Sunday, May 24, 2020

More fun with Copper!!

Not only does this knee sleeve thing give you "targeted pain relief," but it also has the power to "MAKE you go out and do the things you love."  Wow, that's powerful- does it come with little engines that just compel the wearer to go outside?  How does it know what the wearer loves?  Or is that just being a LITTLE hyperbolic?

My absolute favorite line in this entire commercial comes where we are told that the knee sleeve is "infused with therapeutic copper."  What the hell is "therapeutic copper?"  Why didn't the narrator say "therapeutic GRADE copper?"  Haven't the people who make all this copper crap watched enough Young Living and doTerra Essential Oils sales pitches to know the power of the nonsense phrase "therapeutic grade?"  Maybe it's trademarked?

In any case, why isn't my doctor taking me off my $6000-per-month Humira prescription and giving me an Rx for one of these Therapeutic Copper-Infused Knee Sleeves instead?  Oh right- BIG PHARMA, that's why!!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Flex Paste: a very, very dangerous product to be selling during a pandemic!

I'm going to come out and admit it right now- if I knew I was going to be stuck at home for the next few months (that is, I knew I wasn't going to be going to Vermont next month for the summer but instead would be in my apartment in Maryland,) I am pretty sure that this product would cause a major alteration to my life.

I'm pretty sure that as soon as I ordered four or five pails of Flex Paste, I'd head off to the Dollar Store and buy several putty knives, a few bags of plastic greenery, and a few boxes of cheap Chinese toys.  Then I'd walk around the neighborhood looking for a card table someone has put out on the street FOR FREE and carry that home, too.  And I'd pile all these goodies into my little spare room, and wait.

When my pails of Flex Paste showed up, oh man would I go to town building my very own Devil's Tower on top of that card table in my little spare room.  I'd spend hours getting the contours just right before decorating it with my fake moss and little green army men or dinosaurs or whatever cheap Chinese toys I grabbed at the Dollar Store.  I'm sure I'd have to order more Flex Paste because it would never be Quite Right.

Meanwhile, I wouldn't notice that I'd grown a beard, was getting super-pale, had 300 unanswered messages in my voice mailbox and hadn't hosted a Zoom Class for weeks and didn't notice the semester had ended.  And that I was wearing the same clothes I had on when the pails of Flex Paste appeared at my doorstop.

And who could blame me?  I don't know if this stuff really seals holes in the wall or fixes roofs or you could build an entire waterproof boat with it, and I don't really care, because why would anyone use this for those purposes when you've got nothing but time on your hands, you have to stay indoors anyway, and there are iconic mountains to recreate in your little spare room?

Alas, I will be gone in a few weeks so I can't really do this stuff justice until this fall, when we get the second deadly wave of COVID-19 because millions of people decided that they were done wearing masks and not going out and that if they just refused to let a deadly virus push them around, they could will it to just Go Away.  So I'm guessing I'll be holding off my order until late October or so, and this will be my winter passion project/obsession.  I just have to remember to make my Flex Paste mountain large enough to be a base for my vintage King Arthur's Castle from West Germany.  And to order more toilet paper between outbreaks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

CopperWear Mask: What took so long?


 This has got to be brilliant snark, right?

I mean, this is too easy.  Someone made this just for me to comment on- or to test the gullibility of the American public, which at this point is like testing the ability of ants to tear apart a cupcake on a hot summer's day.

But just in case....let's take a look at the "claims" made by the makers of the CopperWear Mask:

"Disposable masks are now a limited commodity.  That's because you usually have to use a new one every day."

Hate to be a pedant, but actually we usually never have to wear one at all.  We are wearing masks now because of a pandemic.  When it passes, we won't be wearing masks so much anymore.  Unless, of course, our jaw muscles get sore.  Because We All Know how awesome copper is at healing sore muscles....

But here's a Reusable mask with "the properties of copper."  Other than being....ummm....copper-colored, what exactly ARE those properties, anyway?  And even if this ad is specifically aimed at the mouth-breathers who believe that copper has "properties" that are valuable for health reasons, I hope they at least note that the commercial doesn't even claim that these masks CONTAIN copper, just "the properties" of copper.  Whatever those are.

Oh wait, copper thread is "woven into the fabric" using "fiber matrix technology."  I'm guessing that means by using the technology we call a Modern Automated Sewing Machine

"The best news is that these masks are available now."  Not that they work to prevent illness, just that they are available.  And look, they can be shipped directly to your door, and placed right there, in front of your door-- just like everything else you order.  And you can use it while you are working on your computer, alone in an office, which either means that not only are you a stupid, frightened sheep and an easy mark for scammers like this, but you also don't know how viruses are transmitted.  You really don't need to wear a mask while typing on a computer all by yourself, dear.

"It covers you nose, mouth and face!"  And now we're all done talking about copper (done before we even got started, in fact, because at no point in this two minutes of Dumb are we told what "properties of copper" are supposed to be important here.)  We've moved on to it being washable/reusable (like plenty of other masks out there) and it's woven (like every cloth mask out there.)  "It can create separation"- will it?  No claims made here, either.  It just CAN.

Plus, it's got the properties of copper.  Not sure we've mentioned that in the last eight seconds.

It's super-comfortable, so you can wear it all day as you stand in front of the most obvious green screens ever.

The rest of this ad is just a repeat of scenes of people dramatically dropping those incredibly expensive (and probably unavailable now anyway) disposable masks into trash cans and then taking their reusable, washable copper-property masks out of dryers, so the only reason to watch the second minute is to get the outrageous price- $29.99 plus shipping and handling.  For a piece of cloth with the undefined properties of copper (I figured it out- the properties it shares with products which claim to contain copper is the inflated expense.)

And here's the punchline, from the ad description on Spotify:  "the mask is said to be infused with the properties of copper and is machine washable."  Talk about an ingenious use of the English language:  not only is there no claim that the mask contains copper, but it's not even claimed that it for sure contains the properties of copper.  It's not even claimed outright that it's MACHINE WASHABLE- it's just "said to be."

Again, this has got to be snark.  Right?  RIGHT?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Get your own Spot the Robot Dog Today!

Look for these improvements to be included in the private-purchase version of Spot the Robot Dog:

1.  It will automatically run up to strangers and knock them down.  Owners will be able to record a message to be played when (not if) this happens which announces "he's just being friendly, he loves people."

2.  It will leave "presents" consisting primarily of oil clumps and just enough digestible fiber to attract insects all over your lawn. 

3.  It will bark repeatedly at falling leaves, passing cars, and basically everything else.  It will respond to your "hush" with up to thirty seconds of silence before repeating its "bark at everything" loop.

4.  It will run around the dinner table at family gatherings barking at a special High Volume to remind you exactly where it is at all times.  The "hush" feature is automatically turned off during these times.

5.  Planned obsolescence is built right in, to provide you with the Full Experience of being a pet owner.  Expect to spent at least $1000 per year on replacement parts.

The very best thing about your Spot the Robot Dog is that when it finally does break down for good, you can just throw it in the trunk alongside your dead lawn mower and bring it to the recycling center for disposal.  No messy vet fees or sad backyard funerals!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Geico shows us how much the world has changed....

...because as we all know, before we became a nation of Stay at Home-ers and Work Online-ers, nobody was "sharing" anything like Adorable Babies doing Adorable Things, Even More Adorable Pets doing even more Adorable Things.  None of us would have even considered making video clips of us doing anything in the privacy of our own homes and sharing them on YouTube.  What a world COVID-19 has created.  Truly revolutionary.

Ok, enough snark.  If we could be honest with ourselves for a few minutes, we could just admit that every single one of these "because we're stuck at home" video clips could predate the current pandemic by years.  We've been a really stupid, self-absorbed, bored-out-of-our-minds nation for quite some time now. 

And while we're at it, the idea that the virus has turned us into a nation of binge-watchers addicted to Netflix, Hulu etc. is also a pathetic joke.  All COVID-19 has done is given us an excuse to keep doing what a whole lot of us were doing already- sitting on our couches, watching hour after hour of nonsense, occasionally rising to accept the food delivery or grab another soda or beer from the fridge or taking a quick break to post a video on YouTube letting the world know that we're still here, and we're still stupid. 

The conceit that the pandemic is keeping us from doing what we "really want to do" is really the height of self-delusion.  What we "really want to do" is stay home, watch tv, and "stay connected" through phones and our laptops because actual in-person interaction was already becoming passe at LEAST a decade ago.  Want proof?  Just wait till this thing is over- there will be a spike in movie theater attendance, visits to parks, restaurants, beaches and gyms, and then....most of us will just go back to what we were doing before, which as it turned out was engaging in intensive training for life in a bomb shelter.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

MakeSpace Commercials should come with Parental Guidance Suggested warnings

Eventually, the woman in this ad got sick of watching the guy in this ad systematically destroy everything they worked so hard to achieve, with immaculate planning, one step at a time, and hired a professional moving and storing company for Reasons.

