5 Horrifying Valentine's Day Promotions You Won't Believe
It's Valentine's Day, which means that whether you're romantically attached or blissfully uninvolved, there are some sweet deals out there of which you can take advantage. Some offer romance to couples, while others offer sympathy to singles ... and if you're not into any of that, then there are always these oblivious, festering mounds of horseshit:
Watch Animals Bone, Get a Discount On a Hotel Room
In 2009, Binder Park Zoo in Michigan decided to capitalize on the erotic world of animal fucking by inviting 30 couples to drink champagne and watch some beasties get it on. Tour guides would then regale couples with animal sex stories, such as how you can make cheetahs horny using Jovan Musk perfume. Or they could just watch monkeys dong it up right in front of their stupid human faces. And that's not an exaggeration -- according to that link, some of the primates like to bone "as close as possible to the spectators."
But what if you're one of the unlucky ones who didn't get to see a yak sling some dick? Don't worry your pretty little head about it none -- they have a DVD presentation at the end of the tour. Nobody gets cheated at Binder Park Zoo, baby. You came to see some animal fucking, and by god, you're going to see some animal fucking.
That is so hot.
That's not actually the weirdest part. It turns out that those who attended the event got a discount on "romantic packages" at the local Holiday Inn. Seriously give that some thought, because it implies two very horrifying things: 1) that you were turned on by watching animals throw down in the lowdown so much that you needed your own room to bust one out yourself, and 2) that the hotel worker who honors that discount knows exactly where you just came from and that animal sex is what's prompting you to get your grind on.
Fortunately for all of humanity, it appears that the "Zoorotica" event (yes, that's actually what they called it) doesn't exist anymore. Instead, they offer the equally ridiculous "adopt a bear hug" for your Valentine, which comes with a card, photo, and "beary" puns which we're sure are just hilarious to people who most certainly don't have functional relationships with other humans.
It's out of this world! PURRfect!
A Restaurant Encourages Bathroom Sex
In 2010, Mildred's Temple Kitchen in Toronto ran a promotion that encouraged people to get it on in their unisex bathrooms. The dinner came with a little scroll that read, "Have you given any thought to moving beyond the bedroom?" The promotion itself read, "Check out Mildred's Sexy Bathrooms throughout the weekend of Big Love. You get the picture." Which is the polite way of saying, "Wanna do butt stuff in our bathrooms? Hell yeah you do. And we're totally down with that."
It was a joke. Kind of. The owners insisted it was done as one, but then added that they won't apologize for it, because they think people should be spontaneous. Well, that and they set the rule that customers had to bring their own condoms. Which is basically saying, "Nah, I was totally kidding about that ... unless you're going to do it. Are you going to do it? Because I don't mind if you want to. You know what, you should just fuck in my bathroom. It'll be fun."
"Hold that thought, baby. I have to poop first."
Joke or not, the promotion ended up getting way more attention than they expected -- the story went global. Which would be fine if they were some run-of-the-mill, shitty hash joint, but they're not. Co-owner Donna Dooher is a celebrity chef, but for weeks after running that promo, none of the questions she was asked were about her food. It was all, "So ... how many people ejaculated in your bathroom?"
The greatest part, though, is that when people brought it to the attention of Toronto's public health officials, they were like, "Yeah? And?" Their stance was that as long as it wasn't going on in the kitchen, they didn't see the big deal. As far as they were concerned, there's really no difference in terms of gross-out factor between sex and all of the other things that usually happen in a public lavatory. And that's why Toronto will always hold a special place in our hearts here at Cracked.
No symbolism here at all.
Get Married While Firing Machine Guns (Or Shoot Your Ex In the Face)
In 2013, gun ranges in Las Vegas offered a number of Valentine's Day specials, such as the "take a shot at love" package, which came with a healthy stock of ammunition for submachine guns. Others were a bit more romantic, allowing couples to fire a few rounds off at a paper zombie while tying the knot or renewing their vows, because that's where evolution has led us.
"Before we commit, I need to show you what I'm capable of if you ever cheat."
Now, we're not saying that's a bad thing. In fact, a large portion of us here at Cracked would jump at the chance to spend the day screaming "GET SOME" while firing off hundreds of AK-47 rounds with our significant others. The problem is that these offers came a mere two months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Or as Wikipedia puts it, "the second-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. History." The one that resparked heated gun debates and forced ads, TV shows, movies, and video games to remove gun-related material.
