Healthier Choices in Chicken-Rending

A public service(?) poster for eating healthier via the 'eatsmart restaurant' program. Apparently eating healthier starts with giving customers access to silverware, or at least cutting their chicken into manageable portions, thus saving desperately hungry (and time-constrained) businessmen the arduous hassle of rending their own chickens by hand...

Mickey the Pirate King

Another interesting prop from the Mickey street art exhibit. Seems he now fancies himself 'Mickey the Pirate King', and has created his very own pirate flag, which in its way is more disturbing than the skull and crossbones. Wonder if Mickey will be engaged in modern piracy along the East African coast, or stay local in Asia and terrorize the shipping lanes of Indonesia and the Philippines. Also if some of his old pals will take to their new career; Goofy becoming a sadistic goon with a chip on his shoulder about his intelligence and stutter - " yu-yu- ya callin' me stupid? well i'm gonna cut you a new tongue!" Or Donald Duck screaming Somali insults over a megaphone in his signature voice, then screaming 'waahhhgghhh!" as he empties his AK-47 across the party deck of an unlucky cruise ship...

T-Rexes Don't Make Good Pets

This is an older ad for a mobile service(?) here in HK. I love the T-Rex as faithful pooch motif, with his golden retriever coloring and lovingly personalized collar. I wonder what Sam plays fetch with; a water buffalo leg? An oar? Anyway this ad left me wondering how the happy family below deals with Sam when he gets too hungry or grouchy; T-Rexes are notoriously difficult pets, though not as bad as rottweilers. Sam gets pretty frustrated when ordered to 'shake' - it reminds him of his near-useless front legs, and makes him feel frustrated and inadequate. And as everyone knows, 'a frustrated T-Rex is a dangerous T-Rex'. I wonder how this weekend's jaunt to the park turns out - "Sam Sit! Stay! I mean it buster! Honey make a break for the car while I distract him with the buffalo leg! Stay Sam stay!"

Pucking Coffee

This is from the eminently forgettable (and preposterously overpriced) Portola hotel in Monterey CA; the only hotel I've ever stayed at that charged a US DOLLAR A MINUTE for internet access - yep 60 bucks an hour. No doubt cheaper - and more reiiable - in Birkina Faso.

The package below is the in-room coffee selection for the circa 1985 coffeemaker. It seems the intrepid entrepeneur Wolfgang Puck is at it again with his hand-crafted 'signature coffee' blends. Only the highest quality beans are selected in their millions by the Maestro himself - to be freeze dried and bagged by the ton for tourist trap hotels like the lovely Portola.

Hard working man our Wolfgang, first with Spago(?) or whatever his restaurant is called, then the gourmet microwave pizzas (each one meticulously hand-crafted by the Maestro himself- then shipped to Costcos and Walmarts across the country). Anyway what caught my eye was Wolfgang's expression on the packaging - I assume he's supposed to look dutifully impressed with his creation, but he seems more like "Vas is dis? You call zis f*cking coffee?!" Having tried it myself I have to say I'm more in the latter camp.

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.

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?

'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...


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...

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?

Frosty KO'd, Betrayed by VitaSoy

This was on a delivery truck downtown. It seems that the heated bottle of VitaSoy (soy milk) has KO'd our unfortunate snowman friend, and is now inexorably and painfully melting him (and wearing a toasty scarf just to rub it in too). Not sure what Frosty did to deserve such a cruel fate; he certainly looks friendly enough, what with his bowtie and matching tasseled hat and mittens. Indeed, he has that shocked expression of the double-crossed character in a thriller, one who's just been shot by in the back by his trusted partner - after he got too close the the truth.

Frosty: "Vita... buddy... why....?"

VitaSoy: "You just couldn't leave well enough alone, could you Frosty?"

Hey Kids! It's Mini Bomb!

This is a children's clothing store(?) in Causeway Bay. I tried to find them on the internets, but as far as I can tell they are a local outfit. The name more than justifies inclusion here, but that crazy-ass logo increases its value exponentially. Don't recall ever seeing a kiddie franchise using a bomb as a mascot before, let alone one with psychotic 'star and lightning' eyes or a sharktooth smile. What parent could resist plastering this image across their two year old's chest? And then there's the 'cute lil' bunny' on the far left, no doubt an attempt to counterbalance the logo. I couldn't get close enough to see if the bunny has fangs too...