I mean, look at the two scenes we're given here.  In the first, she's carrying out her very carefully planned removal of the body of a noisy neighbor in the middle of the night, and all she needs is just a little help from her dim bulb male accomplice to get the corpse down the back staircase in a coffin purchased with cash from a thrift shop in another state, slip it into their Subaru Hatchback, and drive an hour to a state park closed due to COVID-19 so they can slide the box into the deserted lake (after weighing it down, of course.)

The guy completely messes up his ONE CONTRIBUTION to the master plan, NATURALLY.

In an attempt to make up for his ridiculous bungling, the guy offers to dig up all the corpses in the back yard, stuff them into the cardboard boxes they've been saving up from the four-times-daily-Amazon purchases which have been arriving since the Stay at Home order was initiated, and find a canyon nearby to dump and burn them.  What he didn't tell her was that he was going to try to transfer all 23 victims all at once, leading to an hysterical accident on the way to the canyon as the boxes overburdened with bodies and odor-killing baking soda fell off and spilled into the street.  This guy can't do ANYTHING right.

I guess these two messes were cleaned up, because we then move to an unrelated scene where they've gone to visit their empty box collection at the nearby U-Store It and the guy decides he wants to go swimming in the boxes for some reason.  I don't know, it's really weird.

In the end, the woman here realizes that if she keeps asking her husband to try to do stuff he'll probably end up dying too early- that is, before that massive insurance policy she talked him into buying matures- so she decides they should do all of their moving and storage by using this professional MakeSpace service.  It's a rather odd way to end what was to this point a really graphic, horrifying commercial, but ok.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Nobody asked for this, Progressive. Nobody.

Yes, this is very topical.  Everyone's doing this these days.  Nobody likes doing it, and everyone hopes that it's over sooner rather than later.

That being said, nobody misses any of these Progressive Insurance spokeschoads.  Especially Flo.  Nobody is going through Flo withdrawals; that is, no one is REALLY going through Flo withdrawals, though if you scroll down the comments you'll see that there are people out there willing to pretend to love these ads for nickels. 

BTW, Zoom meetings are generally carried out to make it easier for actual teams of workers to remain in communication during the Age of Social Isolation.  None of this is demonstrated during this Progressive Ad- it's just the usual cadre of idiots blathering nonsense about nothing.  Maybe Progressive wants to give us a Taste of Normalcy, since this is all we expect from Progressive commercials even when we aren't in the middle of a pandemic.

The Geico Gecko is wearing a mask during a commercial in 3.....2......1.......

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

I have three questions for Chuck Woolery as well (or More fun from the United States Money Reserve of non-Money)

1.  "What's the United States Money Reserve, and why did it intentionally choose a name designed to con the soft-headed into believing that it's an official branch of the US Government?" (Connected question:  Why is the fact that it's NOT connected to the US Government presented in a font impossible to read unless one has a tv screen the size of a football field?)

2.  "The current price of gold is just over $1750 per ounce.  Why would anyone pay $189 for one-tenth of an ounce of gold (plus shipping and handling) from the company you're pimping for?  Because it looks pretty?  Because it looks like a coin (but isn't?) 

3.  "What are you doing in this ad?  Joe Namath beat you out for the gig pimping non-Medicare old age 'insurance?'  Decide that you weren't doing anything with your soul so you might as well sell it to the highest bidder?  What?"

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Totally Tonal-deaf

The Stock Market is still down almost 20% from its highs of  only two months ago, when thousands upon thousands of terrified people cashed out their 401(k)s to make sure they had SOME money to live on.  The Unemployment rate is almost 15%.  Millions of Americans are scared to death that even when the Lock Down and Stay at Home orders are lifted, the jobs they counted on to pay their mortgage and kids' college funds and health care and just to put food on the table simply won't be there anymore.

But hell, let's not worry about that- let's focus on this new piece of technology that deals with a REALLY urgent matter:  How are rich white people going to keep up their exercise routine?

This monstrosity STARTS at $2995.  And that's before the monthly workout subscriptions.  But let's face it, this isn't aimed at people who are at all concerned about anything like Money.  More like people who are bored with their daily Peloton sessions and are looking for a little variety before ending the day with a soak in the hot tub.  And bonus- this thing has a small footprint, so you can set it up right next to that Peloton bike, not that floor space is any more of an issue for the customers of this obscenity than its price is.

Because its the kind of exercise that fits MY budget, I'm heading out for another walk into a world I hate just a little bit more thanks to this commercial.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Grubhub's Lame Guilt Trip

"Restaurants.....are our family."

Whose family?  Grubhub's?  If that's what this commercial is saying, don't you actually mean "Reason we Exist" or "Way we make money?"  If by "our" you mean "America's," well....that's a problem, too.  When I visit a family member and have a meal, I'm not expected to pay for it.  When I make something for a family member, I don't hand them a bill or expect a tip.  Because, you know, Family.  How the hell is any business my "family?"

"...and our family needs help."  Again with the vague language.  I can totally understand if Grubhub sees Restaurants as their family they would say their family needs help- restaurants are in trouble, which means Grubhub is in trouble.  Grubhub can't deliver for family members- errr, restaurants- that are out of business.  And if restaurants are "the cornerstones of our communities" (at this point, I've given up trying to figure out who the "our" is) well, it's totally bad that they need help. 

"Right now they're facing a crisis, and they're counting on your takeout and delivery orders to help them through."  Ok now, we've cut to the chase.  Restaurants are suffering from dramatic losses in revenue due to the Stay at Home orders and the mandated closing of dining rooms.  To survive financially, they really, really need for us to keep "eating out" by ordering takeout and delivery food.  Oh by the way it sure would help if we used Grubhub too, btw- because Restaurants are Family, and Grubhub is the way we can kind of enjoy our Family without having to visit it, which actually does sound kind of attractive.

So the bottom line:  Grubhub wants to remind us that we have Family Responsibilities that don't end just because we can't go out to eat.  Sorry, but we don't get to use the Social Distancing excuse to avoid visiting our Families, because our Families still need our money, just like Always.  If anything, we should be spending more of our money on those Family members who make food in exchange for our money.  And it just makes it extra-special-family time if we employ Grubhub to transfer all that Togetherness that Looks a Lot like Food from them to us. 

Oh, by the way?  Doesn't really matter that most of us aren't making extra money just because we can't visit our Families.  Doesn't matter that many of us are actually hurting financially right now.  Pick up that phone, go online, do whatever you need to do to Stay in Touch with your Family and arrange to give them some money, because they are really Hurting right now.  Just do it.   You have to.  IT'S FAMILY!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Zales "Our Love is a Diamond" ad: Once again, it's all about the rock

"Our love is so unique, so special, so different. that we decided to celebrate it in the most corporate-approved manner possible.  We bought a diamond."

"Um, what?  Who is this 'We?'  I bought you a diamond, because you said that even though you loved me more than anyone you had ever loved ever, and wanted to spend the rest of your life with me, you weren't going anywhere near an actual legal commitment until you got a rock.  Which I paid for.  ME.  With MY money."

"Our love is a diamond!"

"What the hell does that even mean?  Our love is a cold, hard piece of suffocated coal?"

"Look how it sparkles!  It's a celebration of our love!"

"It's a celebration of pointless excess that sets our house-purchasing fund back about two months."

"Two months?  Only two months?  Why you dirty, cheap went to ZALES, didn't you!!"

"I knew I should have switched boxes."

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Hempvana, the latest "pain relief" BS not being sold by your local MLM hunbot

Aching joints? Painful muscles?  Well, if you've already tried all of the 46,782 "pain relief" creams, ointments and patches available at your local CVS, why not take advantage of This Amazing OfferTM and order some of this junk?

It's different because it has 100% more oil from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa Plant (that's an actual quote from the commercial.)  100% more than what?  Um, well, I'm guessing 100% more from actual pain medications that don't include any oil from the Cannabis Sativa Plant.  Hey, that was simple.

Hempvana Gold combines an "FDA listed pain relief ingredient" (that's another actual quote, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.)  What IS this ingredient?  Well, we aren't told, but the caption on the screen says "10% Trolamine Salicylate per FDA Monograph!"  Yes, the exclamation point is included, which makes me feel so foolish I'm just going to pretend to know what that means and that it's super-impressive obviously.  Mission accomplished, Hempvana.

