December 6, 2006

''We got complaints. It is controversial.''

The bus shelter made to smell like cookies:
Some critics expressed concern over potential allergic reactions. Others complained the ads could be offensive to the poor and homeless who can't afford to buy sweet treats.

Scented oils were sandwiched between cardboard cards emblazoned with ''Got Milk?'' and affixed to shelter walls, in hopes that the smell of just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies would spark cravings for milk. The promotion was launched at five San Francisco bus shelters at a cost of about $30 per shelter.

Got milk? No, got whine.

24 comments:

Jake said...

With obesity being the main health problem of the poor, I don't think we need to worry about them not having "sweet treats."

Troy said...

These folks better stay away from Disneyland they might have an olfactory overload.

PatCA said...

There's the mysterious "some" again! Boy, he/she sure gets around.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe those hypothetical poor and homeless who might find the ads offensive because they can't afford to buy sweets should spend more energy searching for jobs and less time finding offense.

Henry said...

Good grief. I know bus shelters that smell of malt liquor, cheap smokes and vomit. Is vomit an allergen? I have to say, however, that artificial fresh-baked-cookie-smell would be more offensive.

The Exalted said...

this sounds awesome. it should be extended to entire cities.

Tibore said...

"Others complained the ads could be offensive to the poor and homeless who can't afford to buy sweet treats."

Say what??? Oh, and those Mercedes billboards, jewelry shop fliers, and real-estate ads just sort of fly by those folks??

According to the article, "...some residents raised objections". All right... I don't see why, but okay, if local residents didn't like the ads, they can request their removal. That's fine, the MTA would just be accomodating the citizenry at that point. But for them to then turn around and put forth such an immensely stupid justification for the removal is mind boggling. It's almost as if that MTA spokesperson was looking for the most inane rationale possible.

Why the hell would she say that?

Revenant said...

The parts of San Francisco I've been to (the convention center and the downtown area around it) mostly smell like urine and feces. I'm not sure if smelling like urine, feces, and cookies would be an improvement or not.

Its an attractive city, but it needs to stop encouraging homeless people to live on its streets.

MadisonMan said...

it needs to stop encouraging homeless people to live on its streets.

Step 1 is to change the climate. Be more like Milwaukee.

Jimmy said...

"Maybe those hypothetical poor and homeless who might find the ads offensive because they can't afford to buy sweets should spend more energy searching for jobs and less time finding offense."

Are the homeless and poor complaining or is it the "activists" claiming to represent them?

Robert said...

Revenant -
the curious thing about the homeless population is that it tends to cluster in those areas most frequented by tourists.

The usual reasons given are that the visitors are more openhanded than the locals, and the police are less likely to roust them with out-of-towners around. When they (the homeless, not the tourists) begin cropping up in residential areas, the residents start calling the police.

Regarding the elusive 'some', if two hundred people walk by a scented bus shelter, and two of them find it objectionable, who is more likely to communicate their sentiments to the local authorities - the 198 who found it innocuous or pleasant, or the two who found it objectionable? Who, in turn, are those authorities likely to pay attention to?

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Actually I think that SF is kind of harsh towards their homeless. Seems I remember hearing about a big effort to destroy a shantytown in SF a few years back. Struck me as odd because I thought if anyplace would be hobo friendly...

Ah Hobos, is there a more romantic term in all the english language? As a young boy, I myself proclaimed to my parents I would grow up to be a millionaire hobo.

But back to the original thrust of the story. Does it not spell doom for a civilization when it cannot even accomplish the most inane tasks without utter chaos and endless complaint?

Revenant said...

the curious thing about the homeless population is that it tends to cluster in those areas most frequented by tourists.

I live in San Diego, which is also a popular tourist destination (and which has an even nicer climate than San Francisco). We don't have anywhere *near* San Francisco's homeless problem.

The problem isn't that the homeless flock to tourist areas; the problem is that San Francisco was insanely accomodating to the homeless. They even, until very recently, paid them a monthly allowance, IN CASH, to the tune of $400 -- not enough to pay rent, but plenty to keep yourself in food and cheap liquor or drugs.

reader_iam said...

Oh, Rev, they were just trying to be nice, not like those big meanies out there.

You're so judgmental!

Tibore said...

"Step 1 is to change the climate. Be more like Milwaukee."

I don't think San Fran's as warm as you think it is. It's not Milwaukee, but Man! It can get chilly!

When I was there for a wedding in June - I repeat, in June - I was caught out in the city at night with only a thin windbreaker. Damn near froze my (*expletive*) off. Should've read all the warnings about San Francisco's weather not being as California sunny and warm as you'd think.

The cold actually made me surprised that there were so many homeless. Revenant's statement explains much.

dick said...

Don't they have good uses for that money? I know if I were a taxpayer there and they were doing stuff like this instead of fixing the schools or roads I would be quite ticked off.

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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Tibore said...

Actually, Theo, I was thinking about that same quote myself. But when I looked up the exact wording, I stumbled across this:

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/twain.asp

So, I held back from using it. He probably never said it. Shame, too; it's a good quote.

Theo Boehm said...
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Tibore said...

Hell, I'll adopt, it post facto. That was a damn, Damn, DAMN cold night! And it was June! Bloody hell! Drove across the Golden Gate the next day, and the temp went up a degree per mile for the first 10 miles!

Freakin' insane.

I'll never go there again without sweaters and a good coat, don't care what time of year it is.

Robert said...

Not to be unkind, but if I posted a comment like
'I visited Washington, D.C. in August and it was _hot_ and _humid_ all night long! I was soaking wet with seeat just walking down the street. . ."
people would think I hadn't done even the most elementary research in preparation for my trip.

San Francisco has ALWAYS (as long as people of European descent have lived there, at least) been cool and damp most of the time, but especially so in the summers. Visitors have been reporting this in tones of breathless surprise/amusement/baffled outrage for over a century.

How is it possible for someone to visit SF during the summer and be taken by surprise by this? I am sincerely wondering about that.

Theo Boehm said...
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