The Mascot Update

Everyone knows that the business world employs a number of gimmicks to get you to buy their products. One of the most notable is the use of a product mascot. Mascots range from a guy in a goofy costume to a cartoon animal that helps put a fun, memorable face on a product. Unfortunately, the life of a mascot is one riddled with temptation and obstacles. It takes a determined person to go out and work seven days a week and an even more determined person to do that and not succumb to the dark side of the mascot industry. These brave souls are out there dealing with issues of money, artistic integrity, celebrity, fans, and trying to genuinely capture and hold a market in the best and most ethical way possible. At times it's a ruthless industry that destroys twice as many as it creates. From the ashes of the countless failures rise those mighty mascot phoenixes who soar so high it seems like the good times are never going to end. Truth be told, the good times do end. The lights go out for everyone at some point. Where that person goes after that is a mystery. While I tend to feel that the actual mystery is the absolute best part of a mystery, I'd have a very short article on my hands if I didn't take the time to unravel that mystery. Without further ado, let us see what some our favorite mascots have been up to since vanishing from the spotlight:

Kool-Aid Man

The Kool-Aid Man was perhaps the most prominent icon of my childhood. This anthropomorphic pitcher of sweet flowing juice was the quintessential party man. Wherever there was summertime fun, Kool-Aid Man was there in full force. Sometimes he wore a Hawaiian shirt, sometimes he went all natural. With his omni-present smile, Kool-Aid Man could turn the most boring event into a bodacious flavor-packed funfest. If you tried to lock the doors and keep Kool-Aid Man away, he'd smash through your fucking wall while delivering his triumphant war cry of "Oh Yeah!" Then he'd hose your ass down in a flood of red Kool-Aid so alive it may as well have been drained from your very body.

Unfortunately Kool-Aid Man's reputation and popularity led him down the wrong path. He became convinced that as an entertainer he had a duty to also be an educator. After failing to get kids excited about politics, he turned his back on them and focused on his own political aspirations. This led to his involvement with the unstable Nixon-era political scene. Kool got involved with the wrong crowd and was fired from his Kool-Aid job after he helped G. Gordon Liddy break into the Democratic National Commitee headquarters in the Watergate office building. Since then, he has further distorted his image by voicing his support for the rightwing militia movement as well as calling for revolutionary action against the United States Government. More shocking, when asked if he felt Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh was given a raw deal, he responded with a thunderous "Oh Yeah!" To his credit, Kool-Aid Man was cleared of all wrongdoing charges related to his involvement with the infamous Jonestown Massacre.

The Noid

"Avoid the Noid" was the slogan Domino's Pizza used to somehow sell pizzas. The idea of a fast-handed pizza thief stealing and destroying all the pizza in the world was somehow supposed to get you to buy pizza before it was too late. I have no idea what they were thinking and if you ask me the whole campaign was a dismal failure. The failures of the Noid campaign can largely be blamed on the Noid himself, whose disturbing lifestyle and attraction to underage girls led to the "Avoid the Noid" slogan taking on an entirely new meaning. The only thing he could snatch faster than a pizza pie was the thin-crusted regions of a minor. Thankfully the Noid's reign of terror ended when Dave Thomas shot him to death after he tried to kidnap Wendy. So to recap where is now, he's deader than Julius Caesar and Abe Lincoln combined.

The Hamburglar

One of the most treacherous mascots ever to mascot a product was the dastardly Hamburglar, a ruthless criminal who would stop at nothing to steal hamburgers. Hamburglar wasn't always a criminal, though. His descent into madness was one witnessed by all of America. It was even dramatized in the popular book and movie "Requiem for a Dream." Hamburglar developed an eating disorder that caused him to obsessively crave McDonald's hamburgers. His constant coveting of hamburgers led to him losing his job as an accountant and eventually turning to armed robbery to acquire his ends. What's worse, simple burger heists quickly grew boring an unrewarding. Hamburglar's schemes mutated, becoming more and more complex until even he could no longer keep up with his obsession. After three deaths and a tense two-day standoff inside of a McDonald's, Hamburglar was arrested and sent to prison.

Today things are much brighter. Having reached rock bottom, Hamburglar had nowhere to go but up. He's since found God and currently works as a preacher and volunteers at local schools in inner city Philadelphia. While his past still haunts him, he's confident that future holds greater things.

Snap, Crackle, and Pop

The spirited trio of Snap, Crackle, and Pop were instrumental figures in pushing Kellogg's Rice Crispy cereal into children's tiny mouths. These handsome little cereal sprites amused countless kids and adults with their comical antics and genuine love of the product they were selling. They delivered each line with impeccable timing and a smile as wide as a football field lined with dead lobsters. But then Kellogg's stopped sending work their way. After falling of the cereal radar, things turned tragic for the threesome as in-fighting, tangled love affairs, physical abuse, suicide, and several sexually transmitted diseases turned their smiles upside-down. It seems Snap always had a thing for Pop, but Pop was in love with Crack who was in love with only himself. The end came when Snap was arrested along with over a dozen others for exposing himself in public as part of an illegal homosexual roadside orgy. Pop and Crack tried to carry on the show, but Crack's narcissism ultimately drove him to physically abusing Pop in a desperate attempt to reassure his failing ego. The whole sordid mess ended with Pop blowing his brains out in a shopping mall restroom. Crack later contracted and died of AIDS, the legacy of his wild and reckless dance club days.

Count Chocula

Once a popular spokesperson for a breakfast cereal, Count Chocula's vampire lifestyle forced him out of the spotlight and into the darkness. Chocula retreated back to his native Transylvania, where his family owned a large castle and a lot of land. Having no activities to fill the emptiness in his life, Chocula turned to chocolate to fill the void. After several years of solid eating, the Count became a shut-in unable to leave his castle or even his bed. He laid in a pile of fudge-stained sheets, caped in sugar-coated bed sores. His misery ended when the local townspeople invaded his castle and drove a stake into his black heart. It was a challenging process, since the stake they brought with them was too short to penetrate the layers of fat. They had to special order a longer stake, which had to be custom made by a guy two towns over. After several long days, they got the job done and the undead Count Chocula was torn from this world forever.

As you can see, being a mascot comes at a high price. The next time you curse at that Taco Bell dog, remember he's probably going to end up dead or hating himself twice as much as you hate him. It's a tough job that begets an even tougher lifestyle. Be thankful they're there, because who else is going to put a recognizable smile on your greasy bucket of friend chicken? Certainly not those fatheads down in Washington!

Rich is Rich! SA Wins $200,000!!

When some anonymous Prussian aristocrat recently put up a huge cash prize for a contest challenging nerds to port Linux to the X-Box, Lowtax jumped into his best pair of action pants and answered the call. Computer enthusiasts everywhere will be frosting their jockstraps after reading the amazing step-by-step instructions on how he got the job done. Here is a snippet:

Attach 200 feet of the Redlined Streamcoil Cable to the Proximation Processing Device (PPC) and siphon the extra voltage through the garden hose, depositing it into a safe body of water or nearby individual who believes they want some additional voltage. This process can take between 10 minutes or 10 months depending on the spacing of slip planes in the metal rod dowel flange, so make sure all units are properly crystallized before beginning to assemble the PPC's backup unit. Once the reversal procedure has been completed on the PPC, use your PVC piping to route passenger baggage to the claim terminal located in section A-20.

It only gets easier from there! Click this link! It goes to the article! Victory!

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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