room at the Great Wall site at Mutianyu. A beguiling phrase to be sure, but its location raises even more intriguing questions...





Does this mean urinals equal civilization? So... being close to the distance near them is... hmmm. I thought this plaque was perhaps misplaced, but they were dutifully posted above the other ten urinal stations as well. I must have been missing something all these years, just staring blankly ahead while I did my business, unaware that I was on the very cusp of progress...

Intense Social "punk" Rock Sand - Crazy Music Rise And Shine

Another t-shirt from the aforementioned Comical Kids winter lineup. I have no idea what they are attempting here, but it does have a nice cadence to it... I guess. Perhaps this is what Sid Vicious used to greet the morning (or late afternoon) with each day: Crazy Music Rise and Shine!

Comical Kids Friends Towards the Horizon Courageous Rivers '53

A boy’s t-shirt on sale at Sogo. ‘Comical Kids’ is the brand name, and they’ve got some great unintentional material here. Seems they are exhorting young boys to look ’towards the horizon’ for ‘courageous rivers’, just like in ’53. Who can forget the madcap tots who ventured forth on that ill-fated 1953 expedition to find the fabled river of bravery?

Dense Feeling Moment

An odd little toy from a bookstore in Causeway Bay. They have a whole raft of ‘european’ store fronts on sale, which are not made for any particular toy. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a coffee shop that goes by that name in any of the EU countries. but who knows? Maybe its tucked away on some cozy backstreet in London or Brussels, beckoning to the local intelligentsia and occasional tourist to come enjoy a good cup of joe and experience a truly condensed emotional instant...

Dreamy Pie Vs. O!Karto

Two products available in the window of a nearby gas station’s food mart. I was just going to post about the relative merits of dreamy pies: so dreamy, so pie-y. But then I noticed the O!Karto faux french fries. So O!-y, so karto-y... So I now have a conundrum: dreamy pie or O!Kartos? And then I saw the Lay’s Kyushi Seaweed potato chips beside them (hard to read I know). Decisions, decisions... oh who am I kidding - gotta go with dreamy pie! Though I would advise caution regarding Lott’s less popular dark chocolate option, Nightmare Cake...

Who's Absent? Super Delicious Food! Take it, its Yours!!!

Another truly bizarre ad for the Food Forum restaurants at Times Square (note the ‘TS’ on the soldier’s helmet - nice touch). Apparently if you’re present, you are eligible for some super delicious food - in fact you’re authorized to ‘just take it, its yours!!!’ The juxtapositions here are mind boggling: the aforementioned WWII grunt with a huge fork strapped to his back, carrying a grocery bag overflowing with oddly matched fresh produce; the utterly nonsensical headline; the obnoxious impossible to read warped font (it’s actually called ‘hobo’ and is one of the ugliest fonts ever devised); the WWII British bomber crashlanding in the background, after narrowly missing the airdropped giant pumpkins; and last but not least, the Iraq/Afghanistan-era US troops in the foreground, all dutifully waiting for chowtime, also equipped with monstrous utensils. I guess they need the extra large silverware to get into the pumpkins?

So what does ANY of this have to do with the various restaurants of the Food Forum? Nothing! Just follow orders, soldier! And if anyone tries to impede you as you fill your duffel with a veritable cornucopia of pineapples, grapes and radishes, well just impale them with your army issue giant golden fork. Take it, its yours!

Illinois of Augustana Gusties

A t-shirt from Champion, from the Sogo dept. store in Causeway Bay. They have a ton of these faux American high school shirts, with innocuous fictitious names like Carbondale Vikings etc. But this one definitely takes the cake. Of course in alternate universe Illinois the Gusties are a bit of a legend, the only school to win consequeitve state titles in both football and basketball twelve years in a row. I do think they mean Augustana of Illinois(?), which of course doesn’t really exist either. But hey who cares? Goooo Gusties! Blow ‘em away!

'The Hippies' Rock n' Roll Music Crocodile Conspiracy Sweater

A boy’s sweater for sale at a local HK clothier. It appears ‘The Hippies’, those world famous purveyors of Rock n’ Roll music and subliminal messaging, have sold out to the Man at last. Now their counterculture rockin’ vibe can be seen gracing the sweaters of 4 year olds everywhere. Note the small (hard to see) smiling crocodile mascot on the drum kit - nice touch. Of course The Hippies were famous for hiding obscure meanings and symbols in their records and album covers. In fact if you put this sweater on a vintage phonograph and play it backwards, you can just make out the phrase I buried ‘Paul’, aka the body double/impostor Hippy’s pet crocodile...

Fisherman's Soho High Tea/Sport Bar/Bridal Tea House. And Hotel.

Just your typical hotel/fisherman’s soho high tea/sport bar/bridal teahouse/ hotel. Dime (tenpence?) a dozen here in HK. If only they catered to a more diverse clientele...

