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Roadkill Rover causes an uproar.
Quick note to those of you who plan to decorate your house or lawn for Halloween next month: Your standard skeletons and severed human body parts are fine—even baby zombies are admissible—but lay off the animals, all right?
Amazon and Walmart’s websites were briefly the target of social media rage yesterday as users discovered a holiday accessory supplied by third-party vendor UnbeatableSale.com that rubbed them the wrong way: a dead dog “prop,” notably devoid of epidermis.
“Foam filled latex prop of a skinned dog with a large tire track squished through its mid torso,” the charming product description reads. “Chain attached for dragging purposes. You have seen bloody road kill, this is bloody road kill.” Yes, who doesn’t enjoy dragging fake animal carcasses by chains? It’s practically our national pastime.
Finding the very idea of a roadkill decoration more offensive than the $116.10 price tag, customers took to various networks to complain. “If that dead dog prop isn’t gone by Friday I will be happy to cancel my prime membership and demand a refund from you or my credit card issuer,” read a typical threat on Amazon’s Facebook page. Others pressed Walmart, Amazon, and Sears—which was also carrying the item—to make donations to dog shelters and other animal advocacy groups. Naturally, a petition emerged as well.
The retailers reacted to the outcry swiftly, yanking the prop from their online shelves and later issuing statements to the effect that it did not meet the guidelines for merchandise available through a third-party seller. All of which may raise the question of how carefully these corporate behemoths screen independent listings in the first place.
Unbeatable Sale seemed to beat a retreat as well—you can still call up a thumbnail of the gruesome object and see its frankly ridiculous price, but clicking on it takes you back to the homepage of the company’s seasonal brand, Halloween Mall.
Guess we’re stuck with scarecrows and pumpkins this year.
Photo via nightmarefactory.com
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'