Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Continuing Adventures of AT&T Boy and Harpy Jellyfish-Spine Mom

The voice from the back seat simpers "hey mom, I need some more minutes." Naturally, he's holding his cell phone, which I think are now being surgically connected to the palms of anyone under the age of 30, for a small fee. For convenience.

Harried, clearly on-the-brink-of-a-nervous-breakdown-if-this-kid-pushes-just-one-more-button mom spins like Linda Blair in The Exorcist and snaps "What? I just gave you some back at the restaurant!"

", those were old. I threw them away."

Well, we know the rest, don't we? A tape recorder in mom's head goes off, and she proceeds to give the same speech she's given in at least three other commercials about how the "old minutes" (still represented by little plastic clocks) are just as good as "new minutes," and how other people (starving children in China, perhaps?) would consider themselves lucky to have the old minutes....only this time, Worthless, Apparently Stoned Ungrateful Choad Son interrupts by parotting "Saving Minutes Saves Money, I know."

Mom glares at son. Stoned son stares blankly at mom. Mom stares at son. Stoned son stares blankly at mom. Mom stares at son- and actually appears on the verge of bursting out laughing- maybe these commercials are getting to this actress, who is on the verge of being typecast. Stoned son stares blankly at mom.

All this while, Younger Son does nothing but give a sympathetic glance at his older brother- might as well say "Oh Christ, here goes mom being a total bitch about her minutes, again. God she's lame!" And Unseen Dad, presumably driving the car, says nothing- which means he's as helpful in dealing with this ongoing problem as he is in all the other commercials.

Will someone PLEASE get SNL to do a parody of this commercial? Because I really need to see this woman take that fucking cell phone out of the kid's hand and toss it out the goddamn window. Or, failing that, order Unseen Dad to turn the fucking car around and go back to the restaurant, so mom can drag her Stoned Son into the manager's office and ask him to put Stoned Son to work washing dishes- because, you see, Stoned Son needs more minutes and thinks money grows on fucking trees.

Seriously, I've had more than enough of the Battle of Wills between an Alleged Head of the Family and her Asshole Son who can't stay within the confines of the Family Plan. And the truly pathetic thing is, AT&T's "solution" is to just sign up for their Unlimited Plan, so your worthless slacker kids can Tweet and Twitter and Roam and Surf and Text and Gab their fricking fingers off without annoying you with their presence, or a big bill.

AT&T continues to hate people, and I continue to hate AT&T. ESPECIALLY these commercials.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Drug Addict to Thoughtless Ditz, thanks to Advil

The woman who is the only character in this commercial is standing in the medicine aisle, filling her basket with one box after another of Tylenol. I think she ends up with about eight boxes of the stuff in there, before the disembodied voice so popular in ads like this intones "you can get the same relief from one Advil (All Day Long, All Day Strong) as with EIGHT Tylenol...."

She then proceeds to do something that would probably not set me off if I had not spent four years working at a Wegman's Grocery Store: she puts her basket, still filled with boxes of Tylenol, right down on the floor, and walks away, carrying her one bottle of Advil.

I know people like this woman, and worse. I worked in the Dairy Department at a Wegman's in Cheektowaga, New York back in the early-90s. I saw seniors open 1-lb boxes of butter so they could remove one quarter- even if there were already boxes open from the last band of marauding "I buy butter one stick at a time" old farts to pass by. I saw people open cartons of eggs, find one broken one among the dozen, and then carefully close the cartons and put them back right where they found them- so the next customer could find the broken eggs, I guess. I saw drooling hick morons take gallons of milk off the shelf, decide they didn't want them, and leave them on the floor to spoil (or WORSE- attempt to put them back on another shelf, causing a gallon already sitting there to fall backwards into the refrigerated stocking area, creating a huge puddle for John in Dairy to clean up.) I saw worthless Please Die In a Horrible Accident on the Way Back to the Trailer Park bottom-feeders prove utterly incapable of taking a container of yogurt off the shelf without spilling two onto the cooling grate at their feet.

