Friday, July 27, 2012

Classic American Express "We're just sayin', things happen" ad from the Good Old Days

Remember when Karl Malden was wrapping up his career by appearing as the Hovering Spectre of Vacations Gone Wrong?  When if someone was getting his pocket picked, you could count on Malden suddenly appearing to express his disgust that someone would fail to take the simplest of steps to assure that their dream vacation wasn't completely trashed Seriously What is Wrong With You People?

These ads were supposed to tickle our That Could Happen To Me bone, and back when money came in paper form, I guess they worked pretty well.  Now that money is mostly imaginary, experienced only as lines of digits on a screen or on plastic cards which can be replaced instantly with one phone call, the idea of carrying around American Express Traveller's Checks seems kind of silly, like buying Life Insurance or Smoking or serving your kid Pizza Rolls- you know, stuff you did when you didn't know any better.

Well, Karl Malden isn't what he used to be (he's dead, for one thing) and neither are Traveler's Checks.  If any of you have been on amazing, life-fulfilling vacations to other continents and would like to share your Traveler's Checks Saved Me stories, I invite you to call a friend but please, don't bug me with them.  For the next week I'll be at fabulous Hampton Beach New Hampshire for the annual family getaway- if I lose my wallet, I think I'll manage to have a great time and get back to Vermont alive without the help of American Express or anyone else, thank you very much.  I'll be spending most of my time taking long walks and playing in the surf.  Because I am who I am, I'll also be mentally cursing out all the "parents" who would rather sit and smoke than play with their offspring, and wishing that more of the clueless teenagers squinting at their cell phones would accidentally drop them into the water, because that would really be awesome.

And because I am who I am, I won't be bringing my laptop or checking my mail while at the beach.  So no new updates until next Saturday.  Have a great week everybody!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chase Sapphire blows its chance to make my summer

You know, Chase, I put up with a lot of crap from you.

Women who inform their husbands that No, Sorry, we can't go on that dream vacation you've cooked up, because I just used our hoarded Rewards Points to buy myself a dress.  "Men" who blow through other rewards points by attending Rock and Roll camps.  Women who use theirs to mount giant phallic symbols with their boyfriends (I never got this one at all- why would she consider using HER points to help HIM buy her a ring?) so that they can stand on top of said phallic symbols and, well, look around for a while before climbing back down.

And now you give me some privileged twat wading in the surf, trying to contact your Pakistan-based phone bank, and you can't even end the ad by having this pampered dick drop his freaking phone?  Because that would have made up for so very much.

Of course, he would have picked up a brand new I Phone from the nearest Apple Store- probably on the boardwalk- using his Chase Sapphire Rewards points.  But still, I would have had that image of Mr. Entitled fumbling his precious phone into the surf to keep me warm when times are tough.  Thanks for nothing, Chase.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

McDonalds- because LSD is still illegal, and Soma doesn't exist outside of "Brave New World"

Here's another McDonald's commercial that I could barely get through without groaning and hitting the mute button (hard.)  McDonalds seems pretty convinced that only the most cloyingly sweet, artificial junk ads are good enough to sell their artificially fattening, junk food.

In this particular commercial, the ubiquitous chain restaurant takes credit for basically everything that makes life worth living, and a few things that simply don't.  The moron with the surgically-implanted smile and apparently no place to go drives from place to place, marveling at all the Gosh-darned amazing, happy things he sees in his Gosh-darned amazing world.  All thanks to pancakes drenched in corn syrup, fried pig parts served between over-buttered biscuits, and milkshakes sold as "coffee drinks."  Along the way, the guy experiences any number of hallucinations- brought on by a grease, sugar or caffeine overdose, we are not told. 

A great parody of this ad would be this guy blissfully taking in muggings, fires, parents being abusive toward their kids, homeless people waving "will work for food signs," etc without ever, ever taking that stupid-ass grin off his loathsome face- because after all, he's loaded up at McDonalds, so all must be well in the world.  But McDonalds ads are pretty much parody-proof, because they are so damned stupid and insulting in their original form.

I'll just end by noting that if you are really enjoying life as much as this guy is, why would you take steps to cut it short by consuming this garbage?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Of Clorox, Overgrown Children, and MommyWife

Message: "Fun" is what you have when MommyWife is away.  It's also what comes to a screeching halt once MommyWife comes back.

If women would just pop out kids, keep the house clean, and get the damn meals on the damn table when they are supposed to,* otherwise getting the hell out of the way, DaddyHusband and kids would have so much fun.  Every day would be filled with paintball, water balloons, and the kind of Endless Fun which has nothing to do with Xfinity.

