In the Belly of the Bird
Shipping and Merchandising

mer·chan·dis·ing
/ˈmərCHənˌdīziNG/
Noun
The activity of promoting the sale of goods.

Most of the Guinness-color-schemed-winter-Predatory-Bird-in-Hand decks came dressed in a fishnet stocking. This was an audacious example of a sales strategy known as merchandising. If you’ve bought a deck from The Predatory Bird Online Emporium then we thankyou. The chances are that prior to your deck arriving on your doorstep a scene similar to the one depicted in the following video would have occured.

There are also a couple of these manifestations of mental illness still available at Boarderline and Focus and possibly one at Antisocial

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The Predatory Bird Winter deck in full sex trade regalia

Below is the package the fishnets came in. I’d like to congratulate the graphic designer. He or she must have huge balls made from the finest of designer brass. I have a feeling it’s these enormous balls that allowed sex and circus sideshow to converge with such brilliant absurdity.

lingerie packaging
As you can see they’ve made the ballsy decision to have the dreamgirl appear to be balancing a massive diamond on her head.
If you were lucky enough to receive a deck in its stocking you may be wondering: Why was the winter deck wearing a hold-up fishnet stocking anyway? Why was that the particular choice for merchandising this time around?
There are 3 good reasons all firmly rooted in the notion of tradition.

  1. Winter is the time when many humans around the planet traditionally give and receive gifts in stockings.
  2. Gulls and other sea birds are traditionally attracted to fishnets on account of the traditional presence of fish.
  3. Fishnet stockings are traditionally associated with the sex trade. “Sex sells” goes the old marketing adage. Historical precedents include, among a billion others, A1 Meats: who took the reproductive pun approach with their infamous ‘Sex Cells’ and Hubba: who tend to skew a bit pornier.

At the start of this post we looked at the definition of merchandising – to promote the sale of goods. The thing with the fishnets is: if you bought a deck off the site here you may have had no notion that your present was going to be wearing any lingerie at all. In this case the stocking was supposed to be a puzzling touch to surprise you into smiling or laughing when you opened the box. There is every chance that if you see one of the last few remaining decks that are out there – in Focus, Antisocial or Boarderline – then its fishnet sheath might scare you off. This is not the desired effect of merchandising, it’s the exact opposite. DO NOT BE AFRAID. Unless of course you associate fear with pleasure.

A man wears a fishnet stocking on his head while brandishing a skateboard deck
There are many uses for a fishnet stocking although ironically I suspect they are not the ideal tool for catching actual fish. Stealing fish from a fishmonger in an imaginary heist situation is another matter altogether. Fish robbery.
Most came in a fishnet, but not all.
photo(1)
The reason for a few decks lacking of fishnet is, I confess, my lack of fiscal balls. It would have cost me an extra six dollars. But,
lingerie packaging from behind