Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Over the hump

I will not lie to you (more than the usual literary license-induced fibbing I normally indulge in). Theme weeks at Dizgraceland can be taxing at times. It does help me be a bit more disciplined in my writing, however. Because on any given day, I usually just wing it with free form crap that bubbles up in my head. Having a theme adds that structure many of you have ridiculed in the past.

Regardless, it is Egyptian week here at Dizgraceland. And while floundering about for Egyptian themed entries I would have been remiss if I didn't talk about Camel Cigarettes.

First, I don't smoke. And second, I have never ridden on a camel (though we have established that this is one of my life goals). Other than being bombarded with "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" commercials as a child, I never really gave them much thought until I read Still Life Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. It is a novel that basically takes place in and around a pack of Camel Cigarettes. I will not attempt to explain the book (it is Tom Robbins after all and if you want to know more, read the book).

Anyway, one of the things that fascinated me about the book's description of a pack of Camel Cigarettes was this phenomenon that, when held up to a mirror, the word "CHOICE" on the side of the pack can be read even though it is a mirror image. I personally am suprised that this has not triggered a new religion. I would liked to have shown you a photo of the side of a Camel Cigarette pack, however, I couldn't find any on the Web. Since I don't smoke, it really wasn't worth it to me to go buy a pack (and I believe this phenomenon only applies to unfiltered Camels or Camel studs as we used to call them). So if you want proof, go buy your own pack. This is a low budget blog.

What I did discover while Googling Camel Cigarettes was that there was quite a bit of hype about subliminal advertising and this particular brand of cigarettes (I won't even go into the controversy about Joe Camel and marketing to children...remember I had to listen to the "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" commercial over and over and it never encouraged me to smoke...but I don't like to walk, either).

The odd thing about Camel Cigarettes alleged subliminal messages was that the primary one is supposed to be the image of a man on the front leg of the camel on the cigarette pack. What makes it even odder is that the man is supposed to be erect (and no, I'm not referring to simply standing) and urinating. Look for yourself:

Okay, I can kind of see it, but it seems a bit farfetched on several fronts. First, how is that supposed to make you want to buy a pack of Camel cigarettes? Second, I can pretty much tell you that an erect man is not really in any position to urinate. So, as a subliminal, this is pretty lame. Throw in some photos of ice cubes with images of people having sex on them and you might have something, but not a fuzzy image of an erect man urinating. I'm in marketing and I'd have to say that is pretty much a very small niche market they'd be shooting for (no pun intended).

By the way, the camel on the cigarette pack is a Dromedary or one-humped camel that is largely found in Africa. The Bactrian, or two-humped camel is generally found in Asia. So keep this mind if you are shopping for camels (the animal) and they ask you if you want one hump or two. Now isn't this better than the Discovery Channel?

Happy Hump Day!


shandi said...

I can see the man, however it doesn't look like he is urinating. It looks as though his hands are on his hips and he is demonstrating his ability to walk with his feet turned around backward (while fully erect of course). The image is kindof creepy. I have a habit of seeing images in the most benign advertisements. Give me ANYTHING and I can find SOMETHING.

I bet I can find the image of Tim-Elvis is nearly every one of your posts. :-)

The Michael said...

I'm still looking for the pope in the pizza (SNL, for those of you wondering what the hell I'm talking about). Yea, Shandi, he IS pissing backwards, isn't he? I thought only women could do that! hehe

I never could hack an unfiltered ciggarrette, black coffee, or straight Alchohol (with the few exceptions of Jeaghermeister and other exotic flavored liquors). Yep, I like to dress up MY poisons.........hehe.

If I were a heroin addict I would probably rob larger banks in order to score the strawberry flavored smack.........

Yes, Tim, I DO try and reply eclectic........grin.

Tim ID said...

It's not my theory, I'm only the messenger.If you follow the third arrow (if you catch my drift) you will see something that could be construed as a stream of some unidentified liquid.

I am sure that your powers of observation are amazing. But remember the Monkey's admonishment that sometimes a banana is only a banana.