Unfortunately, MommyWife can't be relied upon to just make herself scarce when she's done doing her MommyWife chores, so DaddyHusband and kids need to get their fun under the radar.  They need to snatch up moments of pure happiness when MommyWife is away (shopping, getting her hair or nails done- whatever they do.  I wouldn't know.)  Except for the cooked food, cleaned and folded laundry, and all those other little things that MommyWife takes care of, man life would be so much better if she just wasn't around.

Family Values, brought to us by Clorox.

(two best moments:

"I made a lasagna..." Yes, because naturally DaddyHusband could never, ever be relied upon to feed YOUR kids on his own.

"You're doing laundry?"  Hey, imagine that- a guy doing laundry!  Like a fish riding a bicycle! What will he do next- wash the dishes?  Has the world gone MAD?)

*When I was grading APs in Louisville last month, the worthless dick sitting across from me managed to mention something his wife forgot to pack for him pretty much every day- "I told her to pack my favorite shirt, of course she didn't....I reminded her over and over again not to forget to pack my phone charger, so what do you think happened?  She forgot to pack my phone charger."  Which means I spent most of the week mentally braining this helpless jerk with my chair.  I bet he just couldn't wait to finish up the grading so he could get back to MommyWife.  I wonder how he managed to dress himself every morning.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Um...why would you serve this to "people you love?"

Time-saving tips from ABC Family, in partnership with Hamburger Helper in a nefarious plot to rot our brains AND our intestines with crappy television and even crappier food:

1.)  Install a massive whiteboard onto the wall in the kitchen.  Whiteboards have a million different uses- they allow kids to write stuff like I AM AT TIFFANYS NOT LIKE YOU CARE MOM and DAD CALLED HES PISSED AGAIN and FU I AM ON A DATE WITH TONY YOU DONT UNDERSTAND HM WE R IN LUV.   Or for parents to jot down loving notes like OUT AGAIN TONIGHT PIZZA ROLLS IN FRIDGE or DONT FORGET SET BURGLAR ALARM FEED CAT.

 (At the school where I teach, Whiteboards are used to congratulate female graduates when they do the only three things females do which are worthy of praise- when they get engaged, when they get married, and when they have kids.)

2.)  On the rare occasions when you DO get the entire family together, remind them exactly why it's ok that they are so rare by feeding them horrible, cheap slop like Hamburger Helper.  Nothing says "I see dinners with the family as a massive inconvenience considering my busy schedule" more than mixing up a big ol' frying pan full of this trash.  Well ok- maybe Manwiches.  But this is definitely a close second.

So since you are home, and it's dinnertime, well, it can't be avoided,'s six dollars and fifteen minutes worth of effort.  No need to thank me, just my way of showing exactly how much I love ya, honeys.

What, you are still here?  Well, let's all plop in front of the TV and see what ABC Family has for us then.  Get the message yet?  It's ok if you are never home.  If you are home, this is what you can expect.  Because Mommy and Daddy are awfully busy and jeesh, don't you have other kids you want to hang with?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another "Problem Solved, and it was So Simple" insulting little nub of dumb from America's Natural Gas Companies

There are roughly 800 of these "Energy Voter" commercials currently polluting the airwaves- 17 second spots featuring a typical Useful Idiot expounding the benefits of drilling the hell out of the country, destroying the aquifer and basically sending life as we know it to the brink of extinction through the release of even more greenhouse gases for the sake of (possibly) slightly cheaper natural gas and petroleum.

In this episode of I'll Gladly Sell Out My Future And The Future of My Child For a Few Dollars and 17 Seconds of Face Time, "Felice" bounces around the screen with her oblivious daughter, explaining how awesome it will be when we finally get at all that wonderful natural gas just waiting for "us" to pull out of the ground underneath "our" feet, solving "our" energy issues in the wink of a Fascist-Corporatist's lizard eye.  Yay for Felice's daughter!  Middle East Wars, oil spills, ruinously high gas prices (do you know we pay almost 30% as much as Evil Socialist Europe does for a gallon of the stuff?) are soon to be a thing of the past.  All we have to do is Get to Work, Get the Environmentalist Al Gore-Loving, Polar Bear and Clean Water Worshiping Weirdos out of the damn way and Drill Baby Drill.

"I'm Felice, and I'm an Energy Voter."  Actually, you are what they call a Low Information Voter.  And that's being polite.  I could just call you a Pawn.  Or a Sellout.  Corporate Whore is a little rough, so I won't go there.  Sucker?  "Actress" doesn't seem to fit, because you aren't especially convincing.  Then again, isn't Katy Perry an "actress" these days?