I Don't

A small jewelry outfit in HK. I like the name, catchy at least, but prompts it too many questions of its clientele. You do... what? Offer great bargains on cubic zirconium and electroplate? Weddings? Maybe its even deeper than that: I do, therefore I am...

Takeachance with NAFNAF League

An intriguing chinglish phrase adorning the back of a shopper in Wanchai. Naf naf league is a French(?) designer label, though the only products I could find online were on ebay and charity gift sites. Oh well. Definitely a catchy name, though, and the phrase 'takeachance with naf naf league' just has a nice cadence to it. Or maybe its a nod to the infamous ABBA song, and its diabolical take a chance, take a chance, take a chance chance chance background chant - which of course will now be stuck in my head all day...

Passion on Poodle - You Only Cry Once...

A poodle breeder etc. in Causeway Bay. Gaite means 'gaiety' in French. While one imagines they don't actually sell gay poodles, passion on poodle is a painfully poor choice of copy. Suffice it to say they were a tad naive when they wrote it up? Anyway they sell very, very expensive poodles (and poodle bling), which are popular in HK though not as much as other precious yippy breeds.



They also have another sign close by (unfortunately is obscured in this shot). It says buy the best you only cry once. How true, especially in the take-no-prisoners world of poodle gaiety. Choose poorly and you may well be stuck with merely content (heureux), or mildly amused (légèrement amusé)...


Yumi Skinjet - Now with French Pressure Tut New Radio Technology

A bus-side ad for the latest in slimming technology from Dr. Renew, the 'Yumi Skinjet'. The web translation claims it utilizes 'French pressure Tut new radio technology (!) without needles, recognized and awarded by the U.S. FDA, American scientists patent awards, SKINJET to speed in 0.01 seconds, between the moment the essence of liquid mist into the skin in depth from 3.2 to 9.1 mm underlying the skin, skin can be completely absorbed.'

Well if it has American scientists working on it, it must be safe! I guess the depth of the 'essence of liquid mist' is key here - deadly over 9.2mm, but Dr. Renew is a trusted professional and knows his way around a French pressure Tut radio. Still why not go one better? How about a 'Belgian Ramses hyperwind tunnel' generating Mach 5 airspeeds, forcing the subcutaneous fat cells into a slimmer, more aerodynamic shape? Or not...

Tri-Chromatic Cohering Extravaganza Paraphrasis Together Similarly. OK?

A sign for a wedding/image consultant in Causeway Bay. Yet another case of nifty words haphazardly strung together for maximum effect. Still its true that a tri-chromatic cohering extravaganza combined with a paraphrasis can really kick your wedding up a notch...

Love in a Puff

A romantic comedy here in HK. I haven't (and never will, to be honest) see this movie, so I can't attest to its merits. I've seen commercials though, and from what I can gather, the guy buys cigarettes from a 7-11, and his suave smoking becomes a metaphor for whimsical romance - or something. Again what got my attention was the name - one of those titles that makes you wonder if the translator is having some fun at his clients expense. Love in a jiffy? an eyeblink? Love of righteous weed? Of secondhand smoke?

GWEATSPORT

A window poster for a mainland fitness clothing store. I'm assuming they were trying for 'greatsport', but who knows, maybe they decided to incorporate 'sweat' into the name, so gweat is a combination of the too(?) Note that this was taken from an escalator, so in reality her head isn't quite so disturbingly skewed...

NOT... Mountain Range? Sphinx Label?

A Chinese knockoff I stumbled across in North Point. Yet another case of someone with just enough knowledge of English to be dangerous. Sure 'mountain range' is potentailly apropos for a camo backpack, and 'sphinx label' certainly has a touch of ancient mystery (if not modern coherence), but calling your product 'NOT...' is bit confusing. Not... what? Quality? Good for backpacking? Bulletproof? Still they are technically correct: this pack is NOT a mountain range...

Fasten Support Juice and Daidai Diet

A diet/slimming product at a local beauty shop. There are tons of slimming salons and diet products here, but few have the pedigree of the exclusive Fasten Club. Exactly what is being 'fastened' isn't exactly clear, but this juice apparently supports the process. Combined with the Daidai (die-die?) diet, club members can expect the pounds to just... fasten away?

Under the Glitz, a Veil of Luxury...

A newish development here in HK, with the nearly indecipherable (and rather forgettable) moniker of WarrenWoods. They easily make up for the uninspired name with the tagline though - 'under the glitz, a veil of luxury'. Hard to improve on that. But under the flash, beneath the thin veneer of luxury, what lies below? A screen of extravagance? A sheen of overindulgence? Or a portal into the fabled dimension of... Hyperluxury?

Heckyva Farest Geewhiz Celestial Certained Facts? Whatever Betide...

I don't often get a chance to take shots of chinglish/english mutilation t-shirts here, as usually they are being, well, worn at the time. And rarely does the word generation approach the sublime level exhibited here. Seems they hit upon a positive theme at least, with heckuva (mispelled) gee whiz and celestial all being upbeat, though i love the musing shakespearean ending. Whatever betide my friends, whatever betide...

