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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, October 2014

“I know I can't win again in 2014,” Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton grumbled.

“But I'll endeavor to persevere as an inspiration to those like Keith Heinemann, who last month swooped in like a little old lady from Seffner at the casino to claim the jackpot with the first nickel played.”

And persevere Marty did.

Referring to September’s fabulous fakery for caffeinated bath soap, Marty wrote, “Move over bath salts, there's a new way to get your buzz on in the lavatory. ‘Quake Up’ (pg 46) takes the ring from around your neck and puts the ringing in your ears.”

He wasn’t quite finished.

“Also available are ‘Make Up,’ infused with botulinum toxin; ‘Bake Up,’ made with medical cannabis; ‘Snake Up,’ imbued with tadalafil to help increase blood flow; and ‘Fake Up’ containing a placebo and soap.”

Fortunately, Greens resident Bobbie Muir’s entry proved more, um, de Muir. “What a creative person (or group?) you have working on these. When I start reading the monthly WOW, I love finding the surprise!”

And, would you believe? Demure Bobbie Muir won!

Not because she complimented the highly creative editor, you cynics! But because the fake ad gods operating the online random number generator demurely punched Bobbie’s meal ticket. Now Bobbie will be taking the caffeine addict of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now go pull out those nickels, people, and get your October fake ad guesses in today!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Sept. 2014

Was it fake or merely fakish?

Rest assured (Get it?) that Holy Smokes Crematory, offering creative ways of scattering your ashes, was definitely August’s fabulous fakery. Appearing on page 80 of August’s WOW, the ad, however, was inspired by a real company called Holy Smoke, which produces live ammo with cremains. In case you were wondering, one pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells (a whole case!). Since an average adult produces five pounds of ashes, you can single-handedly invade and capture the island of Grenada with your late Uncle Billy.

Who doesn’t want that on their bucket list?

Our witty Frozen Pizza Eaters offered other insights. Sue D'Auria of The Greens wrote, “In order to preserve the lifestyle that I shared with my kids for so many years, I've asked them to place my ashes in the glove compartments of their cars. This way I get to ride around endlessly with them, but this time I won't have to do the driving.”

Added last month’s winner, Brentford’s Marty Hamilton, “At least now on July 5 and Jan. 1, when I'm picking the spent rocket bodies out of the pool and patching the lanai screen, I'll be able to collect DNA evidence on the culprits.”

Marty even inspired this month’s randomly selected winner. Wrote Radcliffe’s Keith Heinemann, “Since I've sat on the sideline for the past year, thought I'd re-enter as I am reenergized by Hamilton's victory/luck of the draw after numerous submissions.”

It paid off! Keith will be taking the future firework of his choice to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your September guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, August 2014

"Our brilliant analysis has picked the fake ad,” wrote Paul McGoye.

“We believe it is the Medicinal Pot ad, The Pot Medic, on page 32," The Shires resident added.

While Paul was most certainly brilliant – he accurately picked the fakery touting pots and pans with medicinal benefits arising from their construction from ionized scamdium, mined in Nepal and spiritually inflected (whatever that means) by centuries of monks’ prayers, the luck of the fake ad gods inflected elsewhere in July.

Another Frozen Pizza Eater, Greens resident Beverly Y. Loranger, added, "Not being the world's greatest cook, I don't think those pots and pans would help me even if they came with the monks' prayers."

So who did the fake ad gods smile upon?

The random selection of all correct entries proved that fake persistence pays big. The most dedicated of Frozen Pizza Eaters (WOW’s gentle euphemism for the contest’s unwinners) received a real meal in July. None other than Brentford’s Marty Hamilton, whose wit and wisdom grace this page nearly every month, won the drawing. Nary a month passes without a submission from Marty, who, over its many years, has won the fake ad drawing more than any other resident. As the result of his persistence and luck, Marty will take the spiritually inflected individual of his choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your August guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, July 2014

June’s WOW featured a new company that DIYers could really sink their teeth into.

Best of all, it wouldn’t require three trips to Lowe’s or Home Depot on the same Saturday.

Doctor Dental on page 80 of June’s WOW offered Do-It-Yourself orthodontics. Simply take molds of your loved one’s teeth, mail them in, and Doctor Dental will send you all the wires, brackets and rubber bands you need. “If you can fix a toilet, you can fix their teeth!” it proclaimed.

And, if you can’t get your kids’ mouths to stop running, Doctor Dental’s videos can show you how to jiggle their noses to make them stop.

“Wish I had known about this before spending thousands on my son's orthodontic needs,” said Charu Nagarajan of The Bridges. “It’s still worth buying and keeping for future emergency needs, I suppose.”

Observed dedicated Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton of Brentford, “Just what I needed. Another challenger for me in the DIY arena.” Marty added, “I practiced up with the free iTunes Celebrity Dentist app, but upon trying a practical exercise, I found the wires and glue to be a bit too fiddly. Looks like Doctor Dental will join Mister Coronoplasty and the Herniotomy Weasel in the attic with the Happy Meal toy collection.”