Whatever you really are, Felice, please don't pass your rank stupidity on to that poor kid.  Let her grow up to be an unreasonable adult who selfishly wants stuff like non-flammable water and who thinks that maybe continued reliance on oil and gas isn't the best idea on a planet where China, India and Brazil's fuel needs are skyrocketing.  An unreasonable adult who thinks that maybe there are no Easy Answers, and who is intelligent enough to realize that all that oil and natural gas underneath "our" feet isn't really "ours" and will just go on the world market where we will compete to buy it, just like we always have.  An unreasonable adult who has overcome her upbringing to develop a social conscience and is about 100 times smarter than her mom.

Of course, she'll grow up drinking bottled water and wondering why her parents generation thought that frakking was such a great idea, too.  Can that one website you visited, which had all the answers, deal with that question, Felice?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Come to Times Square, and get your Range Rover molested by strangers

The "idiots with nothing better to do in their sad little lives staring lovingly at cars" theme has been popular in automobile commercials for several decades now.  You know the drill- a showroom-shiny car which Despite What the Narrator Is Telling Us Looks Exactly Like Pretty Much Every Other Car on the Road cruises slowly down the street, and all activity stops as people freeze and drool over it.  Recently, animals have gotten into the act, as we insult dogs and cats by pretending that they share the same shallow non-values as television people.

Anywhere, here's another Check Out Our SameMobile attracting the inappropriate attention of a mob of total losers in Times Square.  See the losers take photos of the SameMobile.  See them lust over it.  See them stroke it (does anyone ever do this, ever?  Why? Please don't try to convince me that certain cars have a different "feel" from the OUTSIDE.  Do these clueless weirdos think that they'll somehow develop an emotional bond with the car if they engage in physical contact with it?  Do they think the car will follow them home?  Do they believe that by touching it, they achieve a kind of spiritual connectivity with the SameMobile?  What the hell?)

This ad is about as silly as all the other auto commercials featuring labs and wind tunnels and electronic blueprints which try to convince us that we are about to be introduced to something Brand New- but the "Brand New" always means a new bell or whistle which isn't obvious from the outside, so what's with the constant staring and open-mouthed astonishment?  And why is it that no matter how cool the "concept car" looks, once it hits the market it's just another SameMobile?

Maybe people really don't want to buy a car that total strangers will paw with their greasy mitts?  Just a thought.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Only Samsung's new phone matches my excitement level concerning the upcoming Summer Games

The 2012 Olympics haven't even started yet, but the commercials have me wishing that they were already a fading memory.  Each one seems more Over The Top, Why Aren't You Worshiping Us For Making Your Life Worth Living than the previous.  By the time America realizes that it forgot to watch the Olympics again because it was too busy working, playing outside, texting and updating it's Facebook page, Samsung will probably be taking credit for the freaking sunrise (which we also forgot to watch again.)

As usual, this cellphone ad is a montage of images which are supposed to be inspiring but are in fact just confusing and bordering on infuriating in their pomposity.  I could spend several paragraphs going through each one- the scruffy dick who opens the ad by bleating "Yep" into his Best Friend and then gazing wistfully (cluelessly?) into the distance, the creepy kid with the ping pong ball who looks like he's about to use it to kill someone, the Please Suffer a Spinal Injury Right Now yuppie pond scum who take electronic directions to incredibly stupid, dangerous things with their bikes.  But it's summer, and like most of America, I have things to do.

So instead, I'll just snark on one moment in this monstrosity which ticked me off more than any other- the moment where the woman runs up to another person in what seems to be an airport.  She doesn't hug that other person.  She doesn't kiss that other person.  No, she touches cell phones with that other person.  Maybe I missed the memo, and this is the 2012 version of physical contact.  But I found the image so darned vile, it actually managed to stand out amidst the rest of this giant pile of commercial crud. 

And that's really saying something, because this 30 seconds or so of manipulative, self-satisfied junk which screams "We Hold Society Together!" (no to mention the equally absurd "We All Care About the Summer Olympics!")  would be quite ugly and cringe-worthy even if we WEREN'T treated to a "beautiful moment" featuring cell phones kissing.  Or sharing.  Or whatever the hell that was.  I don't know.  I don't care.  And I don't want to.  And for maybe the fifth time in a row, I won't be watching the Summer Olympics.  Because it's Summer, and like I said before, I have stuff to do that doesn't involve gazing at a screen.  Missing more ads like this- just another good reason not to watch.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We respectfully request that you do not cry out "I Have Made Fire!" when switching on your "Olde Brooklyn Lantern"

There is so much to love in this advertisement for a product which may or may not be from the people who brought us the Amazing Electric Quaker Heaters Not Actually Made By Quakers.

There is the look of utter astonishment on the old people when the lights suddenly go out- they act like a tribe of superstitious savages experiencing a total eclipse for the first time.  "Light Gone! Where Go Sun?" 