It's got cold-pressed hemp oil from the seeds of that plant mentioned earlier, which I guess distinguishes it from other hemp oil that isn't cold pressed or doesn't come from the same seeds.  Anyway, it's so effective that all you have to do if you experience sharp pain while jogging is to stop, rub some on your knee, and you're on your way.  That's how impressive this stuff is.  Probably because it's cold pressed.  And it's got that stuff the FDA listed.  Both things are important, I'm guessing.

It works by "blocking nerve transmissions."  You know, like Tylenol, or Ben Gay.  But it isn't either of those things, because it has 100% more oil than either of those things.  It's different.

Here's a retired NFL player you've never heard of standing on what looks like a High School football field talking about how it really helps him do whatever he's doing nowadays.   As if I wasn't sold already.

"The secret is the combination of Science and Nature."  I know how to translate that line, but just in case I didn't, they do it for us, right away.  The "Science" part is in that little bit of FDA-listed pain relief medication that I'm guessing is found in all over-the-counter pain relieving creams.  The "Nature" part is the woo factor that appeals to our Holistic "look to the trees" side (you know, the really stupid, gullible side) and which also "justifies" the ridiculous price.  Put it another way- the Nature part makes the product unique.  The Science part makes the ad legal.   Also- in the next few seconds of the ad, it sounds for all the world like the only purpose of the seeds is to make the product "absorb quickly."  Which pretty much convinces me that the ONLY medication in this junk is the trace amount of "FDA-listed" pain reliever. 

(Oh, and here's a guy writing what looks like a chemical formula on an actual chalkboard.  He's wearing a white coat, and that's real chalk he's using.  Looks legit to me.)

Anyway, the ad goes on a little longer but basically just repeats itself, so I'll skip to the punchline:  there's another ad for this same product on Youtube in which the narrator knocks down the claims of similar products with the same ingredients as false.  The DIFFERENCE with Hempvana Gold is that it has DOUBLE the amount of oil as those other Much More Expensive Junk Products.  So basically, "that stuff doesn't work, and it costs a fortune.  Our product is exactly the same, but we use more Woo, and it's cheaper, DOES work." 

Well, sorry, Hempvana, but if it's not being sold by an old High School Friend who found my name on Facebook and who also thinks I'd totally kill it selling this stuff myself, I'm not interested.  And I'm speaking as someone who actually does suffer from chronic knee pain being treated with actual medicine- your target audience.  Get back to me when you're ready to include me in your downline.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Charles Schwab's Valentine to Himself

Charles Schwab starts this great big wet sloppy kiss aimed directly at his own posterior by telling us he was born in 1937, a "very bad time...with a Depression...." yes, indeed it was a very bad time, Mr Schwab-- one that you don't remember, since it was over before you were four years old.  Being born in 1937 doesn't make you a Depression baby.  You had to live it.  My parents lived it.  You didn't.

"What my generation went through....all the wars...." and now we see scenes from V-E day or V-J day.  Well, maybe you faintly remember something about World War II, Mr Schwab.  But you didn't fight in it, and you didn't really live it.  So I don't know what this has to do with "your" generation.  When you were a teenager, you attended a private prep school on your way to Stanford and Fraternity Life.  I mean, I'm not going to blame you for not fighting in the Pacific or Europe when you were a kid, but jeesh what's all this "we" crap?  From what I can see on your Wiki page, you actually had a pretty damned privileged youth.

Oh, and now it gets even worse.  This was a time when there was this awful disease called polio, but "we" came up with a vaccine for it.  Well, one of "us' did, anyway.  His name was Jonas Salk, and he was born 23 years before you were (not in your generation) and he didn't end up with a net worth of $8 billion despite doing a bit more for humanity than you (in my humble opinion, at least.)

While some of "his generation" were going off to fight in Vietnam or protest against it, Mr Schwab was starting Commander Industries and publishing a newsletter concerning more important subjects like money, making money, making more money, investing money, and money.   Eventually Commander Industries became Charles Schwab Inc and its president and founder was a multi-millionaire before his 35th birthday.

The rest is history....oh wait, no, it's not.  History was something other members of his generation were doing, while he was devoting his life to building a gigantic pile of cash to park his aging butt on.  I don't see a lot of ads celebrating all those people who sacrificed and fought and died and protested and achieved to make society a little more bearable for everyone, so I guess this is the best I can hope for:  Charles Schwab, multi-billionaire who made a fortune manipulating other people's money, waxing poetic about sacrifice and perseverance while showing us blurry old films in between reminding us to "keep on keeping on" because after all, he might not die with $9 billion if we take our eyes off the prize.  His generation, which gave and accomplished so much, is counting on us after all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Kraft, for the Loss

Your bratty kid won't eat her vegetables?  Well, you've got two choices:

1.  You can experiment with different ways of preparing those vegetables (you know, move beyond the "boil or microwave them and then serve the bland green stuff on a plate with something else equally bland.")  Maybe look at a few cookbooks.  Maybe try those things that come in little jars and might cost upwards of $30 a pound (but you don't have to buy them by the pound, not that anyone in these commercials cares about the cost of anything.)  They're called "Spices."

2.  You can drown them in cheap fatty garbage that disguises their actual taste.  That way your kid thinks she's eating lumpy orange cheese-flavored goo, and can't see those awful vegetables which are nonetheless getting into her system and providing at least some health value.  Of course if you take this option, that fatty sludge is doing more than enough damage to offset the benefits of the vegetables, but at least she's smiling, calm and eating, right?

We can all see which option these "parents" chose.  The kid will be the big loser- in more ways than one.  And all so that the parents can avoid effort.  Why are people allowed to breed without a license>

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A Downy Commercial that stinks of DoTerra

Pardon the pun, but this ad literally stinks of Essential Oils Woo.  Lavender has "calming effects," does it?  Please cite the scientific research, Downy.

Meanwhile, this kid is nervous during a thunderstorm, so he semi-consciously wanders through the house searching for something that smells like, ok.  That's actually kind of disturbing.  I suspect that mom isn't going to thank Lavender Scented Downy for calming down her son because that means basically stinking up the entire wash with the same smell.  More likely she's going to reach out to that former High School classmate selling Young Living products on Facebook so she can apply the Magic Calming Oil that Cures Autism to her kid's forehead every time she can foresee a tense situation in his future.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Carmax, etc. make sure that there's no escape

The whole country has come to a nearly complete stop-- but the advertising industry is apparently running on all cylinders these days.  It seems that almost every single commercial out there uses the current pandemic in its pitch- which means that almost every single commercial out there is a brand-new, fresh out of the oven product designed to remind us that there are companies out there that are well aware we are living in bizarre times and that THEY CARE VERY DEEPLY ABOUT US DURING THESE BIZARRE TIMES.

I'm convinced.  Over the last few days ordered from DealDash, Seven-Eleven, KFC, PapaJohns AND Domino's, doing my part to keep the economy going and gaining 26 lbs in the process (no problem, my Peloton bike is on its way and I plan to switch to Arbonne shakes next week.)  My doorbell rings approximately every six minutes, and I'm going to spend the next sunny day constructing an addition to my house out of cardboard.  It just feels so good to be contributing to all these companies that care. 

And now that Carmax will deliver a vehicle to me with just a few clicks, well, that's definitely next on my list.  I only hope that I can stop with just one.  Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to wave out my window to the delivery guy again.  What a time to be alive.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Just don't try to make pancakes when you're drunk, that's all.

"You flip, they flop.  You flip, they flop..."  By the time you give up and admit that you really aren't capable of making anything more complicated than a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, it's time for lunch and your kitchen is a horrifying mess.

The "secret" to perfect pancakes?  A box of Bisquick, some water, and some heat.  I used to add a pinch of nutmeg when I made them for myself or my Significant Other, because I don't like to use maple syrup (I know, sacrilege for a Vermonter) and they can be a bit bland.  Oh, but this commercial is another one of those This Easy Thing to Do That We Are Going to Pretend is a Massive Hassle to Sell you Something commercials, so it's all about the proper use of a spatula and how it Can't Really be Done.

Except, it's really not that hard to use a spatula to flip pancakes.  Just don't make them big, and follow the directions in the title.*  Oh, and want to cut back on butter and grease?  Use a non-stick pan.  The great thing about a non-stick pan is that you can use it to make things other than pancakes- unlike this stupid device.   I mean, if you live on pancakes, sure, go ahead and invest in this thing.  Otherwise, what a dumb waste of money.

