Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Hard to put Non-food on the Family These Days

That woman is back- you know the one, the rather stringy, tight-lipped, bitter looking Struggling Mom already burdened by Too Many Taxes who is ready to just EXPLODE if "Washington" decides to pass a tax on "Juice Drinks and Soda."

This time, she's in the Supermarket, pushing a cart which appears to have a pretty nice array of veggies and fruits in it. Her little son walks up with what looks like a DVD. "Can I get this one?" he asks plaintively.

"Son, we've talked about the Bad Times" mom intones. Oh jeesh, ,can we get more stilted dialogue and wooden delivery, please? How about "no, we are here to buy groceries" or "no, Christmas is around the corner?" I get the impression that mom pulls this "No, Son, like we talked about before, the Unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a point last month" every time her kid asks for a Snickers Bar.

"Yeah, I know- we're on a Budget" acknowledges son, mournfully turning away to put the DVD back. And now it's time for Mom to turn to the camera and issue her warning to "Washington" again- "we hear talk that Washington is considering a new tax on juice drinks and soda. They say it's just pennies, but those pennies add up when you are trying to feed a family. We just can't afford any new taxes right now!"

As the narrator tells us who to thank for this leaden, illogical crap, we see chastened but still hopeful son hold up a bottle of pale, pinkish fluid which I guess is supposed to be Generic Brand Soda. Mom nods in the affirmative (she has to feed her family, after all!) and pale, pinkish fluid goes into the cart.

There is so much wrong with this, it's hard to decide where to begin. First of all, if "Washington" imposes a federal sales tax on soda and juice drinks by a few pennies, do those pennies really "add up" when you are "trying to feed a family?" Maybe- if you are trying to feed that family on juice drinks and soda. Second, in two commercial appearances I have yet to see this woman with anything resembling a "juice drink." In both commercials, she's either about to purchase or already has purchased 2-liter bottles of Brand-X soda. Thirdly, please, lady, get the fucking chip off your shoulder- if its so damned hard to feed your children on your current family budget, then Stop Spending Money on Junk Like Soda!!! It's not like bubbly fizzy chemically-treated water is a necessity, like a cell phone with unlimited (and FRESH) minutes.

Oh, and spare us the final "comforting hand to the neck of sad child" scene as the ad fades to black. We've already seen your modest but more than adequate home in the suburban neighborhood, not to mention your SUV. I have no sympathy for a whiny martyr who burdens her children with her utter cluelessness about money. And I won't until I see this woman in a commercial in which she says "Washington. We just can't afford Unemployment Insurance Extensions, Infrastructure repair, Social Security or Medicare. Please, cancel those programs, right now. Because there's no WAY I'm paying another nickle for my family's weekly allowance of Mr. Pib and Shasta. We've got to feed our families, don't we?"


  1. Juice drinks are flavored sugar water. Soda is flavored fizzy sugar water. If so much of your food budget is devoted to flavored sugar water, you have much bigger problems than *gasphorror* a tax on juice drinks and soda.

  2. One message of this commercial seems to be "we can't afford LUXURIES like DVDs, we have to focus on NECESSITIES like Soda." Another is that this family is one tax away from being deprived of Soda as well- if that 2-litre bottle goes from $1.49 to $1.69, it's off the list, Junior!

  3. Yuck. I haven't seen this sequel to the Resentful No-Tax-on-Soda Mom yet, but I dread it already. Dear NToSM--you could save a ton of money by not buying any soda or "juice drinks." Tap water is free! With the money you save by not buying that junk, you can afford to buy a DVD every once in a while. Stupid commercials make me want to call my senators and representative and ask them to double whatever tax is being proposed.

  4. April- I'd love to see a mock-up of this commercial which features the little boy holding up a loaf of bread or a bottle of cough medicine only to have mom say "Son, we've talked about the Bad Times. Now, go get a few bottles of soda, before Washington raises the price!"

  5. ::snerk::

    I might just have to draw that up for you. :)

  6. Since the only people who would fall for Soda Martyr Mom's ridiculous argument are the same general sort of people that cried buckets of tears because a fictional dog died because April was naughty, I'd like to see the proposed tax tripled after it was doubled.