Archive for the ‘anomalies’ category

Jif’s “Squirrel” Commercial…

September 8, 2019

 
I would probably have long since starved to death were it not for peanut butter.  I’ve eaten it since childhood, and continue to turn to it several times a week.  At times, I even crave it; peanut butter is my go-to lunch and snack of choice when I don’t know what to eat. That being said, I indulge my guilty pleasure at home; even I may not be seen at a park, slathering peanut butter on a slice of bread.  I’ve never been known to carry a jar of peanut butter around with me; I’m just not that hard-core…

…not so the curly-haired young lady in our Jif commercial!  Seated on a park bench, she whips herself up a thickly-spread slice of peanut butter bread, only to find herself approached by a squirrel.  Aww…isn’t he cute?  Who could deny him?  So she gives him a tidbit, and is soon approached by another squirrel, then another! No good deed goes unpunished, after all.  Soon the woman is surrounded by dozens of squirrels, kinda like what happens when you feed french fries to sea gulls at the beach…

…It’s then that the commercial takes a surreal turn, for towering above the sea of squirrels is a creepy man-squirrel, wearing a squirrel mask that covers his entire head.  He, too, is seeking a hand-out, and even making beseeching squirrel-noises.  Is this a peanut butter pervert?  And what should the young lady do?  Mace him, scream for help, or try to bean him with the peanut butter jar? This question is left unanswered, but some people will go to any lengths for the product.  It’s that Jif’ing good, we’re told.  I do sympathize, honestly, sharing the addiction…

…but in my twisted mind fed by a love for horror, the question lingers;  what happens when the woman runs out of peanut butter?  Do the legion of squirrels and their squirrel-headed human-sized leader decide that the lady might be tasty, too?  A few pounce on her to take a tentative nibble, and soon she is writhing under a blanket of them…Aieee! (The screen fades to black as we hear squirrels chittering…the Day of the Squirrel is at hand!)

 

Progressive’s “Motaur” Commercial

July 4, 2019

This is truly bizarre; cool and creepy at the same time, like some fiendish device created by Skynet to work towards the extermination of the human race.  We’ve all heard of Centaurs, those fusions of man and horse, and we know about Minotaurs, those hybrids of bull and man. Cyborgs are a fusion of man and machine, and apparently if we make the inorganic components those of a motorcycle, we’ve got ourselves a Motaur…word play intentional.

The Progressive commercial plays off of the close linkage between a biker and their machine, and the Motaur (played by Terrence Terrell) is literally fused to his, although in conversation with bikers he reveals that he sometimes wishes for legs with his machine components on top.  “For those who love to ride, there’s Progressive,” we are told by the announcer, leaving us to wonder if an ailing Motaur sees a physician or a mechanic…and how many miles per gallon does he get?!

The Ozark Howler…

June 7, 2019

The Ozark Howler as profiled on In Search of Monsters (Season 1, Episode 10, the Travel Channel) ranges in the dense forests of the Ozark mountains, and is a large feline-type creature traditionally described as having black fur and horns, and equipped with razor-sharp claws and teeth. In some accounts, he also sports glowing red eyes, with which it can give a “death stare.”  In spite of this, there are no reports of a Howler attack on people!  As his name would suggest, the Howler has a cry described as unsettling, uncanny, and terrifying.  A family in Missouri has recorded this cry, and it can’t be identified.  Some speculate that the loud and focused cry is a form of communication between other members of the species, suggesting that there is more than one individual member.

Game camera images also exist supposedly of the creature, images which a wildlife expert could not identify.  In 2015, other photos of an unidentified, horned creature were also taken that could not be identified (below).  These images appear to be of a smaller, less terrifying creature, and some regard them to be photoshopped although the photographer adamantly denies this.

The history of the Howler gets interesting, with witches known to have been active in the Ozarks once upon a time, and one such witch reputed to have had a horned familiar.  Is the Howler then a supernatural entity created by witchcraft?!  None less than Daniel Boone in 1810 described shooting and wounding a black, horned creature.  More mundane speculation is that the Howler is a black mountain lion, leopard, or jaguar.  Winters in the Ozarks are judged to be too harsh for a leopard or jaguar to survive, however…

The Ozark Howler should not be confused with the Midnight Rambler, which was a Rolling Stones song not heard often enough. As my mind moves in strange directions, however, I can imagine myself visited by the Midnight Rambler, a terrifying late-night cryptid who arrives uninvited and engages in pointless conversation when you only want to sleep. “Just get to the point, dammit…either that or kill me and end my misery, OK?,” I pleaded. (What passed for a grin moved momentarily across The Rambler’s face. He fed off human misery, and had no intention of ending my suffering.)  “Let me tell you about what I had for lunch yesterday,” he began as I pounded my head against the wall, and prayed for the sweet release of death that would escape me…

 

Expedition Unknown: Hunt for the Yeti

April 6, 2019

Expedition Unknown featuring Joshua Gates can provide a quality presentation of paranormal topics and investigations that are anchored with both science and history, and attractively mounted.   I tend to pass on episodes involving such things as treasure hunts, while pursuits of legendary creatures have me on board.  In one such episode recently presented titled Hunt for the Yeti — Everest Yeti Hunt, Josh started his journey in Kathmandu, heading high into the Himalayan mountains of Nepal to obtain scientific evidence of the Yeti.  

