BarkBox is a very wholesome subscription service that sends squeaky soft toys, bags of treats, and something chewable to its members' dogs every month. The company likes memes, and it frequently posts pictures of good bois posing handsomely beside the most recent month's offerings, and it's so pure it didn't realize that it basically shipped out a ton of soft cotton Fleshlights last week.
"Our November toys and treats are inspired by your dog's ideal Thanksgiving dinner… so of course we overdid it," the company wrote on Facebook. "Overstuffed toys packed with surprises, treats stuffed with nutritious ingredients, and a drool-worthy chew." Some of the items that were included in this month's assortment were a stuffed turducken, some sweet potato flavored treats, and something it called "Big Honkin Pigs in a Blanket," that were supposed to look like actual pigs wrapped up in sheets of dough.
One side of each toy has a little pink snout, while the other side is…well, it looks a lot like a little pink labia. Because the internet is gross, everyone noticed. "I really got excited because they finally had a Fleshlight in my size," one man commented on BarkBox's Facebook post. "Hell no, my dog is not getting a pocket pussy for Christmas," another added. ("No, for THANKSGIVING," BarkBox responded.)
Despite some of its Facebook comments, BarkBox swears it didn't know what it was doing—and it expected to get roasted for a completely different reason. "I mean, the butts are super funny, so, of course, I was expecting people to talk about them," Alexis Nelson, BarkBox's head of social media marketing, told AOL's In the Know. "I held the toy in my hands three weeks ago and was just like, 'Yep. Two sets of pig butts. Completely over my head." Nelson also said that she thought if the toy got any negative feedback, it might come from animal-lovers who didn't like the idea of a whole pig being rolled up and cooked.
Even the toy's designer had no clue that she'd just created the world's most adorable masturbatory aid. "[S]he goes, 'I know what a Fleshlight is, but I was not thinking about that when I designed this toy,'" Stacie Grissom, the head of content at BARK, said. "We had no idea." (Otherwise, would they really have categorized the toy as part of its "Thankstuffing" collection? Um, yes, probably.)
After some 17,000 comments about the inadvertent PorkLight, they seem to have figured it out. "So after some Googling, some questioning of the toy designers, and a bit of education on a LOT of words we did not want to learn… " the company wrote in a blog post. "What started as a funny little joke about cute piggy butts TOOK A COMPLETE 180-DEGREE TURN and we then proceeded to fuel this gorgeous internet dumpster fire of epic proportions."
To its credit, the company has rolled with it, responding to most of the thirsty-ass comments in a way that suggested that it had been in on the joke the whole time. And whether or not it was completely clueless, the Big Honkin' Pigs in a Blanket sold out online in three hours, and sales on its online BarkShop were up by 200% compared to a normal weekday.
"Just a kind, friendly neighborhood reminder not to put this on your junk maybe," BarkBox commented on Facebook.
You started this, BarkBox. Don't tell everyone else how to finish it.