|They're alone. No one wants them. Won't you help?
Look through these pages at their eager smiles, and tell me you can't take one home to your own web site. Unlike virtual pets, they require no attention whatsoever; they never demand food or play or attention. They simply want something to promote again. Day and night, their tireless smiles will endorse the goodness of your web page to the world, nourished only by the HTML code that bonds them to their owner.
The following page are filled with cast-off mascots - humanoid creatures who once served as advertising emmisaries in newspapers and magazines. Most of these products are dead, leaving their mascots orphaned; in many cases, the mascots were cast off to satiate the public's taste for something new. None of them were particularly sucessful, or even well-loved. It's hard to love the frightening face of Pepeco Pete, or want to be embraced by the razor-blade arms of Pal, the Shaving Boy. But they tried hard, day in, day out.
Most of them labored in the food-ad pages of the newspaper. In Minneapolis, the Thursday paper had all the coupons and ads - page after page of tiny ads, each with its own tagline or mascot. On a good fat day the paper might teem with three dozen of these happy folk. Imagine the nervous thrill of a Wednesday night in the mascot world, as they prepared for their one big shot, their weekly attempt to snare the wandering eye to their master's products. Their payment? Nothing. Not even the promise of some ink the next week. Only the newspaper's habit of microfilming every page kept them from vanishing altogether. That's where I found them. Every day I crank up the microfilm machine, and release a few more from darkness.
Now it's your turn to help. I'm calling on the citizens of the Web to adopt a cast-off mascot and affix him to your own page. (Click, hold, and save.) NOTE: I CANNOT SEND MASCOTS TO YOU.
Well, I can, but I won't. Enjoy! And thanks.
- J. Lileks Jan. 01