And I saw many, many, MANY clueless, indecisive, ADD-addled morons move through the store, picking items off of one shelf and dropping them on a random shelf with each mood swing.

Look, I get that stores these days are big, scary, complicated things. I understand that the choices offered are enormous and bewildering, especially for people with IQs roughly equalling that of brain-damaged lemmings. Sometimes, people think they want to buy something, change their minds, and just don't have the time or energy to go ALL THE WAY back to the correct aisle to return it. But GOD DAMN IT, this woman is STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO THE SHELF. Is it really too much to ask that she PUT THE MEDICINE BACK and RETURN HER BASKET TO THE FRONT OF THE STORE??

Ok-- I'm calmed down now. I'll just leave you with three additional thoughts which ran through my head while suffering Wegman's flashbacks:

1. Is the woman in this commercial stocking medicine for a bomb shelter? Before she realized that 1 Advil = 8 Tylenol, was she really planning to buy what looks to be two decades' worth of pain medication?

2. If this woman really needs to take this much medication, shouldn't she, maybe, check with her doctor?

3. If I was the cashier at a grocery store and this woman plopped down eight boxes of Tylenol, I'd call a manager. I don't know what powerful hallucinogens can be extracted from large amounts of Tylenol, but I'd be convinced she had some form of meth lab off the basement rec room. Or in the bomb shelter.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Oedipal--err, Olive Garden's Creepy Storyline

I don't know where Olive Garden is going with it's Mom Wants To Know About Son's Girlfriend commercials. I'm sure I don't want to. Because first, judging from the age of the kid (maybe sixteen,) it's not going to end with a "we're engaged!" announcement (and what if it did? Why should we care?) And second, this woman is just way too wrapped up in her son's life- seriously, she and her husband must being going through some serious issues.

In the first commercial, mom tells us "when my husband works late, I like to take my son out to Olive Garden." I suppose Freud would have a field day just with this statement- but it's the mom's body language that disturbs me- she's curled up on the couch, right next to her son, knees up against her chin, wearing this stupid smile as she minces "and maybe I can find out about his new girlfriend!" Ugh. And as if that's not bad enough, throughout this commercial- and the second one- she's constantly tugging at her kid's clothes, picking at him, brushing his hair back, stroking his ear- good lord woman, what is WRONG with you? BOUNDARIES!!

In the second commercial, mom has successfully maneuvered her teen-aged son (who, btw, is the oldest of the preteen "heroes" from the film Unaccompanied Minors. Hey, there was nothing else on) into a booth at Olive Garden. Surprise surprise, she's sitting right next to her son (practically on his lap) and is constantly leaning toward him, touching his shoulder, and otherwise violating his personal space. And always with that same stupid "count my teeth" grin on her face.

"So, is it serious?" she asks her boy. "Yeah!" He responds, holding up his fork. "This is SERIOUSLY good!" Naturally, this evokes a chuckle and yet another lunge by mom.

The way this "storyline" is progressing, I suspect that the next episode will feature the mom tucking in her son and smoothing his hair back before giving him a kiss on the forehead (if we're lucky- hell, it wouldn't shock me to see this woman crawl into bed with the kid) before heading off to lay out his clothes for the morning. The weird vibes these commercials set off- who thinks this is cute?- make me nostalgic for another "we had an amazing time doing something really stupid" Smirnoff's ad. They sure don't make me hungry for cheap, faux-"Italian" food.

And I thought that the Taster's Choice Soap Opera of the 1980s was lame. At least that involved a romance developing between two unrelated adults. These commercials are just disturbing. I don't want to see some middle-aged mom trying to live vicariously through her 16-year old son, thanks anyway, Olive Garden. Please go back to pushing the Endless Spaghetti and Bread Sticks angle. Those commercials didn't convince me to go to Olive Garden either, but at least they didn't creep me out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Match Made in Heaven- Just Don't Lend these People Money

"My fiancee and I were shopping for her engagement ring. We picked out the perfect one- but then my credit card was rejected because I was over my limit. I was so humiliated!"

