Monday, January 30, 2006

Take my empty heart! Be mine!

Just in time for Valentine's Day (I'm single, please shoot me), Elektrik Auctions is selling one of those chalky candy hearts, but without a message on it. Currently (as of this posting), it sits at $51.00 USD. $51.00 USD for a candy heart that sells for less than 50 cents per 100 grams at the bulk foods section of your local supermarket, where you could easily remove the message on the front of the heart by rubbing it against an abrasive surface (such as another candy heart).

We all know those little chalky candy hearts (also known as "Conversation Hearts"), which taste a lot worse than those than those sickly sweet red hot cinnamon hearts (if such a thing were possible). They have those saccharine-tinged messages on them, usually something cute sounding like "UR KIND" or "DREAM GIRL." Quite possibly one of the most disgusting candies ever made, if used for any other use except for a garnish or for a projectile, it could quite possibly mean the end of a relationship if given out on Valentines Day. Incidentally, features a thorough deconstruction of conversation hearts and shows an inventive use for them once they were finished with them.

Certainly, I could think of a zillion more appropriate gifts, probably something that would be more appreciated by one's prospective Valentines, rather than a chalky piece of tooth decaying ickyness. I'm not much of a romantic (I don't often get the opportunity), but even I know to utilize flowers, jewelry, or a nice dinner (with bonus points if it happens to be homemade).

There is a simple explanation for this, though. And given the reputation for the Internet to attract lonely guys all over, this should be no surprise whatsoever.

This is Mandy (pictured right).

Mandy is an amateur model (judging from the amount of red-eye in the photos) and the person who is selling the candy heart in question. Supposedly the spokesmodel and head of staff at Elektrik Auctions (that logo on the shirt looks photoshopped), she's promised to add additional photos of herself once the auction goes above a certain level, which she certainly has.

While you can get all sorts of useful (and not so useful) stuff on eBay, it has also become a bit of a springboard for people who want to get their Warholian 15 minutes. Sure, she can get $51 for a chalky candy heart, but she has been seen by (as of this posting) 1577 users.

eBay has also been used to showcase the personality of the auctioners, giving the chance to show off their design skills. Unfortunately, a disporportionally large percentage of auction pages are an absolute headache to read. This is one of them. Whoever designed the page inserted a completely unecessary Flash animation that forces the user to listen to the song "Broken" by Seether featuring Amy Lee (from the band Evanescence) and does not give the option of turning the song off. If you accidentally click on the wrong part of the page, the page reloads and the song starts again. When writing this posting, I must have been forced to listen to that song about five or six times.

With this level of cynicism, it's no wonder why I'm still single.

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