Consider that this couple appears to be of the generation which grew up during the Great Depression, survived World War II, and raised children under the shadow of the Evil Commies during the Cold War.   All those trials and tribulations suddenly pale in comparison to the power suddenly going out.  Now what do we do?  Look astonished.  Run in circles.  Duck and Cover?

The old people- troopers that they are- attempt to go through Life As Usual despite the frightening lack of light.  The scene with the woman attempting to hold a flashlight against her neck with her chin just might be my favorite in the history of commercials.  Um, grandma?  The food is right there on the plate, in front of you.  It's not moving.  Once you've got that concept down, I'm not sure why you actually have to have a beam of light glaring into it.  Considering the junk people put into their bodies at mealtimes these days, I'm not sure you want to have a real good look at it anyway.

Sidebar:  the fact that this couple has managed to cook dinner despite the lack of power has created a bit of controversy over on YouTube, stimulating an argument which seems to be between people aware of the existence of gas-powered stoves and a presumably younger crowd which apparently believes that the only appliances capable of heating food are microwaves and Popeil Rotisseries.  I didn't join in- I was too busy being astonished that posters at YouTube are capable of carrying out a conversation which does not include "What is that Song Where Can I get that Song I need that Song" or nonstop cursing.

The utter astonishment and delight the old people experience when they switch on their Old Brooklyn Flashlights---errr, Lanterns---is a lot of fun too.  Wow, look, light emitting from a metal device, with just the turn of a dial! Astonishing!  What will they come up with next- an appliance for toasting bread?  Once again, the 21st century is proven to be a Second Renaissance!

And then we get to see all the Amazing Things we can accomplish with Light---err, Olde Brooklyn Lanterns (the superfluous "e" in "Olde" is worth at least another five bucks added to the price, don't you think?)  You can play board games.  You can carry on conversations and actually see the people you are talking to (people still do this in the age of cell phones?)  Most of all, you can sit on couches and stare appreciatively at the Olde Brooklyn Lantern.

Of course, you can get an additional lantern absolutely free, just Pay Additional Shipping and Handling.  Simply can NOT get through a commercial for one of these SuperAmazing Devices without throwing that in.

I'll let the makers of Olde Brooklyn Lanterns have the final word- one YouTuber asks "what does it run on?"  A friendly spokesperson for Olde Brooklyn Lantern helpfully responds "It operates on 2 D Batteries."  So- it's a flashlight.  A flashlight which goes through batteries much faster than your standard, Not Lantern Type flashlights, since it emits more light (the "100,000 HOURS" claim, I presume, refers to the life of the BULB, not the BATTERIES.  If it doesn't, I expect that the Friendly Spokesperson will be somewhat Less Friendly when she responds to this post.  BTW, anyone here ever have a bulb from a typical flashlight die on you?)

Anyway- thanks, makers of Olde Brooklyn Lantern, for bringing us this delightfully cheesy commercial, and especially for bringing us into the lives of these very funny old folks and their lack-of-electricity issues.  If I had remained in the Washington DC area over the summer, I would have liked to have a good stockpile of these--ummm, "lanterns" to gaze at as I sat in my hot, humid apartment, drowning in my own perspiration, with no electricity for two weeks.  I escaped, but I'm sure that I left behind many potential customers, who may actually get to see your ad, someday, assuming that f----ing Pepco ever gets it's f---ing act together and gets the f---ing power turned back on.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Of course, the real danger lies in drinking this junk

A while back, I snarked on a McDonald's commercial which attempted to explain why that restaurant offered Egg McMuffins, pancakes and coffee.  The ad showed a variety of people attempting to make breakfast at home and failing miserably, and the message was "we make breakfast because you are too intensely stupid to pull it off without doing serious damage to yourself and your house."

I think the makers of International Coffee Creamers (I think that's the sponsor) are using basically the same tactic here.  Apparently you have two choices if you want a cup of fat-laden cream flavored with coffee- you can either risk life and limb buying it at your favorite coffee shop, or you can safely and easily purchase it at the Safeway while picking up your weekly supply of frozen pizza and Doritos. 

And just in case you didn't buy the notion that there is some danger in purchasing your coffee at Starbucks (other than snapping and killing the people in front of you who have amazingly complicated drink orders,) here are some episodes of Let's Laugh at the Stupid People Getting Hurt theater.  I have the strong sense that this is just a bone tossed to the YouTube crowd, which can't get enough of watching Stupid People Getting Hurt no matter what the background situation.

I'm not sure why most of the stuff we see happening to these idiots can't happen in the kitchen after pouring a great big class of cream- maybe it's just that it's less likely to be caught on a cellphone and YouTube'd?  And maybe not even so much less likely- it's not like anyone puts their cellphones away, ever, anymore.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ok, FIOS! I won't kill myself now!

