Cash for Lunkers
September's Fake Ad update
by Jay Forstner
"Sturgeon, gar, Borwe bass...er, I know my fish better than that! And maybe the 'Cash for Lunkers' ad wouldn't have been so easy to spot on page 30, if we actually could walk along Allen Creek Drive to get to a fishin' hole on Allen Creek," wrote the quotable Alice Ralph in her entry to the September Fake Ad Contest. She, and the ad, referred to Allen Creek, the long-buried waterway that runs beneath downtown.
Ralph's was one of 194 entries that correctly identified the ad for Sam and Ben's sport shop and played off the government's fabulously successful--or ridiculously wasteful, depending on whom you ask--Cash for Clunkers program. "It was a nice play on words and programs," wrote Ingrid Ault.
The ad also prompted two entrants to assert that the word "borwe" can be found in Chaucer and means either pledged or borrowed (according to Nancy Roeser) or a guarantee (according to Martin Pernick). There's something I never expected to have in the Fake Ad Contest: a lively Chaucer debate.
Our winner, Ginny Archer, is taking her $25 gift certificate to Lotus Thai restaurant for pad thai. I hope it makes her as happy as the thought of pad thai makes me hungry.
For a chance to win a $25 gift certificate, scour the October Observer for this month's phony ad, which always has arborweb, hidden in it. Enter using the instructions in the box on p. 91. The entry deadline is October 9.
[Originally published in October, 2009.]