What happened next? Well, let's see...Once Upon a Time, I was engaged to a beautiful, smart, and above all financially sensible young woman. We went shopping for engagement rings, figuring out exactly how much we wanted to spend, because after all, very soon our financial fortunes would be intertwined and our credit rating would depend on how responsible we were with money. Buying a piece of rock wasn't our top priority. Surely, we can say the same for the couple in the American Express Ad, right?

Wrong. "My fiancee suggested that I get the American Express Card, which has No Pre-Set Credit Limit." Oh, SUPER IDEA!! Because clearly, the best way to deal with being maxed out on your credit cards is to get a credit card that can't be maxed out!!

And his FIANCEE suggests this- so she can get the engagement ring of her dreams, of course. Having let her husband-to-be know what her priorities are, it's not hard to imagine their future together, when they decide to splurge on all sorts of wonderful and "necessary" items because after all, there's no risk of being stopped short by an annoying credit limit. These two are made for each other- a guy who can't keep his spending within his means, and a girl whose "solution" is to make sure he keeps spending regardless of cost. Lovely.

If I had been maxed out on my credit card, my fiancee would not have suggested another one. She would have suggested- strongly- that I get my finances in order before we proceed with the wedding plans. Because she wasn't a selfish dunce living in the moment, like the dope in this commercial and her clueless partner-in-debt-to be.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And I thought Doogie Houser was Implausible

A child who can't be more than five or six years old walks into a dark bedroom carrying a bowl of Cheerios. He wakes his father up, apparently just by standing next to the bed.

"What's up, sport?" says Sleepy Dad. "You need to eat this its good fo' yo' hawt" says Adorably Precocious Little Boy.

"Have you been reading the Cheerios box again?" asks Equally Sleepy Mom.

Um, ok. It would be impressive enough if this little kid managed to get his dad a bowl of Cheerios and bring it into the bedroom without leaving a mess everywhere. But we are supposed to believe that this amazing little prodigy was inspired to bring his dad cereal at 5 AM by what he read on the back of the cereal box?

Here's what the back of the box says, by the way, word for word:

"The Cholesterol Countdown begins today! Did you know that in just 6 weeks Cheerios can reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4 percent? Cheerios is the only leading cold cereal clinically Proven to lower cholesterol. A clinical study showed that eating two 1 1/2 cup servings daily of Cherios cereal reduced bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol."

Oh wait, you say. Maybe the kid read the SIDE of the box, where the information is spooned out in words a little kid can understand. Let's check out what the side panel says about Daddy's hawt:

"Oh, what a difference Six Weeks makes! In the time it takes for your new couch to arrive, you'd be sitting at a more comfortable cholesterol level. By the tie you'd read that novel cover to cover, you could start a new chapter in heart health. Of in the time it takes your child to finish her Shakespeare report, you could report a healthier cholesterol level. And just think, between oil changes you could give your heart health a great tune up."

Oh sure, I can totally see a five or six-year-old absorbing this kind of information and then deciding to take it upon himself to help Daddy start down the road to better cardiovascular health. Maybe he's put on a pot of green tea and called Fresh Fields to order a crate of Pom Wonderful, too. Later, he'll make an appointment for his dad to see the doctor to ask if Vasacor is right for him.

Come on. When I was this kid's age, MAYBE I could get my own cereal for breakfast. MAYBE I could do it without making a mess of the kitchen. And MAYBE I read a bit of the box- to find out if there was a toy inside. But of course, I wasn't a little genius like this little boy, who already knows what "Cholesterol" is and why it's bad, and even manages to make the connection between eating Cheerios and having a healthy heart even though the box never actually makes that connection.

