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Cheap clothing, pirates and Keynesian economics

20 Jun

I sifted through tons of email recently, and I realize a lot of the questions recur. Therefore, I’ll share my answers here should these same questions be causing you sleepless nights.

Dear Ron,

My teenage daughter drives me bonkers. She keeps using “Me” rather than “I” to start sentences. Just today, she said, “Me and Jill are going to Forever 21.” Arrgh! No matter how often I correct her, she still uses “Me.” I don’t know what to do.

Apoplectic Mom

 

Dear Apo-Mom,

You’re worried about grammar when your daughter shops at Forever 21? A part of her soul dies – plus a Bangladeshi textile worker or two – every time she transacts business at that store. (See also Abercrombie & Fitch.) Still, you asked a straightforward question, which deserves a feeble answer.

Your daughter is a pirate. This is the only way to explain such a sentence structure. The Pirate Speech Code of 1793, still in force today, requires its members to use “Me” at the front of at least half of all sentences. “Me” should be used liberally elsewhere in the sentence as well. Here’s a typical pirate statement:  “Me britches is a bit tight today, Matey. Methinks me should switch to Cobb salads before me thighs begin to look like tree trunks.”

If you’re still in doubt, it’s also well-known that pirates supplement their wardrobes at stores where the average customer age is thirteen and the employee age is sixteen.

To maintain your sanity, as well as your relationship with your daughter, try to show some solidarity. When the next Talk like a Pirate Day comes along, start a few sentences with “Me.” Better yet, do so while browsing the clearance table at Forever 21. It will bring the two of you closer together.

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Dear Sir,

I gather from that last letter you do not take grammar seriously. I suppose you also have no qualms about ending a sentence in a preposition.

Grammar Cop

Dear Grammy,

I am so happy about that up which you have brought. Strict grammar is not something of which I would ever take lightly. There are no sentences of which I can think that would sound better if the preposition were at the end.  I would agree that high standards of grammar can be hard up with which to live. However, I am committed to meeting those standards upon which others have devoted their lives.

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Dear Mr. Smith

As a Neo-Keynesian, I have a real issue with Post-Keynesian economics vis-à-vis the concept of a full employment rate. I posit that if we adjust wages and enact more rigid price controls, full employment is possible. What do you think?

Not my real name

Dear NMRM,

Why yes, I would be happy to show you a picture of my lunch.
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That’s not what I asked about.

 

Look! A kitty!

Golden_Kitty


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Mr. Smith,

 Where do you see yourself in ten years?

 Human Resources Manager

Dear Human,

The same place I see myself now, in the bathroom, where the mirror is. I don’t want to put a mirror anyplace else. That would be more than I could take. I caught a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror at a clothing store recently. I was on my way to find the store manager to alert her to the disheveled old fart who looked a little suspicious, if not completely creepy. Then I realized it was me. It frightened me to think that’s what others around me see every day. (I am sorry to all of you.)  I don’t mind the mirror in the bathroom because it takes my eyes a little while to focus in the morning, and I can’t see myself clearly. I occasionally miss a spot or two when I shave, but I just tell my wife it’s a new look I’m trying.


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Dear Bad Person,

I am outraged by your earlier reference to Forever 21. I buy all my tanks and bustiers there. When they disintegrate a week later, I go back to get more. I would be lost without my favorite place to shop, plus I keep countless textile workers in Asia employed at five rupees a day. I demand an immediate apology. If not, I will see to your immediate firing from whatever job you hold, if it is even possible for the likes of you to be employed.

Outraged Forever 21 Fan

 

Dear F21F,

I am truly sorry that you’re outraged.

That’s not a real apology. I’m still outraged.

 

If you or anyone like you was in any way offended by my earlier comments, it was not my intention to offend. If my comments were misconstrued to be offensive, I apologize for that occurrence of misconstruing.  I hope my future comments will be judged on their own merit, on face value, and will not cause needless offense to certain individuals or groups who may be sensitive to such things.