Hopping from one village to another, Josh wound up in a monastery reportedly having a Yeti scalp in their possession that had been there for 200 years, and kept in a closed and locked case.  After back and forth negotiations with the temple high lama brokered by a monk, Josh was allowed to see and physically examine the scalp, and even remove a single hair for later analysis.  A second monastery was later visited that at one time had claimed to possess a Yeti hand, one digit of which was stolen to have been later followed by the entire hand.  Today, only replicas of the hand reconstructed from photographs may be seen.  While the hand has been lost, analysis of the finger conducted later reflected human DNA, and the hand itself is felt to have come from the body of a deceased Himalayan climber discovered in the past.

There are an abundance of human eyewitnesses to the Yeti, and Josh at times through interpreters talked to a number of them, including a farmer who claimed to have lost over a dozen yaks to the Yeti, their remains being found torn apart.  Searching through the surrounding woods, Josh and his team did find yak bones strewn about in the woods.  Josh himself thought that he saw movement and perhaps a shape beyond a stream, but found nothing by the time he forded the raging waters.  The team did collect some scat and hair from suspected Yeti “nests,” and hopefully will be picking up on this story in the future.  Until that time, there are a variety of eyewitnesses but no conclusive evidence of the Yeti’s existence…

 

Snickers “Fantasy Night” Centaur…

January 28, 2019

 

No, good readers, we have not turned into a BDSM blog, but are only sharing images of a centaur which appears in a Snickers “Fantasy Night Football” commercial.  You see, Matt, the centaur pictured, has gotten his fantasy nights confused…and we’ve all been there, right (–not)?  So anyhow, Matt decides to go horsing around, and shows up at a neigh-bor’s house in his centaur’s costume.  The only problem is, it’s Football Fantasy night, and not…whatever else it is that Matt is into, ahem!  We shall not go there, being a semi-respectable establishment…

The commercial may be seen as an extension of the “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry” Snickers theme, and Matt must be hungry indeed.  Perhaps it’s appropriate that Matt is in his centaur suit, since Snickers is named after a horse…and being a centaur does add new layers of meaning into the expression, “going for a ride.”  

I’ve always wondered, though…when a centaur is ill, does he see an MD or a veterinarian?  There are unanswered questions here…hmmm!

 

“Emotional Support” Blobfish…

January 8, 2019

I’m not unsympathetic to the idea of Emotional Support Animals, although some people have pressed the limits of what may be considered such an animal, and where it may be appropriate to take them.  As a case in point we have a Credit Karma commercial where a female passenger on an airline notices a male in the same seat row sporting a blobfish on his lap, who he introduces as Harold, an emotional support animal that he enlisted when his credit rating caused damage to his self-concept.  The woman advises the man that he can gain tips on improving his credit rating from Credit Karma, a thought which so excites the man that he accidentally drops Harold on the aircraft floor.  “He’ll be all right,” reassures the man.  “He’s a bottom feeder!

Now blobfish are real, a deep sea creature found in waters 2,000 to 3,900 feet deep off mainland Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.  A few years back, they were voted “the Ugliest Animal in the World.”  Blobfish are easier on the eyes if you see them in their natural habitat, since the appearance that people associate with them is caused by decompression damage as the specimens are brought to the surface.  So be kind to the blobfish, as you’re not seeing them at their best.  Harold could certainly not live out of water, even while he appears to move slightly during the commercial.

Sadly, no one claims blobfish as their spirit animal.  These guys just can’t seem to get a break.  And when it comes to emotional support animals, I’m inseparable from my inner fox

Stan Against Evil…

November 25, 2018


A comedy-horror series is a rare and wonderful thing, especially if it’s done well.  If you’ve missed this gem, you may want to check out Stan Against Evil, now in its third season on the IFC network.  The show takes place in the fictional New Hampshire town of Willard’s Mill, which was the site of witch burnings in the late 17th century.  As a result of that history, strange and creepy supernatural things continue to emerge there which are dealt with by the town’s former sheriff, Stan Miller (John C. McGinley) and it’s current one, Evie Barrett (Janet Varney).

Now Stan Miller is a delight as an aging, cynical, slovenly antihero who just wants to be left alone, but can’t even manage to do that! Teamed reluctantly with the young and beautiful woman who is his successor, Stan is pressed into service to battle legions of demonic monsters that include witches, vampires, evil puppets, and even a were-pony! Although he’d much rather be drinking and watching television, Stan uses traditional and improvised weaponry to devastating effect, repeatedly bludgeoning for example a large winged skeleton-bird wraith creature (at right) with a shovel until it moves no more .- – You gotta love this guy! 

 The show parodies horror in a loving fashion, and manages nods to The X-Files and other traditions from which it has drawn.  I’m glad to see something like this still in active production…long may its demonic beasties thrive!