Catastrophe is coming. Don't ask me when, and don't ask me how. I'm not a seer. I'm not a prophet. I'm just a man paying attention to the online ads that clearly know something the rest of us don't about our impending doom: that it's impending. And it's as strange as it is doomy.
While they seem to peddle lifehacks and listicles, these ads betray a strange and terrible vision of how the world works. Or if not how it works now, then clearly how it will work soon. If these ads are to make any sense at all, this world is lost. But perhaps we can learn how to weather the storm by reading the writing on the Facebook wall.
This is an online ad for a hummus recipe. Whoever placed this ad knew it would be viewed on a device capable of copying that recipe, pasting it to a text file, to-do list, or Evernote thing you'll never look at again. Yet whoever created this ad very clearly asks us to write it down. Nay, they say we "must" write it down. They are demanding we walk back from our modern, incredibly useful technology and write this out manually. Why?
There is only one possible set of circumstances that would lead someone to place an ad on the internet that claims a hummus recipe you must write down:
1. All digital technology is about to fail, and
2. It is a really good hummus recipe
We must write down this hummus recipe, which means we are about to see the failure of every smartphone, tablet, laptop, and data center. As global debts are erased and planes drop out of the sky, we will be consoled by one thing and one thing only: a presumably fantastic hummus recipe. You will no longer have your health records, your life savings, or any means of contacting distant friends or family (and, in this chaotic future, that may be a blessing), but by the grace of this ad you will have this hummus recipe. Cherish it as you warm yourself by the fire of so many useless Apple Watches. (OK, even-more-useless Apple Watches.)
The ad above promises "8 Easy Ways To Increase Your Daily Water Intake." That's worrisome to me, because there is currently just one easy way to increase my daily water intake, and that is to drink more water through my mouth. In a pinch, I suppose I have two more orifices through which water could enter my body (rectum and the IV central line I keep in my arm), but I wouldn't count them as "easy." If there are about to be seven more ways of easily increasing my water intake besides drinking it, my body is going to look very different from how it does now.
I don't know what these seven new mechanisms for taking in more water will look like, nor what their intended function will be. But I can tell you what their intended function won't be: water intake. If that were their function, certainly nobody would think to run an ad suggesting you use them for their obvious purpose. No, our new mouth/left mouth/right mouth/semipermeable membrane/south mouth/skull valve/under hole/overmouth system will have a different purpose from our hydration, which is why this ad needed to be created and someone paid good money to make sure you and I saw it. The ad above is likely a "holehack" article that I can only imagine will become disturbingly common in the near future.
Dear god: This ad is teaching us to suffocate people who snore. And not just random people who snore but our spouses. Look at the suspicion and determination in this woman's eyes. That's the look of a woman who has just accepted that her husband has the snoring sickness and she must put him down if she values her life or the lives of her and her grandkids. If you don't recognize that expression, don't worry: it seems like it will become common enough to be included on those smiley face "How Are You Feeling Today?" charts.
Most disturbingly, the upbeat tone of the text makes it clear that these killings are best for everyone. It isn't "The terrible thing you have to do if your loved ones get the snoring sickness"; it's the peppy "revolutionary way to stop snoring." That means that whatever snoring sickness is, it is so terrible it completely dwarfs the horror of killing your loved ones in their sleep. We are supposed to feel a combination of excitement and relief at this revolutionary new solution to our living nightmare.
There has been a lot of disturbing information on this list, so it's a nice change of pace to glean some good news: We have finally found a solution to bowel leakage. The picture in the ad is of a brown liquid (clearly meant to be human excrement) dropping into a white opaque liquid, which is disgusting, but so is bowel leakage. Thankfully, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that this terrible problem will plague our civilization no longer.
But what is most disturbing about this image isn't the brown liquid; it's the white. Most of us are used to relieving ourselves into a liquid that is exactly none color: clear. We use water to flush away our waste because it is cheap and plentiful and easier to come by than a freshman voting libertarian. But apparently those days are numbered.
This ad makes it clear that water will soon become too scarce and precious to be used for the hygienic disposal of biohazards. Instead, we will be crapping into whatever this plentiful, opaque white liquid is. Paint? Milk? Lye? There are precious few liquids that fit the bill yet would be abundant during a water shortage. Liquefied bone? I'm pretty sure it's liquefied bone. But at least it is liquefied bone from someone who no longer suffers from bowel leakage.
The headline in this ad is "Woman Is 53 But Looks 27." It is important to note that the woman pictured above it does not in any way look 27. At least not to our eyes. But she does have blood and bits of flesh all over her face. And that is the fact this ad is cluing us into about our not-too-distant future: For some terrifying reason, looking like you're 27 is going to be synonymous with having blood and viscera smeared all over your face.
John D Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images
That isn't a look we currently associate with the age group that most enjoys Adele. But soon it will be so tightly correlated with age that people won't even think twice when seeing a mask made of innards in front of eyes that say, "I have done this before, and I will do this again." They'll just look straight past what is clearly still a 53-year-old woman and think to themselves, "Twenty-somethings today." It will be the bedazzled giant iPhone case of 2019.
A pair of hands cradle five broken eggs in a garden. We cannot help but feel the holder's confusion and loss at the wasted potential and nutrients. They look like hands in disbelief, moments before they crush the empty, worthless shells and then, shaking, thrust upward into the air, cursing any god that would let this happen.
The text of the ad gives us our only clue as to the cause: Coca-Cola. Why would drinking Coca-Cola cause low blood sugar? There is only one logical explanation that links Coke to the destruction of these eggs: Not satisfied with being the biggest soft drink provider in the world, they become a monopoly on all the world's calories. They see every beet, every walnut, indeed every egg as their competitor, for each one of them consumed means less Coke sold.
Drinking and supporting Coke will soon lead to the downfall of all non-Coke nutrition on Earth. And if you are so insolent as to try to hide chickens to lay some protein-rich eggs, the people at Coke will destroy them. So that as you gaze into the ruined, worthless, empty shells, you will also see your future.
You'll be relieved to know that there is nothing sinister about the things protruding from the tomato above. They are simply sprouts from the tomato seeds still lodged in the flesh of the fruit. What should disturb us, however, is that being low-energy is somehow linked to having to hold a quarter near these sprouts.
There is only one possible explanation for the photo above: Very soon, tomatoes will gain sentience and a basic understanding of coinage. Then, the most patient and lowest energy among us will be forced to coax the tomatoes to grow using our currency. "Just a little further and you'll reach this quarter," they'll inevitably say.
The tomato concierges will fall into a downward spiral: If their labor is worth less than a single tomato plant's growth in a day, it will be impossible for them to afford food, much less keep the thugs from Coca-Cola at bay. They will grow lower and lower energy until they cease to move at all, finally nourishing the tomato plants with their very bodies.
The Bible tells us that the meek shall inherit the Earth. Not likely, given the future these advertisers know is coming. The Earth shall inherit the meek.
That, or advertisers are throwing random combinations of pictures and clickbait titles up on the internet and people are actually stupid enough to click on them so that these advertisers are making boatloads of cash. But I can't even bring myself to consider such a terrible portent for our future as a civilization. It must be the doomsday stuff.
Aaron Kheifets is an occasionally mustachioed comedian, writer, and director. You are allowed to follow him on Twitter.
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