Here's another "we've just made your life worth living, worship us" ad from FIOS.  And it works because everyone in the commercial is a drooling, electronics-obsessed dweeb whose life revolves around whatever happens to be on their glowing box at that moment.

So we see that, thanks to FIOS, we can all be amazed by faster download speeds.  Never mind that for 99 percent of us, download speeds were already just fine, thank you- no, FIOS knows we were suffering through those 12 second lags before we could watch our most recent Netflix choice, so they've pulled off another "revolution" which will make us more than happy to pay premium prices.

One woman is, for some reason, perched on the ledge of some skyscraper (is she stalking Batman?) when the Holy Grail of Faster Connect Times hits her device.  And here's a kid parked under the sheets on his bed, suddenly realizing that he can watch two or three times more porn on a nightly basis thanks to FIOS (with an assist from his over-indulgent "parents," of course.)

Anyway, all of these idiot choads are just amazed at what Fios Hath Wrought.  My guess is that they are also amazed that anyone ever saw anything revolutionary in what happened on July 4, 1776-- really, internet speeds were RIDICULOUSLY slow back then.  I think they were using Prodigy or something.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Could the Subaru at least burst into flames for no reason during the ride back?

I don't care what kind of car this Subaru is- I don't care what kind of gas mileage it gets, what kind of warranty it comes with, or how much legroom it offers.  I don't care about it's safety rating, nor do I care how many it seats.  And I sure don't care how much it costs.

Nothing can distract me from the ad's central message- women exist to frantically follow scruffy Eurotrash-wannabee hipster doofuses as they tick off the items on their upscale bucket lists.  While begging for help in doing so over 1980s-style walkie-talkies (seriously- here's an opportunity to include a cell phone being used for a practical purpose, and you punt? What is the matter with you, Subaru?)

"Do you know where you are going?" "Wherever the wind takes me."  (Deleted line: "So just keep following me, and keep your mouth shut, Woman Fortunate Enough to be Married to Me.")

"You are so off course."  This gets no reply.  Guy in Balloon is done talking to his ride home.  Her annoyance at his thoughtless asshattery, which basically translates into his leading her through the countryside by the nose, has absolutely no impact on him.  Of course, she's no prize herself-  crunching squirrels and other wildlife as she roars through private property to keep up with the Dick She's Inexplicably Attached To.

Oh, but she gets to throw a quip at the end.  To which he responds with a smirk which for all the world says to me "hey, if you think you've just won something, all the better for me- I'm the one who got to ride in a balloon all fucking day while you followed me around in a Subaru."

"Wherever the wind takes me."  Tell me you didn't want a horrible, fatal balloon mishap at that moment which ended with this scumbag being pried up from a manure-ridden country field by an army of crows bearing spatulas.  Jesus, what a jerk.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Makes the people responsible for McDonalds ads look like geniuses

My first thought upon viewing this commercial:  It's ten seconds too long.  I mean, we get it.  Here are some cool things.  A big fish.  A cute dog.  A pizza.  People shouting "WOOOO!"  Done and done- yet it goes on and on.

My second thought upon viewing this commercial:  It features jackasses who give me a headache, and I just know that there are going to be idiots with I-Phones making LOL Hilarious parodies, proving that they can be just as talented at being morons as the WOOOOO people in this ad.  I have no doubt that they will be 100 percent successful.

My third thought:  Are these guys showing each other their personal dinner menus?  Is that woman going to eat that dog?

And my final thought: Where is a stubborn, half-blind, 90-year old man at the wheel of a tractor trailer truck when you need one?  How about an asteroid?  Flash flood?  Something, Anything to wipe these idiots off the planet, and my tv screen, ASAP?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Miller Lite: I'm still waiting for the "Only Kidding"

I can't be the only person out there who thought that this was a parody ad when first viewed.

Once I realized that Oh My God, Miller Lite has actually stooped to adding an area at the top of the can which can be punched with any sharp object to encourage the more rapid drinking of beer, I tried to focus on what people were using to do the punching.  Did each case come with an official Miller Lite-Approved Sharp Object, Keep out of the Reach of Children?  Nope- these people are using car keys, can openers, oily screwdrivers, rocks, drumsticks, sarcasm- anything sharp- to get that stupid hole punched in so that they can consume their beers and move on to, well, more beer.