Cheerios is the original "finger food." That implies a little knowledge of little kids and how they think and function. There's no hint of that knowledge in this commercial, which assumes a huge vocabulary for a kid who looks like he's still a candidate for training pants. Weird.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturn: Some of the Customers are Always Right, for a while

"We here at Saturn believe that YOU, the CUSTOMER, know more about how you buy cars than we do."

Well, damn right! Finally, a car company that respects my personal car-buying practices!

"I mean, who knows more about how to buy a car, your dealer- or YOU?"

Again, damn right! No one knows more about how I buy a car than I do! I mean, I buy a car every six years or so, while my dealer sells them every, wait a minute....never mind! I know what I know and I want what I want! Yay Saturn!

"So at Saturn, YOU decide. Want our great Cash Back Offer? Want to go for a lease? It's totally up to you."


But wait- here come the dampening disclaimers: "Offer expires October 2009." Um, huh? So Saturn believes that customers, and not dealers, should be able to decide the terms of their purchase- but only for a limited time? What happens after October? Do customers become dumb again after Halloween? If Saturn "believes that customers know best," why do they only believe that "customers know best" only until the leaves turn orange? What the heck?

And another one- "Not all customers will qualify." How does this work? "I'm sorry, sir, but based on your credit history, it would be downright dangerous to let you make this choice yourself. We'll be making the decisions for you. And by the way, we strongly encourage you to put your kids up for adoption." I mean, how insulting is that? What Saturn really means is "we believe that SOME customers know what's best for them. Others, however, will take what we offer them, and be thankful, or get the hell out of our showroom."

Saturn truly is a Different Kind of Car Company, believing in Power to (Some) Customers, for a Limited Time. Truly Revolutionary. I can't believe it needed an infusion of government bailout money to survive, with such radically progressive ideas. I can't wait for the response of other car companies to Saturn's bold move-- maybe another round of Employee Pricing or Zero Percent Financing.

Because some of us deserve it. For a limited time.

Warning: The Following Commercial will Mortify your Guests.

"It was a key moment in the game, but Jack wasn't there. He was in the restroom, going again..."

"A great photo, but Bob wasn't in the picture. He was in the men's room, going again..."

Here are a few things I would like to see banned from tv ads: Any mention of "weak streams" or "unsteady flow." "Having difficulty going" or "going over and over." Last year, I was stunned to see the problem actually put to music, as we saw a guy running frantically into a rest stop to the tune of "Gotta Go Gotta Go Gotta Go Right Now, Gotta Go Gotta Go Gotta Go!"

The guy's gonnna wet his pants if he can't get to a toilet! OBVIOUS ENOUGH FOR YOU?

I'm willing to deal with the "it MAY be signs of an enlarged prostate" because heck, that's kind of important. But I don't need to be shown one picture after another of middle-aged guys rushing into restrooms while the narrator explains to me that these guys have to urinate. I mean, I just ASSUME that's the reason guys are going to the restroom. I DON'T NEED IT EXPLAINED TO ME! And I don't need urination explained to me, either.

So please, Flomax: Treat your potential customers with a modicum of respect, please. When we see a guy rushing to use the restroom, we know that means they have an excess of bodily fluids that they need to dispel in a sanitary fashion.

Unless, of course, that guy happens to be Larry Craig. If that's the case, all bets are off.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Biting the Bullet, Writing the Cialis Post

I've been putting this off for so long, mainly because it's just too easy. Those smarmy, uncomfortable, hideous "these ugly middle aged people who could be your PARENTS are about to have sex" Cialis commercials have deserved snark from the very beginning- but I just couldn't bring myself to comment on them.

So I decided to compromise with myself- I'll just comment on one especially horrible aspect of these things- the ubiquitous bathtubs. They are everywhere in these commercials, including places where they make absolutely no sense unless you are making a Saturday Night Live sketch making fun of Cialis Commercials: Bathtubs in open fields. Bathtubs on mountaintops. Bathtubs on spacious beaches. And, of course, naked people in the bathtubs. Holding hands. Taking in the view.

