Lately for whatever reason, I’ve been targeted by an alarming number of Wish ads in my social media news feeds. Scrolling through the insanity has become a part of my daily ritual, which is probably why I keep getting more ads. If you’re unfamiliar with Wish, think of it as Amazon’s registered sex offender of a cousin. Here are the basics. They offer products too good to be true for prices that don’t make sense. For instance, here is a crate full of crack pipes. Cheaper than a pack of gum and with a variety of colors to choose from.
If you have ever seen Wes Craven’s Wishmaster, then you know when things sound too good to be true they usually are. For instance, in the first film, Tony Todd aggressively confronts the Wishmaster, and the Wishmaster, sensing excessive amounts of stress from Tony, asks him if he wishes he could escape from it all. Tony Todd, assuming he meant figuratively, begrudgingly admits he does wish he could escape from it all. The Wishmaster then teleports Tony Todd into a fucking Houdini tank full of water, bound in chains and a straight jacket, where he presumably drowns.
Listen, I know it doesn’t make sense from a legal standpoint. If Tony’s wish was to escape, then why was he transported into a situation he was clearly not meant to escape from? The lesson here isn’t even “be careful what you wish for.” It’s “be careful of the legal interpretation of your wish and whether or not you will survive long enough to present your case in court.” That’s Wish, the distributor. They aren’t just going to hand you a box of crack pipes at a loss. You are somehow going to pay a mortal price for those savings. Maybe the crack pipes smoke YOU, and your soul leaves your body in the form of gaseous vapor, which is inhaled by Wish CEO Piotr Szulczewski who was the crack pipe the whole time.
I haven’t worked up enough courage to actually purchase anything from them myself because of my aforementioned familiarity with the Wishmaster. However it hasn’t stopped me from trying to guess whatever monkey’s paw fate awaits the foolish mortals who have.
Before I go on, I’m going to quickly point out a couple of things so you know I’m not intentionally omitting relevant information for the sake of comedy. Here is an ad for a John Rick t-shirt, based on artwork stolen from artist MJ Hilben and photoshopped to make it seem as if Keanu Reeves himself has endorsed it. First, there is a price tag and it is firmly in the t-shirt zone. At the bottom there is an item description preview, letting me know I’m definitely being sold apparel and not something else, like a poster of Keanue Reeves holding a shirt with a stolen design printed on it.
The following ad, however, is slightly different.
It is a collage of mysterious possibilities. For starters, there is no price tag, which is my first best guess as to what I’m supposed to be looking at. My next best clue, the item description, is suspiciously missing. All I’m left with is a photograph containing any number of potential items for sale. Is it the Genesis series gas grill? Is it the sugar skull shorts being swallowed by the model’s juicy booty? Is it…is it the juicy booty??? Who knows! Let your mind go blank, click the link and make an impulse buy based on the blood density of your erection, you fool. Let the Wishmaster taste your soul.
Armed with a better understanding of Wish’s advertising practices, I’m going to list six examples of suspicious Wish ads and try to figure out what’s going on in them. Sometimes I question the actual value of the product. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure who the product is intended for and, sometimes, I’m not sure what is even being sold.
1: “Leather” Sandals
Let’s start off with something fairly simple. At first glance, these appear to be nothing more than some really thick sandals. However, my eye is almost immediately drawn to the cow with the word “cowhide” defensively placed above it. Making footwear out of cowhide is not unusual. In fact, I would guess the majority of shoes are made out of it. What is unusual is feeling like you have to specifically state it in a way other shoes do not.
What’s really going on?
I am suspicious of this leather. Seeing the word “cowhide” has raised the type of red flags the manufacturer was clearly trying to avoid. It makes me second guess what type of hide I’m looking at. It makes me take a closer look at the sandals, where I notice the fat, irritated looking stitches more reminiscent of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre than shoes. Based on the design, it also makes me picture some lame asshole wearing these with socks, because you just know these things were designed to be worn with socks. Fuck these sandals and the nightmare world they imply.
2: Molded Batman Dick Plating
If there’s one area where men have it harder than women, it’s not having enough marketplace options for lying about dick size. Women have whole industries based on lying about their breast and waist size! Why can’t we normalize lying about our dicks! Well, here you go, you insecure, baby dicked weirdo. Someone took what looks like a less protective version of an athletic cup and added a cartoon weiner mold to it. They’re stackable too, so you can easily store a variety of your favorite colors. You know. In case you think there’s a more appropriate color for revealing this kind of lie to another human being.
What’s really going on?
What you see is what you get with this one. It’s padding for your dick’s bra. Here’s the thing guys may not realize though: women tend to value honesty a little more than men. If I’m lucky enough to hook up with a woman, and she takes off her bra to reveal less than perfect breasts, I’m going to shrug and continue to count my blessings. If a guy pulls his pants down and a cheap piece of Batman armor falls out of his underwear, the night is over and Lady Yelp will hear of this sad tale. Do yourself a favor, accept your dick size and learn to become an expert at mouth stuff. Women will leave you a positive review on Lady Yelp if you’re honest about your dick and good at mouth stuff. By the way, it’s not really called Lady Yelp, but it’s real.
3: Funny Chicken Helmet
I don’t pretend to know much about raising chickens, but from what I understand, they are complete assholes. Nothing I’ve heard leads me to believe any chicken will hold still long enough for you to put an adorable crash helmet on it. Even if you were able to…why would you? Does your egg farm present a higher risk of head injuries? Are you going to put your chickens on tiny motorcycles and have them perform stunts for adoring audiences?
