Everyone knows Pep Boys, right? Three guys that look sort of like Groucho Marx, Josef Stalin, and Bob Newhart? Sure you do. They’re Manny, Moe, and Jack, and they just want to sell you stick-on vents and make you happy, right? Oh, you sweet, sweet fool — I wish it was that simple.

Look, there’s no good way to say this, so I’m just going to spit it out: Manny, Moe, and Jack have been lying to you. It’s not something as simple as they weren’t real people, just ad-agency created composites like Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart. There were real people, but they’re hiding dark, dark secrets.

Here’s the first mind-scrambler: we all know Manny, Moe, and Jack — but did you know there were originally two Moes? TWO MOES. Let that sink in for a minute.

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Yes, it started with Emanuel (Manny) Rosenfeld, Maurice L. (Moe) Strauss, W. Graham (Jack) Jackson, and — get this — Moe Radavitz. So why aren’t there two Moes in the logo? Why don’t we call out the names “Manny, Moe, Jack, and Moe” when we desperately need adhesive-backed portholes for our fenders?

If you’re a pawn of the Pep Boys media, you probably believe that Moe Radavitz cashed out in 1922. If you’re a savvy reader-betwixt-the-lines, the truth is much easier to figure out: the other three ate the extra Moe.

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Rumors that the Pep Boys were cannibals have been swirling around auto parts speakeasys and sex clubs for decades, and, really, it’s the only theory that makes sense. They clearly predicted the upcoming Depression, and took the only preventative action that made sense: eating their superfluous Moe.

As if that’s not enough, I hope you’re standing over a dropcloth, because your mind is about to get blown right out your ass:

Jack has not been with the company since 1925, when he was secretly replaced by “Izzy.”

I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath after choking on the twin hoagies of disbelief and what-the-fuck. But it’s true. When you look up at your gilded statuettes of Manny, Moe, and Jack during your morning prayers, the face of Jack is just a hollow shell — there is no “Jack,” and there hasn’t been for decades. The role of Jack is actually held by a man named Izzy Strauss.

Graham “Jack” Jackson left the Pep Boys in 1925, under circumstances I can only call suspicious, at least until I research them further, an act I am not willing to do, because that’s exactly what they hope I’ll do.

My best guess is that Jack was murdered in some sort of Black Mass or ritualistic sacrifice, and Izzy Strauss’s spirit took over the shell of Jack’s body. That’s the only way to explain why the Jack caricature has remained eerily the same for over eight decades.

Even more disturbing is the fact that in 1939, Strauss left (again, under highly suspicious circumstances, if you don’t swallow all the “facts”) and formed Strauss Discount Auto, later Strauss Auto, which went out of business (again, suspiciously) in 2012.

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That means that the Jack face stands for… nobody. When you gaze on to the face of those three “boys,” you’re really looking at two likely cannibals and a blank cypher, a strange no-man, a tear in the very fabric of timespace, possessing powers we can only begin to guess at.

As I write this, I can feel those six beady little eyes (one set hidden behind a pair of opaque spectacles) watching me, lurking, waiting. If you don’t hear from me again, you know it’s because I got too close!

Oh god. What’s that sound? It sounds like a plastic bag full of trailer taillights and washer fluid. Is that static from a $79 AM/FM/CD head unit?

Please, wa —

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