(Uncharacteristically Appropriate Disclaimer: This post contains graphic references to advertising graphics for actual goods and/or services that exist and may still be available. I don’t make them. I don’t use them, and I don’t recommend them. My role is to mock them.)
Parental Advisory: The following post contains images of cookies, penguins, and deceased popcorn magnates that may be too intense for young bargain hunters.
As Halloween approaches, the stores take a brief break from the 30th week of Ordinary Christmas Shopping Time to roll out all the black and orange decorations that don’t really say “Christmas”.
About a week ago, my brain’s Noticing Subsystem was alerted to a local commercial advertising “Spooky Savings” on some product or another. I don’t remember what it was, but I vaguely remember that it was some ordinary product, rather than something Halloween-related (costumes, candy, etc.) What I do remember was the phrase, “Spooky Savings”.
Let’s take a step back. The term “spooky”, according to some random Internet website, means “eerie, scary; like or befitting a spook”. Like any sane person, when I think of things that are spooky, my first thoughts are, of course, haunted amusement parks patrolled by dinosaurs (above), and Scooby-Doo (below).
So of course, when I searched for the term “spooky savings”, I expected to find things that were eerie, scary, and like or befitting a spook. (Disclaimer: No, I didn’t.) This is some of what I found:
OK, not necessarily something I would give away to trick-or-treaters, but I can see these being handed out by someone who didn’t expect any kids to show up at the door. Still, what makes discount cookies spooky?
Now we’re getting somewhere! According to this, the thing that is spooky is not the 5% savings, but the coupon itself. Totally understandable, as the coupon makes two vaguely disturbing admissions:
- “We don’t just offer a coupon for an item or two you might want“. No, we’re offering this coupon for things you DON’T WANT! Things too hideous, too horrifying, too grotesque for us to even mention in this coupon! Redeem this at your own peril! BWAA-HAHAHAHA!!!!
- “May exclude items prohibited for discounting by the manufacturer“. What sort of unholy discount terror is the manufacturer prohibiting? Does the product description clearly say “Too gruesome to offer a 5% discount”? And what sort of unspeakable fate awaits the unwitting Toywiz.com employee who tries to save an unsuspecting customer a few bucks?
The Crown Prince of Darkness has risen from the crypt to offer the Popcorn of the Damned to the innocent! Men have tried for centuries to cheat death by mailing in a short form, only to learn that they have sold their souls to… Count Orville Redenbacher! The poor wretches end up spending eternity in a cruet of boiling butter-flavored oil (now 20¢ off!) Savings so ghoulish they can only be called “Spooktacular”.
Uhhhh… lotions! And butters! And goat’s milk! Oh, my! Because, ummmm… Eeeeeeek! Spoooooooooky!
Combining the bloodthirsty carnage of Shamu with the wanton cruelty of the Green Goblin, Sea World has cast open the gates of Hell! Behold the spooktacle of wave after wave of demonic orcas throwing pumpkin bombs at the mothers of South Florida! Oh, the humanity! Where is a Miami Mommy to turn for savings from this cetacean gourd nightmare? Who will think of the children!?
The perfect Halloween ad, and chock full o’spookiness! We’re talking Horror in the Press Box! The Joker, dancing with a skeleton in the pale moonlight! Harken, if you dare, to the ghastly screams emanating from CDs and DVDs, as well as serial killer Raymond “Blu-Ray” Jenkins (born October 31, 1974; buried (alive?) – October 31, 2013), returned from the flames of Perdition itself to torment the living with blood-curdling marching music! Spooky Savings 8 (***1/2) is guaranteed to make you forget all about Spooky Savings I-VII!
Author’s Note: As I was leaving the grocery store this evening, I passed a cooler in the corner displaying a sign which read, “The Spookiest Halloweens Begin with Penguin Brand Dry Ice”. I don’t know if Penguin Brand Dry Ice actually achieves the highest level of Spookiness ever recorded. I wouldn’t dare to compare. But here is their logo:
This is not even close to the spookiest Penguin. This is:
Author’s Digression: The question of whether a Halloween with Penguin Brand Dry Ice is actually spookier than one with discount body butter made me think of my favorite bit from Mystery Science Theater 3000. For some reason, I laugh every time I hear Tom Servo compare the “owner of a parcel of land in Montana” to the “owner of a piiii-iiiie!” Enjoy!