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P.S. …. I just had a thought on which both post- and neo-Keynesians might agree: If we didn’t demand someone get fired every time we’re outraged/offended, perhaps that would solve the unemployment issue.

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The shameless truth of high school graduations

7 Jun

I am the father of a fresh high school graduate. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a commencement lately, do not panic. I will give you the experience now.

2:40 pm The commencement begins in twenty minutes here at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The crowd, a couple of thousand family members, is relatively low-key and quiet. It’s a lot like the crowds at University of Louisville Cardinal basketball games, which used to be played here.

A few people feel the basketball vibe and try to get the cheer “C-A-R-D-S” going. Instead, “CARDS” reminds dozens of parents they forgot to buy Hallmark cards for their graduates. Some hurry for the exit.

Even though we arrived twenty minutes early, we re are approximately 1.3 miles from the stage. I text Daughter #1 (D1) to let her know where we are sitting. I hear her phone beep in my wife’s purse next to me. Using my keen deductive skills, I determine my daughter will not receive my text. My wife looks at the message and ponders what our daughter is trying to tell us. We are not a very bright family.

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That’s my daughter, the one in white. There, in the next to last row.

3:00 pm The processional has started on time. This is a good sign. I’m trying to get a good photo of D1, but the lighting in the hall is weird. Everything looks a little blurry. Maybe it’s only my contacts. Since every third student is a slender Asian-looking girl with long brown hair, I may take a picture of the wrong graduate. Perhaps no one will know.

3:04 pm Six cops loiter near the back of the arena. They are prepared to quell any instance of  trouble. You know how a gaggle of math and science geeks can easily riot when they smell freshly-pressed diplomas.  Chaos worse than a calculator sale at Staples.

3:19 pm  It has taken nineteen minutes for all the students to process. My entire commencement didn’t last that long. This is going to be a long ceremony.  I order a sleeping cot online from Amazon. Even if I opt for free shipping, it should be here in plenty of time.

The graduates sit at the far end of the arena. The girls wear white gowns and the boys wear red.  They sit so that the red gowns form an “M” for Manual High School. Depending on where you sit, it could look like a “W” or a Sigma symbol. From where we sit, it looks like a melted peppermint.

I’m glad I wore a jacket. It’s a little cool in the hall. In case you didn’t know it, this—the Kentucky State Fairgrounds—has more air conditioned space than any other state fair. The State Fair Board promotes this fact every year at fair time because it sounds better than saying, “Sorry. We don’t have butter sculptures like the Iowa State Fair does. But we do have three chickens and a Holstein heifer.”

3:25 pm We obviously don’t talk about grades much at home because I have just learned D1 is a valedictorian. We have this in common because a valedictorian spoke to me once. I believe she said, “You rode the short bus, didn’t you?” This school has 113 valedictorians–all with perfect GPAs. There is one salutatorian. Slacker.

Since “valedictorian” literally means the person who gives the farewell speech, I guess we’ll hear 113 goodbye speeches. I hope Amazon delivers my cot soon.

3:31 pm School administrators and students make speeches generously peppered with quotes. Updike, Twain, Thoreau, Covey… By the end of this ceremony, I’ll be the only writer who hasn’t been quoted.  Unless… In the sage words of Ron D Smith, “Man, my butt is getting sore.”

3:47 pm It’s now time to hand out the diplomas. At least, they’re handing out diploma covers. There are no diplomas inside the cases. It’s a sham perpetuated every year at this time by the diploma industrial complex. They make you think you’re getting a diploma, but it’s only a letter saying final grades haven’t been entered, yet. The school also checks to see if the student owes anything. CNN should do an exposé.

Before the diploma covers are distributed, the class historian will make a short speech. She is telling all of us to shut up when our graduate’s name is announced. Seriously, she says. Don’t yell. This is a solemn event and the class doesn’t want all that noise. Families and friends are supposed to stand when their graduates are called. Seriously, the historian repeats, don’t yell. She is naive. These students haven’t listened to their parents for years. The tables will now be turned.

