Archive for the ‘anthropomorphic’ category

Sierra Trading Post Squirrels; “Too Soon!”

May 2, 2019

Our Sierra Trading Post commercial begins with two chubby squirrels with human faces sitting on a rock presumably in a park, one of them holding a nut, and city skyscrapers visible in the background.  Two human joggers go past them, and they pause to admire their outfits, which it’s speculated were bought at Sierra. The male squirrel remarks that he used to jog, and the female chortles, “You never jogged!”  The male persists that he did, but had to stop when his Uncle Scruff apparently had a less than favorable encounter with a vehicle.  “I’m going to go across the street today,” ventures the male.  They both scream in a shrill fashion…

“Scruff had no sense of direction,” remarks the female squirrel.  ” Too soon!,” replies the male.  Epic brands…vast selection…Teeny-tiny prices, like our squirrels…Sierra!  RIP, Uncle Scruff…

(tip o’ the pen to Cary Comic for alerting me to this one!)

The Jersey Devil on “In Search of Monsters”

April 29, 2019

Strangely, The Travel Channel is home to a promising new paranormal series titled In Search of Monsters. In many ways reminiscent of previous such shows as Monster Quest, recent episodes of the series have stuck to the icons of cryptozoology such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and The Jersey Devil (Season 1, Episode 4).  Such topics are familiar ground to those of us with interest in the field, but the show is decently produced and at times interjects updated material and new perspectives on our old friends.

The Jersey Devil is one of the few cryptids with a backstory and time frame, based on Mother Leeds who actually lived and has living relatives.  Considered a witch of sorts, she was a healer and practitioner of pagan religion in colonial America who produced twelve children without a miscarriage or still birth, an unusual feat for the time.  The 13th child of Mother Leeds was a bit much for her to bear, however, so at its birth in 1735 the woman wished for it to be a devil. Words carry power, so the legend has it that the child, human-appearing at birth, morphed soon thereafter into an adult-sized, draconic-type thing with an elongated head, tail, and wings that flew around the room before escaping up the chimney to the Pine Barrens wilderness of New Jersey.

In the almost three hundred years since, numerous sightings of the Jersey Devil have been reported, including a great flurry of them in 1909 in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As to how the creature has endured for three centuries, speculation exists that the beast is demonic, with a witch having basically invited possession of her child by the devil at birth.  The Devil has reportedly been hit by gunfire on several occasions over the years with no effect, so indestructibility and immortality characterize it.  

The episode went on to speculate on what natural creature the Jersey Devil might be, touching on theories that it’s a misidentified large crane, a bat, or most intriguing, a pterosaur that had somehow survived with a breeding population, all hidden in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  While less common, sightings exist into recent years, with a hunter unsuccessfully pursuing one in 2016 and promoting a paranormal investigation in 2018 during which time equipment showed elevated energy readings suggesting to them that something was nearby.  The elusive nature of the Devil again harkens to its potentially supernatural nature, so at one point the episode had a paranormal researcher bring in a priest/exorcist to “The Witches Well,” a site where in the 18th century a witch lured the Jersey Devil, resulting in both being trapped there.  The priest/exorcist couldn’t perceive the Devil there, but called the Well an “active place” where entities existed.  

Lastly, the Pine Barrens is home to a large body of water 130 ‘ in diameter called The Blue Hole where no fish or other wildlife exists.  Reputed to be a type of gateway, speculation was that The Blue Hole may be a type of portal through which the Jersey Devil as a transdimensional type of being enters and exits our world.  Swimming is forbidden there, and a good number of body recoveries of people who didn’t listen have occurred on site –Does the Jersey Devil lurk within those waters?!

 …just a reminder that Foxsylvania does not necessarily endorse any of the stories that we cover, we are for entertainment purposes only.  This fox loves a good tale, however (should it be any wonder?)…and if The Travel Channel wants to take us to freaky locations, I’ll be along for the ride!