Meanwhile, we congratulate Radcliffe’s Mignon Patterson, who will be bringing the DIYer of her choice to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!
Get your July guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

“My sword-loving daughter was truly bummed when she realized The Cutting Edge ad (pg. 39) was a fake,” wrote Bennington’s Georgia Barnes.

Georgia then make a sly reference to last month’s criticism that the editor loves fake ads dealing with kids and other shocking things. “Guess she'll have to go with plan B: a taser!” she wrote.

The fake ad gods must have looked kindly upon Georgia for her witty and correct entry because it was randomly pulled last month. As the result, Georgia will be taking the fencer of her choice to a delicious dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton also offered news regarding the ad. “To avoid any association with a government entity with the same initials, The National Sword Association (NSA) has changed its name to The National Long Blade Association (NLBA).” Marty continued,  “Spokesman Connor ‘The Highlander’ MacLeod also indicated that the NLBA has considered replacing its slogan about “the bad guy with a sword” after receiving letters questioning the accuracy of the statement from the National Associations for flamethrowers, wrecking balls, robots, polar bears, poison darts, Indiana Jones, and others.”

“P.S.” Marty added. “I want to say how considerate it was for you to insert the inserts into my copy of the WOW right on the page with the fake ad.  That’s a real timesaver.”

WOW aims to please.

Now get your June guesses in today, fake ad fans! (Psst! Your odds of winning are quite good.)

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, May 2014

“I'd like one with chocolate and one with mac n cheese please!" wrote FPE Mignon Patterson of Radcliffe.

Perhaps hoping for something to get her husband to diversify his diet (because the Patterson children are very well behaved), Mignon was referring to Utazels on page 58 of April’s WOW. Utazels promised to electrically stun your picky eater’s taste buds, convincing them to eat the yuckiest of responsible foods.

“So, another tasers and kids-themed fake ad?” observed Frozen Pizza Eater (FPE) Marty Hamilton of Brentford. “Don't fix it if it ain't broke, I suppose.”

Marty – the fake ad gods have announced – shall remain an FPE until Mr. Grumpy Two Shoes’ attitude improves. And if that doesn’t work, we’re gonna stand him in a corner and taze him.

Marty added, "Utazels are brilliant, but why waste this miracle on children and deny them all the potential for super-human growth from a diet of genetically modified chicken nuggets? Utazels are perfect for all of us svelteness-challenged citizens that can engulf a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream like an amoeba, but just can't get a spoonful of fat-free cottage cheese past our gag reflex.”

OK. Marty is forgiven.

And we congratulate Shires resident Josephine Beaumont, who will be taking the picky eater of her choice to a delicious dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your May guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, March 2014

Sure, it seems fishy but Dr. Francis Goldwater is the answer to guilt-ridden parents’ prayers.

Yes, we’re talking about all of you out there who sneak out to PetSmart when the beta bellies up. Rather than stage the fourth fish funeral in seven months, you figure it’s just plain easier. But when the guilt and the lies become too much, Dr. Goldwater will fit the bill.

Plus, she won’t pad it by upselling her special organic fish food designed to help with your pet fish’s shiny coat, healthy teeth, arthritis, proper weight maintenance and swollen anal glands.
Without pretense of being koi,” wrote dedicated Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton of Brentford, “Dr Goldwater [on page 55] offers premium veterinary care for aquatic pets.” Marty added, “I don't mean to carp, but I think the only physician that could revive one of my gouramis when it's doing the inverted float is Dr. Frankenstein.”

Marty, however, is still looking for a fish psychologist to address his tiger barbs’ aggressive nipping of angelfish fins. “While the accused may have deserved summary execution and a porcelain swirl,” he concluded, “the court has been lenient and imposed a chorus of ‘Circle of Life’ followed by banishment to the retention pond for a lifelong game of hide-and-seek-tag with the cormorants. That usually knocks them off their perch.”

Congratulations, however, are in order for Sharee Chapman of The Shires. As the result of her randomly selected correct entry, Sharee will be taking a fellow seafood surgeon to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your April guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

“I always felt it was pretty manly to wheel around the heirs to my empire (displaying what beautiful progeny my loins could produce), even if they were in a second-hand double Graco Classic with fastfold action.”

Having thrown about the word “loins” in such carefree fashion, Frozen Pizza Eater (FPE) Marty Hamilton of Brentford continued. “But for the less self-assured males out there that feel compelled to bow-up at the world (or those with ugly babies), there is The Strutler. In addition to the base options pictured, they offer a Greater Tampa Bay Area package that includes Salt Life decals, a roof rack with two kayaks and a compartment to legally conceal-carry a handgun.”
 
Marty, of course, was talking about February’s fabulous fakery, The Strutler Store, on page 15. The new store aimed to pimp your perambulator.

“I wish they had come up with this idea when my son was a baby,” FPE Charu Nagarajan of The Bridges observed. “Could have got my husband into exercise.” Charu added, “Better late than never. This can still be a great Valentine’s present. First I need to go rent a baby.”