Why, Why, Why? What the HELL does this all mean? Who the hell has ever done this? Are we supposed to believe that these idiots had bathtubs lugged to incredibly inconvenient locations and filled with water, and then stripped down, hid their clothes ( I don't see them lying anywhere) and then walked naked some considerable distance until they could sit in them? And then what? Stare at each other, stare at the view, relax for a few seconds, then start to think "how the HELL are we going to get out of these and back home without being seen?"

I mean, Jesus, it's like a common reoccurring nightmare you describe to your shrink: "I was in a bathtub, naked, in the middle of nowhere!" What does this have to do with Erectile Disfunction?

Here's a Real-Life nightmare to consider: that some people will actually attempt to copy what they've seen in these commercials. Imagine innocently walking along the shore or in the woods and suddenly coming across two ugly morons in bathtubs! AGGGGG!

When I was very little, there was a really horrible comedy on tv called Love, American Style. Nearly every skit on the show ended with a huge bed being inserted on to the set, to uproarious laughter. I had no idea why the bed was supposed to be funny, or what it meant-- to my mind, not yet warped, twisted and depraved by the journey into adulthood, beds were to be slept in, so what was the joke? Now I find myself wishing that I could look at these morons sitting in bathtubs and just think "gee, it's nice that these people like to take baths so much."

How about that- Cialis commercials suitable only for children.

It's bad enough that the airwaves are polluted with people talking about problems which used to be whispered behind closed doors in commercials which should include "Warning: Sexual Content" disclaimers. Adding illogical/virtually impossible behavior doesn't make it any better. It just makes me frightened at what might be behind the next bend of the trail, or what I might find when I take my early morning walks at low tide. Thanks, Cialis.

Nintendo Just Can't help but insult its Target Audience

This commercial must have caused at least SOME argument during production-- a fortysomething guy is reminiscing how, back in the 80s, he was a champ at the Nintendo video game Super Punch-Out. (Being of that age group, I remember that game too, and I don't own a Wii but this might have convinced me to buy one if the commercial didn't tick me off so much.)

In between fond thoughts of how he used to kick butt in Super Punch-Out, we see him playing the game with his kid. Oh, how cool. The guy used to be great at this game, so his experience will FINALLY allow him to win a contest with his little kid and show how awesome his old man is (because you know that in TV land, the father has never won ANY previous contest with his son- no game, no argument, no battle of wits, NOTHING.)

Except- that doesn't happen. For all of his status as a Super Punch-Out Veteran, the guy keeps getting knocked out by his kid. Again. And again. And again. "Best two out of three!" the guy insists. "Best four out of seven!" "Best six out of....whatever!" (The final being muttered as Our Hero is now bathed in sweat, totally frazzled and frustrated in his inability to beat his kid at the game.)

Ok, what the hell is going on here? I thought that the whole idea of re-introducing games like Super Punch-Out in Wii format was to hit the Nostalgia Bone in people like me- "Yeah, I remember having fun playing these games! Yeah, I want to recapture my childhood! I'm buying that!" But then we see commercials which tell us hey, just because you could play the old game, doesn't mean you can play the new one- because it's played differently. The skills you used twenty years ago to mop your friends off the floor in this game won't do you a damn bit of good now- you have to learn new skills. Sorry, you won't be able to show off to your kid using this game.


Here's the Freaking Point, in my opinion-- Nintendo wants men my age to buy Wiis for themselves and their kids. But their desire to get into my wallet isn't large enough for them to depart from their "kids rule" theme, even for a few seconds. Even to make ONE commercial make a LITTLE sense. Because come on- here's the way this commercial could have been funny, and effective:

Fortysomething guy tells camera about how his little boy beat him in ever game they played. Until, that is, he brought home Super Punch-Out. Then we see him beating his astonished kid at this 80s Retro game, again and again and again. Kid is drenched in sweat. Maybe kid's friends look on in admiration, and want tips from Suddenly Cool Dad.

