Monday, February 2, 2009

Marque à L'Aigle

As long as we're on the theme of posters that will confuse your house guests, let me point out this bit of fabulousness, perfect for that vast tundra of bare wall over your couch. 

At first glance, this is a perfectly charming, normal, turn-of-the-century poster. The rosy faces and plump dollops of snow fit in with that whole Cheret "Palais de Glace" genre (again, worth a google if you're not familiar--Cheret's work is some of the most iconic of the last century). 

But then, you notice something a bit odd: where are the old man's feet? 

Now, if you have a solid knowledge of French, there's a rather ridiculous little limerick off to the side about shoes and amputated limbs (why someone thought that was an appropriate advertising avenue to go down, I don't know); however, let's just think about the image itself and what your non-francophone friends will surmise...

1. The elderly gentleman was so entranced by the shoes that he stood outside the window for many hours, during rain, sleet, and hail, until finally about 5 inches of precipitation built up around his feet, freezing them to the ground. 

2. During a freak kitchen accident, he lost both of his lower extremities. The doctor on call had to make a split-second decision, resulting in his using industrial-sized forks for prosthetics. He now has the added bonus of excellent traction, and makes a fine living cleaning up trash in local parks. 

3. This man really is a war veteran, and the advertising industry would rather portray amputees as jovial bon-vivants than their George Grosz/Otto Dix counterparts. 

I'm not even going to touch on what the flesh-toned tail protruding from the rear of his coat is supposed to represent.....other than possibly the tail his faithful dog seems to be missing. 

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