Friday, March 28, 2003

Nod if you agree.

I'd like to bring attention to an attempted market manipulation that, I think anyway, is hilarious.

Suddenly, a couple months ago, they were everywhere: Bobbleheads. Bobbleheads are grotesque little statues of a person, animal, or character that has an overlarge head attached to the body by a spring so it nods and shakes continuously.

Many moons ago (I'm talking decades) bobbleheads arrived with many of the other fad items like the smiley face, round green "peace - pass it on!" stickers, the pet rock, the candy-colored donut radio, fiber-optic filament rainbow lamps, the invisible dog leash, and the like. The original incarnation was kind of funny, actually. It was a Chihuahua that lived on the shelf between the back seat and the rear window in cars. It was hypnotic and cute. A variant was a Hawaiian Hula girl on the dashboard, though the spring was at midsection and not the neck.

Then, after years cropping up mainly at the odd garage sale, suddenly bobbleheads are available as avatars of your favorite sports figure, cartoon character, porn star, or any celebrity you can name - save for maybe O.J. Simpson since bobbing detached head imagery is just a little too close to bone in his case.

So, it makes me wonder, who suddenly felt the world was ready and eagerly awaiting yet again an invasion of creepy (they're all creepy except for the Chihuahua) bobbleheads? No one is buying these things! If anyone knows the culprit, please email me as this one keeps me awake on Saturday nights after I've watched my weekly movie and checked retroraunch.com for the week's pictures. The expenditure in plastic and metal springs alone could've probably been enough to get a manned probe to Mars, that is if we hadn't made the recent discovery that Mars is so bombarded with radiation that any astronaut that set foot on the red planet would cook like a cocktail weenie in a crockpot.

Wouldn't that be an odd position to have in some corporation somewhere? The attempted purveyor of the next new (or recycled old) trend? Cue Joe Jackson's fabulous "I'm the Man." You have an office. A desk. A pad of paper and a pen, presumably. There you sit, squinting, trying to attach your feelers to the great synchronistic gestalt of public desire and taste, pen poised. Weeks go by and that pad is as empty as an Irish Setter's head. Then, one weekend, the spouse has dragged you to a garage sale and one of the kids picks up a cracked and stained bobblehead of Bobby Sherman. That's it! Everyone wants one of those! You trod into work Monday full of purpose and resolve. Mere days later, a factory in Taiwan, Mexico, or China fires up and bobbleheads are dropping off the end of a conveyor belt like turds out of a frightened hamster. Shelves coast to coast fill with long rows of quivering, smiling, plastic hydrocephalics suspended over dwarfed, mutant bodies. Not one is sold. They aren't even noticed. Except, perhaps, they cause a couple small children to cry because they're scary.

All that results is a snarky post on an obscure blog written by a guy with an odd, Arabic-sounding pseudonym.

That must be an odd life.

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