And I am only subtley in this post. I thought about putting my image on the camel's other leg, but I have this unwritten rule about not standing next to naked men...especially if they are more or less erect and theoretically urinating. :)

Tim ID said...

Most eclectic one THE Michael, thanks for weighing in on the heated debate about whether or not the erect man is indeed urinating on the camel's leg (which sounds like the punchline to a bad joke). Regarding unfiltered cigarettes: You may not be able to hack them because they are more likely to make you hack. Ha,ha...

shandi said...

Okay I followed the third arrow (to catch your drift) and found the stream of liquid. But maybe it's not urine (if you catch my drift).

As you pointed out, it is difficult to urinate while erect. If he was erect and was attempting to urinate, do you think he would have his hands on his hips?

Of course, not having the appropriate plumbing myself, I can only guess.

R. said...

I found the standing man when I was in my teens.

If you've ever had a serious nicotine high then you might be able to relate to that guy. I pity the people who abuse tobacco and build up their tolerance so high that they can never experience that serious buzz again.

Tim ID said...

I believe you are spending a bit too much time staring at this camel' But I'm beginning to understand why this subliminal suggestion may lead people to want to buy the cigarettes.

R. And here I thought it was Winston's that were supposed to "satisfy you."

Lights in the wake said...

Hey, your little heiroglyph bar still makes farting sounds. Makes me think that maybe that series of chracters is ancient Egyptian for "pull my finger". Could be the new Rosetta stone.

Tim ID said...

Lights, you amaze me. That's exactly what the hieroglyhpics say.

But you didn't weigh in on the Camel debate. Surely you have an opinion. This is intellectual debate at its best.

kristy said...

By way of illustrating what a pack-rat her brother-in-law had been, she told me that her husband actually inherited a camel saddle when the man died! I think I was supposed to be shocked and astounded, but instead I just asked her if it were designed for a bactrian or dromodary camel.

I think I made her feel cheated. Oops.

kristy said...

"She" being my neighbor, that is. Speaking of "oops."

It's late. Give me a break.

Tim ID said...

Wow Kristy, You don't even let me make fun of you before you correct yourself. And coincidently, I also have a camel saddle. Don't ask me where I got it or why.

cherish said...

Hmmm Very Interesting!!! You are like Bill Nye the Science Guy! Thinking people will be coming to you looking for answers to the very important questions of life!

Awesome work with the pic!

Tim ID said...

Thanks Cherish. Coincidently, Bill Nye is from Seattle. But he never dealt with the whole Camel Cigarette issue.

Lights in the wake said...

I refuse to debase myself be being involved in this disgusting and inappropriate discussions. (Plus, by the time I commented all the good quips had already been taken).

Also, camel cigarettes suck.

Well, technically they are sucked.

What I meant to say is they blow.

kristy said...

Where did you get your camel saddle and why?

Tim ID said...

Lights, Please click on the hieroglphic again.

Kristy, I asked you not to ask. Obviously you are a contrarian and the type of person who doesn't play well with their neighbors. If you must know, I think I found it at St. Vincents (which is where it will end up if Tess finds where I hid it in the garage.

Anonymous said...

on wikipedia (search "camel cigarette"), it says that the little man is manekin pis. manekin pis is a famous belgian statue of a little boy peeing. apparently the picturedesignerperson was pissy and put a lot of hidden images in the camel.

Sam said...

Hey there Tim...As I have been reading the Tom Robbins' book that you mentioned led to this debate, I also had the need to research the theory. I've noticed though that you only focus on the statue of the man(or boy) in the leg, but in the book it mentions a lion and a goddess of the moon. Have you infact looked into either of these sightings on the cigarette package??
I do see what appears to be the shape of a male lion's head in the centre of the camel, but have not seen any information as of yet about the hidden goddess. Nor have any of the patrons sharing in this debate mentioned the oddity of the word "choice" that does not change in the mirror. Has nobody noticed or looked into this?? Is there a greater mystery to this picture then just an erect man wacking off??