Sending the wrong message with Instagram

Today, after seeing the doctor about my persistent cough, I want to the drug store, to pick up the inhalers that I’d been prescribed. And, while there, waiting, I strolled around, looking at stuff, and coughing on things. I found two things to be particularly interesting. In front of Better Homes and Garden magazine, I saw a copy a new publication entitled Fifty Shades of American Women Who Love the Book and Live the Life. While I admit my knowledge of the best selling Fifty Shades of Grey series is somewhat limited, I know that the central character is a young virgin who gives herself over to an older, wealthy sadist who, among other things, brings her to orgasm by “assaulting” her with a riding crop. While I don’t have any problem with what adults want to do in the privacy of their own homes, even if it does sound like something out of one of Ayn Rand’s masturbatory fantasies, I find it funny that anyone would walk into Walgreens and happily self-identify as someone who “lives the life” of a sex slave. And I found it even funnier that, according to the blurb on the cover, this issue contains “Christian inspired cocktail” recipes! (That tells me quite a bit about the demographic reading this series.) So, I took a picture, and posted it to Instagram. And, then, a few minutes later, I found something else that I found funny, and took another picture, which I likewise posted to Instagram. This time it was an $8 piece of plastic advertised as a Premium Pill Crusher. As a marketing person, I liked that they used the word “premium,” in order to differentiate from all the other pice-of-shit pill crushers out there, like the terribly confusing bottom of the water glass that my grandmother used to use. So, I posted these two images, got my inhalers, and went about the business of sucking down poison in parking lot, in hopes that it might finally bring the coughing fits to an end… And that’s when I heard my phone beep, indicating that someone had sent a comment. It was my young friend Josh. His comment? “Looks like someone’s having a party.”

It hadn’t occurred to me how the two images might look when posted alongside one another. So, now, apparently some folks think that I’m crushing up pills in preparation for a wild night if sadistic assaults on young, Christian virgins. Let that be a lesson to all of you on Instagram.

It kind of reminds me of an idea I had a long time ago for a game in which a bunch of people would go to Wal-Mart together and each try to select three items that, when put together in front of a cashier, would be the most troubling… For instance, one might select the complete first season of Toddlers and Tiaras on DVD, a case of lube, and a giant American flag blanket. (Most of the best ideas, I find, incorporate lube and/or rat traps.) I called it, Walmarting. Unfortunately, I never took any effort to protect the idea, and I’m sure someone else has done it by now. There’s probably even a reality television show in production.

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  1. anonymous
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    If you’re a man who wants some deviant action with a woman who has no self esteem, here’s your chance. Just set up a lawn chair across from the Walgreen’s magazine rack and wait.

  2. Rai Harashi
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Strawberries, whipped cream, 6 boxes of rat poison.

  3. donna
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I once bought two tubs of rubber cement and a gallon of milk at 2 am on a weeknight. The checkout lady didn’t even make eye contact with me. Now i wish i had thrown in some lube, just for good measure.

  4. Posted August 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Back in high school, my friends and I thought it was hilarious when we walked into a drugstore and bought a can of sauerkraut and a pipe.

  5. Edward
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Razor blades, apples.

  6. KKT
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    50 Shades of Grey is a book like Twilight, all about a woman who has no identity of her own, who only finds meaning in her life by giving herself over completely to an abusive, troubled male who puts her life at risk. Our young women are being told that this is what romance looks like. It’s the worst kind of garbage there is. Give me Hermione Granger any day.

  7. MarkH
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I go to the Meijer and rent carpet cleaners at three in the morning. When I’m waiting in line to check out, I just mutter under my breath, “this better get blood out of shag carpeting.”

  8. Bookalicious
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Just FYI, “Christian” in the Fifty Shades world refers to the main male character named Christian — not the religion.

  9. Mr. X
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Bookalicious.

    As for things to buy together, how about 100 pounds of hamburger, a bikini, and a plastic Halloween princess mask?

  10. Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    A while back, late at night, my dog got sprayed by a skunk.

    I went to the Rite Aid around midnight and purchased two quarts of hydrogen peroxide, two packages of Massengill douche and asked for a box of baking soda. They lacked the baking soda, but asked me why I needed this stuff. I considered saying it was for deviant sexual practices but ended up saying it was for my dog who got sprayed by a skunk.

  11. Smellytongues
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Back in the early 90s I worked at Meijer out on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. as a cashier. While I was working late one night, two men came through my line with a big bottle of vodka and some lube.

  12. koosh
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    i once purchased a crimewave magazine at borders. when i finally got up to the cashier, i told her, “i wish you guys sold big bottles of vodka and lube so me and my friend didn’t have to stop at the meijer later.”

  13. Posted August 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    When I was a kid, I could never figure out why drug stores were chastised for selling Playboy when they sold all manner of erotic fiction and women’s magazines which boldly advertised articles on all manner of sexual practices.

  14. Wiener Lover
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    This is the first place I’ve heard anyone attempt to connect Fifty Shades and Ayn Rand. I think you’re onto something.

  15. mark k
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Wiener Lover: ” I think you’re onto something.”
    Did you mean to say: I think you’re on something?

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