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Mein Fuhrer and JCPenney's Tea Pot Doom Scandal

Look! Up in the sky! It's a JCPenney billboard! It's a tea pot! It's...HITLER!

Just as Jacques Penne has finished apologizing to us and then thanking us, now the struggling retailer may have to go back to apologizing.

Or maybe not.

An image on Reddit of a Penney's billboard advertising a simple tea pot has become something of a web sensation among those who don't work 9 to 5 and frequent the site. Someone looking at the tea pot saw the spitting image of Adolf Hitler, much like staring up at clouds on a spring day and seeing white puffy elephants or puppies. And once you've seen Mein Fuhrer in that tea pot, you can't unsee it.

Personally I think the tea pot looks more like Eric Cartman from "South Park" imitating Hitler.

I tweeted that I thought the image was more funny than fascist, and JCPenney replied: "Totally unintentional. If we designed it to look like something, we would have gone with a snowman or something fun :)"

Ah, but this Tea Pot Doom scandal has suddenly "gone viral" as the kids say (actually as the adults say—going viral is so 2007). A friend, Jason Jepson, has even tweaked that innocent little song every preschooler is taught to sing:

"I'm a little teapot

Short and stout,

Here is my handle,

Here is my spout.

When I'm on a billboard

People shout,

'That looks like Hitler...Take it down.'"

So has it hurt sales? JCPenney tweets the tea pot is sold out online. Perhaps it'll go well with the Braun coffee maker

—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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