Let me first give you the backstory. Back in 1981, as a college student, once in awhile I would pick up an issue of Mother Earth News. This was still when the periodical was in its hippy-dippy days, and amongst all the information on how to create tie-die sheets and other fashion challenges, it had a great Personals section in the back. My friends and I would read these Personal ads out loud to each other, highlighting the crunchy-organic requirements ("soul-sister" "vegetarian" "acupressure") along with the serious ("family-oriented" "lonely" "must love children").
So one day I picked up the May/June 1981 issue of Mother Earth News...
...and proceeded to read the ads out loud to my roommates. Suddenly I came across a Personal ad that was so startling, so jaw-dropping, so freaky-weird, that we couldn't believe it was real. I ended up tearing out the page and tacking it to our apartment bulletin board.
All now, these years later, I found the torn-out sheet. The ad still qualifies as the freakiest, weirdest ad I ever saw:
"Want young lady as a personal associate and companion to a financially secure married woman on a Pacific island mountainside estate whose lifestyle is reclusive, private, sheltered, and who enjoys nature, gardening, cooking, and wifely duties. Most of the amenities, social graces, and high-class living available and expected. So there will be no misunderstandings, look to the dictionary for the definitions of associate and companion. Girl must be educated, mousey, quiet, shy, reclusive, preferably Caucasian; young, healthy and of small frame, about 115 lbs. No drugs or religious freaks. Send full-length pictures in various attire along with very complete statistics of self. Personal interview, complete medical checkup, and trial period will be required. Compensation for this job will be minimal wage, room and board."What the ...?
Mousey? Small frame? Full-length photos in various attire? What...?
My roommates jokingly urged me to apply (I fit most of the requirements), and the budding writer in me spent a long time pondering what on earth the true purpose an advertisement like this could be. My speculation was they were looking for a surrogate womb, a sort of The Handmaid's Tale (an ugly, freaky read if there ever was one).
All these years later, I have no better explanation. There is no possible way to follow up, of course.
And this, dear readers, qualifies as the strangest ad I ever saw -- bar none.