(Originally published in 2003. Note: the web site described in this article no longer exists; I have updated the link to direct to a site with an image of the product.)
There has been an ever-increasing trend over the past few years of people writing books and traveling the media circuit, claiming that the world will end on a specific and imminent date. They usually claim to have based these claims on such factors as intensive study of unspecified clues in the Bible, reading tea leaves, developing a complex mathematical formula based upon springbok migration patterns and the alignment of Alpha Centauri with certain weather satellites, or just drinking Windex until God tells them. As evidenced by the fact that you’re not currently burning in Hell, since it’s well-known that the only Net access in Hell is AOL dialup with full parental controls which would prevent you from reading this, these claims are always proven false by the date in question passing quietly.
However, dear reader(s), I am forced to greet you with something that can only be considered an omen of the apocalypse, something that can only be described as a clearly defined sign of impending doom. What have I seen that would so thoroughly convince me that our society is doomed, you ask? Well, the answer is simple: The “Octodog.” Go ahead and check out the link. I’ll just use this opportunity to insert a paragraph break.
If, after examining the site, especially the pop-up window demonstration of how the “Octodog” works, you do not think that there are severe and immediate problems with the civilization which spawned both a mind capable of thinking of such a thing and an apparent market for it, then you probably also voted for Bush. And yes, I am aware that most of you are Canadians.
Let’s take a look at this step-by-step, shall we?
First, we have the device itself. It basically appears to be a cartoon octopus attempting to ingest a marital aid, wearing the shocked and (hopefully) horrified expression of one that has just managed to turn its switch to “on.” It’s the brilliant crimson color that you would expect of a device burning with the humiliating knowledge that its sole function in the world is to turn a phallus of animal by-product into the Freak of the Dinner Table.
Second, we have the Converted Frankfurter. It was shown in the midst of a fairly mundane looking cookout-style dinner on the website – mac and cheese, some chips, and in the midst of it all, the Oscar Meyer Kraken. I kept expecting a tiny macaroni Captain Nemo to sail up on a mustard bottle and start assaulting it with toothpicks. It even has eyes, though they are fixed into the blank, zombielike stare of the cow whose rectum it was once a part of.
And how does this magic work, you pointedly fail to ask? Well, from the web site:
“1. Insert your favorite hotdog brand into the Frankfurter Converter Holder.” (the octopus)
“2. Insert the eyes to secure the hotdog in the holder.” That’s right, the eyes pop out. This thing just gets freakier and freakier.
“3. Gently slide the holder down onto the Frankfurter Converter Base firmly until it stops.” Aside from the grammar issues, the picture here is priceless. I keep expecting a gentle pumping motion to be involved. Should this thing somehow catch on, one of the side effects will be kids walking in their parents having sex (the parents are having sex, that is) and accusing them of making Octodogs.
“4. Remove the base, then eyes, then lightly shake the holder to allow the hotdog to drop out.” Then throw the freak dog into the trash, because no one likes Ballpark of the Sea. Well, that’s what I’d do.
“5. Cook your octodog as desired and enjoy!” Lobsterburger sold separately.
Now, maybe it’s just the vegetarian in me talking here, but isn’t eating a regular hotdog exciting enough, always wondering if the next bite will contain a zesty blast of beef scrote? Whichever, we can only assume that the Octodog is merely the first in a line of Zoological-Appearing Food Products that will eventually include the Sharkbun, the Antelope Ice Cream Sundae, The Bengal Tiger Twinkie, The Urban Falcon Processed Meat Food Product and the Fat-Ass Taco chip.
Today’s Handy Animal Tip: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if a real octopus tried to mate with an Octodog? HAHAHAHAHA- er, I mean, don’t put the cat in the microwave, kids.