So: what the devil are they trying to sell?



44 Responses to Out of Context Ad Challenge

  1. JerseyAmy says:

    First! Laxatives!

    OK, I don’t see how this could be for laxatives at all, but one of these days we’ll all be right!

  2. Jennifer says:

    When in doubt…war bonds.

  3. FreeState says:

    My first thought was Pitney Bowes mailing machines, but it’s probably something like bowling balls or bear tranquilizers.

    BTW, did we EVER find out what made Irritable Bear so irritable? I thought maybe I missed something. Maybe he just had a run-in with Mr. Coffee nerves.

  4. MikeH says:

    The whistles represent how laxatives works inside you. The stacks of thick envelopes represent that you want to lines up dominoes and push them.

    Actually like a cut tree i’m stumped.

  5. You’ve heard of “Air Mail”.

    What about its precursor, Rail Mail?

    “Train whistle blowing, makes a sleepy noise….”

  6. Gerry says:

    The US Post Office—send it by rail.

  7. fizzbin says:

    Irritable Bear is irritable due to chronic Irritable Bear Syndrome. This is caused by his/her addiction to all forms of laxatives, having to wear stiletto heels at work, too much use of Bear Nair and the chaffing of his/her’s black leather peek-a-boo bras. If this doesn’t get IBs attention, I don’t know what will ;)

  8. hpoulter says:

    Those are factory whistles (Quitting Time!) and a parade of pay envelopes with employee names on them.

    So they are selling….

    Payroll automation?

    “nev-r-tear” Envelopes?

    Could be a recruiting poster for Fagin’s school of pickpockets.

    Is it Gummint propaganda? (Thanks to the NRA, we’re working!)

  9. Own a piece of a Railroad!

    But after buying the Reading, make certain to complete your portfolio buy also purchasing some Pennsylvania, B&O, and Short Line!

    Or, Quitting Time! Here’s your severance package. “In these economic times, unemployment insurance makes financial sense”

  10. jenifersf says:

    I think those are payroll envelopes and time whistles. So…direct deposit?

  11. shesnailie says:

    _@_v – EZ-steem envelope openers for *ahem* certain government agencies with a need to have a squint at a lotta peoples mail for the neverending struggle against international communism™

  12. Andre says:

    I know this isn’t right, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw this was Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

  13. GardenStater says:

    They’re selling steam whistles. Duh.

  14. fizzbin says:

    ….and, I’ll bet, Irritable Bear will tell us Mr. Coffee Nerves was crunchy and tasted good with taco sauce!

  15. jenifersf :
    I think those are payroll envelopes and time whistles. So…direct deposit?

    That makes sense. Except, if your factory is still relying on time whistles, you’re probably paying employees out of the “payroll office” and with Company Script, at that.

  16. agree pay envelopes.

    They are selling rolling pins, the type the wife will use on husband as he staggers home from the bar on pay day.

  17. browniejr says:

    Factory whistles remind me of the opening credits of the Flintstones… but Fred’s paycheck would have been chipped into a stone tablet by wisecracking bird with a long beak, not in an envelope.

    It’s time to mail in your absentee ballot- vote now or we’ll lose “the neverending struggle against international communism™”

  18. Metaphizzle says:

    The world’s longest accordion! So long that it can’t be held by a mere human, requiring the aid of specialized, steam-powered machinery just to play it. Ah, the wonders of the modern age!

    It’s playing a tango. Are cramped bowels keeping you off the dance floor?

  19. Lars Walker says:

    “Donate your old steam whistles to the War Effort. The steam generated will open thousands of suspicious envelopes for the FBI.”

  20. Chris M. says:

    jenifersf :
    I think those are payroll envelopes and time whistles. So…direct deposit?

    All of Lilek’s Out of Context Ads have been 50+ years old, and this one looks like the same vintage. Direct Deposit was almost nonexistent before the 1960s, and I don’t think this ad is that new.