Winner Ed Siler of Stockbridge also wished he had owned a Strutler. “I did, however, have the Jeep Unlimited stroller, with the extra-large knobby tires and four-wheel drive.” As the result of his randomly selected correct entry, Ed will strut on over to Catch Twenty-Three with a friend, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your March guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Jan. 2014

The editor, whose kitchen duty approval ratings have taken a hammering recently, is at the end of his apron strings.

Stick a fork in him, cuz he’s done.

Taking over will be The Leftover Locker, a new fake business operating out of a Radcliffe garage. Alas, the editor was sorry this announcement did not trigger any real e-mails from that neighborhood’s residents, wanting to hurl fake owner Melina Hutzworth (looking uncannily like the editor’s sister-in-law) off a Rad-cliffe. They’re apparently too busy repainting their newish mailboxes to notice.

The leftover trading co-op attracted mixed responses. “I am sure my son would love the neighbor's leftovers as I am a vegetarian and he eats chicken, turkey and fish. So I am all for it,” wrote Frozen Pizza Eater Charu Nagarajan of The Bridges.

Marty Hamilton of Brentford was less sure. “‘Better the devil you know’ I always say,” Marty wrote. “I envision a community-sized version of the break-room refrigerator at the office – full of frosted-over plastic containers, fuzzy gray pieces of fruit, and a soda can with the word ‘Trevor’ written on it.”

Marty continued, “What could work is…an orphan beer co-op where one can take several mismatched stragglers that have been hanging out in the [garage] fridge…and trade them for a like number of someone else's stragglers.” 

“Oh right,” Marty concluded, “We already do this at every block party.”

Nevertheless, congratulations to Glencliff’s Michael Servidio, our randomly selected winner, who will be taking the leftover lover of his choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your February guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Dec. 2013

I think the homework exchange is a great idea,” wrote Leslie Nelson of West Park Village.

“After reducing my child to tears many days in a row, I next tried just leaving him in the park with his homework, hopeful that some well-meaning parent would come by and take pity on him and his Sunshine Math. That didn't work very well either,” she wrote.

Leslie was referring to December’s fake ad, suggested by the editor’s sister-in-law, whose daughters never give her any grief. Nevertheless, after noticing kids always behave better with other adults, she suggested we all just trade them during homework.

Or perhaps the entire summer.

Two other Frozen Pizza Eaters, however, suggested a different direction. “P.S.,” wrote Ron Rachel of West Park Village. “Got a program for wives?”

“I wonder if they would consider trading husbands instead,” inquired Jean Maggio of Harbor Links.

Meanwhile Brentford’s Marty Hamilton was up for other short exchanges that would work out in his favor. “The first would be any car trip over an hour with my eldest and her ‘sick bucket.’ The next would be when we want to go out as a family for Chinese food, Mexican food, seafood, and pretty much any other food that is not chicken fingers or cheeseburgers.”

Marty concluded, “And I would definitely consider an exchange when my kids are participating in any school event where they intend to ‘play’ those African drums.”

Meanwhile the Fake Ad gods selected Erica Farawell of The Bridges as the winner. Erica will be taking the homework helper of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your January guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Nov. 2013

“I will stick with my frozen turkey,” wrote Frozen Pizza Eater Beverley Loranger of The Greens.”

“I have never cooked a fresh turkey,” she continued, “and have been married 60 years!!!!!!!”

Upon spotting so many exclamation points, the editor normally begins tapping the delete key.

But anyone married for six decades – whether to a fresh turkey or not – has earned the right to a few extra exclamations. The editor, however, does encourage Mr. Loranger to remain on his best behavior lest he fall victim next Thanksgiving.

November’s fabulous fakery, Old McDoogle’s Turkey Farm on page 70, triggered a cornucopia of responses.

"If it's not the Catch Twenty Three fake ad, then I'll have to go see this place!" wrote Stamford's Amy King.

"While Old McDoogle's Turkey Farm sounds like a good old fashioned Thanksgiving, I think I will pass!" wrote Jean Maggio of Harbor Links/The Estates. "Although the farm animal beauty contest sounds like a fun way to spend the day."

"When is Old McDoogle gonna open up a spot closer to Westchase?" inquired Bridges resident Jen Siler. "This will surely turn our kids toward eating more veggies after plucking and slaughtering their dinner."

But the editor's favorite? Keswick Forest's J. Vincent Harris, who, after identifying the fakery, mysteriously added, "PS: I was raised in Dade City."

The editor reassures J. Vincent that it was – ha! ha! – all in good fun.

Really.

Meanwhile the Fake Ad gods selected LuAnn Bradshaw of The Bridges as the winner. LuAnn will be taking the turkey of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your December guesses in today!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Oct. 2013

As you head out the door, you eye the bowl of candy purchased for the trick-or-treaters.

What to do?

If you put it out with a sign, “Please take one,” it’s gonna be stripped clean by the first ninja.

But if you don’t, your desk will be topped with a dozen fun-size Snicker wrappers the next day.

Enter Halloween Vendo-Rama on page 79 of October’s WOW.

Frozen Pizza Eater Angela Brigato wasn’t quite convinced, “Are we sure the retinal scanner will not cause eye cancer or rot their brains from the outside? If not, I'm in!”