What’s really going on?
I’ll tell you why you would buy these. Because you’re into cock fighting and you’re looking to spice up your image. Maybe you’re new on the scene, and you want to make a big splash with your first appearance. Or maybe these cocks mean something to you, and you want to show off their personalities with some fresh gear that tells spectators a little something about who they are. Like Sarge, the grizzled old timer who is one fight away from retirement. You know Sarge! The one with the camouflaged helmet, large patches of missing feathers and half a beak. Or what about Fireball? The one who is going to get dipped in Franks Red Hot if he loses his first match.
What’s REALLY going on?
These are for your dick. They’re dick helmets. The chicken in the ad is a cock, bro! Get it?! Everything I said earlier about cock fighting might be true, but it wasn’t the intention of the ad. The ad is a nothing more than a douchey high five between you and Wish. There is an upside though. If you’re the kind of person who might have been interested in the fake bulge from before, I promise you’ll have way more success with this. Laughter is an aphrodisiac, afterall, and I’m fairly positive a baby dick wearing a ladybug helmet would fucking kill on Lady Yelp.
4: This Shit
Enough fun, let’s get dark. Full disclosure, I know Wish doesn’t manufacture any of these products. They are a marketplace for independent sellers, and I’m not out here saying Wish is responsible for what people bring to said marketplace. But when I see this shit, I need them to be at least somewhat responsible for quality control. At best. At absolute fucking best, this is some misguided person’s homemade zucchini bread. Even if it’s that innocent, which it isn’t, this still isn’t a good look for Wish. You can tell at a glance the FDA didn’t have anything to do with it. Whoever wrapped it in plastic barely gave enough of a shit to do a good job, do you think the FDA is going to give this nightmare the time of day? Come on, Wish, give me at least a vague idea of what’s going into my body. I don’t care if it’s a handwritten label saying “Made with 100% love!” Give me anything my EMT could use to make their job easier.
What’s really going on?
Alright, let’s lower our voices. This isn’t bad baking. This is a brick of the stankiest hashish, my man. Seriously, there’s no reason to list something this toxic looking if it isn’t literally a toxin. They sell fucking crack pipes! Hash is almost a health supplement compared to that. Wish is down to party, and they put this through the system with no description knowing if you have to ask, then it’s not for you. For eight bucks though, I can’t afford to not give it a try. Just me, my mystery Wish brick and my emergency contact on speed dial.
5: Clump of Body Horror
At this point I think the Wish algorithm went haywire trying to figure out who I was. It tried to find a correlation between all of the various things I chose to click, and the best it could come up with was a misshapen loaf of bloated flesh. There is no item description, but if there was, I imagine it would be a transcription of the sound James Woods’ TV makes in Videodrome.
I can’t even begin to come up with a reason for this thing to exist, let alone what I’m supposed to do with it. If I was being charitable, I might say it’s prop challah bread being squeezed by someone to demonstrate it’s not real bread because of how good of a replica it is. I’m not here to be charitable though. I’m here to make fun of how weird Wish is, and if it’s not prop bread, then this shit is primo weird.
What’s really going on?
Looking at this gives me cosmic dread. It makes me think I’ve mistakenly seen a part of Wish not meant for my eyes. It makes me suspect Wish also caters to interdimensional beings, and this thing is a bundle of raw material for a human skin disguise. I would love to know more about this item, but I also fear what I might learn, and once I look, I fear something from the other side will be looking back at me.
6: Oh Fuck
Let us end our journey by returning where it began, at Wish apparel. Here we find this fairly accurate reproduction of a mid century military officers cap from Hugo Boss. Great for a variety of occasions, such as alternate history steampunk cosplay, or formal gatherings for people with a very specific type of political ideology. It’s clearly a well made product, but don’t take it from me. Just ask Jake and Lonnie, Wish shoppers belonging to both of the aforementioned demographics.
What’s really going on?
I’m beginning to suspect the previous ad really was a window to a parallel universe, because I seem to have reemerged in a dimension where nazis aren’t as universally hated as they’re supposed to be. If this is, in fact, a different reality, then I apologize for the confusion. I’m about to make a big deal out of something you probably consider normal. You see, in the world I come from, the nazis got their asses kicked. Since then, movie producers and video game developers could rack up an easy win by depicting said ass kicking as graphically as possible, because we love dead nazis more than we love originality. So you can imagine my surprise when I see steampunk Jake and nazi Lonnie leaving positive reviews for some bullshit I never imagined I’d see in a paid advertisment.
By now you may have noticed more details in this ad compared to any of the previous entries. It’s because this one finally broke me. I downloaded the Wish app to find out for certain what the fuck I was looking at. Turns out it’s exactly what it looks like: a nazi hat for shit heads. Buyer beware, though! Unless your world has giants and Jake is one of them, this hat may be hilariously small.
I could spend all day talking about my favorite Wish ads, but I can’t risk anymore damage to the temporal fabric. If you need me, I’m going to be scrolling through my Wish app, looking for a product someone from this reality might find insane enough to be a portal back to my dimension. Do you guys have any recommendations for ads that would give a nazi the chills, maybe the onyx fist of Black Hitler’s scepter?
Zak is the co-creator at Auralnauts, a Youtube channel dedicated to slowly ruining your childhood memories.