*Why would anyone make pancakes when they are drunk, anyway?  Everyone knows that Drunk+Hungry for Pancakes= IHOP.  Or it did, before the current crisis descended upon us.  I'd say that this commercial was made to fill the niche created by the sudden lack of All You Can Eat pancake houses, but it was made way before COVID-19 arrived to wreck havoc on our bad eating habits.  Fortunately, more and more liquor stores have drive-thrus, and I bet every IHOP in the country is looking for ways to encourage people to leave their houses after a night of binge-drinking and head off to the local IHOP for delivered-to-your-car pancakes.  You know, just to add some comfort to your sad, isolated, monotonous life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Boost gives women a Big Surprise

I bet women didn't realize that Boost was gender-specific all these years, and at least some of them want to know where they can get all that money back that they spent drinking liquid non-food that was not made for them.

It's especially insulting that Boost is re-using old commercials and just changing a few frames to add the "Boost for Women" bottle where the old "Boost" bottle used to be.  "Hey, all you stupid women who have been drinking Strictly For Men Boost for all these years-don't you feel stupid now?  Here's YOUR drink, thanks for not waiting!  We didn't even have to make the bottle pink!"

All Nestle (one of the most evil companies on the planet, by the way- Google Nestle and water rights) has to do now is come up with "Boost for Men," and my brain will literally explode out of its skull case.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Geico has been selling insurance for 75 years....

...but they've only been spooning out this content-free tripe for about two decades now.  It's hard to believe, but this ad actually has less to do about insurance than the average Geico commercial-- it's just the stupid CGI lizard failing to deliver lines its been delivering year after year for seemingly...well, 75 years.

Oh, but check out the comment section-- if you dare.  Please tell me these people have been paid off to tell us that they "can't stop laughing" and think "this is the funniest commercial ever."  Because....seriously?  This warmed-over cliche'd tripe is funny to anyone?

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Bravecto knows its audience, I guess....*

So I guess what we have here is a family of clueless idiots who flirt with death several times a day simply by carrying out normal human functions.   They don't know anything, they can't remember anything, and they certainly don't want to be responsible for anything (in fact, I'd say that if this family has a common goal, it's to pass the buck to the next person as quickly as possible.  Their big problem is that they keep trying to pass it to someone who shares their DNA, and that's clearly not a good idea.)

And in the end, the two "adults" are going to wander around a parking lot for the rest of the day because one of them asked the other to remember where they parked, to which the other responded "remember where we parked" to the dog.  Or a lamp post.

It is kind of funny that the woman here bleats her "do you remember where we parked" line literally two seconds after they walk out of the (animal hospital?)  Like she's well aware that they forgot to go through the 8-step fail-safe plan usually instituted to avoid situations just like this.  Ah, if you only had two brain cells to rub together between the both of you.  Meanwhile, daughter is home on her phone, notices the time, and calls the police to initiate a Silver Alert for the fourth time this week.

*that audience being people who probably have no business owning a mammal that is totally dependent on it for it's health and survival.  This couple can't be handed a tic/heartworm/whatever medication that they have to remember to give their dog, because they are either Very Busy or Very Stupid and will never get around to actually doing it.  So the vet prescribes Bravecto in the hopes that it requires so little of the dog owners, their dog has at least a fighting chance.  What he didn't realize is that these people need a GPS to find their car and will probably forget they even OWN a dog until they notice the horrible smell coming from the back seat.

Friday, April 17, 2020 is G-d's Gift to Trophy Wives, and the guys who bought them


I know I throw that term around a lot, but seriously....check out the daddy/husband at the 17-second mark.  Surrre, this bald, middle-aged shlub got her to "fall in love with him."  I'm sooo sure that happened and it had nothing to do with the bank account and that house.

And the cute little Family By Desperation we see near the end- come on.  That guy didn't land that foreign little number by meeting her at school or work, slowly getting to know her, and getting her to see his positive attributes that didn't include the terms "hedge fund manager" or "inherited business."  This has got "financial arrangement" written all over it.

And we can see that the Trophy is doing her part, producing cute kids, keeping the enormous house clean, and at least making an attempt to get a good dinner on the table for Master when walks in the door after a busy day at the Office.  I just have to ask, though- why did these guys go out of their way to land a barely-adult woman from a foreign country if she's just going to make bland American-style meals anyway?  There are plenty of desperate American-born girls out there who have no problem selling themselves to older guys in exchange for the Just Add Water Instant Family and Security.  If you're going to go through the added expense of an Asian or Hispanic girl, at least get the good menus that come with that.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

CarShield: Always an easy go-to in a pinch

1.  You know the actual car bill is going to be really expensive when the mechanic uses three dollar signs, changes pens, and then underlines those dollar signs THREE TIMES.  And then doesn't even put a NUMBER on there, like this is information is too severe to be put in writing.  Want to know how much it's going to cost to fix your car?  You are going to have to get that information in person.  That's how big this bill is.  THREE DOLLAR SIGNS underlined THREE TIMES in DIFFERENT INK.  Just leave us a copy of your mortgage and your first-born child.

2.  I'm a little worried at the idea that there are actually people out there with old cars with lots of mileage on them who think that Extended Warranties like this are a good idea....because sorry, they just aren't.  They are really dumb, actually.  No insurance company is going to replace a $4200 transmission on a 10-year old car with 130,000 miles unless it's been draining you of big monthly premiums for years.  Otherwise...well, see that "Deductable May Apply" in the small print?  That deductable is going to apply.  Big time.

3. My parents get at least three calls a day from "easy extended warranty" companies offering to "provide" coverage on cars they haven't owned in years.  From the calls I've taken and managed to extend with "innocent" questions, the average monthly premium for "full coverage" on a car none of the choads on the other end of the phone have even seen is about $140 a month.  That's a LOT OF MONEY for something that will mysteriously fail to cover pretty much anything Too Bad You Didn't Read The Fine Print on the Contract which By The Way isn't Emailed to You until After They Have your Credit Card Number.  I don't know if any of these callers work for CarShield, but they might as well. They are all calling out of pretty much the same boiler rooms after all.

4.  Speaking of which, I had to call DirectTV today with a few questions about my mother's bill.  It took me almost half an hour of commercials (including one for a Medic-Alert bracelet presented by an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING) before I finally got to speak to someone about the issue.  I get that customer service centers aren't as crowded as usual because of the whole Pandemic thing, but why isn't this a problem for phone scam operations?  Is it just that the scam promoters don't care about their phone monkeys?

Sunday, April 12, 2020

When YouTube "reviews" are just badly disguised commercials #1- Daily Harvest

I found this looking for an actual Daily Harvest commercial after seeing the ad for yet another Non Food Delivered to the Door of Rich White People service.  Then I watched this video and realized- yep, it's just a commercial for Daily Harvest trying really, really hard to be a Review.

Couple things. First, this clown gives away that he's doing a commercial for Daily Harvest literally seconds into"review."  He "hates making breakfast" because it's a "hassle" with all the "chopping," and he's "trying to eat healthy," etc. etc. etc.  Why doesn't he just eat a bowl of whole grain cereal with a grapefruit on the side?  No hassle, no chopping, very healthy.  Oh right- because this is a COMMERCIAL FOR DAILY HARVEST and the only simple solution to his "problem" is going to have to be Daily Harvest.

Second, this guy's enthusiasm for Daily Harvest doesn't even wait till he actually drinks the crap before breaking my Skepticism Meter.  The shipping was Super Fast, the "Welcome to Daily Harvest" advertisement inside the box is great, and it comes with a sheet of magnets- "Awesome!"  Jeesh buddy, why bother to even drink this stuff and risk your winning streak?  Just toss the box in the garbage and put the magnets on the fridge.  You're already a winner with Daily Harvest after all!

"This is cool, this is dry ice.  This is how it stays cold."  Um, ok buddy.  Yes, that's super helpful when you "come home from working all day," because it means your ridiculously overpriced smoothies haven't been ruined.  But it also helps explain why they are ridiculously overpriced.  Oh, but please continue.

For the next thirty seconds or so, this guy exults at the excellent wrapping to prevent leakage, and I note in horror that we aren't 90 seconds into this six minute video yet.  You know what, I'm going to assume he spends at least two minutes complimenting the font choice for the ingredients label and skip to him actually tasting this stuff.

At 4:53 he finishes a brief commercial for his Magic BulletTM smoothie maker to tell us that yep, the smoothie he makes sure smells fresh.  He invites us to smell his smoothie.  I really wish I were kidding.

He finally tastes the damn stuff at 5:12 of this six-minute video.  Shockingly, his verdict is "That's Awesome!"  Then he shows us how we can pour the smoothie back into the cup it came in- none of us would have thought of that on our own, for sure.

"And I'm out the door with America's best breakfast going on." After one sip of one flavor.  Yeah, this is "America's best breakfast going on"- and an honest review.  Suuuuurreee it is.  And oh hey what do you know, if you use his name as a PROMO CODE, you get three free smoothies "just for watching this video."  That's right- he ends his schtick by coming right out and ADMITTING he just showed us a 6:25 commercial pretending to be a review.