Meanwhile Brentford’s Marty Hamilton loved it: “We’ve just bought our second machine, since last year’s model fell victim to pickers that stripped it of all the copper wiring.”

Now Marty and his wife can take a few laps past the neighbor handing out Jell-O shots.

He added, however, “One thing every new Hallow-Vendo-Rama owner must remember: you must never, ever, place your vending machine within three feet of your gray or blue trash bins.”

Congratulations, however, to Vanessa Pydeski of The Bridges, this month’s winner. She’ll be siting three feet from the retired Halloweener of her choice during dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

COMMENTS

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Sept. 2013

The editor begins with a shameful admission this month.

August’s fabulous fakery, the ad for Build a Bra Workshop, was not an original gag.

It was an actual store in the entirely fictitious Crown Ridge Mall in the most brilliant comedy show of all time: iCarly.

The editor, who used to sneak-watch the popular Disney show while preparing dinner for his tweens, still misses iCarly, perhaps the only Disney channel show in history not centered on sarcastic kids making fat jokes at an adult characters’ expense.

The editor believes in taking a firm stand against art imitating life.

Build a Bra was mentioned in five – count ’em! – five different episodes of iCarly, including one in which Gibby (a character loosely based on the editor back in middle school), confessed he was regularly thrown out of the store.

Stated Frozen Pizza Eater Melody Mahusay of Chelmsford, “Some of my craft friends would be all in for this. Perhaps it is a business plan that some brave soul should attempt.”

August’s randomly selected contest winner, Claire Chesney of The Bridges, agreed. “My mom thinks it’s a great idea worth exploring, by the way, and I agree.”

As consolation for the fact that they will not actually be building their own bras anytime soon, Claire will instead take her mother out to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Aug. 2013

“Shockwave,” wrote one dedicated Frozen Pizza Eater, “really knows how to put the fun in neuromuscular incapacitation.”

He was referring to July’s fabulous fakery on page 92 for a company offering taser tag. Judging by contest entries, Shockwave would make millions from residents seeking memorable gifts for their grandchildren and neighbors.

Case in point was Kim Kraft of Tree Tops. “I was wondering if I could buy some gift certificates for my neighbor's kids, who have been having pool parties that go on well past 11 at night all summer,” she wrote. “Would the parents need to sign some kind of liability waiver if I send over a gift pack?”

Reporting that he was talked into trying it by a young teen who promised it was “not much worse than a series of rabies shots,” Brentford’s Marty Hamilton wrote, “Shockwave is great recreation for parents too. My kids and their friends sprung a taser-ambush on old Dad and when I woke up, other than some long-term memory loss, I had a feeling of elation and all the voices in my head were silent.”

Profoundly envious of Marty, the editor thanks his brother, who proposed the concept after briefly considering the invention of an electrified timeout chair for his own children.

Congratulations, however, are in order for this month’s randomly selected winner, Candace Eitler of West Park Village. Candace will be taking the neuromuscularly incapacitated diner of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, July 2013

"You would think there would not be much of a demand for your Fake Ad this month,” wrote Frozen Pizza Eater Angela Brigato.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

“But I bet their rotary phones are ringing off the hook.”

The Chelmsford resident was referring to IT Free Me!, the new old service that promised to put analog back into your life. June’s fabulous fakery appeared on page 58.

Brentford’s Marty Hamilton added, “Thanks to IT Free Me, my children no longer have to hear me begin a sentence with the words, ‘When I was your age…’ Now they can live it. We chose the popular Arlo Guthrie-60s package, which came with an RCA Victrola console television with built-in turntable and AM/FM radio in a solid maple and teak inlaid cabinet; a rotary phone for the kitchen wall with a party line and a phone book, and a fold-up map of Florida. Once the Modifications Committee approves our TV antenna on the roof, I expect we’ll get better reception on all three channels.”

After retrofitting his Lexus with two vinyl bench seats and lap belts (increasing passenger capacity from five to seven!), Marty added, “I’ve also informed our doctor that all procedures from now on should be as invasive as possible.”

The editor, however, is OK sticking with e-mail (which, according to his high schooler, only old people use).

Meanwhile Vaidy Subbaraman of The Bridges proved the old adage, “Persistence pays off.” Vaidy, who has submitted multiple entries over the years before hitting the fake big time last month, will take the digital dynamo of his choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your guesses in today, fake ad fans!

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, June 2013

“Our grandparents understood the role of bacon in a healthy diet,” wrote Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton.

“On the breakfast plate each morning with eggs, coffee and a cigarette – and as seasoning for most green vegetables.”

He added, “They did manual labor and had hard arteries that would burst long before they ever became obese.  Sadly, I fear that most of modern American society will not use bacon as responsibly.”

Our favorite Brentford Frozen Pizza Eater was referring to May’s fabulous fakery, Baconalia, on page 101. Judging from the entries, the store would thrive in West Park Village, even without a liquor license. (Now there’s an idea: fermented bacon!)
Ah, but it would prove a slippery slope. And Marty’s worried.

