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One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure

You may have seen these signs around your town. The whole sign reads, "1-800-Got-Junk" with the subtitle, "North America's Largest Junk Removal Service". The first time I saw the sign I almost died laughing. Clearly, the ad campaign is a parody of the "Got Milk" ads (same font, for example). But I think the designers had little thought of how these signs would come off to, for examples, readers of this site.

GOT-JUNK? Sign. I've checked with a number of straight people (people who have always been straight, not ones with "histories") and without exception they all perceive the sign as intended, "Do you have stuff to throw away." I'm not sure how the sign comes off to active users. I assume it is either, "Yes, thank you very much" or "I'm working on it! I'm working on it!"

For all people with experience with heroin, these signs must come off as ads for the product (junk, smack, heroin) rather than ads for litter removal. In this way, I suspect they cause some unhappiness for the NA crowd who are constantly told that they are inches away from using. They must answer, "No, and I better get to a meeting, fast!"

To me, the signs seem like a great idea for a t-shirt. I've already been thinking of "Speed Kills! Don't Meth Around" on the front and "HEROIN helper" on the back. I like the irony that it looks like an anti-drug slogan when it's just anti-meth (not that I really have a problem with you doing whatever drugs you want—just be safe). "Got Junk?" is also ironic, although most people would miss the iron and simply wonder why you want to advertise for North America's largest junk removal service.

by Dr. H © 2002


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