What did I just watch?  Five minutes and 12 seconds of some paid choad bleating superlatives about a product as he unboxes and prepares that product, followed by one sip which leads to that spokeschoad crowning his smoothie "America's best breakfast going on, here's a promo code." Where do I go to get that six minutes back?

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Prevagen "Greg's Calling" commercial

Greg is sixty-eight years old.  What is Greg doing in his golden years?

He's a "substitute teacher, a motivational speaker and- most hysterically- a "Paid Testimonialist." (I spelled that right, despite the fact that a red line appeared underneath it when I typed it.  Because it's not a thing.  At least, it's not a thing you have any business being proud of, because it essentially translates to "someone willing to testify that a product works if you're willing to pay him.")

Greg is a Substitute Teacher.  That's awesome, Greg- I was a substitute teacher for two years in the early-90s, when I was trying to get my foot in the door in a school- any school- in Upstate New York.  I subbed more than 100 times in a dozen different schools.  The other subs I bumped into in those years were either like me- young, just-out-of-training kids looking for permanent jobs- or Warm Bodies willing to sit in a classroom picking up a paycheck pretending to be Educated Professionals.  Guess which one you are, Greg?

Greg is a Motivational Speaker.  Which means he's a guy who likes to spew bumper sticker logic at audiences for money.  Audiences of people who are so pathetic that they need a total stranger to give them hope that someday they might be capable of finding a purpose in life without having a fire lit under them by a total stranger.  Until then, they'll have an endless supply of grinning twits like Greg bleating "inspirational" garbage into their ears, or mouths- whichever orifice they choose to hear with.

Greg is a Paid Testimonialist.  I already covered this.  So I'll just finish by reminding everyone that this commercial is for a drug that Greg may or may not take himself- there's no reason to believe he actually does no matter what he says about it, because after all, he's a PAID TESTIMONIALIST along with his other non-jobs.  In the end, what Greg really is is unskilled labor who has found a way to put money in his pocket despite being unskilled (that's his true "calling.")  Good for you, Greg.  But your commercial didn't motivate me into looking into Prevagen, and I wish you'd stay away from impressionable kids and stop taking jobs better filled- and often desperately needed- by professionals.

Friday, April 10, 2020

What I can't understand about Select Quote Ads

Why are all the people in these commercials (who are in Excellent Health, btw) always so thrilled to be gabbing on the phone with a total stranger while discussing the likelihood that they are going to keel over within the next ten years and would like to make sure that the people they live with don't suffer any financial hardship when they do?  I mean, I'd get it if they looked pensive, thoughtful, concerned, etc.  I do NOT get why they look like they just won tickets to freaking Disneyworld instead of getting the specs on an insurance policy that will be total waste of money if they aren't fortunate enough to drop dead despite being in Excellent Health before it expires.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Yeah,'s still a Discover Card....

...which means the people who made this commercial know that after thirty-four years, their product is still viewed as the Brand X of credit cards, the item that is sheepishly pulled from wallets and purses and apologetically offered to cashiers all over the world by people who aspire to possessing a card that doesn't get wrinkled noses and condescending looks in response.

I had a Discover Card once- when I was just out of college.  Which is the time when it's ok to have a Discover Card.

I'll give Discover some credit, though- before it was introduced waaaayyyy back in the 1980s (come to think of it, I must have been one of the first people to even get one) there was no such thing as a No-Fee Credit Card.  Discover deserves credit (no pun intended) for forcing the Big Boys on the Block to offer one themselves.  But the thing is.....they did.  All of them.  I've had an American Express and a Visa card.  I've never paid a fee for either.  Yes, I know that they both have Extra Special Cards that give bonus points for travel and exclusive entry into airport clubs or whatever, but 99.9 percent of us don't care about that stuff and find the regular cards just fine.  Which means that the only reason why anyone would want a Discover Card kind of went away a long time ago.

So, um...thanks, Discover, for forcing open the doors of Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.  Decades ago.  I suppose you're the reason I have those cards today.  But now you have to find another way to convince me that I should carry a Discover Card.  These obnoxious, headache-inducing, insulting commercials sure don't cut it.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Brighthouse Financial's "Expedition" of Privilege

It's so heartwarming to know that when I've reached my mid-fifties, my 25 years or so of hard work at a job which allowed me to stash away tons of money in investments and insurance will enable me to retire and finally enjoy life because it was managed so well by Brighthouse Financial.  Because it can't all be about work, right?

Wait a minute- I already reached my mid-fifties.  I've already worked for 25 years, too.  So why aren't I retiring?  Oh, right- because I'm one of those Americans who while putting money away for retirement doesn't make nearly enough to even think about retiring in my fifties.  And I'm actually doing better than the TYPICAL American, who isn't saving ANY money for retirement and (if they were born around the same time I was) must wait until they reach the age of sixty-seven in order to start collecting what will be the main if not only source of their income, Social Security. 

But I'm not the intended audience for these commercials anyway.  Brighthouse Financial ads are aimed at people like this couple- Double Income, plenty of which is disposable, who have the luxury of planning for the future by depositing some of that excess cash with a broker and who might as well hand it off to Brighthouse Financial because We Manage Rich People's Money.  And this couple in particular SHOULD be planning to spend lots of money in their early retirement if they are going to go off on long treks on their own and jump head-first into unfamiliar bodies of water just on a whim.  Frankly,  I wouldn't mind being one of their beneficiaries.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Win Cleaner- Absolutely Nothing, at the low low cost of $19.99!

It's almost scary to think that anyone believed this thing worked enough to purchase it for twenty bucks, or ANY amount of money....

I mean, come on.  The big-time "clean your PC" scammers work from boiler rooms in New Delhi and are experts at convincing you to turn your computer over to them so they can "fix" super-dangerous items like "Registry Errors" which sound scary but are absolutely meaningless unfortunately the vast majority of Americans have no idea what they are and are easily convinced that they are going to eat their computers from the inside out while simultaneously sharing their banking information with the entire planet.  And then we've got the jokers who made "Win Cleaner," which is nothing more than a USB drive that pretends to do the stuff they used to pay those people in New Delhi to pretend to do.  Of course it costs "only" $19.99 instead of the $50 or more you'd pay those scammers in New Delhi- those people don't have to pay their phone banks, and that USB drive can't actually seize control of your PC and hold it hostage.  Put those things together and the makers of Win Cleaner are kind of forced to give you a "deal."

Not that the makers of Win Cleaner are actually taking customers away from the scammers in New Delhi, because once people dumb enough to buy this junk realize that it does absolutely nothing, they'll be easy pickings for someone with a weird name like Lenny Napoleon who claims to be calling from New York City but sure sounds like he's someone who grew up in....well, New Delhi. 

So if you're one of the hilarious people in this Obviously Old Ad (everyone's using a desktop here,) go right ahead and pay $20 plus Shipping and Handling for a USB that will give you some very generic information that has zero to do with your computer but will make you think you actually accomplished something for a few seconds.  I mean, it's better than spending $4800 for a new computer (like I said, this commercial is Obviously Old- $4800???)  If your only two choices are buying this worthless piece of plastic for $20 or spending several mortgage payments on a new PC, go for the worthless piece of plastic.   Just don't expect it to magically clean up all that junk which is actually slowing down your PC.  That's going to take actual virus protection which, btw, doesn't cost that much in the first place. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Walmart's "extraordinary" response COVID-19....

I'm sorry, but the first time I saw this I thought it was an Onion Ad and the headline actually read "Walmart to pay workers actual salaries during crisis."

And then I started watching it, and realized....I wasn't all that far off at all. The gist of this heartwarming story of extraordinary measures taken during the current pandemic is that Walmart has decided to take the unprecedented step of coming slightly closer to actually paying it's employees a Living Wage for as long as the current situation continues...or until the Walton family realizes that a tiny sliver has been taken out of that enormous mountain of profit and oh right We Forgot Charity Begins at Home.

"Cash bonuses" from the company that once famously asked customers to contribute food to its employees so they could "enjoy a happier Thanksgiving."  Extra money from a company which is well known for educating its workers on the nuances of applying for food stamps and other federal assistance.  These are extraordinary times indeed.  Meanwhile, we can expect a tidal wave of "Walmart:  The Company that Cares" ads out of this in the very near future.  Don't worry, I'm on it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Petsmart has no respect for its customers, or thinks it's 1999?