“Wake up Westchase and take a stand before the demon bacon gets its meathooks into our community!” he wrote. “Oh sure, it will start innocently enough – just a little taste of bacon on your grouper sandwich with baconnaise on the side.  Then before you know it, West Park Village will have bacon oriental massage parlors, a bacon dog fighting ring on every village green, and two Irish pubs.  Our neighborhoods won’t be safe from cracklin heads, hopped-up on Bac-Os, roaming the streets on mobility scooters – their desperate umami-fueled cravings driving them to petty property crimes.”
What else could the editor possibly add?

So he’ll just congratulate Jen Siler of Stockbridge, who’ll be taking the crackling head of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

COMMENTS

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, April 2013

April’s fake ad fun was a smash with Downton Abbey fans.

A smash!

Get it?

Appearing on page 70, the month’s fabulous fakery was for M. Crawley’s School of Driving.

As in Mathew Crawley, the Downton Abbey heir who managed to off himself in a car wreck at the close of last season, leaving the series’ female fans in tears.

So we just had to mock it.

Fake ad fans who submitted their guesses certainly shared one opinion: Westchase drivers could use a remedial lesson or two from Mr. Crawley. Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton, however, felt the skills taught should be updated to address Tampa’s needs:

Never Give Up; Never Yield!: Crossing Linebaugh Avenue at Montague.

The Light May Get Greener: So finish your text before proceeding. The line of cars behind you won’t mind.

Indicating Your Intention to Turn: Just kidding – holding a smartphone and Quad Venti Skinny with Whip Iced Caramel Macchiato makes indicating impossible.

Agreed the randomly selected winner, Patricia Longnecker of West Park Village, “Wow! M. Crawley is providing a sorely needed service.  He'll be a millionaire in no time.”

Prompting the Lady Dowager to sniff: “And who will break it to the American that he’s already a millionaire?”

Despite not being a Downton fan, Patricia will still be taking the commoner of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Feb. 2013

With three daughters soon of dating age (they’re a third of the way to 30), the editor is a big supporter of the concept.  

Arranged marriages, that is.

In college he shared an apartment with a guy from Bangladesh, whose parents had an arranged marriage. And they arranged their son’s marriage. And they’re all quite happy with the arrangement. Their divorce rate is also markedly lower than Americans who base marriage on foolish things like romance and flat abs.

So if love and The Abdominator aren’t working for you, Madame Halcedonia of February’s fabulous fakery will. And she’ll be cheaper in the long run.

Meanwhile we congratulate Wendy Grazlavich of The Bridges, who won the random drawing of correct entries that picked Madame Halcedonia. As the result, she’ll be taking the man of her mother’s choice to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now, if you do have three kind and gentle sons – as well as 36 goats, 12 cattle and a handful of chickens – do drop the editor a note. And be sure to include your sons’ photos, food allergies and credit scores.

Get your March guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Jan. 2013

“MDNow! is one of your best ideas yet.  Sign me up,” insisted Brentford’s Marty Hamilton. 

“Now I no longer have to worry about my cholesterol level, or skin cancer or polyps in my nether regions. With MDNow! my surrogate guarantees I'm as healthy as I want to be!”

Marty closed with a request. “Perhaps my surrogate's diagnosis could indicate that I need some oxycodone or medical cannabis?”

In January the Fake Ad Gods finally smiled upon Marty, a regular contest entrant and just-as-regular Frozen Pizza Eater (WOW’s euphemism for the contest’s unwinners). As the result, he’ll be taking the surrogate American of his choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Despite the editor’s tucking MDNow! on page 104 among the ads in January’s Health and Wellness Special, our sharp-eyed fake ad fans couldn’t be fooled.

Inspired, FPE Charu Nagarajan of The Bridges immediately suggested another option. “Can I get a surrogate for my work?” she inquired.

FPE Teresa Keefer even penned another brilliant Fake Ad Poem:

If I eat frozen pizza one more time,
I am afraid my health will be on the decline.
For to have such a dinner again really would be a crime.
And it would send me to the doctor all of the time.

Perhaps if I must again partake,
I could hire a surrogate, my place to take.
Not just at the doctor’s for heaven’s sake,
But also at the table with the pizza I must make!

Get your February guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, December 2012

“I hate cooking so I am bummed this isn't for real!” wrote Teresa Keefer of The Greens.

Alas, in addition to preparing her family’s Thanksgiving feast, Teresa will be cooking again this month. While her correct contest entry made the editor chuckle, it was not randomly selected by the fake ad gods operating the random number generator at http://www.random.org Thus,. Teresa sadly remained a frozen pizza eater (WOW’s gentle euphemism for the contest’s unwinners).

Yes, Teresa was referring November’s fabulous fakery – the ad for the Thanksgiving dinner theater in your home, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Drama Guild and the chefs of Traditional a la Carte Catering. For just 500 bucks, they promised to join forces to cook the dishes served at the very first Thanksgiving while actors offered mouthwatering interpretations of starvation and death by smallpox. Heck, who doesn’t want to share dinner with a group of people who lived vivaciously before the invention of deodorant and daily baths?

Yummy!

