I just had a creamy, delicious wedge of Laughing Cow brand cheese. On the round package is a cartoon of a cow. She is indeed, laughing, with a disturbingly human expression. Not only that, but she’s wearing earrings. The earrings consist of round Laughing Cow packages, each with the very same picture of that cow – wearing the same earrings.
The implication is that, if the picture were infinitely detailed, it would contain an infinite number of images of that French bovine, receding in endless succession. Smaller and smaller, down to the size of elementary particles – and an infinite number infinitely smaller than that. That cow is messing with my head; no wonder she laughs.
I know I’ve seen the same conceit on other food product packages, but the only one I can think of right now is Maypo, the delicious maple-flavored oat cereal. (At least, one of the designs showed a kid preparing to shovel the hot muck into his enormous crescent-shaped piehole, while on the table, next to the bowl, rested a box depicting the very same scene, including the box itself . . .)
So, what other products have this kind of impossible scene? When did it first appear, and was Kurt Godel involved? I need to clear this up so I can get on with my life.