But no. That would have required a tear in the fabric of the Universe, I guess. I mean, can you imagine- Dad coming out on top over kid? No way. Doesn't matter that it would have been more logical- Kids Must Triumph Over Adults, All The Time. That message is more important than making a good commercial.

My money is back in my wallet.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chaser: Because the Worst Thing that can possibly happen to you if you drink is that you get a Hangover

This is one of those commercials that I ONLY see broadcast during baseball games: It's for a product called "Chaser," which promises to minimize the hangover you'll get if you continue your fun-loving, Drink-Way-Too-Much lifestyle- which of course you want to do, because drinking too much is what life is all about.

Anyway, the narrator of this commercial tells us that we "have a choice- stop drinking, or take Chaser." No, I'm not kidding. "Stop Drinking" (photo of snarling Buzzkill grandma-type) or "take Chaser" (photo of smiling young couple.) "Stop Drinking" (photo of sad-looking teetotaller with a milk mustache) or "take Chaser" (photo of two gleaming, enormous mugs of beer.)

The punchline, coming almost as an aside: "Drink Responsibly."

Um, excuse me? You spend an entire commercial telling people that they no longer have to limit their alcohol consumption for fear of a headache the next morning, then think that "Drink Responsibly" is an adequate disclaimer?

How about "here's what Chaser WON'T do: It won't reduce the impact of alcohol on your ability to operate heavy machinery. It won't reduce the impact of alcohol on your judgement- meaning that you are as likely to get into a car driven by a drunk or have unprotected sex with the cute girl you just met whether you take this stuff or not. But if you survive the night, when you wake up the next day, whether it's in a hospital room, a rape crisis center, a trash-filled alley, or your own bed, you won't be as groggy and headachy as you sometimes are when you overdrink without taking Chaser."

"So if you think, as we do, that the worse thing about heavy drinking is the hangover, take Chaser. If you're sick of stopping after a couple of beers, and want to drink all night without that annoying Morning-After pain, take Chaser."

Real Responsible. And to think, some chemists devoted perhaps months of research to producing this stuff. I bet some of them even dreamed of curing cancer once.

So who ARE you back on the bike for, Lance?

Lance Armstrong, shown doing a variety of staged exercises with staged shots of Armstrong riding his bike- "They call me a cheat. They say I can't let it go. They call me washed up. A doper. Over The Hill. A Fraud. All that matters to me is, I'm back on my bike."

And the punchline: "Because I'm not doing this-- for THEM."

1) Get the hell over yourself, Mr Armstrong. Believe it or not, the Sport That Requires Dorky Pants is not at the forefront of our minds as we approach the July 4th holiday. Nor is the Tour de France, that ridiculously melodramatic bike race which is interrupted at one stage by a plane ride. Believe it or not, you really haven't been missed all that much since your tortured, controversial, rumor-scarred "retirement."

2) Who is the "they" who is saying all these horrible things about you? Because again, what I've heard most is Silence. As in, "why am I supposed to give a shit about Lance Armstrong, that guy who used to pop into the public consciousness for a few weeks every summer because he was in the process of winning a bike race?"

3) Armstrong tells us that all these criticisms that only he seems to hear while the rest of us less self-absorbed Non-Lances are kind of busy with our own lives (Jesus, how about you stop bitching for a minute, and then use that minute to thank us for all those 'Live Strong' rubber bands we bought?) aren't the reason he's racing again. He's not doing it "for Them." So who IS he doing it for? Ah yes- we see the Nike Swoosh and "Just Do It."

He's doing it for the money. Because damn it, the thing about sponsorship money is, it tends to dry up when you stop performing.

For the love of God, get off your freaking high-horse, you self-absorbed, doping fraud. You'd be amazed at how many people will be rooting against you not because they think that you are a cheat, but because they are sick to death of your constant self-promotion, which has now extended to creating a "me against the world" theme out of thin air for the benefit of your bottom line, and Nike's.

