Citizens! You have been warned by a vaguely-familiar arrangement of Masonic imagery! So: what are they selling? Aside from



43 Responses to Out of Context Ad Challenge

  1. JohnW says:

    Laxatives, obviously.

  2. nitpick says:

    James: It’s “forebears”.

  3. JoeNowe says:


  4. Dean says:

    Seed. Probably corn seed. Or a new health care bill. One of the two.

  5. Seeds, or course. Genetically-altered seeds that, when planted, will bring forth twisted hellcrops. Failure will not be tolerated, and resistance is futile.

  6. Irritable Bear says:

    If it IS laxatives and they’re shaped like that, Irritable Bear fears irritation.

  7. Rob F. says:

    Bank services.

  8. Patrick McClure says:

    Crop Insurance.

  9. WinonaMatt says:

    It’s a job fair advertisement that discourages losers from even thinking of participating.

  10. Katherine says:

    I’m going to go with crop insurance. Or possibly Crazy Elmer’s One-Stop Financing and Seed Emporium.

  11. MikeH says:

    Probably a bank used by farmers. Likely the bank failed about 50 years ago or so. Or fertilizer from people/animals who used lots of laxatives, which has more nitrogen and guaranteed not to produce any cop failures (except for lack of rain, which you have then a big field of s**t)

  12. MikeH says:

    crop failures, still unable to type at all, sorry.

  13. Otto Nordpol says:

    Look bucko, do you think Henry Wallace and the AAA are any substitute for good old fashioned grit and self reliance? We didn’t need no brain trust to make these prairies bloom, and we don’t need it now. If ‘failure’ is in your vocabulary, there’s a WPA theater company up the road that’s looking for stage hands. You and your Woody Guthrie records would fit right in.

  14. nyssssa says:

    Motivational speakers?

  15. Lars Walker says:

    Just guessing, but on the basis of a farm upbringing, I think it’s agricultural buildings. The triangle suggests a roof peak. “No Failures” might have to do with rot and circulation problems. I’m probably mistaken (needless to say).

  16. Trogdor says:

    Agricultural Bug Control. Either that or Agricultural Bulls for your pasture – no Enhancement Meds needed for these Bulls.

  17. Trogdor says:

    :-) I had typed “Vi-Agra” instead of Enhancement Meds, and it was moderated! You’ve been warned.

  18. *Di* says:

    Some kind of school course ? (learn agriculture business)

  19. JohnW says:

    Ah, just kidding. I’m guessing some sort of patent seed.

  20. Jimchig says:

    I’ll go with farm equipment, possibly tractors.

  21. rbj says:

    The pyramid of No Failures! with the disembodied top points to this being a secret sign from the Freemasons to ensure we have no agricultural failures. And the number one reason for crop failures is weather. Thus the Freemasons are warning the Trilateral commission to — oh wait, time for my happy pill.

    Ah, much better.

    Either laxatives or toasters. Toasters toast bread. Bread comes from wheat. Wheat is an agricultural product. QED.

  22. swschrad says:

    Agricultural Bunkum.

    they’re selling manure, but pretending it’s fertilizer.

    and tne salesmen will resign and skip town before they’re caught.

  23. LindaL says:

    Agriculture Building and Loan must not have failed at that time. This reminds me of something at the State Fair, but I can’t place it. Maybe the pyramid symbol is still on the outside of the Ag or livestock building?

  24. shesnailie says:

    _@_v – resistance is futile! capacitance is an entirely different matter….

  25. shesnailie says:

    _@_v – that and… ‘failure is always an option’

  26. browniejr says:

    A boys band and band uniforms…. “No Failures” in Professor Harold Hill’s freemason band! All the young men will become fine upstanding citizens, and join the Masons.

  27. Trogdor says:

    Farm Subsidies. It all makes so much sense now, Freemasons, Big Government, how could it possibly fail?

  28. Archer says:

    Whatever it is I’m sure it involves the secret handshake.

  29. Chrees says:

    A book on how to pick up women. There are no failures when you use their shagricultural method.

  30. Mxymaster says:

    The headline of the daily missive from Dear Leader to his devotees.

  31. GardenStater says:

    @browniejr: Nice Music Man reference! And after they join the Masons, they’ll get together and sing barbershop quartet music!

  32. Susan says:

    Laxatives with a twist….made from gen-u-ine agricultural bulk

  33. LindaL says:

    Here’s hoping that Mr. Lileks’ family and home made it through the tornado with no issues.

  34. swschrad says:

    shesnailie: and not a word about stray inductance.

    my electronics training was RCL… rude, crude, and loud.

  35. Grady Beachum says:

    I think it was an early magic eye picture where you place your chin at the base of the triangle and look at the ‘vanishing point’ at the upper end. The horizontal lines and gray globs make some sort of pattern like a cornfield with a tractor and the words spell out ARTFUL BUT NO FIRES, in kind-of a receding Star Wars manner,or was is Spaceballs? (Maybe if I keep this up I could enter it in the Bulwer Lytton Competition….)

  36. Teresa says:

    Well the BU cut off lends itself to some interesting speculation, especially when paired with the No Failures. One starts to believe that this is in connection with Cows and calves and other more delicate matters…

    In an out of context comment – I hope you came through the storm with no damage.

  37. Wramblin' Wreck says:

    Seeds makes perfect sense so it cannot be that. James is sneaky that way.

    My guess is either cake/bread mixes or school classes.

  38. Dick Hassing says:

    I’m thinking hot lard sandwiches and cold and refreshing North Star beer.

  39. Dan says:

    Some sort of engineered building product, probably prefab roof trusses, or possibly siding. The triangle reminds me of the symbol for a point load in a free-body diagram, and the streamer through the middle would fit “Homes Agricultural Buildings Churches” centered in the ad.

  40. Mario says:

    I have to guess this is referring to the wonders of steel.

  41. Ross says:

    Grady Beachum:
    It’ll be a dark and story night before they accept that as an entry…teehee.

    “No Failures” Super-Lube, the Laxative For Your Tractor! When you want everything to come out all right, it’s “No Failures” Brand. Kids love it, too!

  42. Mxymaster says:

    Ross has invented Traxatives.

  43. Grady Beachum says:

    Ask for “No Failures” traxatives by name. Remember “No Failures” is your sign of Success! (maybe I should go into advertizing?)

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