Sunday, May 25, 2008

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To take a trip into Nostalgialand™, I'd like to tell you about one of my favorite "comic" ads.

"Comic" is in quotes because I wasn't an avid reader of comic books, but another magazine I read had the exact same ads. Way back when I was in the Cub Scouts, everyone that was a part of it was given a Mandatory subscription to Boy's Life Magazine.

It was basically the same thing every issue. One page was an article like "Top 10 Ways of Preventing Forest Fires," the next one would be "How To Start A Forest Fire to Scare off Bears," and the monthly comic "Scout Racoon says 'No to Forest Fires!' to Torchy The Bear!"

And so on.

At the back of the issue, there would be those classic scam ads that riddled the comic books of yore (and possibly today). There were the staples, like "Sea Monkeys," "Ant Farms," Charles Globe's "Stop-Getting-Sand-Kicked-In-Your-Face Confidence Builder Picture" Kit, "Inflatable Jet Pack" and "Grow Your Own Torchy The Bear."

But there were the two that stuck out in my mind:

First is the infamous Hover Car Thing. Man, would I be the envy of all the kids on the block travelling to elementary school on one of those things. You see, I was an even lazier little 4th grader than the Lazy 21 year old College Junior that I am now, and my elementary school was literally Three blocks away from me and despised walking there every day. But if I had one of these...I'd be flying! Or hovering on the power of a vacuum cleaner motor.

I soon abandoned this prospect when I realized I'd only be hovering two feet off the ground, and that I'd have to part with $3.95 for the shipping.

But that's not the point of this blog. This one is:

The Quail Egg Incubator. This one always, and still, fascinated me. "Why Quails?" "Why 5 eggs?" "Wouldn't it be awesome to have Quails?" "Why does it cost more than the Hover Car?"

As it turned out, this proved to be as much of a sham as the rest of the ads out there. Unlike the crappiness of the Hovercar, or the overall dissappointment of "Get Your Own Torchy The Bear!" (which turned out to be just a certificate stating that I had accidentally adopted one of those animatronic Country Bears at Disneyland, rather than an actual Bear), you actually got Quail Eggs, but there was really a minute chance of them hatching. This site that stills sells them says a typical hatch rate is just 25-50%.

As I just took a statistics class, I think that I can reject my null hyopthesis with that data.

There's also that whole issue of what happens if those eggs do hatch. How do I raise Quails? Does imprinting occur so I'll feel guilty about giving them to Imperial Szechuan Buffet? Will they straps belts on their heads? The theories are endless.

And sadly, the price had skyrocketed to $31.95. No thanks, faulty incubator salesbots.

This was a last minute idea: I know that this blog is "Beaming for Bunnies," but I just might make "Torchy The Bear" and Official Mascot.

That's why I'm commisioning 5 Blog Dollars™ to anyone who can give me some type of protoype drawing of "Torchy The Bear."

It starts now!


DC said...

I actually had quails as a kid. There was a pet store near our home that sold baby chicks, ducks, etc. Well, they also had baby quails. They are literally the size of your finger. They look like tiny brown chicks. Well, they were dead within a day of buying them. They are extremely delicate and fragile so, I'm not surprised at the success rate of the egg hatcher.

I still think it was awesome that I had baby quails! :)

Anonymous said...

Okay. I want to hover on air now.

Anonymous said...

They're not quails, but here's this: