A Walk in the Park
December's Fake Ad
by Jay Forstner
We received 123 entries correctly identifying the December Fake Ad for A Walk in the Park.
The entries came from far. "Finding the Fake ad is one of the traditions my wife and I have when coming out here for the holidays," wrote Philadelphia's Keith Gregory, "so hopefully a Philly resident can submit an entry."
And near. "I have thought for several years that I ought to write this," wrote Ann Arbor's Cendra Lynn. "This month I finally did. When searching for the Fake Ad I always laugh at the false leads. Even after living in A2 for 43 years, I still am amazed at what people here will come up with.
"In my search method I've come up with some basic ways to rule out potential Fake Ads: If an ad has a plausible address; if an ad has a local phone number, i.e., 734 plus a local exchange; the ad is not likely to be a quarter page, but we have been fooled on that."
Lynn's entry goes on to enumerate 64 different ads that she put to the test, from Heavenly Metal to Crazy Wisdom, before finally settling on our nonexistent walking supply store. "Fifth Ave. runs N-S, so there is no real address," she noted. "Wonder what dialing 993-6500 would get? The Arbor is in the fake address and the web is at the start of the closeout specials line. The lack of a web site kind of clinches the fact that this ad is a lyin', cheatin', foolin', low-down dirty no good LIAR. It's on p. 75. You can see for yourself!"
Melodie Marske won our random drawing and is taking her $25 gift certificate to the Common Grill.
To enter January's contest, find the Fake Ad in the January Observer, then follow the directions on the bottom of the "Back Page." The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to any business advertising in that issue.
[Originally published in January, 2010.]