We're not here to take a stance on that debate (that's a whole library's worth of articles full of opposing viewpoints), but we can certainly understand why some people would cringe after hearing about the promotion to empty a machine gun clip into pictures of their ex. But hey, it must have been popular, because Machine Guns Vegas is now offering a $499 "Just Divorced" package this year.
"Sure, I'll sign the papers. Let me just cock my pen."
So yeah, while we can probably sit back now and think, "Man, I love every last inch of that firearms boner," it wasn't exactly the best timing back in 2013. Oh, and while we're on the subject of divorce ...
A Lawyer Offers Free Divorce
One of the problems with Valentine's Day is the fact that people tend to get lumped into one of two categories: happy couples or unhappy, cynical singles. Of course, there are many who protest this way of thinking, arguing that a fair number of singles are more than happy to stay that way. You'll find no argument here. Happy singles are most definitely a real thing. If you're one of those people, you should find another one like yourself and have sex with that person. It's Valentine's Day, after all.
But what about unhappy couples? Where's their representation? Detroit-based lawyer Walter Bentley III asked himself the same question and decided to rectify the situation. In 2013, he held a Valentine's Day contest offering free divorce services to whomever could make the most compelling case. We're assuming that ruled out all of the "he's a dick" or "refuses to do anal" submissions.
"I don't think you understand. Here, look, pretend this ring is an anus ..."
The contest had a few stipulations. First, the split had to be uncontested. The catch there is that it means you would have had to discuss the case with your spouse before entering. You'd have to be at that point you were almost definitely getting a divorce, regardless of whether or not Bentley was footing the bill. Second, Bentley wasn't going to award his services to any couples who had major child custody issues to deal with. After all, that would just make the whole thing depressing, not to mention take up a shitload of his time. Plus, he probably hates children ... though admittedly, that's just an assumption on our parts. Please don't sue us.
The contest was so popular that he ran it for a second year. And he brought it back this year. It's hard to say whether that's sad because of how many unhappy couples there are, or because of how many probably would have continued being unhappy if they hadn't been given a free way out. Even sadder, though, is the thought that Bentley might understand something very profound and dark about human emotions. This is a man who listed cancer as one of the reasons your spouse might leave you. And given his occupation, we're pretty sure he's actually seen that happen.
"Your honor, my client pleads cancer."
The Kissing Contest That Nobody Thought Through
In 2013, residents of Thailand were given a chance to prove the all-encompassing strength and uniqueness of their love. Traveling to the city of Pattaya, nine couples competed to break the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss, which would take more than two straight days to accomplish. To be more precise, the previous record was slightly over 50 hours and 25 minutes.
In theory, this is a fairly romantic notion. The problem, as if you haven't guessed it, is that 50 hours is a really long fucking time. Even if kissing wasn't a part of the equation, it would still be insanely hard. Just staying awake for that long would be excruciating, but doing it while having your lips pressed against someone else's? Holy shit. How do you eat and drink? Imagine not brushing your teeth for two days, knowing that your partner's nostrils are right there to take in all of that mouth funk. Look at these poor, dead-eyed bastards:
That's the thousand-yard stare of two people who realized eight hours ago that they've committed themselves to something they were not even remotely prepared for. It's a look of deflation as they slowly come to the horrible, horrible truth that at some point, one of them is going to have to pee ... or worse. And they're going to have to do that in front of a judge, without breaking lip contact.
To make matters worse, if you pull away, you are the biggest asshole in the world. You decided to do this as a couple, and if you're the one who breaks contact, you just wasted all those precious hours for nothing. "Congratulations," you just told your partner, "Sorry, but you're just not worth this." Even though you'd be totally justified in doing so, and nobody else in the entire world would blame you.
True love smells like urine and some vastly overworked deodorant.
So who won? Unsurprisingly, the quite-possibly-cyborg couple who set the record once before. That's them, pictured above, sporting the age-old expressions of, "After this, you're never touching me again. I hate you so very, very much." If you decide to take them on, the new record to beat is 58 hours and 36 minutes. We suppose the upside is that if it goes badly enough, you'd probably qualify for a free divorce.
For more bizarre promotions, check out The 5 Most Disastrous Marketing Failures of All Time and 5 Corporate Promotions That Ended in (Predictable) Disaster.
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