3:55 pm We’ve made it to last names that start with B. For the most part, the audience is respectful, with a few exceptions. Reaction pretty much falls along ethnic lines. The Hispanic families are most quiet, mainly because they’re not present. They are on their way to their second jobs. Because my family is mixed, we will have a combo reaction when D1’s name is called. Some of us will stand quietly, just proud that our graduate made it through high school. Others in our group will remain seated, too busy collating medical school brochures according to national rankings.

4:07 pm  Ace thinks he will have to go on the run again. A mysterious guy with a Russian accent has come to this Podunk Arkansas town… That’s not part of the ceremony. It’s in the book I’m reading as the announcer reads off the F names.

4:11 pm We’ve made it the H’s. I’m having hunger pangs. Must have food. Where are the vendors like at the basketball games? How about some pretzels at least? They’re missing a big opportunity to make a killing. Note to self: Set up “side business” at next year’s graduations.

4:20 pm  Hmm. I’ve never noticed that mole before. Should I have it checked? I’ll do the lick test. Oh, it’s just a chocolate smudge. When did I have chocolate? Two days ago? What does a chocolate plant look like? Is it brown? I’ll Google that.

4:32 pm  D1 gets her diploma cover. I think it’s her anyway. She’s too far away to tell for sure. I’m proud of somebody up there, whoever it is.

4:55 pm  The graduates are beginning to recess. I tell D2 that, see, she’ll get to have recess in high school, too. In fact, it’s the last thing she’ll do. D2 scowls at me. She does not think I am funny. Just like her sister.

Time to go. Another school holds its ceremony immediately after ours. I sell my cot to the highest bidder.

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A letter to the naïve doofus I was at eighteen

23 May

On the anniversary of my high school graduation:

Dear Ronnie,

First of all, why are you still going by “Ronnie?”  Have you noticed your friends are called Tom, Rob and Rod? They switched from Tommy, Robbie and Rodney in fourth grade. Unless you’re planning a career in professional baseball or bluegrass music, “Ronnie” has to go. If you still hold out a sliver of hope for pro sports or music, here’s a reality check: Your career Little League batting average was .137 and you sound like a constipated capybara when you sing. So it’s off to college you go, and you better be “Ron” when you get there.

Speaking of college, you were wise to avoid the disco era. Well done.  I congratulate you on being one of only three people not to buy a Bee Gees album. Bee_Gees_154.jpgDon’t worry. You’ll hear about punk and new wave very soon. Hang in there during this period of disco balls and oxymoronic soft rock. But the album Rock and Roll Over by Kiss will not go over well on your dorm floor, especially played on an eight track tape deck.kiss Sorry, that’s just the way it is. You will encounter audiophiles for the first time who play their music on high-priced turntables and actual reel-to-reel tape decks.

Your first roommate will be heavy into Styx. Even typing that sentence so many years later leaves me a bit unsettled. Other than the single Lady, you are unfamiliar with the musical output of this band. Don’t worry. That will change. Your roommate loves progressive rock, and Styx helps him relax as he does his Trig homework. You will soon know every song on every Styx album. Sorry, but the seventh one will come out your freshman year.  Also, your roommate will inform you that Carry On Oh Wayward Son was not the best song on the Kansas album Leftoverture. In fact, he will let you know that it was the worst song on the album. You will silently nod and take his word for it, because you don’t know any of the other songs on the Kansas album. You will decide fairly soon your freshman year that progressive rock is not your thing. (Except for a few weeks when you date that girl who loves Rush and is obsessed with their drummer. You’ll be a prog rock fan then. Oh, yes you will.) You will stow your opinion on Emerson Lake and Palmer and similar groups until you get a new roommate your sophomore year. By then, Darkness on the Edge of Town will be your antidote. (You will have a lot of roommates, by the way. You may want to do a little soul searching on that.)