Good luck in the Tour de France. Break a leg.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How Did We Ever Survive before McDonalds?

Woman opens up her refrigerator, only to have a couple of eggs fall to the floor at her feet. She looks mournfully at the mess.

Guy opens up a bottle of milk and sniffs it. From the expression on his face, we can surmise that the milk was purchased sometime during the Bush Administration.

Woman attempts to flip a pancake (why? Because she saw it done in a movie once?) It falls on the burner and catches fire. She looks mournfully at the mess.

"You only get one shot at breakfast...." according to the narrator. Except that two of the three people shown didn't even get that one shot. So starvation is inevitable. But wait- McDonald's is offering two Egg McMuffins for only three dollars! Thank Goodness! Not only do you not have to risk burning down your house to avoid morning hunger, but you can get an overdose of grease, fat and salt without doing much damage to your wallet! Yay McDonalds!

Seriously, though. We aren't capable of 1) putting eggs in the refrigerator so they dont' fall on the floor when you open it, 2) buying milk on more than a bi-annual schedule, or 3) using a spatula. So we need everyone's favorite Obesity Factory and it's Menu of Death.

Well, no thank you, McDonalds. I think I'll continue to risk my life pouring milk into the bowl with my Cheerios. Maybe I'll mess it up on ocassion, but wiping up a spill is still easier than recovering from a stroke.

Um...are you going to actually eat that thing?

I've been looking forward to an opportunity to comment on one of my pet peeves concerning food commercials- the "food is to be carried and/or admired, not eaten" motif. This is different from the "Infinite Food" motif which dominates commercials for KFC (the bucket on the kitchen table is overflowing with chicken, even after everyone's plate is full) and McDonalds (no matter how many sips of the not-milkshake are taken, no matter how many french fries are consumed, the containers stay at the same level.) No, this is the Contemplation of Cold Food phenomena that I find really, really annoying and I'm likely to post about on more than one ocassion.

I'll start today with a quick comment on Dunkin Donuts and their commercial for their 99 cent Wake-Up Wrap. A woman is standing in an elevator, holding one of these things in her hand, sans napkin. In her other hand she holds the inevitable half-gallon cup of iced coffee, no doubt liberally doused with heavy cream (I'm convinced that there's a gentleman's agreement among fast-food places to banish any mention or display of hot coffee in commercials aired between Memorial Day and Labor Day.) A guy standing next to her says "hey, that looks good."

Woman: "It's a Dunkin Donuts Wake-Up Wrap. I got it for only 99 cents" (I'll snark in the future on the concept of tax-free fast food in the alternate Commercial Universe.) Then- "no breakfast for you?"

(Does anyone eat breakfast at home any more? Wouldn't any REASONABLE person just ASSUME that the guy in the elevator who ISNT carrying food with him ate at home?)

I'm not going to comment on the whole "belt-tightening" thing. Way too easy, and too stupid. I'll stick to my original thought and bring it to a logical conclusion by asking a few simple questions:

1. Where is the Dunkin Donuts in relation to the elevator? (How long as this woman been holding that Wake-Up Wrap? Isn't it cold by now?)

2. Why no napkin between her Wake-Up Wrap and her hand?

3. When the hell does this woman plan on actually EATING this thing? When she gets to her office? As a mid-morning snack? Is she going to eat it before she puts it down? If not, what does she plan to put it down ON?

I could ask this question of a lot of commercial-land people: the woman sitting in the middle of a field, contemplating her milkshake (because there's a McDonald's right behind the barn, I guess.) The idiots who don't understand that the drive-thru at Sonic exists to get them their food fast, not to give them a place to contemplate the mysteries of life and how they relate to their cheeseburgers. But for now, I'd settle for an answer from the woman who seems content to just carry around her Wake-Up Wrap until it's ice-cold- and sneer at the concept that some people might actually enjoy eating HOT food, at HOME.