Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Entry for the "Is This Really Necessary?" Department......

Does anyone remember the days of yore, long ago, when newspapers were all black and white? (And read all over, I know, I know.) The "want ads" (known as the "classifieds" these days) were not only all text, they had clever abbreviations and codes that made it a challenge just to figure out what was being sold.

These days you sometimes find sections of the classifieds that are in color. For an additional fee, you can request bold type, perhaps an icon or clip art. As printing options became cheaper and more readily available, photos actually started appearing in advertisements.

I can see the advantage of using a photograph to sell a house or a car. Even a small picture generally gives a pretty good idea of what shape the car is in, and a description of a house is nothing without an accompanying picture.

Photographs began appearing with other items for sale, though. Baby crib for sale (with a picture). Well, yes that is indeed a baby crib. Grandfather clock (with a picture). Never mind that the picture gives no indication of how many scratches the clock may have. It simply verifies that the seller indeed has a grandfather clock. Or a picture of a grandfather clock.

Pictures of motorcycles are useful, as the many number and letter combinations used to distinguish different models mean absolutely nothing to me. Likewise a picture of an RV for sale - the fact that it's 30 feet in length meant nothing to me before we actually had an RV, but a photo would help me decide whether or not I wanted it.

Putting pictures of puppies in the classifieds is playing dirty. We don't want or need another dog, and Gus would NOT be an ideal big brother. But for the past week there has been an adorable black Pomeranian puppy in the classifieds of our local paper, and if he stays there much longer, I'm afraid Hubby won't be able to control himself. We already have a name picked out for him: Deets. If you are aware that Gus' name came from the character played by Robert Duvall in Lonesome Dove, you will get the Deets connection.

I have seen a couple of pictures in the classifieds here lately that make me wonder why the seller would fork over the extra money it costs to include a photo with the ad. One person is offering firewood for sale, and he includes a picture of a neat stack of firewood as proof that is indeed what he is selling. Really? You have to SHOW me what a stack of firewood looks like? Unless he's advertising that he's going to stack it just that neatly when he delivers it (in which case I'm calling him immediately), I'm thinking the photograph is unnecessary.

The one that really boggled my mind, though, was a photograph accompanying an ad for a ...... burial plot. It's sad enough to offer a burial plot for sale in the newspaper. But a photograph? Do you know what a photograph of a burial plot looks like (unless it's in the process of being used, which would be a whole different can of worms)? It looks like a picture of the ground. With possibly some flowers in the distant background. The picture was black and white, though, and about two inches square. I think it must have been an unscrupulous salesperson who talked that person into an accompanying photograph.

I know, I know, half of you think you would like to trade your problems for mine. And the rest of you think I should consider professional help.


KatyDid53 said...

Get the puppy!

Maggie said...

I read this aloud and you have a room full of laughing people.

Then I saw Katydid's comment and now I want to chant:
"Get the plot!!!"