Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Few Marketing Gems for You

Well, here I am, toiling away on the weekend. Don’t feel sorry for me — at least I’m home sitting in my jammies and sipping a Swiss Miss and Café Bustelo mocha from the big Guinness Stout beer mug. If you want to know what I’m up to, well I’ll tell ya: I’m formatting text for a schoolbook publisher’s catalog. Very technical stuff this. So technical that super-intelligent apes are the only other species on this planet — on this whole damn planet, mind you — who can do this work. We’re talking nearly Planet of the Apes kind of intelligent. That leaves out all ordinary apes and the guy who sits on the stool down the far end of the bar at the Olde Shamrock Saloon. Sorry Koko. Sorry Stumbles MacSlursalot. You can’t do this — lucky stiffs.

(sighs)

Soooooo, who wants to make a million dollars? Anyone? You over there, want to make a million? I will give you this idea, free of charge, on condition that you follow through and actually produce this sure-fire, money-making product. Are you ready? Here it is: The Smart Guy’s Dictionary. It’s a dictionary for people who are so smart they can read at or above the sixth grade level. It’s for people who already know what “barn” and “snow” and “bird” means, for instance.

See, the portable paperback dictionaries seem to lack many of the words the big hard-bound ones have. Nine times out of ten, when I come across a word I don’t understand and go to look it up in one of the smaller dictionaries, it’s not there. The other day I came across the words “dudgeon” and “saveloy” while reading a book at the local Au Bon Pain. The little dictionary I had with me contained neither of those words; I had to wait until I got home to look them up. Now, it seems to me that if someone published a portable dictionary that left out the words educated people know and filled the void with more of the obscure words that never make it into the smaller dictionaries, well, that would work out pretty well, wouldn’t it?

So someone take this idea and run with it. And don’t be too long about it either.

********

Here’s another idea for some enterprising lad or lass: Ceiling Books. The basic idea is a computer-run projector which is easily mounted to a bed headboard (or comes with its own stand) that projects the entire text of novels onto your ceiling for the ultimate reading-in-bed experience. The format can either be page by page or scroll; the reader has a light-weight, easy-to-manipulate remote control device so he can read at his own speed. The LX model comes with a dictionary feature: you highlight the word, double-click, and a new window appears with the word’s definition. And for a hefty price, the customer can buy Master Ceiling Books, which comes packaged with a scanner used to scan in whole spreads from real, three dimensional books. Think of it: you check a book out of the library, devote an hour of your time scanning it in (or train a super-intelligent ape to do it for you), and then you’ve got God knows how many hours of leisurely bedtime reading!

Whoever takes this one, please have it ready by Christmas. I want to see that sucker under my tree this year.

********

Consider this scenario; it’s a hot, muggy day. You hate to leave the air conditioning of your office or home, but you have no choice. What do you do? You slip into a Cool Suit, a completely transparent, air conditioned suit that looks exactly like the one Dr. Evil wore in either the first or second Austin Powers. It has a special “AC Pak” that resembles a tiny backpack equipped with a whisper-quiet fan. Sure it looks a little dorky, but baby, dorky never looked so cool. Cool Suits can come in either Clear or an assortment of designer tints, such as Honeysuckle, Mist, and Sea Foam. And, for a limited time, the Special Edition iCool Suit can come with 3,000 songs!

(Note: Victoria’s Secret models are eligible to receive Cool Suits free of charge.)

I’ll need one by July, so someone better get cracking on that now.

********

Last on my list: the Hip Hop to Old White Guy Translator. Remember when Three 6 Mafia won Best Song of the Year at the Academy Awards? Remember their performance? Remember their acceptance speech? My God! I couldn’t comprehend a single word! I turned to my wife and remarked, “Say, dearest, do you understand those fellows? My! Perhaps I should telephone our physician and schedule an appointment to have my hearing examined. What say you to that, honeybunch?” Then I shut off the television and put on a Perry Como record to calm myself down.

The Hip Hop to Old White Guy Translator would come with a discreet, tiny microphone that clips onto any tie or lapel, and a virtually invisible, inside-the-ear translation unit. Translations would be done in the voice of either Andy Griffith or Angela Lansbury. If I had a Hip Hop to Old White Guy Translator the night of the Academy Awards, I perhaps could have understood DJ Paul to say, “My associates and I would like to thank the Academy for this prestigious honor” instead of whatever the hell it was I really heard.


Well, that’s all I’ve got. Have a great week everybody!

22 Comments:

Blogger LL said...

Good ideas, all!

Not sure I can get around to them in the time frame though...

6:46 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

If you only have time to do one, do Ceiling Books. I really want that one.

6:51 AM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

The smart person dictionary is brilliant! I mean, why are all the easy words in the pocket version anyhow? Those are the words everyone knows!

