Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ahhhhh this is a really obnoxious commercial, Cigna!

Seriously, I think I'd rather have my ears battered by a Kit-Kat commercial than have to listen to this awfulness.  At least Kit-Kat ads don't feature one idiot after another sticking out their damn tongues.

I get that the message is kind of important- yeah, we should all get regular checkups and yeah, insurance companies should pay for them because, after all, regular checkups mean problems caught at the early stage when they can be dealt with for the least amount of money and pain.  Get it.

Still doesn't mean I want all this "aaaaahhhhhh" crap, especially for thirty freaking seconds.  I GET it.  It's an important message.  It's NOT clever.  It does NOT make me like anyone in the ad.  Actually, it makes me want to HURT them.  Especially at the end, when these people are saying "ahhh" for no freaking reason at all except the script demands it.  Ahhhhh I don't get paid enough to do this blog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Aim High, Sister!

Oh boo-freaking-hoo, Supermom.  Nobody tazered and tagged you and tossed you into Suburbia so you could wake up one day with several constantly-dirty children and a worthless husband.  And guess what?  There are millions of women out there who not only do all this crap without a State of the Art Whirlpool, but with no washing machine at all.

But here's a tissue to go with your cape, Wonder Woman.  Maybe you'll get a chance to use it if you ever climb down from that cross.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Chocolate Pagan Bunny Day!

1.  I never committed a sin before I was born, so I didn't need someone to take the fall for me 2000 years ago.

2.  There is nothing moral or just about a person being tortured to death as payment for something someone else did.  Blood doesn't wash away sins.

3.  I will not be guilted into loving or worshipping or following someone because he allegedly let himself be tortured and/or because he claims to love me.  This sounds like a classic battered spouse relationship- "I suffered for you, so if you don't worship me you are a horribly ungrateful human being."

4.  I don't need a "relationship" with a fictional character to be a worthwhile person or to achieve fulfillment in my life.  And you can't convince me that I do or that I'm sad "deep inside" because I don't "get it."

5.  So many of these "Jesus Loves Me" people pose as admirers of Israel and of Jews, but their own doctrines make very clear that Heaven is open only "through Christ."  Martin Luther, for example, stated that Redemption and Salvation are possible outside the Church but "not outside Christ."  If the people I know and work with every day aren't welcome into heaven, it's too exclusive for me, too.

6.  Jesus "loves me" but he'll never help me with my taxes, or in keeping my house clean, or take a walk with me, or drink coffee with me at the local Starbucks, or take in a movie with me, or do any of the thousand things my real, non-imaginary friends do with me.  His love and $1 will buy me a hamburger at McDonald's.  Given the choice, I'll take the $1.

Enjoy your chocolates.

Wear your best friend on your wrist!!!

Hey, this is really cool!  Now you can take your life-sucking games anywhere you go even before your parents have given in to your pathetic whining and sprung for that iPhone like all the other parents of your friends did before THEY hit the age of eight!

(Of course, if you are still f--ing around with this stupid crap when you hit the age of ten, get ready to be mercilessly bullied by your iPhone-owning friends!  And feel free to show this blog post to your parents in case they don't get it!)

Until then- yaaaaayyyy something to do other than make actual, human friends and play actual, human games (holy crap, these kids are OUTSIDE and TOGETHER and all they can think to do is f--k around with this nonsense?  Do kids even own whiffleballs or frisbees or bikes anymore?)

I take back that part about this being "really cool."  It's actually really, really sad.  If I had a kid, I might get something like this to keep them occupied during long car rides or rainy days.  No, I take that back, too- I'd use long car rides to TALK TO HIM and rainy days to PLAY GAMES WITH HIM.  I can't think of ANY instance in which I'd day to myself "man, I wish I had bought that stupid virtual friend thing to keep my kid's brain occupied, because books are so lame...."

And since my kid would be wildly popular- like the kids in these ads seem to be- he'd never lack other kids to engage in actual play with-- you know, actual play which burns actual calories and actual muscle and develops actual social skills.  Not this garbage.  Adults spend waaaaaayyyy too much of their lives staring at screens- why the hell would we want to introduce that ugly addiction in childhood?

