Let me say, right at the outset, that the day (or days) in which the Adolf Hitler Tea Kettle Controversy erupted must have been kind of slow on the news front, to say the least. The whole big frenzy seems to have started sometime in late May. Or as Time magazine reported, the fuss got underway over the Memorial Day weekend, when “a user on social news site Reddit noticed something odd: a tea kettle that looked like Hitler.”

So, let your imaginations run wild and leave us a comment here on what you see in this Stovetop Stainless Steel Tea Kettle by Cuisinart - all decent responses will be posted. (ETS image)

So, let your imaginations run wild and leave us a comment here on what you see in this Stovetop Stainless Steel Tea Kettle by Cuisinart – all decent responses will be posted. (ETS image)

Apparently The Michael Graves Design Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle turned up on a billboard in the Los Angeles area, where the keen-eyed (and highly imaginative) Reddit user spied it. The rest was history. Much in the way that a disease might, this cockeyed notion soon went viral and before you know every media outlet with some spare space to fill (and now this one) was reporting their own unique version of the story.

I have to admit that no matter how many times I looked at the pictures of said kettle, I just didn’t see it. However, after actually reading the Time article, which pointed out the resemblance between the teakettle handle and der Fuhrer’s stylish hairdo I have to grudgingly admit that I can sort of see that aspect of it. I guess “a tea kettle that looks like Adolf Hitler’s lousy hairstyle” might be putting too fine a point on things and doesn’t fit into a headline nearly as well, but there you have it.

While I’ve never claimed to be an investigative journalist (and I still don’t), I find it just the least bit curious that, according to the Time report, JC Penney apparently sold out all of their stock of this quaint Hitler kettle. I’d never go so far as to suggest that this was merely a mildly tasteless – and highly effective – PR stunt, but I’m sure that stranger things have happened.

On a related note, did you hear the one about the coconut that looks like a hedgehog? I don’t think it’s for sale but maybe if you make them an offer they can’t refuse…

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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