Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Serving suggestion only. Product may not actually look/act/taste/smell like this.

When I was a kid, I loved the serving suggestions on Salada boxes. Growing up in Canberra, I had never seen such exotic things as smoked salmon, asparagus and red onion yet there they all were, laid out for me in all their food-based technicolour glory atop the full range of Salada biscuits.

They were magnificent, those serving suggestions, and far beyond what any actual parent would create for their child, regardless of how much they loved said child. I became convinced, over the course of the eighties, there was nothing you couldn't achieve in life with an olive pinned delicately to a fold of prosciutto, provided that it rested upon a bed of goats cheese and sat atop a Salada and was arranged just so.

What I liked so much about the Salada serving suggestions was that you knew they were the creme de la creme of cracker flavour combinations; they were the Julia Gillard of the biscuit world; they were the best there was.

Knowing this about cracker serving suggestions, when a CD of images for non-verbal communication that I ordered finally arrived today I figured the images chosen for the CD cover were similarly the creme de la creme of non-verbal communication images, representing the best and most complex sentences that can be communicated with such images.

Here is the cover:

If we take the string across the top we have:

Which I take to mean:

"I want, most in this world, to put on my grey t-shirt with the picture of the fusing/exploding atom so that my sweaty back will stop sticking to the vinyl couch I've been sitting on for a large part of this unseasonably warm day so that I may continue playing video games upon my video game system and become the ultimate lord and master of Toggle Quest, which I would like to achieve before my harp lesson with Mr Jeffries at the Con at 4pm."

Cool. That not only makes sense to me but impresses me as a very fine example of just how much can be communicated by such a pictorial communication system.

If we take the string of images across the bottom of the disc cover, we have:

Which I think you would use to say:

"Remember that big storm we had last week? Well the power went down and everything in my freezer was ruined. Thing is, I haven't just got one freezer: I've got two. One of them is a separate extra storage one, which I probably use most at Christmas, and the other one is part of a fridge-freezer combo which is more for everyday food. Anyway, so I found out later that the storm was caused by global warming and you know that Ross Garnaut fellow? Yeah, he lives down the road from this church which is in the same suburb as where that idiot on the bike knocked me off my scooter when he swerved to miss that pothole. Bastard. Anyway, so I was listening to this podcast on the bus of Ross Garnaut and I had my headphones in but seriously, the guy behind me was going on and on about pomegranates, my GOD he wouldn't stop and he was so loud and I couldn't concentrate on the podcast so I listened to it again when I was at yoga."

Again, that not only makes sense to me but is clearly another fine example of the complexity of thought that can be communicated with this system.

Here, now, is a string from the back cover:

I don't think we need to go through this one; it's pretty clear, isn't it? Ahem.

So my finding for today is that there really is no product that can't best be demonstrated with a 'serving suggestion,' an example of the product showing it at its very best. I can't wait to see what the hemorrhoid industry comes up with for their packaging.


Catastrophe Waitress said...

Holy mother!
How I snort-laughed. I think that this is my favorite post EVAR.

Kettle said...

Ah lordy, who looks at the final proofs and says: "Yep, it's great, I love it all: the undies, the dates, the ferris wheel, it's got everything, and everything is good. That's a wrap; off to the printers!"

Catastrophe Waitress said...

I think that you should create an "International Communicate With Pecs Cards ONLY" day.

I'm already thinking of a logo for the t-shirt design.

squib said...

hah! The cover is indeed a little bizarre at the fruity syntactical level

Kettle said...

Excellent, Ms Catastrophe. Happily the pics (or some similar) are available as an iphone app so instead of carrying around huge wads of cards on International Communicate with Pecs Cards Only Day we can just flippy dip around our iphones.

* Beer or wine? Flip flip flip - beer.
* Caesar salad with French anchovies or British? Flip flip flip - British.
* Ben Whishaw or Senator Faulkner? Flip flip flip - Faulkner.

And etc.

Squib, is there much poetry that's fruitily syntactic(al)?

squib said...

Poets are very big on fruit. And bees

Kettle said...

Bees, especially, are good; easy to rhyme with, yes?


squib said...

Yes but rhyming is so two centuries ago, Kettle dear

Kettle said...

Really Squib? Oh dear, you're really not going to like my cat poem.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

"I have a cat
She is fat"

That sort of thing, Kettle?

Kettle said...

Close, Ramon, pretty bloody close.

Catastrophe Waitress said...

shopping sprees.

are you off playing with those cards right now?

Kettle said...

No, Ms Catast, I'm the only person up at my house. Bit bored. Looking for something new to read on the interwebs. Any suggestions?

Hey I reckon we should challenge Squib to write a rhyming poem with our list of words. I suspect she'll tell us to sod off.

Squibby, make us a poem? Can you put Ramon's bit about the fat cat in too? Awes.

Mad Cat Lady said...

I have a cat
She is fat
so fat,
she broke my hat
which I'd careless left lying on a mat
and as is commonly known, cats
are much attracted to sitting on mats
and the combination of hat and mat
was too much for the cat
to combat
she squashed my hat flat
its now rather like a hat shaped mat
so sod her if she thinks shes going to be getting any pats
feckin fat cat

Catastrophe Waitress said...

I love fat cats best of all. Especially those wildly obese-looking ones. I think I'd be called an Enabler. Slipping Tsaritsyn Von Tatiana (my imaginary cat's name) extra cat biscuits when she did the pleading eyes thing.

Fantastic poem Maddie!