Oh right, Capitalism.  I keep forgetting.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nissan: Where the Salesmen are just decorative

Here's another ad people who actually make a living selling cars must loathe, because it's so damn common.  This woman doesn't need to be sold a car, she just needs to be followed around until she picks the one she's the most insane about and shown where to sign.  The cars might as well be in vending machines.  I wonder if Toyota shows this commercial to salesmen whenever they ask for a raise- "seriously?  You don't do anything NOW!  People are so desperately manic to buy our cars, you are practically in the way when they come in- a chimp with a pen could do your job!"

"Yeah yeah yeah love the cars, love the deal, here's my wallet give me my keys!"  And the salesman looks flustered and stunned by the whole thing- well yeah, I guess I would be stunned too if I walked into my new class late one August and had all the kids tell me "never mind about teaching us stuff, we read the text over the summer lets just start writing essays we'll grade ourselves and watch prep videos and see you after the AP Exam Mr. J!"

 I'd be stunned- and then I'd wake up.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Thanks, Mom- these go great with those corrective shoes you gave me for my birthday last year!"

When I first started this blog more than seven years ago, I searched for this commercial on YouTube, but failed to find it.  At that point it was already 17 years old- but I remembered it like I had seen it yesterday because it was just so stunningly stupid.

This week, I finally found it.  And since like everyone else I did not have a blog back in 1991, and since I'm not adverse to snarking on commercials from the distant past, here it is, in all it's glorious awfulness.

This woman suddenly realizes that hey, it's Christmas and hey, she really ought to get to work buying all those people in her life- her husband, her family, and herself- some presents.  She's a little concerned about money, but especially concerned about having enough to buy herself something.  Seriously.  She's going to buy HERSELF a Christmas present.  Because that's not something she can leave to those other people.*

Suddenly she remembers that hey, those people in her family all have one thing in common- they all have bad eyesight.  Maybe they bump into things a lot or have stopped reading because the words are too blurry or are getting headaches from eyestrain.  Here's a wonderful idea for presents, and it only involves one trip to one store- "America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, for myself, AND my family!"

Sure, the element of surprise will be lost- she's going to have to make appointments for those kids and her husband and herself.   The element of Joy will be lost, too, as soon as her family realizes that the trip to the store for eye exams basically constitutes their freaking Christmas presents.  Happy Holidays, everybody!

In real life, is there any way this woman gets away with this?  I think that even back in 1991, eyeglasses were things that parents were kind of supposed to provide to their kids when they were needed- not as holiday presents.  What is this woman going to get her kids for their birthdays?  Braces?  Measles shots?  I mean, come on.  What the heck?

Anyway, she looks pretty happy with her "solution," and goes back to lovingly decorating the tree.  And we all kind of wish there had been a sequel in which she told her family what they were all getting for Christmas- a session of "Better Here, or Here?  Clearer Now, or Now?  Let me know when you can see the little red farm house in the distance" followed by a delightful several minutes picking out cheap frames.  And being told again and again that Yes, No Kidding, This Is Actually Your Christmas Present.  Really.  I would have loved to see that, no pun intended.

This commercial still makes me laugh, and I'm glad I got a chance to snark on it.  Better late than never.   And I bet this woman hasn't seen her kids for years, and hasn't got Clue One why that is.

*And now I suddenly understand why she sees the need to buy herself a Christmas present.  If this basic-essentials-for-Christmas bit is a regular thing with her, I don't imagine her family is all that generous in return .

Monday, March 21, 2016

Coke's new ad campaign gives me whiplash

Remember when Coca-Cola was running it's "Share a Coke With...." ad campaign?  It was roughly yesterday.  I still have about a dozen cans in my refrigerator which suggest that I share them with A Friend, Mom, Sweetie, a Superstar, etc.

Well, so much for that deal.  Maybe it's because Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's and Valentine's Day and the rest of those Togetherness Is What Matters holidays are over.  For whatever reason, nowadays over at Coca-Cola it's all about getting your soda delivered in a colorful package and making sure the rest of the world keeps it's damn grubby mitts off.

