Posted: October 26, 2012 by S. Trevor Swenson in General, Observations
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Circa 1984

I watch an inordinate amount of television. As I am currently on injured reserve, I am watching even more than ever. Recently as sort of a television solitaire game, I have tried to pay closer attention to commercials as I find them to be fascinating in a psychological and sociological sense. For example, today I noticed that Walmart is using AC/DC’s hit “Back in Black” for their new layaway program. I felt violated. I don’t blame AC/DC as they may not even own the rights to the song anymore. I blame Walmart. They have no business using cool classic rock in their commercials. Lame companies must stick to lame music, otherwise it’s false advertising. Walmart shall be limited to using music by Celine Dion, Paul McCartney’s solo work, Phil Collins and any other artist that universally sucks.

Later, I saw a commercial for a credit card featuring a man on a date. His date looks at him (I’m guessing after he paid for dinner) and says bluntly. “Jim, you’re boring.” She then continues to say “Boring” over and over. Now, I have been on some nightmare dates before. I once had a date with a woman I met online who neglected to tell me she had a metal hook type thing in lieu of a left hand. In fairness I suppose that’s a tough factoid to bring to the surface during initial small talk. “I’m a Libra, I like cooking, walks on the beach, travel, missing a hand, love the band KISS…”

I also once had a date where I decided to cook. I spent the day straightening up my apartment, shopping, cooking and picking out just the right wine to accompany the meal. I’m a pretty fair cook and a gracious and kind host. We had a lovely dinner. When she was done eating, she praised my cooking skills, thanked me for a pleasant evening, put on her coat and informed me she was late for another date…with a woman. I tried to think if I should ask her out again as I washed the dishes.

So, I’ve had some horrifying dates. However, I have never had a woman look at me during or after dinner and say “Scott, you’re boring.” I’m not boring. I’m an ass sometimes, silly, irritating, but decidedly not boring. I think if I were Jim from the commercial. I’d have calmly refilled my glass of Cabernet and thrown it at her. Then I’d stand up and say “That exciting enough for ya, toots?” And if the meal wasn’t paid for yet, I’d instruct the waiter to bring her the check after wrapping up some Crème Brule for me to go.

The premise of the commercial is that “Jim” reinvents himself as infinitely less boring because of his Chase Visa card. I suppose to some people a high credit limit does make a person more interesting.

I’m not a fan of the status quo. I hate insurance, banks and credit card companies. It’s all I can do to keep from puking when I see insurance companies advertising how helpful they are and how much they care. It is depressing to think what insurance companies pay investigators, politicians and lawyers in order to avoid paying their customers what they are generally entitled to. I am a fan of honest advertising, which may be the biggest oxymoron since “compassionate conservatism”.

At a young age, I began my road to constant cynicism when I looked up at the photographic displays of McDonald’s food and then at what I had been served. Only the fries had the slightest glint of honesty. And while we are at it, where were the dancing, singing cheerful teenagers doing cartwheels to fetch my Apple (caution filling is hot) pie? I was disappointed to say the least.

The coup de grace of recent commercial bovine scatology comes from my cable and phone company; RCN which I usually follow with something clever like “Really Crappy Network” but for today’s piece I have re dubbed them” Ridiculous Commercial Nonsense”. The commercial features a nice young woman who was waiting for a service tech to come out and jump start her cable. I’m guessing that her appointment time was “between noon and whenever the fuck we decide to show up”. As it turns out, the problem was not with the woman’s cable, but with her TV…and wouldn’t you know, Mr. Helpful RCN Tech stayed at the nice lady’s house while she went out and bought a new television set and then hooked it up for her…Um Yeah.

I have since been tempted to call RCN and ask if they can send the nice smiling technician with the spotless, pressed uniform and white capped teeth (That must be some dental plan RCN.. No wonder he’s so cheerful and helpful) from the commercial to adjust my cable. After viewing their commercial, I projectile vomited on my cable box and as a result I have experienced difficulty getting the Home Shopping Network. Then, for a goof, when the tech they do send shows up, the one with the beard, missing teeth and FTW knuckle tattoo, I’ll just ask him if he minds sticking around while I go to the electronics store to see what’s on sale.

I know that commercials are generally 30 seconds, so I am guessing that’s why RCN didn’t include footage of Mr. Technician looking through the nice lady’s underwear drawer while she was TV shopping.


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