Monday, September 10, 2007

The Quiet World of Frogs & Toads

Frogs are a little bit... you know... weird. Maybe it's just me (but it's not).

I had to reevaluate this prejudice today, however, and temporarily remove the permanent off-milk scowl I pin to my fugly mug every time someone mentions frogs. A whole world was opened up to me after a hastily-scanned B3TA email alerted me to an eBay auction which recently ended.

I don't know how long the auction details will remain online. If my scraggy memory serves me it's only a week or so. For the sake of posterity, then, I'll reproduce here the gory details, and post a link further down.

The item on offer is described as "BECOME INVISIBLE & walk unseen among people or CROWDS" and subtitled "Moral purposes ONLY = = Adults 18+ = = EXOTIC & Rare". There's no immediate indication as to what exactly the item might be. I do, however, like the sudden change of case which occurs when we hit the word CROWDS.

Some text from the listing (dramatic and/or psychosis-induced BOLD and OVERSIZED TEXT MOMENTS removed).

A powerful secret is now within your grasp...
This is not a toy, a magic trick or a scam.
This is not an illusion, a rip-off or a Ninja technique.

The Secret of Invisibility renders you completely invisible.
This method is currently used by the CIA and foreign intelligence agencies.
Don't Scoff! You can go anywhere, at anytime, without being seen.
You're invisible to all you meet... NOT EVEN A SHADOW.
This works even when you're completely surrounded by cameras or people.
Lets you vanish & reappear as you wish, wherever you may be!

Yeah, yeah, let us LOL. Nobody in their right mind is going to even bother reading this scam, since it's patently obvious that aint nobody knows no guuuuuurtdarn secrets of invisibility.

Not so fast, my little friend. Invisibility may not truly be on offer here, but some of the most compelling, pulp-driven prose is.

This isn't new... far from it. A fantastic rumor has been whispered throughout the generations and since the beginning of time: super-elite societies knew how to become totally invisible & walk unseen among people. They could vanish from sight... even in the middle of a crowd... and reappear anywhere they desired!
Thousands of years passed. Empires grew and decayed. Kingdoms crumbled, lying buried and all but forgotten but the astounding rumor never died: invisibility was possible!

Ok, hang on. Back it up. Rewind. You're really expecting me to believe that invisibility is possible, if only I can master some kind of MYSTICAL "secret"?

a secret so powerful that throughout history, men have literally died trying to wrestle it from the tight fists of its masters.

It's the tight fists that won me. I'm sold.

But, as the old adage goes: "come for the ancient secrets of invisibility, stay for the secrets of seduction, penile extensions, horse whispering masterclass and cat potty training!"

Fork out your 20 bucks (US) for the whole invisibility thing (my active imagination depicts a book but I suppose a photocopied, spittle-stained pamphlet or homemade C-90 audio cassette is more likely) and you'll also, apparently, receive AS A BONUS the "Secrets of Sexual Seduction", which includes captivating sections such as "Gorilla-tactics: Seduction for your home & car" along with two cures for baldness that "really work", "Unusual methods to GAIN 4” - 6” in height", and a method of losing weight without exercise. Gents also learn how to gain 2-4 inches of "intimate length".

I was clawing for a sick-bag within my intimate length by this time when I reached the final, exclusive offer that comes with the tight-fisted invisibility thing that started the whole listing. Vomit your cash on that bucket of nonsense, it seems, and you'll also find yourself in possession of "The Wizard's Book of Animal Secrets".

I won't kid you kids, cos you've always been there to cover my back.

"Controlling snakes, bees, gnats, houseflies" has long been a desperate goal.

"Keeping a squirrel in your pocket", well, that sounds kind of ok and fun-esque.

"Teaching your dog to walk & dance on stilts" is... maybe a bit much.

But amidst this lengthy litany of ridiculous promises - which includes bringing dead creatures back to life, commanding flocks of birds, taming wild horses and more - comes the simple, bullet-pointed line:

The quiet world of frogs & toads

I can't help but be touched by the fact that whoever wrote this ridiculous work of anti-art found a moment to include the quietness of life, a sublime yet serene silence amongst the histrionics. And, I guess, gave that moment to frogs & toads.


richardwatts said...

You, sir, have just made me cackle and hoot with uncontrolled mirth like a loon that has just watched the first through fourth seasons of Black Adder back to back. Kudos!

richardwatts said...

Edited my post to try to preserve what few shreds of your anonimity are left, sir...