About your chosen major of journalism, which you have had your heart set on for years. Consider this: Your parents have taught you to mind your own business, and prying into other people’s affairs is just plain rude. That pretty much defines the role of a reporter, doesn’t it? Good luck with that. And when that fledgling news operation CNN posts openings for news writers at your journalism school, maybe you shouldn’t voice the opinion that a national news outfit on cable will never succeed.

You’ll turn eighteen in a few days. In addition to all those cards from aunts and uncles, you’ll receive one from that girl you have a crush on. Inexplicably, you’ll think she’s sending you a card just to be nice. You’re too stupid to realize she’s sending you a very clear message, almost literally. This will not dawn on you for about twenty-five years. Such ignorance will be a recurring theme in your young life. You are a fool. Sorry to be so blunt, but the evidence is overwhelming from where I now sit.

I know you’re really excited to let your hair grow when you leave home, because your dad hates long hair and never allows it to cover your ears. You look forward to having cascading tresses, just like George Harrison.George If you have to, you’ll stay on campus during holidays just so your dad won’t make you cut it. Here’s the thing. The preppy era — with short hair — is arriving. You just don’t know it yet because you live in Eagleville, Missouri where “prep” refers to the process of warming a Guernsey’s udders before morning milking. Because you’ll become a preppy, don’t spend any more money on bell bottoms and polyester print shirts, Ronnie. You’ll just throw them away when you discover overpriced Lacoste shirts. lacosteYou’ll spend a lot of money just to have that little green alligator on your chest. And that denim jacket with the Woodstock patch on it? Unless you’re the bassist for The Grateful Dead, get rid of it.

You know how you say you won’t attend a high school reunion until you can come back in a Mercedes with a blonde on each arm? You will keep that promise, but maybe you should adjust the rules a bit. Maybe the car starts with an M? Instead of a Mercedes, perhaps you meant a Mazda. You’ll have one of those for awhile until someone rear ends it when your five-year-old daughter sits in the back seat. Don’t worry, she’ll be OK, but the car will be totaled. You’ll replace the Mazda with a Maxima. Maybe that’s the car you meant? You had a Malibu for awhile, too. In fact, you’ll own just about every M car but a Mercedes. And about those blondes. You’ll marry a Japanese-Filipino, and there’s not a lot of blonde hair in that gene pool. There’s still hope, though. At your fiftieth high school reunion, you could be escorted by two Norwegian home health aides named Stefan and Lars who keep your spare adult diapers for emergencies. Maybe one of them will drive a Mercedes.

Still, you’ll be lucky. You’ll fall in love a few times, and stay in love once. You won’t win any Father of the Year awards, but your kids will make you proud every day. You’ll never be rich or famous. But you won’t be infamous either, so there’s that. In all, life will turn out even better than you expected. I’m actually kind of excited for you.

 

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Thirty bits of advice about horses

3 May
Isabel & Gdad

My dad, daughter and Beezlebub’s Beast

Because it is the weekend of the Kentucky Derby, and because I live about ten minutes from Churchill Downs, I will share my vast expertise on horses.

First, my résumé:

My family had ponies as pets like other families had cats and dogs. Unlike a tall guy named Shorty, there was nothing ironic about the name of Mischief, our Shetland pony. She was Satan minus the cloven hooves. When I was six or seven, Mischief decided one afternoon to plop down without warning for a rest. Normally, I would not have denied her that privilege, except I was riding her at the time. Still in the saddle, my left leg was pinned beneath her. As I began to lose the feeling in that part of my body, I smacked Mischief’s neck and kicked her with my free leg. The beast would not budge. Buzzards had begun to circle by the time my brother came to rescue me.

