Saturday, June 13, 2009

I suggest the Witness Protection Program- or at least, moving to a new neighborhood

I'm watching ESPN while on the treadmill a few nights ago when I see this scene play out in front of me-- a woman in bed hears a sound downstairs and flips on a light. She throws on a robe and goes into the hall- "honey? Is that you, are you home?" Teenaged daughter, having already come in from her date, pops out of her room- "no, mom, I'm home already...."

Suddenly the front door is smashed in, and a menacing-looking guy wearing a gray sweatsuit and a matching cap rushes in. Alarms blare, however, and he rushes off.

Mom is now on the phone- Security Alert guy says "are you all right?" Mom: "Somebody has tried to break in to our house!" Security Alert guy: "We are sending help right now."

We then get to hear about all the benefits of the Security Alert system being peddled in this ad (for one thing, it will set off loud alarms certain to frighten away gray-clad burgler/rapist/murderers) and how, for only a few dollars a month, you can protect yourself and your family from the marauding bands of thugs out there just waiting for you to close your eyes so they can bust down your door and kill you.

Literally moments later, I see another commercial: Mom and Dad are going out for the evening, leaving teenaged daughter alone. Seconds after they leave, teenaged daughter hears a noise outside. Oh, silly mom and dad forgot something. Teenaged daughter heads for the door, when suddenly she notices, staring at her from a side window-- GRAY-CLAD BAD MAN again!! A broken window, a blaring alarm, and a scream later, we are right back to learning about the Security Alert system.

Here's what really gets me, though: I'm pretty sure that in both instances, the SAME ACTORS ARE USED. Same mom. Same daughter. Same gray-clad maurader. Which means that if have been paying attention, and we accept the premise of the commercial that These Are Real People, this is a Realistic Situation, and This Could Happen to You, we have to buy in to the idea that the same family is constantly being terrorized by the same guy. And he keeps getting scared off by the Security Alert Alarm.

Two things: First, I walk by houses all the time with these "This House is Protected by ---" signs on them, and I assume that the purpose of the signs is to tell the population of gray-preferring maniacs out there to move on to the next house. Does this particular system not include the signs (or window stickers) letting the predators that This House is Protected?

Second, can't the nice people at Security Alert find some new actors? It's kind of depressing seeing the same people narrowly avoid attack again and again. I'd also start to think that the Scary Door-and-Window-breaking man is someone I know, and it's only a matter of time before he gets me while I'm getting out of my car, or walking my dog, or am otherwise outside my Security Alert cocoon of protection.

At the very least, I'd move.

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