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Dreadmouse said...

The only problem with Ceiling Books is that I'm either going to have my wife elbowing me in the ribs for keeping her up because of the light, or elbowing me in the ribs for reading too quickly/slowly/the wrong book. Maybe we could do a contact lens version, so it's only readable by one person?

8:41 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

" The smart person dictionary is brilliant!"

I'm glad you didn't say "coruscating," because then I'd have to risk looking that up in my little dictionary.


"Maybe we could do a contact lens version, so it's only readable by one person?"

Maybe we could call that a Readman. Or an iReader.

8:48 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

You know, if you'd just stick to the Dick Jane & Sally books, you wouldn't need one of those fancy-pants dictionaries. Just sayin'...

9:43 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"You know, if you'd just stick to the Dick, Jane & Sally books, you wouldn't need one of those fancy-pants dictionaries. Just sayin'..."

Wait a minute — and Sally? Now where did Sally come from? Some kind of love triangle going on here? Maybe I'll check those books out!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

It's interesting that you had to look up "dudgeon" recently as that was Word of the Day from dictionary.com over the weekend.

I'll get you the OED for Christmas. ;-)

10:43 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

A friend of mine had an OED. It came with its own magnifying glass. THAT is a serious dictionary.

10:55 AM  
Blogger LL said...

" If you only have time to do one, do Ceiling Books. I really want that one."

I take it you don't have a 4 poster bed with a canopy then...

12:36 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

No, but that does remind me I'll need to take the mirror of the ceiling…

1:40 PM  
Blogger John said...

Ah yes, the classic Dick, Jane & Sally books, part of the "Lil Swingers" series.

So what does dudgeon mean anyway? I assumed it was an underground chamber used to hold prisoners with sinus problems.

6:31 PM  
Blogger :phil: said...

Great ideas, all of them. I remember while in grade school, no dictionary was considered good unless it had the word "fart" in it. I'll leave it at that.

Being in the school text book industry myself, I feel your pain.

Ceiling books, great idea. Maybe toilet seat 'barf books' for those hard to put down when your sick books.

As Jon Stewart put it...
Three 6 Mafia, One Acadamy Award.
Martin Scorcese ZERO.
(this may go back to the dictionary idea)

6:54 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

And "saveloy?" Did you ever find out? FOR GOD'S SAKE, MAN! What does it mean?!

7:13 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"So what does dudgeon mean anyway? I assumed it was an underground chamber used to hold prisoners with sinus problems."

"And 'saveloy?' Did you ever find out? FOR GOD'S SAKE, MAN! What does it mean?!"

Well, let me flip through the Smart Guy's Dictionary. Hmmmm… OK, here we go:

dudgeon: really pissed off

saveloy: a sausage made out of really nasty stuff you're better off not knowing about



"Ceiling books, great idea. Maybe toilet seat 'barf books' for those hard to put down when your sick books."

I'm guessing the pages should be laminated and come with a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Fantastic.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Wordnerd said...

The part about the Hip Hop to White Guy translation reminded me of one of my all-time favorite scenes from the movie "Airplane" -- Barbara Billingsley saying, "Excuse me, but I speak jive." Great, great stuff.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

All you need is June Cleaver, who as everyone knows, does speak Jive. "Shit, Jive ass turkey don't know nothin' anyhow." Er, something like that anyway.

By the way, I posted a few sketches last week.

11:02 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"The part about the Hip Hop to White Guy translation reminded me of one of my all-time favorite scenes from the movie "Airplane" -- Barbara Billingsley saying, "Excuse me, but I speak jive." Great, great stuff."

Right! And when one of the guys says, "Sheeeeeit!" the subtitle reads: "Golly!"


"By the way, I posted a few sketches last week."

I'll check 'em out, amigo.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

You know, it's usually the simpliest ideas that make the most money.

But there is something like the "cool suit" you mentioned. It's by Sharper Image, and it's this neck type thingy. Fill it with ice water, and the thing gently blows cold air onto your neck for 4 hours. It's kinda bulky, but it hits those top notch nerves for delivering cool to the body.

And I loved the projector for the ceiling. They have it in clocks now, Damn it, put it in a freaking book already!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

The ceiling book is a great idea.
You should do that yourself. There's got to be a fortune in that.

The gangsta translata could work both ways, making the subtle nuances of the aged understandable to even the illest of homeboys.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Mr. Schprock - If you get a moment today, please comment on my current post, and see if anyone else is interested. You'll see when you read it, but I'm trying to field peoples experiences from high school. I'll tell you why later.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I am LMBO on the translator. My husband and I shut off the awards after that point. I really think the day a rap group gets picked over an orchestra, well, there's something just not right about that.

12:05 PM  

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