After that, I decided I could find better ways to spend my time, and I was largely successful for several years in avoiding saddles and bridles. Then my grandfather, a horse nut, invited the family to join a saddle club. My dad and older brother loved horses and readily agreed. I wanted no part of it, preferring to spend my time in ways other than repeatedly riding a large malodorous animal in a figure eight formation. Plus, everyone had to wear matching turquoise shirts. Fat kids like me did not look good in that color. I didn’t look good in a cowboy hat either. Come to think of it, I didn’t look good in much of anything in those days. But my mother enticed me to give the saddle club a shot by promising to take me to our area’s only public swimming pool at the end of the summer. I did not like swimming any more than I liked horses. cx_milkshakeBut the pool’s snack bar had frozen MilkShake candy bars, which were impossible for a chubby kid to resist. Riding in the saddle club that summer had a coolness factor roughly on par with a crocheted toaster cover, but I survived. I have ridden horses several more times since, each time swearing it would be the last. I have kept my word now for more than ten years.

A few things I have learned:

  1. Horses are smart.
  2. They know they’re smarter than humans.
  3. But their willpower is weak.
  4. Even though they know you’re luring them with oats so you can halter them, they can’t resist.
  5. But they will hold a grudge (see galloping too close to a tree below).
  6. Horses know you don’t know what you’re doing.
  7. They know even before you get on them.
  8. Like when you improperly cinch the saddle.
  9. Or examine the bit and ask, “Where does this thing go?”
  10. When you grab the saddle horn, they say “Rookie! This will be fun.”
  11. They don’t actually say that, but they think it.
  12. Horses can’t talk, after all.
  13. They can smell fear.
  14. When they smell fear, they develop an urge to gallop.
  15. It’s much easier to take off in a full gallop if they rid themselves of you.
  16. If it seems they’re running dangerously close to a large tree, you are not mistaken.
  17. Their intent is to scrape you off their back.
  18. It’s best to jump/fall off before you reach the tree.
  19. It’s going to hurt either way.
  20. There’s  no cool way to fall off a horse.
  21. Forget what you’ve seen in cowboy movies.
  22. gra79-10intlIf you ride in a group, horses will talk about you with the other horses.
  23. They will not say nice things.
  24. Horses will hold their manure, waiting until the most embarrassing moment to release it.
  25. For example, when you trot by that cute girl you have a crush on in eighth grade.
  26. Or in the yard where you’ll have to mow later that day.
  27. If you want your horse to gallop, it will not.
  28. It will go as slowly as possible.
  29. Until you’re ready to turn back toward home, that is.
  30. Then the horse will run so fast it could out run a Derby champion.

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P.S., If you have a penchant for Norwegian literature that’s a little bit about horses and a lot about human relationships, read Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. It’s an aged man’s unsentimental look back at a turning point in his childhood.

A profane family history

15 Mar

I was nine or ten the first time I heard my granddad pepper his speech with cuss words. I could still point out within a five square foot area where I stood in his barnyard when he let loose one of those forbidden four-letter words in my presence.  I had crossed some invisible line of male-dom where Granddad decided my tender ears could hear those words without catching fire. I don’t recall being overly happy to hear that good man use those words, but I got over it soon enough.

Soon after that, I crossed the swear-word line with my dad, too. He was his father’s son when it came to cussing, following certain unwritten rules: Never overdo it, never swear in a house, and absolutely never swear in mixed company, particularly around the saintly woman I called Grandma.

By the time Dad started cussing in front of my brothers and me, I was already a semi-rehabilitated swearer. It seems quaint now, but I had a habit of inserting “damn” in every other sentence when I was six. My parents warned me to stop before I got in big trouble, but they never took serious action. I didn’t get the cure until after I cussed in front of my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Kraft. In addition to missing recess, she ordered me to drag my desk outside in the hallway and park by the classroom door for a while. She wanted me to spend that time to consider cleaning up that potty mouth of mine. That was Mrs. Kraft’s worst punishment for scofflaws like me, boys who were on a direct path to reform school because “damn” had become our favorite adjective.

Spending a bit of time in the hallway wasn’t such a terrible ordeal, except my dear father was also the superintendent of our tiny school. He rarely had reason to walk down two flights of stairs from his office to the first grade classroom in the basement. But I had only been serving my hallway sentence for a few minutes when he came by.CCI03022011_00002

“I hope you’ve got a good reason for sitting out here,” he said.

