All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Professional Chotchke Makers Union Must Be On Strike

I'm sure that most of our readers already know that I've got a thing about promo chotchkes. Specifically, I hate them; mainly because they are almost always cheesy. But when it comes to figurines and such, the Canes really take the cake. The above figurine is supposed to be Eric Staal. However, like the Brind'amour figurine from last year, this looks nothing like the actual player, but instead bears an uncanny resemblance to Erik Estrada or Ralph Macchio [with thanks to Cason Blog for picking up on the Macchio resemblance...]. WTF? Is it that hard to make a figurine that resembles Eric Staal? Jeez, if you can make one that looks like Ralph Macchio, how hard could it be to make one that looks like Eric Staal? Hell, for that matter, why can't they just make one that doesn't look like Ralph-frigging-Macchio, for god's sake!

Worse, the designers of this monstrocity apparently chose what appears to be Staal's signature pose after scoring a goal. I say "appears to be" because I haven't seen it enough this year to confirm that this is indeed that pose. In fact, I find it ironic that this is the pose they chose for this year. Didn't we just pay him $7 million a year not to score much anymore? It sure seems that way. Maybe they should've gone with the "I've got my money, so piss off" pose:

Maybe that is a bit unfair. After all, everything I hear in the media is about how Staal may not be scoring, but he is doing all these other little things (that we mere peons can't see or appreciate) so well that it somehow makes up for us not scoring goals and therefore losing hockey games. But that's another story altogether.*

So back to the chotchke. When I first saw this, I got that nagging feeling that you get when you see something reminds you of something else, but you just can't place what it is. Maybe it is someone you know or some incident from your past. As I had that thought, it hit me like a ton of bricks! I knew where I'd seen that face before:

Yep. It looks just like the face of those cheap blow-up sex dolls that hang on the wall behind the counter of every sleazy 'adult novelty' and peepshow store you've ever been in. Or at least it looks just like the ones hanging on the wall behind the counter of every 'adult novelty' and peepshow store that I've ever been in. The resemblance is uncanny.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "How many sleazy porn huts have you been in, East?" Well, the truth is, I've been to one or two in my time. It's not that I'm a bad person, mind you. It's just that College, Alcohol and an optimistic (though misdirected) spirit of adventure often conspired to lead me into places and situations that still amaze and astound me to this very day. But truth be told, the image of the blow-up doll face was burned into my brain on my very first foray into the seedy underworld of low rent porn shacks. I won't tell the entire story here, because it does not relate to hockey in any way, shape, form or fashion. But suffice it to say that the image of that doll face is burned into my brain because it was the first thing I saw upon entering my first sleazy porn shack, and it was the last thing I saw before the great big guy behind the counter grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and the waist of my bluejeans and threw me face first out the door and into a rock parking lot. Total time from entry to ejection: 18 seconds. It might've been a record; I don't know. But I digress...

I guess I just find it funny that it seems like every chotchke that this team comes up with (the Macchio-Brindy figurine, the defective car flags and now this) seems to be problematic or otherwise humorous in some fashion. Or maybe I'm just too critical. But just once, I'd like to see a figurine or bobblehead from this team that actually resembled a player and didn't look like Chachi from "Happy Days". But apparently that'll never happen, unless JR trades Scott Walker for Scott Baio.

Come to think of it, considering JR's decision to re-hire Mo, a Scott Baio trade might not be so far fetched after all...

[*Historically, whenever I've bitched about Staal slumping, he has usually broken out shortly thereafter. So, I'm piling on him right now. Unfair? Maybe. Necessary? Definitely...]