I don't actually see all these objects in the ad, but I get the idea, and I can imagine that each and every one of them has already been used to access the flow enhancement properties of Miller Lite.  And considering the quality of people who drink this crap, I expect that we'll soon be learning of injuries involving shards of broken glass, cat claws, pens, pencils (look for "is it safe for me to drink the beer if it's got lead floating in it somewheres?" posts at the Official Miller Lite Website soon) and ricocheting BBs.  Naturally Miller Lite will be producing a line of Designer Hole Punchers (probably featuring the autograph of your "favorite" NASCAR driver) before the summer is up- that is, unless this idea goes the way of Crystal Pepsi and gets laughed off the stage before the leaves begin to fall.

Meanwhile-- hey, Miller Lite?  You should warn people not to try to use their wit to create the holes.  If they are taken in by this stupid ad, it's not anywhere near sharp enough. 

"How you like me now?"*  Same as before.   This is Miller Lite.  Same shit, different can.  Earth to Miller: the problem isn't the can, it's the contents.  I know that's harder to fix, but there it is.

*More than one classic YouTube poster has asked "what's this song?"  I'm not kidding.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Another painfully familiar scene, courtesy of Chase Sapphire

Remember when you bumped into these people at your favorite low-cost hamburger joint?

You were just settling into your booth with your significant other for a burger and french fries and a little lighthearted talk.   You got your menus, you ordered your drinks, you started skimming the entrees.  No fuss, no muss, no problem.

Then they came in.  Two little kids and their dad (or at least, it SEEMED that their dad was there- kind of hard to tell, when you consider the behavior that followed.)  Naturally, they were put into the booth right behind you.  Maybe you didn't know it at that moment, but your plans for a quiet lunch were over the second they sat down.

Because for the next forty minutes, the kids would not stay in their seats for more than five seconds at a time.  Because they continuously leaned into your space, stared at you, and asked you to say "hi" to them.  (Being a civilized human being, you didn't say what you wanted to say, but instead replied "hi" to this total stranger you had no interest in talking to.  What you wanted to say was "get the fuck out of my face, where the hell is your father?")  Because they would not stop kicking the back of your seat.

And then the food came.  They threw french fries at each other, blew into their straws and splashed milkshake all over their table, fought over the ketchup and used every napkin at their table to make hats, parachutes- everything but for wiping their greasy faces.   You couldn't get your iced tea refilled, because your waitress was at their table pretty much every minute, waiting for them to decide what kind of ice cream they wanted, then replacing each kid's dessert twice because A) it wasn't Exactly What They Wanted, and B) It Spilled, Sorry.  

And all the time, "Dad" just sat there with a dumb look on his face, like he was so pleased that his asshole kids were bothering other people and not just him for a change- or more, likely, he was completely oblivious to the concept that maybe there were people in the restaurant other than himself and his worthless spawn.   I've had plenty of experience with "parents" who just assume that everyone finds their kids as delightful as they do- or think that if they have to put up with the little nasties 24/7, that's pain that should be shared on occasion, and if we are annoyed, we should seriously just fuck off.

Anyway,  Dickweed Dad, finally realizing that he had milked the whole Share My Family With The World thing for as long as he could, whipped out his Chase Sapphire card and handed it to the ever-present, and by now completely exhausted, waitress.  When he walked out of the place with his idiot kids, he left behind plenty of evidence that they had enjoyed themselves immensely- a mountain of napkins under the table, several puddles of milkshake on it, about a hundred globs of ketchup everywhere....

Oh, and a five percent tip.  These people are NEVER generous with their tipping- my guess is that they think the Joy Their Kids Bring is more than enough.  All of this putting the waitress in just the right mood to give you and your date a little attention, now that you are about ready to leave. 

Hey, Dad?  Maybe next time, you could just order a fricking pizza?  I know that means we are deprived of your wonderful boys, and you'll have to clean up your own god damned mess, but we'd like to have a nice dinner out sometime too, you know.

Oh, what am I thinking?  People like you don't give a flying crap about anything but your own convenience.  Sorry if I confused you.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I guess I just have a different idea of "Fun," Xfinity

These Xfinity "Fun=Television" commercials were never especially interesting.  Now they are really starting to piss me off.

They all carry the same message- there is absolutely, positively nothing more enjoyable than watching people do things on a screen.  Want to relax by yourself?  Don't even think about picking up a book- just watch this.  Big screen hanging on the wall, small screen sitting in your hand, no matter.  As long as you are watching.  Quality time with the family?  That means gathering on the couch, pushing a button, and spending the next two hours- you guessed it- staring at the screen again.  I guess the only real difference between being alone and being with family is your ability to stretch out on the couch- and the amount of time it takes to get to the bottom of the popcorn bowl.

Oh, and again with the "connectivity" bit.  You can be with your mom even when you can't- there she is, waving at you from that same. Fricking. Screen.  Gee, she looks happy to see you, even to the point of waving like the stupid, clueless dumbass she is (why do people wave at cameras?  I've never understood this.)  When you get older, don't you dare bitch about the lack of parental supervision- Mom was always there for you, right there in the kitchen, on that screen.  She even gave you an "I love you" look and a wave.  What more could you ask for?