I considered saying I had been given the honor of Hall Monitor, but we didn’t have such a thing in our school. Even if we had, my dad knew that responsibility wouldn’t be trusted to me.

“Cussing,” I said, without bothering with specifics.

Dad said nothing, but he shook  his head and walked away. I had embarrassed him. Damn, I thought. I’ll never cuss again.

For the most part, I didn’t swear much after that until I reached twelve or thirteen. That’s a monk-like period of abstinence for a boy who grew up around people who tossed around profanities with the same deftness Peyton Manning throws passes.

Even then, I never cussed around my father. Still don’t. When my brother Jeff and I were teenagers, Dad took us aside one day to sternly reprimand us for using a word that  offended our mother. He warned we had better stop using this particularly foul word immediately or there would be serious consequences.

“What word are you talking about?” we asked Dad.

“I’m not going to say it, but you know exactly the word I mean,” he said.

“No, we don’t.”

“Don’t play dumb with me. Just quit using it.”

If the word was so offensive that even Dad wouldn’t repeat it, it must have been a doozy. Because we didn’t cuss around Mom, the word had us stumped. It had to be so terrible that even Jeff and I didn’t know it was a curse word. Jeff and I pondered this question for many years until we finally decided the word that offended our mother was… mother. As in, “That bolt sure is one tough mother to get off.”  We must have used “mother” that way several times a day.

My dad says he turns forty-eight today. This is amazing considering that makes him younger than me. But he suffers from AOBD (Adult Onset Birthday Dyslexia), which causes him to invert the digits in his age, so I’ll give him a break. Anyway I hope he has a damn fine day and one mother of a birthday party.

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Random Thoughts at a Stoplight

28 Feb

Is it redundant to use my left turn signal if I’m already in the left turn-only lane? That’s like a double negative.20130301_081010

“I ain’t never seen nothing like that never in my life.” Quadruple negative. Nicely done, Ron.

I will not use my turn signal. I am a rebel. Rebel, Rebel. That reminds me of that David Bowie song. How old is he now? Seventy? I should Google him.

Now I can’t get the Bowie song out of my head. I’ll hum “Tequila.” It’s like methadone for earworms.

The time has come to buy new boxer shorts. Has underwear technology changed much in the past ten years? I should Google that.  Boxers? Why are they called that? I’ll look that up, too. No wonder I never get any work done.

What is the woman in the car next to me listening to? It must be a great song the way she’s moving. I’ll try to find it… Nope. Nope. Oh, she’s listening to that? I never would have guessed. She’s looks smarter than that. Maybe I’m mistaken. Ugh, she’s mouthing the words. Look away, Ron, look away.

Geez, this light is long. I should have turned off my car to save gas. I wonder how much gas I would save if I had. If I turn off my car, maybe it won’t start again. Then everyone will honk at me, and I’ll be embarrassed. Even the woman singing that song will scowl at me. I’ll leave it on.

Justin. Is there anyone over the age of fifty named Justin?  Is anyone under the age of seventy named Adolf? I bet there are some really old men who go by Addie or Dolf.

It would be terrible to have the same name as the infamous person in the world. If there was ever a super villain named Ron, I would change my name. I would go with Chi Chi. Nobody bad could be named Chi Chi.

My goodness, it’s that guy on the radio again. How much do I have to pledge next time to keep him off the air? Maybe I’ll have my own pledge drive just for that.

Do jeans shrink if you don’t wear them for a few months? They must. And boxer shorts shrink even if you do wear them. I’ll Google it.  fatjeans-6

My jaw is hurting again. What has it been? Three days in a row now? I hope it’s nothing serious. What if I have jaw cancer?  Oh, please, no, not jaw cancer. I’ll end up like Roger Ebert without the fame and fortune. What if I die from it? I should review my will just in case. I hope Michele has me cremated like she promised. She’ll probably dump the ashes in the trash bin. I’ll need to have a frank discussion with her about that. What if a super villain named Ron comes along after I die? My survivors will have to re-chisel the tombstone so  it says Chi Chi. I need to put that in the will, too. No tombstone for my ashes.