I'm old enough to remember when that idiot David Oreck had the brilliant idea to run a radio ad letting everyone know that his vacuum company had an actual WEBSITE, and if we wanted to know how to find it, we could call this 800 number and he'd "WWW DOT GIVE IT TO US!"  It was a really stupid concept even then (sometime in the 1990s)- "want to find Oreck online?  No problem- call this number first, and we'll give you the website address."  It was old before it aired, but at least search engines were in their infancy, so Mr Oreck (who was in his mid-70s and is STILL WITH US) had some excuse....

On the other hand, we've got this really dumb Petsmart commercial, with a mom who looks to be in her late-thirties or early-forties is totally gobsmacked at the idea that you can make an on-line appointment to get the filthy smelly mammal you for some reason want to live with and spend money on groomed (I bet she can get that dog taken care of, too.)

What?  You can use a phone to access a website and make appointments?  What is this, the Jetsons??

Come on.  The mom in this ad was born during the Carter Administration, at the latest.  Which means that she was on the internet before she graduated college, and has had a cellphone since before her 20th birthday.  In short, she entered adulthood well aware of the World Wide Interwebs*  and connected cellphones and all the wonders attached thereto.  Maybe if this commercial featured GRANDMA being stunned at the Super Futuristic Amazing Internet, I could give it a pass.  But a mom young enough to have a surly teenager?  What's this woman going to get slack-jawed at next, the concept of HDTV and Uber?

*Maybe this woman is just chronically out of touch, like our friend from one of my favorite films, For Your Consideration:

Monday, March 30, 2020

Virus or no Virus, Grifters gotta Grift!

"Hello, I'm Franklin Graham, heir to the Billy Graham empire although everyone agrees that my sister is a vastly better speaker because male bloodline don't ya know..."

"Anyway, since all I really know how to do is be Billy Graham's less talented offspring, I'm here to take advantage of a frightening pandemic that is keeping many people isolated in their houses by encouraging them to call an 888 number, putting money into my already-bulging pockets."

"Feeling afraid that you're going to die without accepting that you were created by a god who later send himself in the form of a human male to subvert rules that he created and by the way that human male was not only god but also god's son Shut Up It Makes Sense?  Don't just sit in your house and talk to yourself- call the 888 number and pay money to talk to yourself while someone on the other line is also talking to himself.  That's better because Reasons- and because I like money-- I mean, I need money to continue to Glorify god's kingdom, just like my dad used to do in sold-out baseball and football stadiums because social media wasn't a thing back then. Poor dad, always had to do things the hard way."

"Don't wait.  You could die tomorrow and be cast into the fiery pit and be tortured for all eternity.  Or, you could spend x amount per minute to chant nonsense at an operator and be Saved.  Guess which one god wants you to do?  Guess which one makes me even more obscenely rich than I already am?  Here's a hint:  they are both the same option!"

"Keep in mind that you're supposed to be going to church, but you're afraid to because of this virus which by the way god, who loves you, sent to Earth Because Reasons.  Calling my 888 number is the same as going to church as far as god is concerned, Jesus told me so.  Render unto Franklin what is Franklin's-- I mean, unto god what is god's.  What are you waiting for?"

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thanks for pretty much nothing Dr Bob..

So the patient in this ad made an appointment with his doctor (a guy he knows well enough to call by his first name- I've had the same primary care physician for 30 years and I don't call him by his first name) because he's got back pain.  Sounds smart.  I know from personal experience that back pain is something to take seriously.

Anyway, I'm sure the patient expected to go from a waiting room filled with magazines to an examination room where he'd be asked to disrobe and sit quietly while Dr Bob dealt with other patients.  Then Dr Bob would come in and ask him to describe his symptoms.  Then he'd lay down on the couch/table covered with a thin sheet of paper and Dr Bob would do the usual poking and prodding, etc. etc.

But no, this visit turned out very differently.  The patient didn't go to an examination room, and he didn't undress.  As near as I can tell, Dr Bob didn't demonstrate the slightest interest in asking him when the pain started or where it's located or how severe it is or if he has a family history of back pain.  The patient just sits down with Dr Bob in Dr Bob's office and asks "what should I do about back pain?"  And Dr Bob jumps right into a recommendation that he use an over-the-counter treatment "before trying anything else" followed by a conveniently already-downloaded commercial for Salonpas with Lidocaine.

Anyone else would respond "hey, doctor?  Did you really think that my FIRST reaction to experiencing back pain was to call for an appointment and take time off from work so I could come down here and hand over a $30 copay?' OF COURSE I rubbed some cream on my back first, just in case it was a pulled muscle or just overexertion.  But then the pain came back.  That's why I'm here.  I don't need to be told that over-the-counter topical gels and pads exist for a LOT LESS than an appointment with you, because I'm a human being who exists in America and I'm not a hypochondriac who just enjoys going to the doctor for minor symptoms."   But THIS clown acts as if he should be grateful that his doctor that he's on a first name basis with tells him to just slap some cream or a patch on it and go away, don't forget to pay at the desk.

Maybe Dr Bob is kind of sick of being an actual doctor, especially the asking questions and probing naked bodies part.  Certainly showing patients commercials for mass-produced practically-placebos is a lot easier. It's a lot more profitable, too- because when this guy comes back in a few days, that's another $30 copay, and this time he'll leave with actual treatment he could have gotten in the first visit.  I think Dr Bob's patient should take a quick glance around the room and note how much free crap has SALONPAS stamped on it, myself.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

More As Seen on TV Fun!

Thing is, if this Jiffy Fries contraption could actually make quick, oil-free Non-Fried potatoes in the microwave, it actually might be something I'd be willing to buy and use.  Because until Americans get their hands on them potatoes are actually a really good source of energy and pretty good for you, too (but only if you eat the skins.)  Unfortunately Americans are the world's experts at taking nutritious food and turning it into poison- we love "Chinese food" as long as we can cover it in batter and fry it (we don't cover the rice in batter, but we do fry it along with the chicken and pork.)  We love pizza but spend billions a year on warm white bread covered in the most sugary tomato paste imaginable.  We eat corn in the form of greasy Faux-Mexican food and chips.  And we like our potatoes stripped of its skin and fried (even when we bake our potatoes, we tend to drown them in butter or sour cream...and not eat the skin....)

"Need a pick me up?"  Well, as long as you are just heating a hot potato out of the microwave, that's just fine.  Healthy snack.  Good for this kid.  But I don't believe for one minute that anything- including potatoes made in this plastic doohicky- come out of the microwave crispy.  Nothing comes out of a microwave crispy.  That's just not what microwaves do.  Microwaves reheat coffee and make popcorn.  They don't make potatoes crispy, sorry.  That's what ovens are for.  And that being said- how could anyone argue that this Jiffy Fries device makes french fries that are better than the ones that come out of a bag (is this woman disgusted by the fact that the french fries out of the bag are frozen?  Does she realize they need to be put into an oven?)  French fries - and onion rings- are the two items that are perfectly fine coming out of your grocery store's frozen department.  You put them in the oven.  In a few minutes, you've got crispy french fries.  What is the problem?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Vyond Contempt

A few people who know me personally are aware that I used to create videos using a service called GoAnimate for Schools.  Some of those videos were educational, but most were made just for fun; it was a nice little hobby for when it was too cold or wet or dark outside, and I have especially fond memories of making a few while sitting in my parents' kitchen during winter break.  The educational videos I made involved Bacon's Rebellion, The Election of 1896, the Great Depression-- and despite the limited number of templates available I thought they came out pretty good.  Above all, at $79 a year it was a very AFFORDABLE hobby.

Well, GoAnimate for Schools came to an end last June- not only did it come to an end, but 90 percent of the videos I had created over the course of 3 years were irretrievably lost without notice (yes, I've been back and forth with Vyond, the new GoAnimate, about the loss of my videos.  They express Regret, which is all very nice and also all very worthless.)  I could still make videos using Vyond, but there's no Vyond for Schools, and the cheapest option now available costs $299 a year.  Not that I would ever again purchase a service from a company that had already trashed dozens of videos representing hours of effort, but to ditch an affordable service geared toward teachers and students and replace it with one out of reach for most...well....not nice, Vyond.

Oh, and here's the insult added to the injury:  In response to this period of self-isolation, Vyond is very loudly expressing it's interest in helping- by offering 20% off it's annual subscription.  That's the same 20% it offered me when I complained about the loss of my videos, the same 20% it offered over Black Friday weekend, the same 20% it offers to anyone who wonders why it's basic package went from $79 for an annual subscription to $299.  This Very Generous Offer is being presented Vyond really cares, I guess.

Well, to hell with that.  GoAnimate encouraged teachers and kids to have fun making videos by offering a very affordable price.  Vyond jacks the price up by 400%, then makes a show of offering a 20% discount on that new, inflated price because they "care" during these "troubled times."  Well, I'll continue to pass at least until you remember that there are still teachers and schools out there for which $239 is still a LOT of money.  Maybe you'll wake up one day and recall that you are the guys who created GoAnimate for Schools in the first place.  That'd be nice.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Funeral Insurance: your last chance at Conspicuous Consumption, and to fall for a guilt trip

Ugh, this again.

