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From The Archives: A Collection Of Stupid Parodies


I'm one of those people who has been blessed with an ornery sense of humor. If I think I can get away with making a smarty-pants commentary about something, I probably will. Most all of these were created when I was in school or at work -- both places where ample opportunities for boredom existed. To break up the monotony, I dreamed up some rather more "truthful" advertisements or created products that solved particularly "difficult" problems.

Please don't take copies of these and try to pass them off as your own work. Not only will I probably find out, but you'll probably hotlink them when you post them elsewhere. Naturally, it will not take my ornery sense of humor any time at all to dream up something "amusing" as a replacement.

Some of the inspiration for these came from Dumbentia.

Please accept my apologies in advance for the low quality nature of these. This is not a deliberate attempt to prevent people ripping these off and trying to pass them off as their own work. Rather, these were the only copies I still had in my possession. Such is life when a basement flood wipes out almost all of one's computer systems and his backup tapes.



My first "real" job involved operating an NCR 7780 sorter/bank proof machine. I guess it's obsolete now having been replaced by much smaller and more limited devices from companies such as Panini. After loading this machine with various instruments, it moved down them down a powered track. Along the way, they were photographed from both sides by two high resolution document cameras, endorsed, given a run number and ultimately placed into different pockets based upon various criteria.

One of many things I hated were people showing up with massive, error filled deposits just before closing time. And so, a solution was born...
NCR 7780 Sorter BlackHolePocket Option Page 1
NCR 7780 Sorter BlackHolePocket Option Page 2

The NCR 7780 and I weren't done yet. It only seemed logical that after dealing with troublesome workloads, that the customers responsible would come around asking questions about where their documents had gone and why. Around the time this was dreamed up, the department's copier was outfitted with a device known as a saddle stitch module. That sounded like a potentially entertaining thing to employ in the process of dealing with troublesome customers. So, why not?

NCR 7780 "Super Sorter Sourpuss Saddle Stitcher" Unit Advertisement, Page 1
NCR 7780 "Super Sorter Sourpuss Saddle Stitcher" Unit Advertisement, Page 2
My experiences with various pieces of office equipment didn't stop there. Some of these items were much more reliable than others. One of the least reliable pieces of office equipment I used was a Savin copier. When it worked, it was a truly amazing piece of equipment, capable of folding, sorting, stapling and who all knows what else. I'm pretty sure I only saw it working a handful of times. It also caught on fire once. In an irony that did not go unnoticed, a much older Savin copier without all the bells and whistles was situated on the other side of the room, where it worked without fail despite having done well over a million copy runs.

Savin had the audacity to run an advertisement in the early 2000s that originally read "WHAT SAVIN IS DOING TO THE COMPETITION" along with a crumped up piece of paper having the Xerox logo on it. I think I saw it in Time magazine. They were TOTALLY asking for it. Who better than me to give it to them? And so I did! In fact, the crumpled up piece of paper and copier image were scanned from their original ad!

This one dates from my late high school days (around 2000). When I couldn't find a job for the "job shadowing" program, I ended up running copies for all the teachers. It was more than enough to keep me busy for the few hours that were required. Much more than that, I was usually totally by myself in the copy room, and I loved it! Out of all the parodies I've ever created, I consider this one my finest work.

I tried to find the original version of this ad as it was printed back then, and outside of the usual, um, whimsical results brought to us by the magic of the Internet, I came up empty. In the words of Dave Barry: I am not making this up.

Savin Copier Spoof Advertisement Page 1

Ricoh either bought out or had a significant investment in Savin from the start. Maybe they even owned them from the beginning. In any case, the Savin name ultimately faded from view. Ricoh was definitely the original equipment manufacturer for Savin's copier products.

Finally, what would any worthwhile parody gallery be without a word or two about computers?

Back in the dark ages of 2003 or so, when Mac OS X had yet to take the world by storm and the creaky old Mac OS 9 was a fact of life for a lot of Macintosh users, this oft-frustrated sysadmin took matters into his own hands. This is a send-up of a "free trial" "Mac Administration" newsletter I received one day from Element K Journals. It was actually a pretty good publication, but their prices for a subscription were totally out to lunch. Element K seemingly merged with a company known as Skillsoft.

(Please don't flame me about this one. I don't hate the Macintosh or Apple products. Quite the opposite is true! The Classic Mac OS certainly had its charm and in some ways it was better than what has come since. By the time of Mac OS 9, though, it was anything but a pillar of stability. Its design was also thoroughly obsolete in an age of pre-emptively tasked systems. This was doubly true in the world of networked printers. Who knows, maybe it was as much the printer maker's fault as it was anything that caused such grief. Sharp Electronics almost earned a parody of their own with regard to the craptacular PostScript interpreter that they shipped in the AR-PK1 add-on. At the time, my computer was a Windows NT 4.0 Workstation box and it was the most reliable computer in the building.)

I never really got past the first page of this one, even though I had plans for fleshing the finished product out with everything that was mentioned on the front cover. It's also the first one of these so far that I still have in its original form. Look closely and you can see at least one imperfection. I'm still quite proud of this one as well.

Macintosh Defenestration Newsletter

Hey, you remember how I said "don't flame me about this"? Someone who hated the Macintosh certainly wouldn't have rescued a forgotten SE/30 from the store room at his previous place of work, find that it would only emit sad noises when powered up, and spend a LOT of time resoldering the analog board until it could power up again.

Hopefully that makes my point.

Miscellany

The "Mac Defenestration" newsletter above was one of the last parodies I ever did. I guess you could say that my desire to produce commentary in the form of elaborate parodies has gone dormant. Still, a few others managed to come together. One, based on a template in an old version of Apple's Pages software, lampooned the unreliability of British cars. It was a newsletter from an alleged British car club that offered tips on how to operate such a car safely. I still have the original version of this and might post it sometime.

Another parody that took form based on templates in Apple's Pages software came together upon my finding a template featuring a fictional entity known as "Green Grocery". Naturally, I had to find some pictures of rather seriously green (as in moldy or spoiled) groceries. What I put together was nothing less than a disgusting masterpiece. Sadly, I think this one perished in an accident involving overzealous deletion of files. There's a chance it may have made it to an optical disc. If it did, I'll certainly see about retrieving it.

And that's that.



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Copyright 2000-2015 William R. Walsh. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce this material or claim it as your own work! Thank you!