Screencap Clearance Sale!
LIKE YOU, in my travels around this crazy world we call the internet, I’m forever taking little screencaps (or “screengrabs” if you’re from Canada) of things that intrigue me. But enough about the contents of that folder I’ve got buried in another folder, in another folder, and so on, twenty folders deep, intentionally mislabeled “2008 Taxes.” (And yet it somehow seems to float to the top and open on its own to the delight of everyone behind the counter every single time I bring my laptop in to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store.)
No, I’m talking about all these other screencaps that end up sitting on my desktop forever because I decide I need to do something with them. I need to hold them up to the light for all to see and address them somehow. Whether they’re odd, amusing or infuriating, I’m sick of seeing them here, so let’s get them off my computer and on my website, where no one will see them! Well, except for you, what, six folks, bless you. So gather ’round for the screencap clearance sale!
Did I say “sale”? My mistake! These are available to you at no charge whatsoever! All free today!
Let’s start with this one:
Oh boy, another Batman origin story! What’s it been, two months since the last one? “The origin of the Dark Knight as you’ve never seen it before!” I guess that means the overhead shot of young Bruce Wayne in short pants kneeling by his two murdered parents in the circle of light from the streetlamp above has been drawn from an exciting new angle!
I guess that’s a little, eh, esoteric if you don’t read comics.
Well, instead, try this one on for size:
Ignore the thumbnail in the middle – for now. It’s the two on the sides you need to worry about. Like you, I never noticed it before, either, until I saw this: Bill Maher looks exactly like Chris Cooper! Isn’t that weird?! I speak for all of us when I say now I’m kind of jealous of that photo in the middle! After seeing this, who wouldn’t want to be the meat in a Bill Maher / Chris Cooper sandwich?
See, this was worth a blogpost, right? Onward!
Now, this here – as you know, I’m an inveterate complainer, and I had some reason to bitch about some meal I ate at some fast food joint, so I got online and took their customer satisfaction survey. Upon doing so, I had even more to complain about! Namely, this:
It reads, in Spanish, “Click the flag to enter the Spanish version of the survey.”
“Ted, you racist bastard,” you’re saying, “How dare you have a problem with catering to those who refuse to help themselves by integrating into American society and learning English! How dare you!”
No! No no no! Dear God, no! That’s not my point at all! Jesus, no! No! ¡Dios mio, no!
No, my only point was that it seems to me a bit discriminatory of the good folks at the Yum! family of fine quick-serve (industry term) establishments to use the Mexican flag as a clickable icon for those who happen to live in America and only speak (and read) Spanish. I mean, if the language is “Spanish,” shouldn’t they use the flag for Spain? Isn’t it a little presumptuous for the Yum! people to imply that the Spanish-only-speaking folks in this fine, fine country of ours all came from Mexico?!
That was all I was getting at. Sheesh! Let’s just move on.
Came across this next one when I was on the Garmin website. As you probably know, you can update some GPSs to speak with different character voices – Muppets, Star Wars, Simpsons and, inexplicably, a Yeti that only grunts. Here, the pitch for the Cookie Monster bundle:
“Just don’t be surprised if he makes detours to the nearest bakery”…?!
Yeah, that’s what I want to read about a device whose sole purpose is to efficiently and accurately guide me to where I’m trying to go!
“Honey, my water broke an hour ago! We need to get to the hospital – I’m crowning here! Why did you drive us to Bundt Munch?!”
“I don’t know! Cookie Monster sent me here!”
“We arrive at destination! Now go in and buy me cookie! Ah num num num!”
And this – and I don’t even remember where I saw it, but like you’re doing right now, I fell in love with this sequence of images immediately:
That’s awesome! Shouldn’t this be some sort of meme? Who do you send these things in to be considered for memes? How can I nominate this one? It would totally be a cool meme, right?
This was on eBay a while back, for sale, as-is:
It’s missing seven pieces! The opening bid was $12.95! That’s crazy! I saved it as a screencap because I knew you’d think it was crazy, too! Five missing pieces – where’s the Buy-It-Now button, because I’m ready to drop forty bucks on this thing! Six missing pieces – I’ll put in a bid for twenty-five bucks and not a penny more! But seven missing pieces? Good grief! Get the hell out of here!
From the Unfortunate Choice of Words Department:
Not only will I help stomp out domestic violence, I’ll smack it around and give it a couple of black eyes while I’m at it, because it’s worthless and it was asking for it!
Hoo boy, there go half my regulars. Don’t worry, Ted, they’ll be back. They always come back.
Below a hard-hitting piece on the recent and then-trending sale of Don Knotts’ house, on the website of local hard-hitting news leader the LA Times:
Thanks for asking! Now I feel like I’m part of the story! However, the poll would have benefited from a third option, “I’m still holding out for Morey Amsterdam’s place coming back on the market.”