To me, asking if I've saved enough money for my funeral is kind of like asking me if I've saved enough money for my future great-great-nephew's college education.  In short, I don't know why this should concern me in the slightest.

These commercials always push two buttons, neither of which trigger anything in me at all:

1.  The "you need a big, expensive sendoff" button.  You're going to die, which means you MUST be prepared to have your corpse dressed in an expensive suit, put into an expensive box, put into an expensive piece of real estate, and marked with an expensive piece of marble or granite that lets passer-bys know whose body is in an expensive box directly underneath it.   All of this is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY OTHERWISE YOU MAY NOT BE ALLOWED TO DIE.

2.  The "your death will be a financial burden on your children" button.  This is even more vile than the first, because 99.9 percent of these ads include some line about not being a Stupid Selfish Awful Old Person who is Probably Already Creating Financial Difficulties for your Children and whose failure to Plan for the Inevitable will leave them draining the college funds of your Grandchildren in order to pay for that expensive box and decorated piece of rock.   We're always seeing a frail old person reassuring their children that they saw this Nice Man on TV offering Funeral Insurance and bought a policy, so no worries.  (If my mother or father told me this, I'd tell them to stop watching tv and answering the phone because they are way too susceptible to sales pitches.)

This is actually very simple, but I'll say it again:  Nobody is required to have a funeral.  Nobody is required to have a coffin or a pretty stone telling people that they are standing over your Probably Permanent Residence.  Of course, if you want all that stuff yes, it can be very expensive, and you'd better save for it.  But in the Reasonable World "end-of-life expenses" really should mean a lawyer to go over and certify your will, any extra hospice care you may need, etc.  Not a freaking piece of furniture to house your remains until they are dust.

I'd like to see one of the kids in these ads respond to "I've got $30,000 in funeral insurance" with the question " we have to use the entire $30,000 on the insurance?  Because jeesh there sure are about two thousand more practical things we could be spending that money offense, mom, but....really....."

Sunday, March 22, 2020 lost me at "hey pet lovers!" maybe I shouldn't snark on this particular series of commercials.  After all, they aren't trying to sell me anything.  I don't have any pets.  I don't want any pets.  You couldn't PAY me to have a pet.

I do have to say, however, that I hate this "dream come true" stuff.  I see no evidence that dogs dream at all, let alone that they dream about their owners buying them food and toys.  Then again, I've seen commercials featuring dogs "dreaming" about car loans, luxury automobiles, low-interest mortgages, annuity settlement services, carbonated soda, and any number of other things they don't ever experience, so....

Maybe I should have just stuck with my original instinct and just left commercials alone.  But I just hate the sickly/stupid twee/cutesy feel of all these dumb ads, so I'll probably keep it up.

Saturday, March 21, 2020 "where did this new mammal thing come from?"

"Hello,  We seem to have a new puppy.  What do we feed it?"

"  You are just thinking of this now?"

"Well yeah, we just got back from Petco.  It's just adorable and the kids love it.  It's a puppy! But we walked out of the store without getting it anything to eat.  So, I think we have to put food into it.  What kind of food should we put into it?"

"Ok, I can set you up with the right food.  Meanwhile, give your puppy SOMETHING to eat, please.  We'll overnight it."

"Thanks.  Oh, and another thing.  Every once in a while it starts leaking.  Is that normal?"

"Um...yeah.  It's urinating.  It's an animal.  It's dispelling waste."

"My kids do that, but they go to the toilet!  Why doesn't this thing go to the toilet?  I mean, it's so cute, but I don't want to clean up after it all the time."

"You have to train your puppy to let you know it needs to go outside.  Then you need to take it outside."

"Wow, there's more to this than I thought!  Hey, we're building a cage for it, can you help us do that too?"

"Sure.....say, do you think you are really ready to own a dog?"

"No, we don't want a dog!  That's why we got a PUPPY!  Pay attention!"

Friday, March 20, 2020

Because I do take requests: The Facebook Groups Kazoo Commercial

Though seriously, there's not a whole lot left to say about this once it's been experienced (and I've experienced this exactly once.  I'm not watching this War Crime one more time, ever.)

Let's imagine that this is an actual college, and these are actual students.  Every single one of them is at this college on a voluntary basis; they applied- they weren't drafted- and were picked over other applicants.  Every single one of them in sitting in a class someone else wanted to get into but was denied access. 

There you go, ladies and gentlemen- THESE kids were the winners in the Get Into This College Contest.

But instead of taking advantage of their good fortune, one of them decides to interrupt the lecture by blowing into a kazoo.  This is normal, young-adult, future-of-the-nation behavior.  An educated adult is trying to pass on their knowledge to you in a class you opted to take?  You're bored?  Show everyone how awesome your attention span is by blowing into a kazoo.  Don't keep it to yourself.  Don't worry that some other lame student might be trying to learn something.  This is all about you.  Blow that kazoo.

And if you are sitting in a class and you're bored because you only took the class because you found yourself in college and classes are a thing that seem to happen in college, and you hear someone blow a kazoo, take out yours and answer.  Let that person know that there are at at least two clueless jagoffs in the classroom.  It's tons of fun and it will totally prevent anyone from learning, so cool.

And when every single douchenozzle in the class has been identified, you can all meet up in your own Facebook Group when there are assignments to do and you don't want to do them because they are lame, and you can practice your kazoo-blowing until your dorm mate murders you, which hopefully will be very, very soon.  Because then that actual student on the waiting list can get into that school and get an actual, you know, Education.

Is there more to this commercial?  Maybe. I'm not watching it again.  No way.

"Kazoo Enthusiasts?"  We need a Virus for That. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

US Tax Shield - Arguably the most aggravating commercials out there

It just seems to be the perfect company to pick on while my 401(k) melts away (for now.)  What better to warm the heart than the stories of tax scofflaws getting away with cheating the American people and keeping their luxury houses complete with SUVs and swimming pools?

"Congress just passed what is arguably the biggest tax reform in history..." well, kind of hard to call that a lie.  You can argue pretty much anything.  Darth Vader killed Luke's father, "from a certain point of view."  In other words, Arguably.  But I bet Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and GW Bush would disagree with the tax reform of 2019 being anything close to the biggest tax reform in US history.

Kayla owed the IRS $38,000 dollars "after her divorce." What does her divorce have to do with skipping out on her taxes to the tune of $38,000?  Was she too busy getting a divorce to pay her taxes?  Seriously, what is the connection?  We aren't told.  We're NEVER told.  Maybe divorce is Arguably the biggest cause of being a Tax Dodge?

Don made "four attempts to resolve his own tax debt" before he decided to call US Tax Shield.  I wonder if that means he called four different scam artists before he contacted this one.  It's certainly Arguable that he didn't make an honest attempt to actually pay his bill, because he could have made ONE phone call, to the Big Bad IRS, to work out a payment plan.  Clearly making payments isn't Don's thing- thus, the call to US Tax Shield.

Meh, this goes on and on but I think you get the picture.  US Tax Shield promises to "protect" you from the people you legitimately owe money to- meaning, US.  Hand me a freaking tissue. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Superbowl Commercial Fail # 5- Tide Pods

1.  Who invited this whiny, screechy idiot?  Seriously, he probably just got over losing half his chip in the dip before this NEW traumatizing event shook his world.  You've got a food stain on your shirt, buddy.  Calm.  The hell.  Down.

2.  Is this party taking place in his own home?  If so, why doesn't he just change?  If not, does he expect the host to just start a laundry load because his shirt has a stain on it (there's a basket of laundry right there in the background?)   I have to assume he's a guest, because oh my god does he keep this hissy fit going on long after anyone else would have wiped that stain with a wet paper towel and moved on with his life.

3.  Who is this woman reminding him that it's just a stain, he's at an adult party, and he seriously needs to stop acting like he's having a full-blown autistic episode? Don't you dare tell me that's his wife or his date.  Because if that's the case, I seriously just give up- just like she obviously did.  But when he wakes up "later," she's nowhere to be seen, so....

(And no offense to autistic people, but that's the first thing I thought of when I saw this guy's reaction to getting a stain on his shirt.  He's seriously having a fit and if he doesn't have a diagnosed mental illness should be put in Time Out, if not a straightjacket.)

4.  The guy spends the rest of this ad obsessing over that stain, and it's easy to imagine that he's doing all of this Thinking About What Later Means out loud, disturbing everyone at the party.  He notices a Bud Light ad and the Pepsi Halftime Show (thanks for reminding us of the sponsor, you choad) but apparently the actual game is lost to him because all that matters is that stain.