Congratulations, however, are in order for Betsy Bulger of West Park Village. Betsy’s correct guess was the one selected. As the result, she’ll be taking the turkey of her choice to a peaceful dinner without drama at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

October’s fakery was inspired by Elf on a Shelf.

You know – the insanity that has moms in a wild and frothy Facebook photo competition each December? The one that involves scaring the poop out of their kids by telling them they’re living with Santa’s secret police?

In effort to scare kids into behaving during other months, Ghoul on the Stool (on page 106 of October’s WOW) was born. It even inspired the editor’s brother to write a lighthearted, children’s bedtime story, which begins:

Last year before Christmas there was a spy in your room
Who reported to Santa, or so you assume.
But I don’t like elves, and so he is dead.
And now I am here to get stuck in your head.

My, my, isn’t that fun?

“If only we had Ghoul on the Stool a few years ago when our kids were younger,” wrote Jeff Harrington of The Shires, “Now we have to resort to more traditional methods of sparking unbridled fear in the kids – like revoked cell phone privileges or – horror of horrors – hovering around them at public places like the mall or the movies.”

Because Jeff’s correct entry was randomly selected by the fake ad gods, he will be taking the elf of his choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your November guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

Who doesn’t still have nightmares about their school lockers?

Now, at least, they don’t have to be about size. As Brentford’s Marty Hamilton wrote, “Direct from Sweden, an all-natural product guaranteed to add inches to your… er…locker?”

Yes. It’s Flapco’s revolutionary Expand-o-Rama!

It proved wildly popular. Wrote Charu Nagarajan of The Bridges, “I want a Expand-o-Rama for my closet.”

Flapco’s other locker products interested Fords resident Angela Brigato. “The urinal piqued my interest for my boys, since I think they never use the restroom at school!” she wrote.

Which helps explain the sorry state of the school’s bushes.

West Park’s David Nelson was less sure. “While having a locker urinal would be cool, it certainly would add an unfortunate avenue to bullying.”

Mr. Hamilton, however, has purchased the entire line of locker products. “So far we’ve purchased the Flapco locker safe room (in case the zombie apocalypse occurs during school hours), the locker aromatherapy spa (you know, in case you need to give yourself a timeout), the locker designated smoking area  (requires a parental permission slip; do they still do this?), and the locker TARDIS (because I’ve always wanted a TARDIS),” he wrote.

Editor’s note: Don’t worry; we had to look that up too.

Marty continued, “We’re also interested in…the Flapco mailbox, which allows you to store your boat, RV, fourth car or portable basketball hoop, leaving nothing in your driveway but recently pressure-washed concrete and small newspapers.”

Nevertheless, congratulations are in order for Westchase newcomer Tamara Taylor of Woodbay. For her randomly selected, correct fake ad guess, she’ll be taking her favorite ex-student to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your October guesses in today, Fake Ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

It’s never too early to send your children away for eye-opening, third world experiences.

Particularly if you home school.

With school starting last month, those who rely on actual schools for ejamacation breathed a sigh of relief. Yet what about those poor souls who spend summers with their kids only to become their home-school teachers in the fall?

When they’re finally ready to throw in the hat this month, they now have another option: Home School Study Abroad. Sure, the kids will be away from home for the first time. They may even accidentally learn about Keisha and Nicki Minaj. But they’re guaranteed a unique, out-of-school education that safely protects them from the nefarious influences of the editor’s children.

From mastering election theft in Latin America to valuable child labor skills in South Asia, Home School Study Abroad offers a wealth of real world experiences that will remind your kids just how good they had it at home. As Mark Twain said, “Never let school interfere with your kids’ education.”

Congratulations to Radcliffe’s Mignon Patterson, who sensibly sends her kids off to school each day so she can lounge by the pool. Mignon correctly picked Home School Study Abroad, on page 98 of August’s WOW, as the month’s fabulous fakery. As the result, she’ll be taking her favorite Sunshine Math completer to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your September guesses in today, Fake Ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, July 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

If there’s permanent make-up, the editor thought, why not permanent sunscreen?

Glencliff’s Michael Servidio wasn’t fooled! He correctly identified Permascreen on page 44 of July’s WOW as the month’s fabulous fakery and is headed for dinner for two at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of Proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

And then the Frozen Pizza Eaters (the contest’s unwinners) weighed in.

“My family was so excited to hear about Permascreen, offering us superior UV A and B protection and an outlet to express our fanaticism for international sports,” wrote Brentford’s Marty Hamilton. “Sadly, we were not completely satisfied with our Permascreens. For example, my youngest wanted Ivory Coast but ended up with an Ireland (an easy mistake, I suppose), but my first born's Mali was so skewed that it looked more like Republic of the Congo. Boy, was my wife's face red. Well, actually green and white with a red dragon in the middle,” wrote Marty. “The experience left me blue – with star spangles.”

Not do be outdone (and poking fun at the editor’s recent Facebook rant about the redundancy of writing “the Tampa Bay Area”) Marty's wife Catherine inquired, “Do you think Permascreen can be applied in the Westchase logo? That way, along with my Westchase tag and Westchase Elementary car sticker, no one in the Greater Tampa Bay Beaches and Metro Area will be in any doubt as to where I reside.”