The Chantix Turkey Goes Camping…

April 22, 2019

Watching a commercial of the Chantix turkey camping, I wonder if the vest that he’s wearing is goose down filled, and if so whether the wearing of it isn’t some kind of crime against birds in general. Don’t get me wrong, he does look good in it, kind of like an avian Eddie Bauer.  One almost expects to see Elmer Fudd emerge from those woods in the background in his ludicrous hunting outfit, toting a long gun and announcing, “I’m hunting wabbit…but you’ll do!”  Then in my crossover fantasy, previous Chantix spokesman Ray Liotta emerges from those same woods, engaging Elmer in a firefight since one corporate spokesman might reasonably be expected to defend another.  Ray would easily win the fight, having played tough guys in Mafia-inspired films.  Elmer is hardly known as being a marksman…

Other questions lurk, too…since the Chantix turkey represents the slow turkey approach to smoking cessation, might we someday expect to see his cousin, cold turkey?  That bird might be imagined as being cold to the point of chattering, and to have really jittery nerves.  As we view the Chantix turkey hiking in the woods, we’re sorry that he’s mute.  Perhaps in the future he could be given a voice, even singing the Happy Wanderer song as he hikes.  With just a little refinement, this turkey could really take off.  He even cooks over a campfire, and I’d toast marshmallows with him..we’re all forest friends here!

  

Arm and Hammer Litter “In Control” Commercial

April 12, 2019

Human-sized anthropomorphic cats can be a wonderful fantasy or a chilling nightmare, depending on the individual’s perspective.  Arm and Hammer Cloud Control cat litter brings us one such feline family in a brief recent commercial, with Mama cat relating how in her house things would get out of control fast, especially in the litter room.  So she uses Arm and Hammer Cloud Control litter to be in control of the “cloud of nasties” that otherwise might be a problem around a cat litter box.  No one wants their bathroom to stink, after all…

The dressed, human-sized cats are both whimsical and surreal, and would probably be an improvement over some neighbors that I’ve had…

 

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…

 

“Johnsonville Jeff” and His Forest Friends…

March 26, 2019

In a hokey but charmingly surreal commercial, Johnsonville Jeff is eating his breakfast sausage out in the deep woods when he is approached by a talking raccoon asking about his meal.  In the shorter version of the ad, Jeff also interacts with a wolf and a turkey, whereas the longer version additionally adds a squirrel and a porcupine.  Most notably the wolf asks the man in the longer version where he learned how to talk to animals. “Books,” replies Jeff in a deadpan fashion, as if there was really nothing remarkable about the encounter; he’s kind of like Dr. Doolittle in hunting garb. They all have a good laugh together at the end, with the wild turkey practically loosing control of himself…

Johnsonville Sausage incorporates employee input in all phases of their operation, including this commercial which was conceived and is starred in by an actual long-term company employee.  Since without the animal presence this commercial would consist of ho-hum talk about sausage, we’ll listen to anything if an animal presents it!

Liberty Mutual’s “Emu”

March 18, 2019

For many years now, insurance companies like Geico and Progressive have been producing clever and memorable commercials to tout and lure us to their services. Arriving a bit late to the commercial fray, Liberty Mutual has now produced commercials that incorporate an animal representative in the rather unlikely character of an emu

These ads invoke the “buddy cop” series of the 1970’s, exemplified by such shows as Starsky and Hutch; Robert Blake’s series Beretta even included a cockatoo as Beretta’s companion.

In the Liberty Mutual commercials, the bird becomes even more of an active partner, riding shotgun with his human partner Doug while wearing aviator sunglasses! Called the LiMu Emu, this bird rocks, although in the Reflections ad he does have a bit of a problem interacting with his own image in a window glass, showing those bobbing, weaving, and pecking behaviors that birds sometimes manifest when confronted with reflections that they consider to be another bird.  Partner Doug explains that the LiMu Emu spends so much time time interacting with humans on insurance customization that he doesn’t know quite how to respond to another bird, but that he’ll “figure it out.”

Now I know how to distinguish my own reflection, but do confess to a weakness with distractions posed by shiny things.  At any rate, we can rely on the new dynamic duo of the LiMu Emu and Doug, and as Beretta might have reminded us, “Keep your eye on the sparrow…”