Woman startled by demonic face on canned pear, wants recompense from company


Wendy McMahon of New Zealand opened can of pears she bought at a Pak'N Save, and was "shocked" to find a pear with a "face" peering back at her. She called the toll free number listed on the can to complain. A representative returned McMahon's call, and followed up by sending her a NZ$15 voucher. McMahon then mailed the pear to the canning company (Heinz-Wattie). The representative called back to report that nothing was wrong with the pear, and offered McMahon a NZ$30 voucher. McMahon told the representative "that wasn't good enough," and demanded that the pear be returned to her.

Woman finds "Demonic tinned pear," wants recompense from company (Via Arbroath)


  1. Offer to sell the pear back to her for NZ$60 (accepting the $15 and $30 vouchers, perhaps), since she apparently values it more than NZ$45. If you tossed the pear, carve her a new one; she’ll never know the difference.

  2. Refuse to send it back and offer her the choice of the following 2 reasons:

    1) There is nothing wrong with it and they have provided her with NZ$45. Explain that money can be exchanged for goods and services and that NZ$45 can buy many pears.

    2) If there is indeed something wrong with the pear and it is a manifestation of evil then they should have it destroyed. Sending a demonic force through the post would be negligent on their part and they are not willing to open themselves up to that sort of liability.

    “Last night she was still waiting, but said rather than the satanic slice of fruit, it is her treatment by the company she takes exception to. ”

    Lady, you got free money for being stupid. Accept that as a win and just walk away.

  3. What more is she wanting from them?? They sent her $45!

    If only she’d put the pear in the plate big end down, like a proper Big-Endian, none of this would have happened!

    1. No, they sent her $30, at least according to the article. She sent the fruit and the $15 voucher to them and they offered her a $30 voucher. She seems to figure that the fruit is worth more than $30 so she’d like it back (she’d already listed it online for sale before the company contacted her, so maybe she knows how much folks are willing to offer her for a freaky piece of canned fruit art).

      It sounds like she wanted to let the company know someone had tampered with their fruit and is now miffed that the company won’t give her the fruit that she purchased back. It also sounds like the only reason the company bothered to return her call in the first place was because she posted the picture to her Facebook account and they were upset at the negative publicity. At least from the one-sided view we get from the linked article. The blurb makes her sound like a nut, but the actual article makes her sound fairly reasonable.

      1. What part of this makes you think we are dealing with a reasonable woman

        I think the company rep had it spot on…. she is looking for money.

        She seems like a very bored person with nothing better to do.

        And what negative publicity? Sure they called back, but so what. It wasn’t a bad piece of fruit. She didn’t get sick.

        What… you think some shmoe working for the Chinese company took the time to make those strategic cuts on the fruit in the hopes of freaking some moron on the other side of the world? On what planet is that reasonable!

      2. “It sounds like she wanted to let the company know someone had tampered with their fruit”

        What makes her unreasonable is that nobody had tampered with the fruit.

  4. Did her house burn down and was she visited by witches or anything like that?

    Because if so, she has a case. Otherwise, not so much.

  5. I find it mildly amusing that in America, this would have been an image of a divine figure.

    Why can’t someone ever get in the news for just seeing a random, interestingly reminiscent image in an edible product… Ugh.

  6. A bored/tired bucktoothed demon, huh?

    We see faces in inanimate things as an old echo of a survival instinct from our distant ancestors. We’ve been discovering found objects to worship and/or fear for about 3,000,000 years now.

    They’re called manuports, only we’ve evolved from furtively carrying them around to suing over them.

    1. “we’ve evolved from furtively carrying them around to suing over them.”

      This is an evolutionary dead end, and I, for one, intend to avoid breeding with those carrying this trait.

  7. I never trusted those Budget Pear Halves. I always thought they were possessed. I think she just should exorcise the pears and enjoy them with cereal. Jebus saves.