This kind of reminds me of watching "Roll a Rollo to your friend" and "You can have a Half and still have a Whole" (Almond Joy, in case you don't remember or are under 40) going the way of carbon paper and being replaced by Twix "Two for Me, None for You" nastiness.  And I wonder if, sometime in the late autumn of next year, Coca-Cola will pretend to be in to be into the whole sharing thing again.  Until then, I guess I'll enjoy the colorful cans.  I guess.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Isn't Jan jumping to conclusions here?

I thought that the stupid customer in this commercial just brought her friends to help her pick out a car- why does Jan just assume that every person she brought with her is ALSO in the market for a brand new car or truck?

I mean, wouldn't that be a rather odd coincidence- "I want to buy a car, and I brought along with me three friends who are also interested in purchasing?"  Holy crap, really?

And Jan has her usual stock answers for each person- she can let them know exactly what is available for each one of them without even a glance at their credit scores or even asking them individually what they might be looking for.  She can just TELL which ones want a sportscar, truck, 4-door, 2-door, lease deal, used (excuse me, "certified pre-owned,") etc.?  How?  By looking at their shoes?

I suspect that this is all about Jan refusing to ever, ever get up from her freaking desk.  In magical tv land, this does not prevent her from selling 200 cars and trucks a day to excited, blithering idiots who rush in bleating "I want it I want it I want it where do I sign?"  Damn I missed my calling- selling cars looks like the easiest damn job in the world.

Still- I came in here with a person interested in buying a car.  That doesn't mean I want to buy a car.  And it certainly doesn't mean that you get to hand my friend a sheet of paper and say "sign here where it says you agree to pay $400 a month for the next five years, do it quickly and I might even show you the actual car you're buying."  It's going to take a little more than that, Jan.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Buffalo Wild Wings performs a nasty bit of surgery on this guy, for absolutely no reason at all

1.  These kids are a little too old to be acting like mommy is going away to have cancer surgery and will be back in a week or longer.  Either that, or those apron strings are really, really tight.  I shudder to think how they'd handle "I'm leaving because your dad can't appreciate my love for my college basketball team, and I'll see you ever other weekend."

2.  Daddy can't appreciate college basketball "because he went to art school?"  I wonder why Buffalo Wild Wings didn't just go with "because dad's gay and we figure gay people don't like college basketball," because that's EXACTLY what they really WANT to say here.  I get that this is supposed to be about exaggeration being funny, but the "art school" bit is not only mean and stupid, it's also 100 percent unnecessary.  The commercial would have been every bit as effective if the kid had just said "Dad's college team didn't make the tournament."  There.  Done.

Except "Dad's team didn't make the tournament" doesn't leave dad looking like a eunuch which, again, is the real point of this commercial.   F--- off, Buffalo Wild Wings.

The cure for wage stagnation: Lots and lots of coma-inducing grease and carbs. Wooooooooooheeeeee!!

I can remember when Golden Corral commercials weren't so open about appealing to the No Money No Taste Just Wanna Stuff Ourselves Hillbilly market.  A few years ago ads for America's Feed Bin featured what looked like Middle Class families heading out for a nice, affordable night of togetherness, sitting at tables congratulating themselves on saving money ("for about ten bucks!") which might have been spent on a babysitter for the kids and a much nicer dinner for the parents.

About six years ago, the slack-jawed yokel image began to permeate GC ads- suddenly we were supposed to be interested in grandma's reaction to the fountain dribbling Hershey's chocolate syrup ("My jaw....just....dropped!") you could stick strawberries, macaroons and your own fingers into, Make-Your-Own cotton candy, and all the other things that scream UNSANITARY GIMMICK to anyone with a modicum of taste.

Now, Golden Corral has gone Full Hick on us, hiring everyone's favorite Seriously He And His One Joke Are Still Around poser to hawk the attractions of heavy, greasy food piled into warming pans to be picked at by blue-collar and no-collar bottom-feeders who appreciate a break from their usual diets of 7-11 pizza, the McDonald's dollar menu and bags of Tyson's frozen chicken somethings.  Only on special ocassions, of course- because I think GC still requires shirts and shoes.

Listening to this crowing jackass scream about America's lard pit while a crowd of fat morons pour out of limosine sure doesn't do anything for my appetite.  Then again, neither would walking into a Golden Corral.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Parenting 101: It's all about caring. And frozen bags of bird parts

These kids hate the food their Evil Mommies and Daddies try to get them to eat- fish, vegetables, fruits, all that Awful Stuff the Meanie Adults put in front of them.  My guess is that they hate all this actual food so much, they are on their cell phones every few minutes to tweet about it.

