The enterprising capitalists at Sara’s Secret and Condoms To Go – two “erotic accessories” stores in DeSoto — have created a stir with a billboard ad on I-35 that features a cucumber with a terrified expression on its cartoon face next to the slogan ”Stop Vegetable Abuse.” Some parents are protesting that they might have to explain to their children what this huge, cryptic sign means. (The comedian Louis C.K. has a great line about that perennial complaint: “Please don’t make me talk to my kids…”). Sara’s Secret and Condoms To Go say that their ad for “personal pleasure devices” is deliberately too vague to register with the preadolescent set and, in any case, screw the critics cuz we’re not taking it down.

My problem with the billboard is aesthetic, not moral: Sara’s and Condoms think they’re being clever, but the ad is lame and amateurish, sorta like those “Playboy” cocktail party joke books from the 1970s. Then again, after watching a few of this year’s “Women Are Evil Castrators”-themed Super Bowl ads online, I’d have to say that the “best” from Madison Avenue 2010 is also pretty lame. The arc of the ad universe tilts toward the drunk football fan.

After a little online research, I discovered the image that Sara’s Secret previously used to advertise itself on the same I-35 billboard. Sweet Georgia Brown, that’s one seriously creepy billboard ad! If DeSoto’s “what about the children?!” crowd had kicked up a bigger ruckus over that disturbing sign, I’d have been much more sympathetic.