Last week it was time for Mr. Whiskers’ checkup and oil change. I wanted to see if he needed another goddamn rabies shot. So I did a search on it!
What an idiot I’ve been. I’ve been trying to prevent cat rabies, and here I could have been stocking up and saving on it!
Now here’s just a couple of examples of something I’ve been seeing all over the place for months. We’ve gone from the helpful, concerned-sounding “Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” links which at least imply a modicum of concern and sympathy…to this: An alarmist, taunting, uh-oh, “good-luck-brother-you’re-gonna-need-it” angle:
Fortunately, I guess if you’re five for five on their checklist, you won’t remember how crass and cold-hearted this approach is.
This was at the top of Google News for a little while one day last week. I can’t be the only one who saw it, but here it is in case you missed it:
Later, when it wasn’t the top news item, but was knocked down on the page by a few stories, they still hadn’t fixed it!
It’s rare, but sometimes the obvious bias of the news media has delightful results. Though there are those – Leon Panetta, women in the military, and perhaps chimpanzees – who might have reason to disagree.
And speaking of Google News, from the Ya Think?! department:
Stop the presses! Stop the presses and give whoever wrote that headline a frickin’ Pulitzer! Jeez, I’m turning into Jay Leno here with the funny headlines and also the unbridled contempt and hatred all my peers have for me.
Recently, a pal without internet access (don’t ask!) asked me to go onto the IKEA website and look something up for her. Here’s a sign-up form I happened across:
Let’s go in for a closeup of the pre-checked box there, hmm?
Oh by all means, IKEA, yes! Send me inspirational emails and updates! My subscriptions to The Watchtower, Daily Devotions, The Word Among Us and Our Daily Bread have all run out and I need some spiritual guidance! Praise be to the almighty Billy Bookcase!
Like you, last month I spent some time going through my inbox, trying to stem the tide of all the time-wasting emails I get from companies when I enrolled in some store savings program. So when I clicked on the link to unsubscribe from CVS emails, I noticed two things: One, that when I signed up for the little savings card that is tied to these emails, it seems I was enrolled in the “ExtraCare Beauty Club” program. This actually makes sense because I am indeed a hideous monster and I need all the extra care I can get in the beauty department since it looks like I was beat with a club.
…And two, evidently there are enough people who consider unsubscribing from unwanted emails…but then take a long, hard look at their life and at their choices, have a change of heart and decide to give their relationship with a spam-sending company a second chance to try to make it work – there are enough of those people for said corporation to include an opt-out-of-opting-out button. These same folks, we must presume, don’t know how to close a browser window or use the backwards button. God bless them.
And God bless this guy, who seems to be a cross between Carol O’Connor and 60s character actor Liam Redmond.
“Parkinson’s, eh? This sounds like it could be a fun quiz! Maybe I’ll do better on this than I did on that Alzheimer’s one, where I only got three out of…three out of… …I wonder how late Woolworth’s is open.”
Did we find out who’s in charge of officially declaring things memes? Because, pal, I’ve got another nominee here! Or should I say “nomin-meme!” Or maybe I should really say “nom-meme-atee!”
Kind of makes you wonder just what sort of websites I’m visiting when I’m not writing this garbage, doesn’t it?
Here’s something fun I saw on a fireworks site last year. Kids love this!
You’ll pardon the “assorment” and “noveltiesi” typos. The four-year-old Chinese girl who typed this up only has seven fingers.
“At first I really wanted to be on Guy’s game show and win cash, but what am I going to do with money? An experience like this, however, is priceless.”
Five lucky second prize winners will receive a text message from Rachel Ray.
Last month I was on the disgusting City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitation website. (Note here “disgusting” refers to the City of Los Angeles, not its Bureau of Sanitation nor its website.) I was trying to find out how our weekly trash pickup was affected by Martin Luther “King” Cole’s birthday, Jr. That’s when I happened across this:
Oh, sure they can have a Dead Animal Collection, they can collect dead animals free of charge, but you pick up a couple of flattened squirrels off Laurel Canyon for an art project, or for if you ever decide to teach yourself taxidermy, or just to have, and suddenly, your friends and family are quietly making calls to producers at “Confessions: Animal Hoarders.”
But more importantly: why would a website direct users to their “local yellow pages”?
We’ll end with my favorite screencap that features just two lines of text that some might say don’t go together at all:
But not me! I wouldn’t say it. I’m trying to figure out the significance of the photo they used. Is this little girl herself an evil socialist? Or is she patriotically ratting out suspected socialists in her class? I didn’t click on the image, so we’ll never know.
I think that’s plenty for today.