Ah, but they all love Tyson pressed "chicken" parts that Mommy and Daddy, when they aren't being Quite So Mean and actually want to Show How Much They Love Them, take the time to pour on to a pan and warm in the oven for fifteen minutes or so.  The pressed and fried "chicken" from the wonderful plastic bag is so yummy and oily and easy to grab and pop into the mouth, so what if it doesn't have any actual nutritional value- when Mommy and Daddy serve it up, it shows how much Mommy and Daddy Really Care.

So, Mommy and Daddy?  You can either watch your Precious Little Bundles squirm and complain and maybe refuse to Facebook Friend you and threaten to hold their breaths until they turn blue as you try to get them to experiment with veggies and fruits and actual food (and come on, let's face it, you don't want to do that- it so time-consuming and expensive, and the bags of greasy pre-cooked stuff is right there in the same section as the ice cream) or you can invest all of fifteen minutes of warming and hand them this stuff.  I wonder which path you'll choose.

I can't imagine why we have an obesity epidemic in this country, I really can't.  Such a mystery.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Can London start falling now?

I'm pretty sure Gerard Butler could drive a tank through the gap in Ms Jagger's teeth....

Ok, that was mean.  But heck, I've got a reputation to uphold here.  And I just gotta say, with all this woman's obvious attributes, does she really want to draw attention to her mouth?  Answer: Yeah, it's probably her trademark.  I don't pretend to understand the modeling industry, any more than I understand the advertising industry.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Scented Candles are the Audi of Punjab, apparently

Or "stupid and insulting is stupid and insulting in any language."

Punjab is sometimes referred to as the "bread basket of India."  It has the lowest level of hunger of any province in the country.  So it's got that going for it, anyway.

But the statistics are pretty much downhill from there.  The fertility of the soil has been dropping pretty dramatically over the last few decades, as most of the land is rotated between only two major crops- corn and rice.  This has also created a great deal of pollution.  The need for Punjab to supply a huge percentage of India's food has also lead to the creation of an enormous population of migrant "casual workers" who own no land of their own- 45% of the male population of Punjab is made up of agricultural workers who do not own any land.  My guess is that they don't own televisions, either, so they'll at least be spared this disgusting bit of Americana.

I guess this commercial is for Punjab's one percent- the tiny fraction of pretty people who live in substantial houses and throw parties for their pretty friends and are in the market for scented candles which change color over the course of beautiful warm evenings of chit-chat and self-congratulation.  I don't speak Punjabi, but I imagine that these pretty people are spending most of their time talking about how great it is not to be agricultural workers and instead be able to afford not only nice homes, but these cool scented candles which change color.  And how they all aspire to be Americans some day and move on from appreciating candles to appreciating flashy cars with Bluetooth technology.  Ah well, everything in it's own time, right?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Lifelock expects a lot from a $12 an hour security guard, don't you think?

I'm not exactly sure what the customers at this bank expect the security guard to do.  He was there to serve as a warning to wannabe Dillingers that yes, the bank does employ armed security.  That was supposed to dissuade those bad guys from robbing the bank.  My bet is that 99.9% of the time it worked just fine.

But when it doesn't work, and bank robbers totally ignore the fact that there's a guy in a blue shirt and a badge with a gun and start smashing things and waving guns around, I'm not exactly sure how the people here expect the guard to react.  Should he escalate the situation by pulling out his gun and shooting?  Other than leading to bullets dancing around in a room full of innocent people, what would that accomplish exactly?

Back in the late-80s (when I was twelve) I managed a video rental store in downtown Washington, DC.  When I wasn't restocking shelves or doing a little cleaning, I was usually standing next to the register- you know, to keep people with sticky fingers from stealing the money inside.  Three times in two years, someone with a gun attached to their sticky fingers came in and demanded cash (they also stole vhs tapes- tapes you couldn't give away on Ebay today.  Go figure.)  Guess what?  I gave it to them- even though my job was to run the store, not hand money to guys with guns.  And I don't recall ever hearing a customer say "why did you do that? You were supposed to be taking care of the register?"