1 of 480 Must Haves - the White Bible

A bus stop billboard from Jessica, a fashion mag here in HK. Still not sure if its named after HK starlet Jessica (like Oprah's O magazine in the US) or if they just decided that its a trendy sounding moniker. Anyway I was struck by the '480 must haves'. One cannot get by with a mere 479 essentials. And no such list is complete without a 'White BIble'. I assume this is a guide to wearing white, but perhaps its a guide to acting white, complete with mayonnaise recipes, outdated street slang, ideal wrangler jeans/college sweatshirt combinations, and the location of every TGIFriday's in the contiguous 48 states...

Kozy Corners - Seize the Comfort!

A shop window ad in Causeway Bay. I guess the folks at Kozy Corners (why didn't they spell corners with a k? - good question) felt they needed to add some energy to their soporific storefront. They're now exhorting customers to rise up and 'seize the comfort'. Yes, grab some prime Pier 1 bric-a-brac with both hands and ride that krazy kozy wave...

Masterpiece for the Mastermind

This real estate ad is unfortunately rather hard to read, but the tagline is 'masterpiece for the mastermind'. Seems they're trying to corner the local market on masterminds (and art aficionados, as masterminds often have expensive tastes). This is going to be a hard sell though - masterminds tend to want their own private HQ in a hollowed out volcano or refitted Latvian castle, rather than share space with the competition. Or maybe thats the point; the line does say 'mastermind' singular, so perhaps they're hoping to persuade a single supercriminal or evil scientist to take advantage of a readymade citadel. You supply the minions of course, but they supply the missile launch pad, deathray bay, and swimming pool - ready to stock with your own mutant sharks. Saltwater of course; and yes its hard to maintain and pricey, but no expense has been spared. Hell you can afford it - you're a mastermind...

Mr. Magic Would WOW You with the Wondrous World of Wonders

A subway poster in Admiralty, announcing the 'International WOW Magic on Earth II' . Seems one show couldn't contain all the WOW. The name qualifies it for easy inclusion here - though Mr. Magic's mullet and silver blouse take a close second.



I later looked this extraganza up on the internets, and found a trove of wow-inducing (if somewhat disturbing) pickin's. First off there's the tagline:

7 Magic Masters Made You Feel The WOW Once In Your LIFE (I guess having sex, falling in love, etc don't actually produce WOW for most people; kind of sad actually...)

And the 7 Masters each have their own uniquely worded story as well. A few selections from the program guide:

Escape from Reality; He’s cool. She’s even cooler. The two meet in the magic arena. Only one can be the winner. So guess what’s next. (Death by... cooling?)

Story of High Heel; A magician with a heart full of love. A pair of high heels. A romantic story is about to begin. (I really hope this isn't a shoe fetish thing...)

"He" is in a Bar; This ‘guy’ in the Magic Bar – what will he serve up next? (I really don't know what to do with this one. Is 'he' a she? Does that magically influence his/her bartending somehow?)

And the best of the bunch - Moments with Mr. Magic; Mr. Magic would WOW you with the Wondrous World of Wonders. (A whole new take on www...)

The site also provided some choice bio information on our WOW-ists. I had no idea Magic had so many championships, certificates, and awards. Here are just a few:

...awarded twice in the World Magic Championship, aka FISM, and has a Master’s Degree in the F.F.F.F. Original Close-up Magic Convention USA...

...the first Japanese to win the Magic Manipulation World Championship in World Magic Championship, aka FISM, and the Golden Lion Award in Las Vegas...

and finally Mr. Magic's CV: He is the only complete conjurer in Hong Kong... the only magician in Asia held AIMC Silver Star membership of the British Magic Circle and the only Hong Kong magician featured in Hollywood Magic Castle in the US... has a Bachelor Degree in the Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic Original Close-up Magic Convention...

Both the magic circle and the magic castle? But - but how? Ahh yes, magic. And yes thats 'Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic'. Think about that for a second. OK that's enough...

Cheapy

A music/movie outlet in TST; the name pretty much says it all. There are tons of DVD places like this here, all suspiciously similar, though this one really is quite cheap (maybe not such a bad name after all). They have the all usual cantopop available - note the 'Love Mi' poster (more on her later), as well as the latest hong kong martial arts blockbuster 'bodyguards and assassins' (make up your minds gentlemen, you can't be both). Ironically that DVD is outrageously overpriced....

'Variety King Kong' Transforminger

A toy from Guilin. Usually the mainland toy knock-offs try to get close to the copied product (enough for allusion if nothing else), but I suppose these guys aren't taking any chances with infringement. So rather than go for Transformingers or Optimum Primus Trucker, they've decided to go with the baffling moniker 'Variety King Kong'. If nothing else they're sure to throw the lawyers off the scent with this one...

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’...

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…

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…”

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…

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…

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

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….

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’…

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…