On Panties and Blurry People

This weekend, I had a chance to catch up with my good friend Debbie, who I hadn’t spoken to in awhile. I called her on the cell, and so before launching into an extended exchange I made sure she was free to talk. “Well,” she said, “at the moment I’m at the store. Buying underwear, actually.”

“Excellent!” I replied, with gusto. “Perhaps you can settle a question I had…” — at which point I launched into an observation that the previous week’s mail had included a postcard for “1 free panty” at Victoria’s Secret. “Is that right?” I wondered. “Isn’t ‘panty’ like saying free ‘short’ or ‘pant’? Why do we say ‘pair of shorts’, anyway? Is it all about the leg holes?” To which Debs chuckled and said, “Only you could change a visit to the lingerie section into a conversation on weird grammatical rules. I’m so glad you called. I needed my John fix.”

Truth is, I know I get interested in weird little quirks, such as Victoria’s “panty”, or Mike Chertoff’s reference to “‘dewatering’ New Orleans” or the way my local grocery store likes to put up bright yellow signs reading “PRICE DECLINE” when “New Low Price” or “Sale” is shorter and simpler. Often, I can even figure out what might motivate people to make these perhaps odd choices (because “1 free pair of panties” might be construed as two, he’s a pompous ass, and head office said so, respectively.)

Anyway, now that we’ve established that odd things grab my attention, could you indulge me? Take this photo:
Two women, behind whom is a blurry bunch of people

This group is the Buy.com affliate team. This is the introductory photo, so you can imagine who’s answering your e-mail or some crap like that. At least, you could, if they hadn’t blurred them out.

Seriously, have you ever seen a team photo that obscures some of the players? I understand why they highlight the front two women, at least — they’re actual Buy employees. The people in the back are employees of the company Buy has contracted to run the program. But isn’t that clear enough just from their relative size and position? Or even in the caption, which separates names by company?

I’d like to say “what were they thinking?“, but as with the other examples, sometimes I’m not sure if these people are thinking at all…

6 Responses to “On Panties and Blurry People”

  1. b Says:

    an explanation of pants

  2. jsp Says:

    Nice link, thanks. I particularly enjoy this bit:

    Pants is an Americanism first recorded in 1840, and was considered a vulgar term for at least a century afterwards.

    Vulgar. That’s hilarious.

  3. Joel Says:

    With the Buy.com thing, maybe they were trying to imitate a camera with a low depth of field? That is, they want to present an image that, “hey, our photographer may be incompetent, but look at how much fun we all are having. Wouldn’t you like to learn a little more about our company, products and services…to bring those folks in the back into focus?”

    On the other hand, if I had to pick from that cast of characters to be partnered together, serving me, my default choice would be the two hot girls, too.

    Looks like your selection from the buffet is limited, John. Sorry.

  4. jsp Says:

    Yeah, maybe. But you’d think they’d try to do it in-camera, rather than with Photoshop (which this clearly was; you can especially tell when you look at the full size version, and look at the edges of the front girls’ hair).

    Though you do hit on another point. Perhaps the CJ team is a homely bunch. I did click around their site some, and I noticed that they don’t have any employee photos…

  5. moogsyqueefbone Says:

    if you’d like to end the vulgarity, perhaps next year you’d like to join us…


  6. The Panting Mr Pech Says:



Hit Me With It