Why don’t they have recycling cans for ashes? Hmm. Maybe I could get the patent on that. I’ll trademark ReinCANation while I’m at it. Note to self. Google ReinCANation to see if it’s already trademarked.

A Viking funeral would be nice, but who would be my thrall? A short list there.

I wouldn’t want to be set afloat in the Ohio River. Beargrass Creek?  I’d get stuck in a jam of limbs and trash. Then all the overhead trees would catch on fire. There might be health code issues, too.  I need to Google that.

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What I would say if advertisers would listen

8 Feb

Dear advertisers,

Just a few suggestions I ask you to consider.

First, I direct my attention to you, Local Business Owner. I ask you kindly to refrain from using your family in your commercials. I am sure your children and grandchildren have prodigious talents, and they will someday discover a cure for low-grade acne. However, being an on-camera pitch munchkin is not their calling. Your grandchild, the one with the slight slur and three-centimeter gap between his front teeth? No, the other grandchild. When he says “call our emergency repair line,” “emergency” sounds like a cross between “mercy” and “surgery” so that it sounds like “mercygery.” This does not make me want to hire you as a plumber.  If you are not willing to pay for a professional, why should I pay for one when my pipes leak?  Also, when your tag line says “simply the best,” I will assume the opposite.

And now for you, Company That Thinks It’s Clever to Use Talking Animals. Please stop. Talking dogs haven’t been a clever ad idea since 1950 when Mister Puffles spoke of the magical qualities of a feminine hair removal product. Also, why does the voice have to be so dull — so Middle American white guy? I imagine my dog would sound like Phyllis Diller after a hard drunk and a carton of Salems. That would be interesting to hear in a commercial. That would get my attention when you’re selling pork and beans. If you insist on using an Irish Setter that speaks, should it at least do so with an Irish accent? Just consider it.

0003700029753_AWhile discussing animals, why are bears trying to sell me toilet paper, Bathroom Tissue Manufacturer? (Who calls it bathroom tissue anyway?) Is it a subtle reference to the bear shitting in the woods? I will buy your toilet paper if you are honest with me, but primarily if it’s cheap. As long as it’s not prison-grade paper, I don’t care how soft it is. I have never held a piece of toilet paper to my cheek. That would be weird. In your commercials, just once show a human being on the toilet, but please don’t hold the shot too long. Have the person grimacing and maybe reading a Sports Illustrated. You  know, like real life.

Luxury Car Maker, this is a polite request to stop showing cars with big red bows at Christmas. Does Hallmark sell those big bows?  I’ve never noticed the big-honkin’ bow section at the card store. Yeah, we get it. The husband is awesome, because he surprised his wife with a new Lexus LS. And the rest of us husbands suck. If I surprised my wife with a new Lexus, she would say, “Who is the slut and how long has it been going on?” I’d like you to show the day after the guy gives his wife the car with the big bow, when she says, “Five-hundred dollar monthly payments? We’re still paying for that damn boat you just had to have.”lexus-ls-460-overview

While we’re talking about cars, Pre-Owned Car Dealership. You’re not fooling anyone. They’re used cars. You’re a used car dealer.

Jewelry Store Chains, I hate you. Sorry, I got carried away there. Still, I would love you to produce a commercial like this: Open on wide shot of jewelry store, glass display cases glistening with diamond rings. Young man enters store and scans the array. Cut to helpful store clerk, who asks, “How may I be of service?” Young man hesitantly approaches ringcounter. Camera angle reveals he is covered in blood. Customer pulls small, blood-soaked bundle from his pocket and unwraps it to reveal severed finger.  Customer says, “I want to surprise my girlfriend with an engagement ring. Can you size it?” I still wouldn’t shop at your store, but you would have my unwavering admiration.

Just a quick word to you, Household Cleaning Product Manufacturer: Would it kill you to show a man with a mop once in a while? I do all the mopping in our family, because my wife still  hasn’t forgiven me since I surprised her with the Lexus.

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