Original image

The Late Movies: We Love Local Commercials

Original image

So here's the deal. There are these two young filmmakers who go by the names Rhett and Link. They love local commercials, and they make them. For free. They go on the road, crisscrossing the country, making awesome local commercials. How can they afford to do this? Through sponsorship (often visible in the web versions of the commercials, and sometimes sponsored items, like Alka Seltzer, visible in shots). Anyway, even though there is sponsorship involved, these are some awesome local commercials. Really. Just watch the first one. If you're like me, you'll be in tears, watching it over and over. After the jump, I give you more sweet, sweet, local commercials.

Cullman Mobile Home Liquidation

"I sell mobile homes. I'm not gonna waste your time, I'm gonna tell it just like it is. These are mobile homes, not mansions. They come in two pieces. If that's what you're lookin' for, that's what I got. They're used. Some of them have stains. We cover that up."

Salt Lake Community College Barbering & Cosmetology School - An Unlicensed Salon

"In this economy, who can afford an expensive haircut, or a four-year degree?" Warning: this is an unlicensed salon. I repeat, an unlicensed salon. But the haircuts are only $2. "Let me give you a haircut. I really need the practice."

Black and White People Furniture - Red House Furniture

"Look at this sofa. It's perfect for a black person, or a white person." "This mattress is perfect for a white person, or a black person."

Ray's Midbell Music

"Band is awesome. Band is the new trend. Band is your best chance for making new friends. ... You may have to go to the Prom alone, but that's a sacrifice worth making to play the sousaphone."

Bobby Denning Furniture, Appliance, Auction, and Realty, and Lawn Equipment and Scooters (and Auto Sales)

"I want you to understand the bigness of our store." (70,000 square feet.) "We own approximately 80% of this facility. Everything except the Chinese restaurant and the coin laundry."

Pat vs. Geno's: Philly Cheesesteak War

Clearly very sponsored by Alka Seltzer, but still funny. "I like the orangeness of the restaurant. It makes me feel at home." "Your home is orange?" "Well...yeah."

Check out the I Love Local Commercials site to nominate a business to get a free local commercial. See also: their YouTube channel.

Original image
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
Original image

According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

Original image
How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
Original image

If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]


More from mental floss studios