Advertisement for Disaster

My job is to interpret advertisements for the masses. The way the pixels are arranged are a message, maybe from God, maybe from somewhere else; that part is not for me to say. I stand outside Lexington Market on Saturdays, and I explain things to people. This Saturday, I plan to discuss a cell phone ad: a mom and two kids, the boy clutching a phone. Like every doofus in a print ad, they run with their mouths open, unhinged at the jaw like hairless baby birds. Their mini-van is behind, with the windows rolled down halfway. The mom looks like she's screaming, running from danger and pushing her kids ahead of her to protect them. Maybe the mini-van is about to explode. But there is also another explanation, the one I'll discuss on Lexington Avenue: the boy clutches a camera phone, the dial pad hidden in his sweaty little palm. And Mom is chasing the kids because she just caught them looking at the nude pictures of themselves they took with the phone. The girl probably isn't the sister in the family anyway: she's darker with somewhat slanted eyes, a neighbor girl convinced to disrobe and now screaming. Mom has to get those photos before slanty-girl's Mom finds out. And so the pixels warn us: do not document your depravity, at least not with your Mom's phone.

About the author:

Kellie Isbell's work has appeared in The Duck and Herring Co.'s Pocket Field Guide and online at elimae. When not writing, she defends a government agency in federal court.