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I purchased several sheets of Scratch-N-Sniff stickers today because I needed a treat. Bonus for me! I’m such a big kid!! Later I’m going to jump around in the diseased plastic ball cage at Chuck E. Cheese until they ask me to leave because I’m scaring the real children and no my “inner-child” does not count unless my inner-child weighs less than 80 pounds DOUBLE SUPER FROWNY FACE!!!!

The stickers were not designed for kids to place in their sticker albums, in the “scented” section, sandwiched between special sections designated for “puffy” and “Garfield.” Instead, they were made for teachers who wish to reward their students’ excellence, and also enjoy a good laugh watching them smell their own book reports.

Each sticker – 18 scents in all! – features a picture of something smelly and some clever words of encouragement that double as “tells” to indicate what you’re about to smell. Sometimes the text is a cute little pun, like “Berry Good” (for extraordinary academic achievement, and mixed berries) and “Orange Ya Great.” (for a possibly sarcastic back-handed compliment, and oranges.) The best puns are unfortunately exhausted quite quickly, and some of the stickers are a real stretch. How would you like to receive a spelling test, and find out your score was “Pear-Riffic?” And what student would feel comfortable gloating to classmates that "I did my [lemon] Zest on my test?" (I would have been incredibly confused by that one if I were a kid.) In fact, it was one of those half-hearted puns that made me pick up the stickers in the first place: a sticker featuring a bunch of grapes with the ridiculous exclamation, “Grape Job!”

I like items like this because they cause me to wonder how long the creative staff of Sticker Corp had to come up with the slogans of odor-oriented positive encouragement on these stickers. (As long-time readers of this site know, this particular curiosity has been a long-running motif. Yes, motif. See “How To Get Half The Job Done” – January, 2005.) I think it's pretty obvious that Sticker Corp's writers were given a list of approved scents, and then told to go to town. And I'm sure at least one of the writers complained about the presence of both "strawberry" and "mixed berries," worried that there was going to be some obvious overlap, and that his job to separate the slogans into two distinct thoughts, one for strawberries and another for regular berries, was not going to be an easy one. And, naturally, everyone surely groaned when they saw "orange" on the approved list, which is probably why their solution for this sticker feels more like a sign of fatigue or, more likely, immediate surrender: "Orange Ya Great!" Sigh.

But it gets worse. Here are some of the other lame slogans from the scratch-n-sniff collection I purchased:

MANGO - "Go, Man-go!"
CANTALOUPE - "Way to use your melon!"
KIWI - "You're an acquired taste!"
PERSIMMON - "Persimmon-fect! Or something."
GRAPEFRUIT - "This is a grapefruit!"
WATERMELON - "Steppin' Fetch-an A++!"
FIG - "You're the biggest Fig in the fourth grade!"
PAPAYA - "Don't Hate the Papaya' Hate the Game"
APRICOT - "Whatever, Dick. Why Don't You Go Brag to Grandma?"
PINEAPPLE - "I Attended the Iowa Writers Conference for this Bullshit? (SFX: gun barrel being placed in mouth)"

WE FIRST MET ON 09.13.2005

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