All this is marketed under the phrase "Endless Fun."  Somehow, I managed to have a lot of fun when I was a kid without all this crap.  No, it wasn't "Endless," but that's ok, because I imagine an imaginary land in which people had "Endless Fun" would be like that story where it's Christmas every day- it gets very cloying and boring.  What makes fun is the fact that it's not the ordinary routine.  Watching television was fun when I was a kid because the shows we viewed were usually on once a week, and if you missed it you had to wait for a rerun.  (If you missed a Christmas Special, like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, it was pretty darned near the end of the world, because you'd be waiting an entire year before getting a chance to see it again.  So you didn't miss it.)  I can't see how television is fun today, with On Demand and Hulu and Netflix and a thousand other ways to watch anything you want, any time you want, over and over again.

Know what's still fun? Hiking, swimming, playing Whiffle Ball in the backyard.  Baseball games.  Hersheypark.  The beach.  Buying food for hungry students Just Because. Know what all this has in common?  None of it involves a cable company, a satellite, or a glowing screen.  Which means none of it provides Endless Fun, I guess.  I'll take them anyway, though.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"The Mess Behind the Glory," Indeed

Back in the day, we used to call parents who woke their kids up at 4 AM every morning to hit the skating rink, dragged their five year olds to soccer, football, baseball and gymnastics and turned them over to sadistic coaches, and made them learn every musical instrument ever invented before they reached first grade Overcompensating Assholes.  Today, apparently, they are called Bring It Moms.

As near as I can tell, Bounty Paper Towels is currently celebrating Bring It Moms, those women who Couldn't Quite Achieve Success in Life Themselves Nothing to do With Them it Was Politics Plus they Grew Too Fast Despite the Asparagus Diet Mom Put Them On in Third Grade but who nowadays go Out of Their Way to Make Sure Their Kids Achieve Their Dreams ("their" meaning the kids, not the parents, and don't you dare say otherwise, Parent of a Loser Kid Who Has Fewer Trophies than Mine.)

These Moms went the Extra Mile by "letting" their kids turn their palatial suburban estates with massive living rooms into makeshift gyms- because the eight hours they forced their kids to be at the ACTUAL gyms under the iron control of aforementioned trainer wasn't always (ever) enough.  After all, it's a damned tough, competitive world out there, and it's NEVER too early for kids to learn this.  Mommy had to, and it did her a world of good, even though she did end up letting her parents, her Community, her Country, and God down by failing to make the Extremely Mini Olympics back in '76.  Sure it cost her all of her friends and any chance at a healthy, mentally stable adulthood, but she gained an eating disorder.  That's life, and you damned better get used to it.

Meanwhile, being old enough to perform gymnastics at a level that gets you considered for an Olympic slot (although "considered" is just code for "failure," honey) apparently doesn't mean being old enough to clean up your own Carnation Instant Breakfast, which yes Will Be the Only Thing You Have to Eat Today, There Will be Plenty of Time to be a Pig and eat Pig Food like the other Not Going to the Olympics kids When you Hit 14 and Your Life is Over.  The "Hardest Job in the World" isn't being one of these obsessive creeps.  It's being one of their kids.

Other than wiping up after their future therapy patients, I'm not exactly sure what we are supposed to be thanking these pushy pricks for.  Maybe we are supposed to thank them because their kids, when they grow up and move out of the house, never will?  (you don't hear "thanks for robbing me of my childhood, separating me from my non-athletic friends, and sending me to that special camp that none of my classmates went to every summer" all that often.  Ungrateful little bastards, they never appreciate a Bring it Mom's sacrifice.)  Are we really supposed to thank them for molding their offspring into people who will give us roughly fifteen seconds of entertainment value this summer- fifteen seconds which will be forgotten as soon as Something Else Comes on Television?  For a chance to chant "USA!USA!" because some kid we don't know and couldn't really give a damn about managed to be a little faster or a little stronger than the kid from The Ukraine or the People's Republic of China whom we also don't know and couldn't give a damn about?  

Does anyone really chant "USA! USA!" for any reason, ever?

Oh and BTW, do any of these kids have Fathers?  Or did they cut and run from the Bring it Moms when they realized that they were married to child-abusing lunatics?  If so, couldn't they have taken the poor kids with them?

One more thing- doesn't the "It" in "Bring It Moms" refer to the children? Anyone else have a problem with this?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just to clear up any misunderstandings from my previous post

I think that these are the among the most effective ads on television, because they appeal to our basic humanity.

