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Look out, it’s evil!
Helping to drag America, kicking & screaming, into the Age of Enlightenment
I was sitting at a meeting today, looking around for something to occupy my thoughts during an intense and epochal discussion of bureaucratic minutiae, and my eye fell on a Mountain Dew bottle resting on the table a couple feet away. Over the last three decades, the Mountain Dew logo has slowly diverged from the funky, rounded letters of the 70s, each time becoming blockier and more compact. It occurred to me that most of the squarish letters in the latest incarnation would be readable upside down: the big W of Dew would become an M, of course, but the e, with its flat bottom, would look just like an a in the same font when rotated 180°, and the D, almost square, could pass for an O. And so on. I couldn't do the experiment right then, as the bottle's owner had lost the cap, and inverting the bottle would hence cause a disturbance; but once I hunted up a picture of the trademark on the Web, I could turn it over electronically. The result was surprisingly pronounceable:

I read the inverted text as "Mao uietunoW," although the t in the second word is a bit of a stretch. The second half of Uietunow looks vaguely Russian, so I pronounce it with a V sound at the end.

All in all, my Mountain Dew inversion experiment turned out disappointing. I was hoping for something like the old Sunshine Biscuit snack called "doo dads" (in all lower-case). You might not remember doo dads; it was perhaps the first of the now common assorted-snack snacks, a random mix of pretzel chunks, mini Cheez-It crackers, Chexoids, and several other, less identifiable kinds of salty morsels. Long ago, while the brother and I were happily tossing down doo dads, Dad pointed out that when the box was turned upside down, it read "spap oop." Spap Oop! BWAAAhahahaha! Something about those terminal Ps just sounds hilarious. It's such an strange thing to say: it's well-formed in English, strictly speaking, but so awkward and anti-euphonic that nobody would ever make up anything like it for reasonable and proper usage as an English word. Better yet, it gives the speaker a prime opportunity to spray the entire room.

I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that we weren't the only ones to uncover the delights of Spap Oop.

Alas, Spap Oop is no longer sold, and I couldn't even find a picture of the box on the Net. However, the manufacturer kindly wrote the trademark in an extremely common font (Futura Extra Bold, for you font enthusiasts), and thus I can recreate it:

Spap Oop! Spap Oop! Hee hee hee! Stop it—you're killing me! Choke...gasp...BAAAHAHA! Spap Oop! I can't stand it! HAW HAW HAW HAW!!!

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Current Tunes: As before

12 people said howdyTalk to me!
darksasami From: darksasami Date: October 14th, 2006 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)
The more you post, the more you remind me of kinkyturtle. A sample of one of his icons:
samwibatt From: samwibatt Date: October 14th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, cool. I see he reads it "Jackla Jod" while I saw "Jadda Jod". Both work pretty well.
6_bleen_7 From: 6_bleen_7 Date: October 16th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
That's pretty neat! Very subtle modifications of the letters make it much more readable upside down.
chillyrodent From: chillyrodent Date: October 14th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recently discovered that "MEXICO" flipped spells "WEXICO." It's hard to see, but here's a digital demonstration:


See what I mean?

spap oop is better. Still ...
6_bleen_7 From: 6_bleen_7 Date: October 16th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Hadn't thought of taking vertical mirror images. (I did note in my recent travelogue that Ohio, Utah and Iowa were left-right reversible in that they formed pronounceable English words in mirror image.) Unfortunately, it doesn't work in Spanish, what with that pesky accent in México.

Mississippi is almost top-bottom reversible: you get WISSISSIddI with backwards Ss. OHIO yields itself when flipped top to bottom; we happen to live in a state with a very symmetrical name. The word EVOLVE, when flipped over, yields the Greek word EΛOΓΛE, which transliterates to ELOGLE.

Of course, Spap Oop isn't, strictly speaking, correctly formed, since the A is backwards. But somehow that just makes it more hilarious.
chillyrodent From: chillyrodent Date: October 16th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
ELOGLE (v): to fail to move forward; stagnate.
(n): reactionary.
6_bleen_7 From: 6_bleen_7 Date: October 16th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seriously? I couldn't find it in our dictionary at work.
chillyrodent From: chillyrodent Date: October 16th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I read this response in my email, I was absolutely certain it came from Terri.

Well, not exactly seriously. It would be cool if EVOLVE flipped, Hellenicized and transliterated really had that definition, though, eh?
6_bleen_7 From: 6_bleen_7 Date: October 17th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Aargh! Touché! Yes, that would be funny indeed.
samwibatt From: samwibatt Date: October 14th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee hee - I remember Spap Oop! I met a gal in college who had made the same osbervation, too.
The upside-down Mountain Dew logo looks more than a little Thai - it should properly be consumed in quantites of one Un-Naw.
Have a tall, cold of
And afterwards, brush your teeth with Aaalna.
6_bleen_7 From: 6_bleen_7 Date: October 16th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
That's really amazing how well the letters of un naw resemble English letters in that font.

The word Tan still looks like Tan when printed in a more canonical Thai script: โคก (minus the diacritical mark). If I remember, aaalna does, too. Does un naw (without all the extras)?
samwibatt From: samwibatt Date: October 16th, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not quite - the "B" letter has a flat bottom, but the rest of it looks pretty good. It's still readable as "Un Naw".
12 people said howdyTalk to me!