Get your August guesses in today, Fake Ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, June 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

Were you ready to take your turn as a star?

If you were, the editor had no clue. He was too scared to head down to Pavilion 2 at Baybridge Park to see if anyone showed up. Yes, we were casting for the next hit reality television series, The Real Housewives of Westchase. Only instead of being reality TV, it was fakity TV.

The ad, however, didn’t fool Bridges resident Brian Rieth, who correctly identified it on page 86. For being the randomly selected winning entry, Brian will be going to Catch Twenty-Three with the wonderful housewife of his choice, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

The editor also thanks Shires resident Carmen Longnecker for the fake ad idea. We hope she enjoys Bunko this month.

As for witty frozen pizza eaters, Marty Hamilton of Brentford struck fake gold again with his pidgin English imitation of one of Hollywood’s most sensitive cultural portrayals. "Tonto no follow Kimosabe into nest of vipers,” he wrote. “No make heapum big joke on Real Housewives of Westchase.  Much anger Great Squaw of Tonto's teepee.”

Now get your witty June guesses in today, Fake Ad Fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, May 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

It was the perfect solution for busy parents.

Who are, by definition, crazy.

It was Dr. Mezzuchin’s Drive-Thru Therapy, home of the three-minute cure.

Brentford’s Marty Hamilton, however, offered a word of caution. “Like any drive-thru,” he stated, “you have to make sure you check that you got what you ordered before driving away.  For example, I recently went to Dr. Mezzuchin for my delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage, and after two minutes of therapy I suddenly realized I was being treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Marty, however, stated it turned out all right. “They had me pull up to the curb and the manager brought me out a bag of Thorazine.”

Most intriguing was Neal Banks’ submission. The Castleford resident actually pretended to be his wife Mary when submitting the entry, which is perfectly normal. “If my parents had taken the horse and buggy through the barn, I wouldn't have turned out like this,” wrote Neal.

When the editor asked Mary what her husband could possibly have meant, she responded, “I have no idea.”

Pause.

“But he was raised in Amish country up in York, Pennsylvania.”

Congratulations, nevertheless, to The Enclave’s Thomas Clary. Thomas and a friend will be going to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your witty May guesses in today, Fake Ad Fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, March 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

The Frozen Pizza Eaters were, um, on a roll this month.

They were inspired by Robo-Chaffeuer, March’s fabulous fakery found on page 78. Bridges resident Brian Rieth even named his robot driver “Mr. Chains.” 

“I ordered your Robo-Chauffeur featured in the March issue of the WOW and would like to file an official complaint,” he wrote. “Mr. Chains grew fond of my 7-year-old daughter and asked her to the upcoming daddy-daughter dance sponsored by her Brownie troop.  [So] I located the simple screwdriver provided with Robo-Chauffer and disabled him completely.  His remains were picked up by recycling last Monday. I say: good riddance. I believe these circumstances warrant a full refund.”

Stating he set his Robo-Chaffeur to “Florida” mode, Brentford’s Marty Hamilton wrote, “Now my car automatically: changes lanes just before entering toll booths; senses when it is on I-4, moves to the fast lane and sets the cruise on the exact speed limit; turns left into the path of oncoming motorcycles; stops in the middle of Westchase Drive and waits while I walk my kids into school; and parks at the bottom of my driveway across the sidewalk. So convenient!”

Alas, while the entries were quite worty, this month’s congratulations go to randomly selected winner Leslie Nelson of West Park Village. Leslie will be driving herself and a friend to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your witty April guesses in today, Fake Ad Fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, March. 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

Effective humor lies in good timing.

Which is why the editor carefully planned to have February’s fabulous fakery run in the exact same month as the Boy Scouts’ annual Pinewood Derby. And right after February’s WOW went to print, all his friends with Scouts began posting Derby photos on Facebook.

In late January.

Doh!

It was reminiscent of the editor’s own Pinewood Derby experiences, which had cars that his father carefully made cross the finish line approximately a month after the rest of the field.

Fortunately, the humor was not lost on Westchase parents, who have lived through important and painful childhood rites of passage like science fair, Pinewood Derby and seven pet beta fish funerals in one year. “This brings back fond memories of our son's efforts, which fortunately raced a lot better than they looked,” wrote Frozen Pizza Eater Susan Wilson of The Greens. “It was extremely difficult not to help him!”

Susan happily reports that her son is now tearing up the NASCAR circuit in an AMC Pacer.

This month’s congratulations, however, go to randomly selected winner Beverley Loranger, who will take the speeder of her choice to Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your March guesses in today, Fake Ad Fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, Feb. 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

The editor’s brother shook his head. “There are going to be a lot of disappointed young guys in Westchase.”

He was looking at the fake ad for The Cougar’s Den, “a new Westchase bar for the mature woman on the prowl.”

“Get your meow on!” the ad advised, a highly classy motto that won out over “When the mouse is away, the cat will play.”

The editor wishes to thank Dave Tucker, the husband of WOW’s graphic designer, Hillary Tucker, for the idea. The editor, however, politely refrained from inquiring what triggered the concept because Dave was away on business in Mongolia again for the entire month of January.

