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The perfect lives of catalog people
June 25, 2010 9:37 AM   Subscribe

A wryly humorous take on the "...exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs." If your life isn't quite perfect enough, fear not - the secret lives of Catalog People are revealed here!
posted by dbmcd (60 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
Must look up definition of "wryly" as I thought it meant something else.
posted by Elmore at 9:39 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is really funny
posted by shmegegge at 9:43 AM on June 25, 2010


They made me smile. I nearly clicked the link for the second page.
posted by Babblesort at 9:45 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


"After achieving his life’s work of balancing the wicker ball on the radio, Terrence carefully removed his hat and went for his final swim."

Ohmygosh. This is too funny.
posted by emilyd22222 at 9:46 AM on June 25, 2010


I keep imagining these vignettes taking place in some Parts/Logan's Run-esque future where everyone is really good looking and vacant and being raised as luxury food items or something.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on June 25, 2010


You must click the link for the second page. If only to find this.
posted by lholladay at 9:47 AM on June 25, 2010


I love this. Particularly the Patrick and Margaret towel one. Thanks for posting this!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:48 AM on June 25, 2010


lholladay - I almost linked to that one in the post - it's the one that made me chuckle out loud.
posted by dbmcd at 9:49 AM on June 25, 2010


Oh hell, these are much funnier than they ought to be. There aren't enough of them, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:49 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think I find this so hilarious because I imagine this is the content of all old-money domestic conversations, always, all the time.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:49 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was LOL-ing. Really.
posted by JtJ at 9:50 AM on June 25, 2010


You must click the link for the second page. If only to find this.

Yep you're right. That convinces me to go back and see the rest.
If these aren't wry then I have no idea what wry means.
posted by Babblesort at 9:51 AM on June 25, 2010


No, I was right about "wryly", guess I better look up "humorous." I just don't find it funny, must be a cultural thing. I'll bow out now.
posted by Elmore at 9:55 AM on June 25, 2010


Way, way funnier than I expected. Quite brilliant, actually. Yet it makes me a bit sad that I have reached a stage in my life where upper-middle-class furniture catalog humor really speaks to me.
posted by The World Famous at 9:57 AM on June 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


This is good. I do this for (part of) my living. Link duly sent to all my styling friends - we talk a lot of nonsense about "narrative" and "telling a story" every time we put a shot together, but it's so easy to get bogged down in a weird kind of tunnel vision when you're setting up a little vignette - the items stop being real things and become "product" that needs to be shown off to its best advantage. A random book gets added not because it makes any kind of sense, but because a pop of color was needed somewhere, to highlight the product and the book the photographer brought on the flight happened to be the right shade of yellow. Things get rumpled because it adds dimension to the shot. And so on and so on.

Our magazine shoots mostly on-figure on a budget and we don't have tons of time to fuss over tabletop styling (which is when most of this happens - when you can control every aspect of the shot, you start to overthink and end up with things balanced on radios), but we're guilty of this stuff too, definitely. I feel for the stylists and art directors on Pottery Barn, et. al - trying to sell a vision of perfectly ordered and organized lives, when the truth of that looks flat and boring on camera. Instead, you end up with this pretty image that ends up barely hanging together on even cursory examination.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:58 AM on June 25, 2010 [27 favorites]


PS - I keep reading these in a Thurston Howell III voice. They "rich people are eccentric" stereotype is so strong; I'm starting to wonder if all these aspirational mass market home companies deliberately play into that. Put the figs under the table! How charming, how delightful!
posted by peachfuzz at 10:02 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have no sense of humor.

And I suddenly want to buy an end table.
posted by mazola at 10:11 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


A species of that Dwell Magazine thing.
posted by xod at 10:12 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is hilarious.
posted by brundlefly at 10:16 AM on June 25, 2010


I love this.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:19 AM on June 25, 2010


That Terrence and his life's work caption is worthy of http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_bBDFciBWIFU/Sdg2tf8yF6I/AAAAAAAACYc/ErSSaO-oIBU/s400/medium_Telephone.jpg.

I have no higher praise.
posted by bearwife at 10:21 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, meant to say that the Terrence and his life's work caption is worthy of Charles Addams. Had a computer glitch there.

Hate Internet Explorer.
posted by bearwife at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2010


HAHAHA. I can't decide whether I like this or this best. I wish they would do some clothing catalogues.
posted by sallybrown at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2010


These really are funny, much funnier than I expected. I have to go back and see the second page.
posted by chocolatetiara at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2010


Yes, exactly, Zod. I'm adding this to my bookmarks right next to Unhappy Hipsters.
posted by redsparkler at 10:28 AM on June 25, 2010


I AM INTERESTED IN SUBSCRIBING TO YOUR WALLPAPER MAGAZINE
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:37 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


This might be my favorite tumblr ever.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 10:38 AM on June 25, 2010


Is Wallpaper* Magazine really terrible or something? I've never read it but I know it's not actually a magazine about wallpaper.
posted by Kirk Grim at 10:47 AM on June 25, 2010


This is really funny, but seriously I need to get a back-up hat now.
posted by orme at 10:48 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love this. I have problems looking at catalogs for precisely these sorts of reasons. Usually I end up sniggering at what to most people looks like just a picture of furniture.

"Hi Nancy, it’s Elaine. I’m going to be a little late for lunch. I can’t find my hat or my back-up hat."