So when these bank robbers exit, I hope none of the idiots on the floor actually start complaining to the security guard- "why didn't you stop that from happening?"  If they do, I hope he takes out his wallet and shows them pictures of his wife and kids and says something like "because stopping armed men from taking federally insured money isn't worth the risk- if you think it is, next time there's a robbery ask to borrow my gun."

And nope, I'm not even going to get to a snark on Lifelock.  Been there, done that.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Irritating the tobacco lobby. But only a little.

If this ad had been produced for Australian Television, the kid buying the cigarettes would have walked away with blood spurting out of his mouth and his jaw swelling to the size of a watermelon.  He would have screamed his head off as he pulled his tooth with the pliers, by the way.  Because Reality.

Ah, but this is American television, where anti-smoking ads can't feature anything resembling reality.  Instead we get CGI monsters crawling into cigarette packs.  Just like the anti-texting while driving ads are more comical than scary- because getting run over by a car is actually more of an inconvenience than anything else.  And don't even get me started on the ads which calmly, quietly and sweetly encourage us to maybe kind of think about not drinking to excess before getting behind the wheel.  Sure, the message is important- but the tobacco, phone and alcohol lobbies are enormous, musn't ever tick them off too much.

From this ad, we get the idea that if you smoke enough cigarettes, it might cost you one of your teeth.  I can see a lot of smokers thinking "hey, I remember being told that smoking covered my lungs with thick tar and lead to all kinds of nasty diseases and birth defects and early death.  Losing a tooth?  I can totally deal with that."  Sometimes I don't know why we even bother, if this is the level of edgy we are willing to go for.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

And don't forget, George W Bush kept us safe, except for those times he didn't

These people spend roughly ten seconds telling us that their driving record is absolutely perfect, until it isn't.  And then "despite their perfect driving record," which is no longer perfect, their insurance company won't "cut them some slack."  Gee, you'd think that insurance companies would understand an argument like "but my insurance record was perfect before the accident," just like "I never once stabbed anybody and then hid the body in the celler until that day I did."*  You'd be wrong about both.

BTW, anyone else shocked that it's the guy in this commercial who had the accident?  Anyone at all?

*I'm not speaking from experience, so shut up.  What were you thinking?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Retirement looks like fun, except for the people.

How the hell do you either win or lose a bet like "I'm the biggest fan" unless "biggest" means "heaviest" or "tallest?"  How does one go about measuring devotion to a cell phone service?  How does one go about measuring devotion at all?

Never mind, these two bored old idiots, suddenly discovering a reason to keep breathing for at least one more day, are so inspired by this reason that they ramp up their speed from "stroll" to "moderately fast walk" as they enthusastically seek out fellow old idiots to annoy with their "are you a bigger fan than this guy" weirdness.

Naturally, the people they meet- being just as bored and lonely and desperate for distraction as they are- jump at the opportunity to spend a few minutes gushing about their ConsumerCellular packages. "Plans start at ten dollars a month!"  "I can text my grandchildren!"  "No contracts!"  "You can even get Facebook and Email and that other stuff the young people are using on the World Wide Interwebs!"  "We signed up on the phone!"  "I signed up online, which is that internet thing I think!"  "I bought my phone at Walmart!"  "I got mine at Sears!"  "Wait, I haven't shown you pictures of those grandchildren yet, please please don't go away talk to me for a few more minutes at least I haven't had a conversation this long since that nice man on the phone got me to give him my credit card number!"

And oh my god, these pathetic people with waaaaaayyyyy too much time on their hands end up traveling all the way across the country to "settle" their "bet."  Along the way, they meet all kinds of bored people who all have in common the fact that they love ConsumerCellular and are killing time until they finally fall into the abyss.  They get all the way to the coast, decide that He Was Wrong (some things never change, even with old age) and then laugh for no reason at all (again, some things never change...)

What are they going to do now?  Well, I guess they are going to drive, kayak, or whatever back across the country, mission accomplished.  Have fun at bingo, weird old people.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A great ad for Socialized Medicine

Imagine- a health insurance company commercial which makes you want to hurt someone.

