This idea only occurred to me last night thanks to an ad that appeared on one of the social media platforms I frequent (I forget which one). I’ll get to that ad on the actual list soon enough. My point is, horror is where you find it, and sometimes it just materializes unexpectedly to make one’s day just a little brighter. Here then is a small assortment of Unintentional Horrors.
#6 Organ Rectal Tonight
Yeah yeah I’m juvenile. Don’t even act surprised. And hey, horror comedy is still horror. A colleague of mine had a picture of this in his office. It was one of those portable yellow roadside signs for an organ recital at a rural church somewhere. Shitty mistake.
#5 We Want Your Head In Our Business
I mean, there’s a couple ways to take this. I of course went with decapitation. I saw this on the way to Pittsburgh with my long-time friend Bob (author of A View From This Wilderness). It was a sign outside a salon on Route 30 (I think) in Irwin, Pennsylvania. We were at the Ligonier Valley Writers Conference in, well, Ligonier. Since that’s only an hour from Pittsburgh, we went up a day early to see some of my relatives. We stopped by the conference venue then shot up 30, and there it was.
#4 Be An Organ Donor. Give Jesus Your Heart
Am I the only one who finds this A) insensitive and B) fucking gruesome? This was outside a church right here in my neck of the woods. I guess I won’t embarrass the establishment any further than to say say it’s right near Cogan’s Pizza. In Norfolk, Virginia. On Colonial Avenue. Then again, they’re supposed to forgive me, right? Isn’t that, like, their shtick?
#3 The Dead Zoo
The highlight of the conference I mentioned at #5 was Joe’s, a local bar. We spent a fair amount of time there between and after conference stuff. Anyway, the locals call it The Dead Zoo. There’s an expansive upstairs full of taxidermy, most of which is stuff that was apparently shot by Joe himself. Now I don’t mean it’s horrifying in a PETA sense or anything like that (though admittedly I don’t get the whole hunting for shit you ain’t gonna eat idea). No, it’s horrifying in the Evil Dead II re-animated animal heads sense.
#2 Human-grade Protein
This was the aforementioned cat food ad that started me on this path in the first place. I don’t remember the brand, but it’s supposed to be all cat-healthy and shit. I know what they mean by “human-grade” but, come on…surely that’s a phrase that can be improved upon. It’s bad enough knowing that if I keel over in my apartment my cat’s gonna live off me until the smell drifts into the hallway. I don’t need her developing a taste for human-grade protein whilst I remain capable of drawing breath.
#1 Our Secret Ingredient Is Our People
Of course it is. Y’know there’s nothin’ I like better than a big ol’ juicy Double Soylent Green Cheeseburger like Mom useta make. Mmmmm. And there’s today’s movie connection. This was a sign I saw at a Wendy’s some place, and it’s popped up here and there on the internet. I think the most chilling part is “Now Hiring.” Yeah I just bet they are. On the other hand, given the sheer awesome savagery of Wendy’s Twitter roasts, who knows? Maybe it was intentional after all. If it was, fair play to Wendy’s for having a twisted sense of humor. Nicely done.
And there you have it, boils and ghouls. Keep your eyes open. You never know what unexpected horror treasures might be just around the corner in your very neighborhood, hiding in plain sight, just waiting to happy up the day. When ya see ’em, share ’em in the Comments.