  21. fizzbin says:

    Shirley, agent shesnailie, you could not be refering to the Christians In Action or the Fine Bunch of Investigators, hmmmmmm?@shesnailie

  22. lileks_liker says:

    I would guess payroll services or time clocks.

  23. Wramblin' Wreck says:

    Department store account invoices. Payable each month.

  24. fizzbin says:

    Regarding la affair du Irritable Bear, I propose the Buzzeratti and Bleater Irregulars (heh,heh) unite and, as they say in Ireland, Suivre la Charmin!! Just don’t put agent shesnailie in the lead..unless you bring a copy of War and Peace to read – twice.

  25. GardenStater says:

    FreeState :BTW, did we EVER find out what made Irritable Bear so irritable? I thought maybe I missed something. Maybe he just had a run-in with Mr. Coffee nerves.

    Finding out about the source of Irritable Bear’s irritability is about as likely as learning the Official Solution to countless Lance Lawson mysteries.

    Which is about as likely as my hitting the Mega-Millions jackpot on Friday.

  26. *Di* says:

    Maybe it’s a car ad – you know, so you can escape the daily grind, now and then ?

  27. GardenStater says:

    James asks “What the devil are they trying to sell?”

    I wonder if that’s a clue. Could it be Underwood Deviled Ham? (“Now in mailable envelopes, so you can send some ham to one of our boys overseas!”)

  28. boblipton says:

    It’s great to be working again and getting that pay envelope, but remember that our boys are dying over there, kicking Tojo’s tuchas, so buy those war bonds!

    Besides, there’s nothing to buy until we go off war production.


  29. SCOTTtheBADGER says:

    I think it might be something to do with saving for retirement.

  30. swschrad says:

    it’s factory whistles and time cards… hmmm.. They’re Selling Slavery!

    “Remember, Tojo never wore a tie, what’s that tell ya? Work Unpaid Overtime, fight the good fight!” — a message from the National Chambers of Commerce.

  31. NeonCat says:

    Steam-proof envelopes! Just the thing to keep prying eyes out!

    Actually, it’s probably life insurance or retirement savings.

  32. Jeff Paul’s Rail Mail Millions!

    Receive nickels and dimes in the mail, delivered via US Rail Mail!

    (Actual Millions, not included)

  33. Patrick says:

    If it is pay envelopes and steam whistles, it may be saying how your pay is helping fight the war, or something to do with the Income Tax.

  34. Don Tuite says:

    C’mon guys. War Bonds!

  35. Bleepless says:

    Everybody is getting sooo metaphorical! Envelopes full of steam whistles, of course, or maybe steam whistles full of envelopes.

  36. Jimmy H says:

    Scent mail??

  37. PersonFromPorlock says:

    Leave Irritable Bear alone! Life should have Mysteries.

  38. rivlax says:

    The famous marching picture frames, or the world’s longest bellows.

  39. Pinny the Ziphead says:

    Gotta be some kind of insurance-buy our Chartreuse Cross Plan and if some plutocrat’s ten ton press chops off your fingers Ma will still be able to put war-worker size portions of Spam on the table.

  40. jamcool says:

    @juanito – John Davey
    Or act like Warren Buffett and buy a whole damn railroad!

  41. Ross says:

    “…with taco sauce.” HA!

    Personally, I still want to know what that drawing of IB was from.

    And, since shesnailie doesn’t seem to have stopped back to this thread, I’ll do it:
    Yes, yes she can. And don’t call her “Shirley”.

  42. Norskeguy says:


    $35 is about $535, $17.50 is about $265 in todays inflated money supply

  43. Irritable Bear says:

    WHAT!!!??? What do you people want from me?!! You want to understand my motivation?? Come out here in the woods. I’ll show you my motivation!!!

  44. fizzbin says:

    MON DUEX!!!… or as we say in the woods MORE DUCKS!!! The Great IB has returned!! We are save-ed. I am too overcome with lotion, I must retire to my fainting couch ;)

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