  8. People should be appreciative of food going about its job in such an enthusiastic manner.

    1. You are absolutely correct and I salute your keen observation. It made me laugh. :-)

      Captcha: Parley be
      Seemed oddly appropriate…

  9. I agree with Jar. Ms. McMahon found what looked to be a piece of fruit that someone had *carved* to look like a face. (That’s what it looks like to me.) It’s creepy to think that someone else has been playing with your food. You start wondering what else they might have done. So she called the company to report it. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

    If it had been me, I would have been hoping for some reassurance from the company that this is just a byproduct of processing, and that no one had done this intentionally. I would want an explanation, not vouchers! Apparently Ms. McMahon feels like the company gave her the brush-off. Maybe they did. If so, it’s quite reasonable that she would be angry.

    Wanting the piece of fruit back seems a little weird, but maybe she wants to publicise it to embarass the company.

    The article uses the words “satanic” and “freakish”, giving the impression that the woman is a loony who sees faces in everything, and BoingBoing compounded it by calling it a “demonic” face. But Ms. McMahon isn’t quoted as saying any of those things.

  10. Guess she shouldn’t have bought bargain fruit. Teach her to pay full price and not be such a cheapskate next time.

  11. judging by the fact that they are budget pears, i’m guessing that she’s just making some extra income.

  12. I have to say, working on food processing lines there are times when the supervisor is not present (taking a dump, talking to management, etc…) and the young fools such as I was a part of would do naughty things just like this.

    I am sure it was planted, but not by anyone other then some 18 year old green horn.

    – Ethel

  13. There is a serious need to make education on pareidolia part of the elementary school curriculum. Actually, make that kindergarten, before children get a chance to catch the stoopid…

    1. There just needs to be some edumacation on the human MIND in general.
      Kids come out into the world with no understanding of how WE work or how our society works. Sure, basic biology gets taught in some places, but understanding a bit of human behaviour patterns, pattern recognition and other such basic (not simple, I didn’t say simple) issues should clean out a lot of stupid from society.

      People get scammed because they fall for simple logic tricks, simple weaknesses in our cognition. They/we buy products when we fall for marketing hype. And people believe in demon pears and toast with the virgin mary because they have no understanding of human cognition.

  14. Oh, come on. They are “budget” pears.

    We all know that genuine evil only comes in deluxe grades of canned fruit.

  15. I live in New Zealand and I’ve been following this story with “interest”. What’s cool about it is that it has been found that this face was probably carved into the pear-half by someone working at a fruit processing plant in *China* about *two years ago*. This is fantastic. It reminds me of the time I bought a cheap CD walkman and when I took it out of its packaging I found it had a CD of Chinese pop music in it.

  16. If she had been a good shopper she would have read the label. “WARNING: May contain demonic faces.”

  17. Well that is a nice change from seeing toast with Jesus on it! I’ve been checking all my Sun-Maid raisins in hopes of getting one that looks like Ghandi, or Obama! (so far no luck)

  18. some days, it’s embarrassing to be a kiwi.

    sorry world, NZ has it’s own kooks and crackpots (although thankfully most refuse to use modern devices as telephones, computers and/or Internet).

  19. Hmm, that lady is one odd (Kiwi) fruit…

    Well I thought it was a good pun…

  20. Whatever you think of this woman’s reaction, it’s fairly clear from a hi-rez image of the demonic pear that it was actually carved by hand – it’s not your garden-variety Jesus-in-a-tortilla demonic pear.

  21. I opened a can of Chef-boy-r-dee and was *shocked* to see the FSM. Can I get a voucher, too?

  22. Do they remove the skin before canning the pears? The person who carved the skin was probably bored from pealing thousands of pears. Probably even used the same knife. There’s no tampering involved.

  23. LOL Im from nz and remember watching this on the news. What a stupid women. Its just a freaking pear. Just stfu and eat the damn thing instead of causing a fuss. People get bored when they work and probebly did it..its something i would probably do XD. I bet she only made a big deal about it because she knew she’d get money out of it.

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