This particular ad is so vacuous, so stupid, so smothering in it's extra-gooey, extra-thick layers of dumb, I can almost take it as an ad for Single Payer.  The punchline should be "just imagine- if we had Europe's health care system, we'd never have to watch anything near this level of awfulness ever again.  Promise."

Until then, continue to say " premiums went up 30% AGAIN?" Or " employer is being forced to dump our health insurance provider and search for a cheaper one AGAIN?"  Or "ahhhhhh.....I really need to step up my search for overseas teaching positions.  Before the competition gets ridiculous after Donald Trump's inauguration next year."

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Dad never missed a soccer game or field hockey practice until the court order, either

1.  Dad is really, really insistent on bringing his teenaged daughter to the front of the school, despite the fact that said daughter makes it really, really clear that she doesn't want him to, because "that's where your friends are."

2.  "Is it a boy?" I could see a Dad asking this- at the dinner table, that night.  Or in a private conversation when he's not supposed to be paying attention to the road.  At this moment?  Shut up, Dad, and just drop your daughter off where she wants to be dropped off.

3.  Ok, I'm sorry, but Dad seems way too distracted by Tracy, who I guess is daughter's BFF.  So distracted that if he had been driving any other car- one without "we'll brake for you even when you are thinking about your teen daughter's friends when you should be paying attention" brakes- he would have been involved in a serious accident.  Maybe I'm getting this all wrong, but man....I'm kind of worried about Dad, and I think it's pretty obvious now why daughter didn't want him to drive her all the way to school.  The ick factor is just way too high here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sure puts that bag of 9 peanuts in perspective....

One day, Jennifer Aniston had a terrible nightmare.   She dreamed that she was on a plane which did not provide showers or a bar.  She was wandering around in a bathrobe looking for these things (which, after all, are available in even the most modest of private residences) up and down the plane, only to be told that they were not available because she was not on an Emirates jet.

Fortunately, she woke up before the nightmare could get any more horrible.  She got her shower in, and then sat at the bar and told someone all about her truly horrific experience.   I mean, can you imagine- a jet plane without a shower?

Let's sum up the real message of this commercial:  One day, Jennifer Aniston fell asleep on a jet and dreamt that she was not a multimillionaire still coasting on the inexplicable success of a stupid sitcom that went off the air twenty years ago and a series of totally forgetable romantic comedies.  Instead, in her dream, she was pretty much just like the rest of us, on a totally shower-less and bar-less plane, with nothing to remind her that she was So Much Better Than Pretty Much Everyone except for that First Class Seat, which clearly doesn't mean anything like it used to.  In her dream she was so much like 99.9999 percent of the population, it was enough to startle her back to her golden reality.

Me?  I'll remember Jennifer Aniston's nightmare often.  Probably every time I'm handed my complimentary 6-ounce cup of Diet Coke (mini cans of Pringles available for $3.50, exact change is appreciated.)  And every time I see Aniston's face on a magazine cover at a checkout line- which is to say, every time I'm on a checkout line.  Thanks a lot, Ms Aniston.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pointless Waste of Time. It's what makes a Subaru Commercial a Subaru Commercial.

I guess that this commerical has two messages we are supposed to get-

1.  The idiots in the Subaru have lived such sadly sheltered lives that their view of nature involved skunks, scary animals and inbred hillbillies straight out of Deliverance.*  (Hey, idiots, here's another reason for not taking that unmarked dirt road- you don't know where it goes.)

2.  The only option these boring losers have if they don't take the Path Less Traveled is trying on Kakis at the Penny's down the road.  And is anyone else totally weirded out at the way they are staring at eachother and those pants?  What the hell?

Here's another message I think we were supposed to get, but which never shows up- Subarus are good cars to use for off-road adventures.  Maybe we never really get this message because we are too busy being told that no matter what the Subaru owners decide to do with their Subaru, they aren't going to be very happy with that choice.  Because in the end, the car doesn't change the fact that they are really, really boring losers who absolutely deserve eachother.

*Oh, and one more message- it doesn't matter what the product being pitched is.  Ad makers simply hate the idea of being outside the city or suburbs.  In commercial-land, nothing good ever comes from venturing beyond the picket fence, unless of course one has total internet connectivity and a cooler full of beer as companions.  Weird.