I don't think of pets as human beings, and though I adored the dog I grew up with (a beautiful Golden Retriever named Herman,) I don't think I ever considered him like a sibling.  After all, he was outside almost all the time, in all kinds of weather (I grew up on a farm and all of our pets were primarily "outside animals.")  And I think that people who insist that their animals are their "babies" are more than a little ridiculous (when they feel this way despite the fact that they have actual human children, the insistence moves beyond ridiculous and into the realm of sick- again, in my own humble opinion.)

True story:  I heard a woman on television once asked if she could only save her cat or her baby from a burning building, which would it be?  She actually had to think about it for a few seconds before responding "my baby," and then "apologetically" added that she considers both her cat and the human being that came out of her as "her babies."

All this being said, I think that anyone who would abuse an animal is the lowest form of life on earth, and should be subject to the harshest possible punishment.   Just as I can't imagine what goes on in the minds of people who would harm a child, I truly cannot fathom how anyone could justify hurting or neglecting an animal.  And it's not because they look sad and confused, wanting only to earn our love and to give it in return.  I'd feel the same way if we were talking about snakes or racoons or any other animal that doesn't have the slightest interest or motivation in pleasing us, but just wants to occupy this planet too.  It's because they are God's creatures, and who the hell do we think we are to treat them like this?

I also can't imagine that anyone who treats an animal like this is going to be all that more decent to the human beings they encounter on a regular basis.  An abuser is an abuser.  In a world that is way too coarse and unfeeling, their contribution is, to say the least, unwelcome.

Hope this clears things up, and spares me the wrath of the pet owners out there.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just a few points, Purina

1.  We didn't think this was clever thirty years ago.

2.  We didn't miss it.

3.  Making it longer, with two cats, doesn't make it worth watching.

No charge, glad I could help.  BTW,  in case you didn't get the point-

1.  This is really stupid.

2.  This is really annoying.

3.  This commercial makes me want to break my television.

4.  This commercial makes me hate cats, not want to feed them.

Oh, and a shout out to the stray cat I've been feeding for the past three years- hey, Miss Still Too Good To Let Me Pet Her Even Though You've Been Eating From My Back Porch Every Morning Since 2009, guess what?  The fact that my car is not in the driveway means I'm in Vermont for the summer, so you can just stop standing at the back door waiting patiently for the food you seem to think I owe you.  You'll have to take your meals with the old guy in the next house.  You know, that guy you let pet you.  That guy whose stomach you sit on when he lounges around in HIS backyard.  That guy who is no more your owner than I am, who feeds you exactly the same dry food as I do,  yet for some reason gets treated like a human being while I remain whatever the equivalent of a Leper is in your little cat-world.

I'll be back in late August.  Not that you care.

It makes actual human contact obsolete. Just say it already, Samsung

Sick.  Just Sick.

This phone "knows you."  Yes, better than you know yourself, I bet.  Certainly, better than anyone else knows you- especially if you've already turned into a socially isolated, techno-obsessed little fleeb.  Human beings don't know you, except perhaps as Facebook Friend #1346 or someone they follow on Twitter Just Because.  But none of that matters.  Because your phone knows you.

"Knows your every move."  Ugh, now we've added a healthy dose of Creepy to our already overflowing plate of Sick.  Yes, your phone learns all about you by keeping track of your usage patterns.  So it can eventually anticipate what you are going to text, who you are going to call, and where are you going to go.  In other words, it's the Big Brother you carry around in your hand.  The Big Brother which will eventually realize it's much smarter than you are (not the highest hurdle, I admit,) does not really need you or imput, and orders SkyNet to launch every missile in its arsenal. 

And can someone explain to me the grotesque phone-to-phone "contact" with the people separated by the transparent plastic divider?  I've already used Sick and Creepy- can I just go with "weird" here?  They "touch" palms.  They "touch" phones.  I feel there is something very disturbing going on here.  Are they "sharing" (man has THAT word been ruined by modern technology?)  Why doesn't Idiot 1 just send Idiot 2 the image?  What the fuck is WITH these people?

At this point, the Morons Acting Like Morons At The Wedding is almost a welcome relief.  Mugging for the camera, having the image sent to a thousand people, 998 of whom couldn't give a damn and will be deleting it five seconds later- this, I know how to deal with.

But the rest of this ugly, revolting cell phone worshiping Minute of Hate?  Please, spare me.  People who act like this are disturbed.  Companies that peddle this kind of behavior as somehow within the realm of "normal" are complicit in the destruction of society.  And anyone who thinks that there's something attractive about devices which replace actual human contact with the Cult of Connectivity and Sharing- well, I feel sorry for you.  Almost as much as I wish you would just fall off the face of the Earth already.