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Can You Spot the Difference?

September 19, 2011

Three times a year, in May, July, and September, the usually tranquil New England town of Brimfield, Massachusetts, becomes the setting for a free-for-all of mud, fried food on sticks, and socks-with-sandals-wearing tourists—the last in search of hidden treasure during a frenetic week of antiques shows that line both sides of a mile-long stretch of road. It’s a crazy, often surreal, atmosphere, in which seasoned attendees (this writer included) buzz around, Trekkie-like, sunburned on the back of the neck and tops of the ears, casually dropping words like “quartersawn” and “Georgian” and “Step off, brah, this is my Federal highboy.” Apart from making a great find, and the occasional “celebrity” sighting—which in Brimfield means an Antiques Roadshow appraiser—the most fun comes from the crazy, surreal juxtapositions you see at every turn, the sacred keeping company with the profane, the Rembrandt etching leering at lying down with hung beside displayed in proximity to the Farrah poster. The following photos, all by Japey, offer a snapshot of the Brimfield experience—with a twist. Rather than presenting a traditional photo essay, I’ve assembled a series of 100% unaltered “spot the difference” photo challenges, for advanced puzzle-solvers only, each with a quartersawn dollop of Georgian, Japecake-style satire. Just remember as you proceed: Sometimes the most obvious differences are the ones immediately obvious.


Fiddle Faddle dog


7-up advertising


Archie comics toilet Hope Diamond Grateful Dead


Buddha Dunkin’ Donuts


Cowboy Indian Goose Happy Days Al Molinaro


Baseball Little Leaguer protective cup pinata times tables celery


Carnival target herpes Ayn Rand candy corn hundred-dollar bills threesome


Old Masters painting banana stickers duct tape


fishing buoys soul patch sinking addiction therapy


doll cocaine-fueled lifestyle Colombian drug kingpin

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2011 9:22 am

    I sincerely hope those candy corn Ayn Rand is crying were produced in the free market, without bureaucratic meddling.

    • September 19, 2011 2:20 pm

      I bet she was the type to give out pencils on Halloween. Or sold them at a steep markup.

  2. September 19, 2011 10:09 am

    Everything’s better with FiddleFaddle.

    • September 19, 2011 2:18 pm

      True. Put out a big bowl of it at a wake, and suddenly you’ve got a party.

  3. September 19, 2011 10:25 am

    *squinting* I can’t seem to spot the differences.

    Hold on a sec…okay. I’ve got my cheap reading glasses on now. Much better! Hilarious yet disturbing (especially the soul patches) My kind of humor. Well done!

    • September 19, 2011 2:16 pm

      I thought they were just barnacles at first, but when I got closer to the pile, I could smell pot and hear jazz.

  4. September 19, 2011 10:57 am

    I had a little trouble with this at first, because I was trying to find the oblivious differences. Damn dyslexia!

    • September 19, 2011 2:14 pm

      I understand. In the first one, you were looking for a dog, but found God.

  5. sonnypi67 permalink
    September 19, 2011 12:04 pm

    When I was a kid I had Pissy doll, aka Wee Pee The Wee Wee

    • September 19, 2011 2:08 pm

      Is that the little figure that squirted water when you pulled the plastic pants down? I had one of those! It’s weird to think that thousands of American kids were playing with these as the Vietnam War was winding down halfway across the world. I guess that’s what we were fighting for: novelty pee dolls.

      • sonnypi67 permalink
        September 19, 2011 2:11 pm

        That’s it.

  6. September 19, 2011 1:55 pm

    I wonder if you improved the “provinance” or not with your clever additions? I think you did!

    • September 19, 2011 2:29 pm

      The big mistake that a lot of people make is removing the Fiddle Faddle from its original box, which completely ruins the value.

  7. September 20, 2011 3:19 am

    “filled with celery and times tables”…beautiful! Now I know what to get my nephew for Christmas!

    • September 20, 2011 4:12 pm

      Carrot sticks and protractors are also popular with the younger set.

  8. September 20, 2011 10:32 pm

    I would buy more soft drinks if their slogans were stuff like that. I think the world would be a better place if we could just walk up to 7-Up consumers and say: “You’re a dickhe–” Hold on, some asshole just called me a dickhead. Hey, FUCK YOU, buddy! Sorry, japecake, let’s get back on topic.

  9. kaliesthoughts permalink
    September 21, 2011 6:36 am

    haha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these are too funny!

    • September 21, 2011 2:47 pm

      Thanks. But too funny? I hope you didn’t get hurt. I’ll dial ’em back next time.

  10. September 27, 2011 11:50 am

    The only one I didn’t see before the explanation was the face of Al Molinaro, which I still don’t see. Is it one of those magic eye illusions?

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