The Emporium of Fruit may sound like an online greengrocer or an
outlet for some rare perversion, but the site has garnered rave reviews
from Yahoo!, MTV and Virgin Radio.
So what exactly is it? There are no easy explanations, but it is
probably best described as a satirical magazine on the web: the internet
version of a cult publication like The Idler. It is also somewhat
subversive, often debunking the very medium in which it appears.
Its stall is set out on the home page, which is pleasantly designed in a
retro manner, with little taglines such as ’exploiting the merchandise
of hope from the sweatshop of reality’.
Click on ’today’s issue’ and you begin to get a clearer idea of where
the site’s creators are coming from. There’s the Psychic World of Alan
Geller (written by ’Uri Geller’s evil twin brother, Alan’) and the
Chegwin Alert (’It’s your duty to keep up to date on all daily Keith
But the spoof online shopping section captures the spirit of the thing
best of all, with its mission statement: ’Quality, at whatever cost to
human life’. It’s pretty near the knuckle, including such items as the
All-in-one Dragon Chaser - ’Smoking heroin just got so much easier’ -
and the Death Checker Professional - ’Death can creep up on us at any
time’. OK, it may not sound funny now, but visit the site and you’ll be
sure to giggle.
The site features buttons and banner ads from Hitbox.com, the Motley
Fool, Hewlett Packard and Intel. However, it is sometimes difficult to
determine whether or not the banners are spoofs, such as ’Garden Talk -
Live! 100 per cent explicit horticultural action!’ Well, maybe that
wasn’t such a good example.
Ad space is sold by ValueClick, the pay-for-results advertising owned by