It helps that I know someone named Elaine who I can see this scenario happening to.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:50 AM on June 25, 2010


I wish people could let these things build up to about 40-50 posts before making me aware of them.
posted by orme at 10:52 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fuck, I hate it when I run across great ideas that are well executed that are technically dirt-simple to accomplish that I know will turn into book deals.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:53 AM on June 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


This might be my favorite tumblr ever.

It's my favorite by a long shot.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:55 AM on June 25, 2010


The Q-tip decanter and backup hat made me laugh. Too short, though.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:59 AM on June 25, 2010


This was awesome. I love home dec catalogs and am always amused by how the stylists get that uncluttered look with those randomly placed objects of interest. And then I picture those same scenes with toddlers, puppies, or cats.
posted by pointystick at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2010


I want a backup hat.
posted by nooneyouknow at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not that funny either, but I do try.
posted by wryly at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


this is my kind of thing
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2010


My favorite was the backup hat one. I imagined a lady going to the hat rack full of purpose, finding her hat missing, shrugging and reaching for the backup hat, also being stimied, and then casting a murderous glance towards her husband as he reads "wallpaper weekly" and sips a drink garnished with a whole damn watermelon. She is so angry.
posted by codacorolla at 11:11 AM on June 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm sorry, but the undisputed best one is the "lobster and lime for dinner again?" one.
posted by shmegegge at 11:14 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one with backup hats? I mean, that was hilarious, but only because she left her backup hat next to her hat! NEVER DO THAT!!!
posted by odinsdream at 11:26 AM on June 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


If you ask my opinion, it should be Earnest and not Terrence.
posted by effluvia at 11:32 AM on June 25, 2010


Loved it. I hate catalogues.
posted by rainy at 11:33 AM on June 25, 2010


If you ask my opinion, it should be Earnest and not Terrence.

But Ernest wears a different kind of hat.

Anyway, shouldn't it be Gary? It appears that Gary and Elaine live together in this house with the racist side table arrangement, and periodically invite the Turners, two-hatted Nancy, Patrick and Margaret (who rudely bring uninvited guests), and Greta of the brown cookies to come over and dine on watermelon-garnished aperitifs. And yet Terrence uses their pool to off himself? Terrence was obviously Elaine's illicit lover (too many nights of un-put-away twine take a toll on a woman), and Gary (who of course prominently featured Terrence's photograph on the Wish Plant) concocted the wicker ball story so Elaine would not poison that night's lobster.
posted by sallybrown at 11:47 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I AM INTERESTED IN SUBSCRIBING TO YOUR WALLPAPER MAGAZINE

That'll be forty-nine bucks.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:55 AM on June 25, 2010


I want a backup hat.

Back that hat up!
posted by The World Famous at 11:59 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


What makes the wicker ball one even funnier to me is the fact that Terence had to be going for his "final swim" in that perfectly manicured pool behind him, and that pool doesn't look very big. So I imagine him trying to make a dramatic exit by swimming himself to exhaustion (like in The Awakening), but he has to do that by swimming a number of laps without letting himself touching the sides, and so he ends up sinking down into peaceful oblivion somewhere in the middle of the shallow end--where he has to make sure to sink very slowly in case he hits the bottom too soon--
posted by colfax at 11:59 AM on June 25, 2010


The q-tip decanter had me giggling, but the watermelon garnish killed me. I'm so serving those at the next opportunity.
posted by empyrean at 12:09 PM on June 25, 2010


That'll be forty-nine bucks.

Whoa, it's real. I can see the brainstoming session now.

Terrence: "Jeffery, I'd rather watch glue dry."
Jefferey: "By jove, Terrence... that's IT!!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:26 PM on June 25, 2010


This is so, so brilliant. Subscribed!
posted by Phire at 1:39 PM on June 25, 2010


this is one of those "i wish i had thought about that" projects am seeing more and more on Tumblr. well done.
posted by liza at 2:42 PM on June 25, 2010


Do none of these fake-catalog-home-owner-people have pets? Every single one of these setups is a disaster waiting to happen once a cat or ferret looks at them cockeyed.
posted by Evilspork at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2010


Is this a prank?
posted by Elmore at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2010


Mrs W and I thought the twine one was the funniest.
posted by wittgenstein at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2010


Great stuff, thanks!
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:15 PM on June 25, 2010


I liked this. I really appreciated the witty captions.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 6:30 PM on June 25, 2010


I 5th the back-up hat one. I was scrolling down and pondered the picture for a while. An absolutely SPOTLESS, dust free room with two hats chucked under a chair. What a load of wank. And then thinking of the discussion and artistic team that devised this shot.

Then trying to figure out what the caption was going to be.

Then laffing out loud at the caption, thinking it was far superior to anything I would have thought of. Overanalyse much?

Loved it. I hate catalogues.

I briefly worked at a major department store that sold this sort of stuff. Each catalog release would be accompanied by a store-wide staff meeting, with each respective floor manager lovingly brandishing their catalog as they gave their spiel on how better to flog their goods to the customers. The physical catolog-love during their speeches was something to behold.

I've looked at more homewares catalogs than I care to remember.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:56 PM on June 25, 2010


[This is good]
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:58 AM on June 26, 2010


I frequently have to cancel events due to a lack of pants.

(Or rather other people cancel them for me.)

I am too poor for backup pants.
posted by Samizdata at 4:49 AM on June 26, 2010


I like Backup Hat so much! Here are some more backup hats.
posted by chavenet at 3:15 PM on June 26, 2010


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