And disappointed young men there were! Wrote Frozen Pizza Eater Christopher Evanich of Bennington, “My brother and I drove all over looking for the Cougar’s Den without luck!  We are guessing that this is the fake ad for the month. Either that or I need a new GPS!”

Yet fellow FPE Catherine Hamilton of Brentford wasn’t interested. “We ‘mature’ women with school-age children,” she wrote, “would be more inclined to poke cattle prods into our eyes than hang out with even more kids.”

Congratulations, however, go to contest newcomer Amanda Gale of The Bridges. As the result of her random selection by the fake ad gods, Amanda will take the gentleman of her choice to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Get your February fake guesses in today!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Fake Ad Contest, Jan. 2012: Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

Because parents weren’t busy enough during the holidays, someone helpfully invented Elf on a Shelf.

Before they go to bed in December, parents must now concoct a creative pose for one’s elf each night. After spying on your children – the story goes – the elf flies nightly back to Santa to rat them out before returning to a new perch each morning.

The motherly competition on Facebook – to photograph one’s elf in highly creative poses each day – is fierce. One toilet-papered the family Christmas tree. Another rigged an Elf on the Shelf zip-line across the living room. It’s really just a matter of time before some desperate mother kidnaps Justin Bieber, ties him to the sofa and perches her elf on his shoulder.

We’ve all lost our minds.

Fletchko Elf Extermination, December’s fabulous fakery, gives parents a way out. Just call Fletchko, invite them over and blame the exterminator next December.

Congratulations, however, go to Max Corske of The Bridges. Instead of hiding elves, Max instead searched for the fake ad last month. As the result, he’ll take his favorite elf to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now get your New Year’s guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues: Dec. 2011

“I think the Thanksgiving pre-meal prayer will be very sincere this year!” wrote West Park’s Ron Rachel.

Ron, of course, was referring to November’s fabulous fakery, which appeared on page 78. It was an ad for Orwell Farms’ genetically enhanced turkeys, grown in the shadow of the Crystal River nuclear power plant. “As a centerpiece to the holiday meal, I think their birds would add a festive holiday glow,” he added.

Alas, Ron, despite winning the editor’s deepest respect for wit, was not smiled upon by the Fake Ad gods.

Another Frozen Pizza Eater, Pattie Goggin of Glenfield was more tentative. “I am pretty sure we found the fake ad,” she began. “At least we hope it's the fake ad,” she added.

Come on! Who could pass up a 100-percent all beef turkey?

Alas, Bridges resident Jacquie Stovern, who has submitted guesses for months, was finally selected by Random.org’s random number generator as November’s winner. As the result Jacquie will take her favorite turkey to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now put off your holiday shopping, fake ad fans, and get your December guesses in today!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues, Nov. 2011

“That was a good one!” wrote more than one Fake Ad Contest participant in October.

The remarks prompted the editor to conclude either (1) he’s been in a terrible humor slump or (2) everyone knows several children we’d like immediately enrolled in Scared Straight Daycare.

Yes, the daycare run by felons was October’s fabulous fakery. Appearing on page 106, Scared Straight promised that new staff members Mr. Fred, Mr. Otto and Mr. Skanks would set disruptive children straight with tough, real world solutions.

Like a good shanking.

Anticipating Thanksgiving visitors, Greens resident Susan Wilson inquired hopefully, “Maybe they take out-of-towners?”

Added fellow Frozen Pizza Eater Marty Hamilton of Brentford, “If ever there was a compelling argument for school vouchers, it's Scared Straight Daycare.  They have excellent afterschool programs in tattoo science, metalworking, and creative places to hide things.”

While Susan and Marty win high fives for humor, the luck of the random draw went to Brentford’s Susannah Martz, who will be taking her favorite disruptive person to dinner at Catch Twenty-Three, courtesy of its proprietor, Rob Wickner. Thanks, Rob!

Now don’t be a turkey, Fake Ad fans! Get your November guesses in today!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Catch Twenty-Three Fake Ad Contest Continues

In today’s world true friends want to know when you’re drying clothes or toasting bread.

OK. Not really. But to be on Facebook is to be Friends with people who believe that.

The editor’s brother-in-law recently posted the status update: “Thinking about taking the kids to the park.”

The editor later confirmed it didn’t quite get past the thinking stage. A good Monster Truck Rally was apparently on Sports-o-vision.

But for those Twitter and Facebook users who believe the world is hanging on every breath, August’s fabulous fakery introduced 22nd Century Appliance, offering toasters, washing machines and refrigerators that post updates on their use.

Now the editor’s brother-in-law can just let his fingers lay, fully relaxed, on the sofa while his toaster posts: Jeremy is thinking about a Pop-Tart. Isn’t technology useful?

Heck, before you know it, the world’s IT braniacs will figure out how to put the social into social networking.

In the meantime we congratulate Kingsford’s Donna Jinks! For submitting the randomly selected correct fake ad guess, Donna gets to get all social with a real friend at Catch-Twenty Three, courtesy of its proprietor Rob Wickner! Thanks, Rob!

Get your September guesses in today, fake ad fans!

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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