5.  I'm going to assume that all of the other people at this party will remind themselves not to invite a certain other stain to the next Superbowl get-together, or any other get-together, for that matter.  This guy is a walking billboard for Social Separating.  He IS a virus. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

2020 Battle for the White House Chess Set- Another gem from Basic Cable!

This reminds me of that classic joke about the Time-Life Civil War chess set they were selling on late-night television back in the 1970s; you know, where you'd buy the board up front and subscribe to receive one chess piece a month for a low low price of $14.99 each plus shipping and handling.  The joke was "play your first game in 2015."

Now your family can mark the "historic 2020 Presidential election" (aren't they all kind of historic?) by purchasing this hysterical chess set featuring "hand-crafted" pieces representing all the "important figures" involved in that election.  There's Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi leading the "symbolic elephants and donkeys* into battle,"  and Barack Obama is there for some reason.  Adorable.

The ad opens with the question "who will occupy the Oval Office?'  Personally, I'd vote for that question mark over the current occupant any day and twice on Sundays.

"President Donald J. Trump with Vice President Mike Pence by his side...." I wonder if you get your money back after Nikki Haley takes Pence's place "by his side?"  I mean, why not?  I mean, you're going to have to do a little extra work anyway- you aren't going to be able to use that Bernie Sanders piece at the Democratic lectern. 

"Justices Kavanaugh, Sotomayor, Roberts and Ginsburg, Bishops, stand guard to protect the Supreme Court."  I guess they figure Trump's going to win re-election.  Only way I can see why they'd have to "stand guard" to "protect" the court.

Oh, and this is the set with "optional deluxe board" being shown.  I wonder what makes it "deluxe?"  That the cheap plastic is raised?  Seriously, this thing looks so ugly it's hard to believe that the "deluxe" set would be more ostentatious than the standard one.  Why would anyone pay extra to draw even MORE attention to the fact that you traded good money for this junk?

The set cost $59.99 with a "strict limit of one per household," except the limit isn't all that strict, as with their promo code you can reserve THREE.   Because they'd make awesome gifts, obviously. 

"The fun will never end..." Ok, you said that about my 9/11 commemorative coin collection, my Stormin' Norman tea set and my Trumpy Bear.  I'm starting to doubt your word, Late Night TV

(I'm already to vote for the empty Democratic podiums myself....)

*so glad the donkeys and elephants are only "symbolic."  That will certainly save on shipping and handling.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Nothing is more pretentious than a Subaru Commercial

Oh my g-d someone spare me the dreamy musings of a family of entitled jackwads who think that a road trip in their Subaru BlandMobile is a freaking existential adventure and not just a mildly expensive romp through other people's Everyday.

I mean, just look at these idiots- they take their freaking toy dogs with them, which is enough to make me root for a breakdown followed by a feast for a nice family of bears.  I'm sorry, but I just can't stand people who think their dogs have to travel everywhere with them.  Do everyone a favor, just leave them home you ridiculous wastes of perfectly good skin.

"Off road!" one of them shouts, veering off the legal highway Because They Can.  And now they are plowing through nature, crashing through someone's field, running over something's home, while congratulating themselves for being "off the grid" (great time for that family of bears to show up.)  "Is this a road?"  Hahaha, what difference does THAT make?  The world is your road.  Private property? F--k that, we've got a Subaru.

Then they grace humanity with their delightfully carefree ways, stopping at quaint greasy spoons to try the local cuisine, sneering at- and getting sneered at- the local gentry which are just props to their Awesome Lives.  Never mind bears- how about a population of mutants or hillbillies who Don't Take Kindly to Strangers or a village which regularly sacrifices strangers to the Corn Harvest gods?  Something.  ANYTHING to spare me of these twats.

Naw, nothing like that is going to happen, because TV hates me.  So instead we see these perpetually happy buckets of dander roar off to their next Horizon in their f--ing Subaru, and we look forward to the next Subarus Make Life Possible commercial, and I have my gag reflex exercised once again....

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

We Are Farmers, and We Think Chores are things to be Saved from

Wow, I just....I just don't even know where to begin....

How about with this dishrag of a woman asking what appears to be her 25-year old son if he was "even planning" to "mow the lawn"* today?  I'm pretty sure that neither of my parents never asked me to mow a lawn with quite those words.  I think it was more like "mow the lawn today."  But then again, neither of my parents ever walked in on me slouched in an Easy Chair eating a bag of fried fat and playing video games when I was supposed to be doing chores.  I know that, because I'm still alive after all.

Or maybe we should just skip to this loathsome creep-of-a-son's response.  What.  The Actual.  F??  On one hand, I could just shrug and say "well, you raised it, you live with it."  On the other hand- holy crap buddy, you talk to your mom- the one who provides that house and those clothes and that TV- like she's dirt at the bottom of those sneakers she bought for you?  Ugh, what a douchnozzle.

Naw, let's just get to the punchline- "saved by the bolt" when the lawnmower is hit by lightning?  What does this mean?  That the kid was saved from having to "mow"* the lawn?  But there's no indication that he was going to put down his Idiot Time Vampire Game Controller and mow that lawn.  We all just heard him tell his mom to basically f--k off.  He wasn't "planning" to move from that chair . He wasn't "saved" from mowing it because he wasn't going to mow it.  And to add insult to injury, this puddle of pond scum actually thinks it's cool that the lawnmower was destroyed by lightning- not his problem, after all.  Now, if the lightning had caused a power surge which damaged his Rogers Game Brick, THAT would have been a real bummer, something to be concerned about it.  Mom's lawnmower?  F-- that lame s--t, right, kid?

Personally, I think I can speak for millions of viewers when I say that this commercial would have been much more satisfying if that little creep had been on the lawnmower when it was hit by lightning.  Maybe they are saving that for a Superbowl ad?

*Every summer I keep a lawn about five times larger than the postage stamp we see in this ad mowed using a push mower, and I'm probably 3 times older than the smart-ass little stain we see here (if he's really supposed to be a teenager and not a 25-year old still living on Mommy's dime.)  If this woman had any guts, she'd take the insurance money, buy a push-mower, and tell that kid he can either keep the lawn mowed or his video game console is going out the door- and so is he.  Meanwhile, she'll be using the balance to take some parenting classes at the local college. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Just Crack An Egg is almost beyond snark

(Fortunately, I've posted several long screeds in a row so I feel comfortable going with a quick take on this one.)

Judging from this woman's face when she notices the cup of freeze-dried potatoes in the refrigerator, isn't it safe to assume that she didn't buy that stuff but instead is delighted to have the opportunity to steal her roommate's groceries?

And judging by the reaction this woman has to eating the egg and potato mixture, I have to believe that the roommate got sick of her friend stealing her food and decided to spike it with a syringe filled with LSD.  Seriously, what the heck is this?

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Oh Seriously, Bite Me, Mazda

So a couple of Eurotrash Millenials bored with their rich, entitled lives notice that restaurant space is available.  And at this moment I'm reminded of that scene in Citizen Kane when Orson Welles' character tells his mentor "I think it would be fun to run a newspaper" because the two Pretty People head off to start setting up their restaurant without a second thought.  Because they can, I guess.

They go through the Cliche'd Food Business Start Up Bingo Card with stupid entitled smiles frozen to their faces- smiles nourished by the knowledge that they've got buckets of money sitting in hedge funds just waiting to have fun with.  You know, Just Normal Everyday Young Dreamers.  Just look what we see them do in just a few seconds.  They visit an Organic Farm to meet an Organic Farmer and buy a case of Organic Olive Oil (because the very first thing you're going to do when you decide at a moment's notice to start a restaurant is seek out a stable supply of Organic Olive Oil.)  Then they visit a high-end butcher shop to pick out just the right cuts of meat.  Then they go off to some freaking artist's loft studio to engage someone to make them a logo.  Never you freaking mind that these people haven't so much as made a freaking PHONE CALL to the people leasing the restaurant space to get any particulars.  They are Young People With a Dream, remember.  That stuff can wait until they nail down a good Belgian Endive vendor.

And it's not just the young people who are smiling.  The Olive Oil farmer is smiling.  The butcher is smiling.  The artist is smiling.  Everyone is just so freaking happy to be in contact with the Beautiful Young Couple who drive a Mazda and who decided this afternoon to start a business because they were both bored at the same time.  I'm guessing that in the long version we see a smiling bank officer, smiling small-town carpenter ready and eager to hand-carve tables for the future customers, and smiling microbrewery owners signing delightful contracts to deliver Only the Best to the city's newest, most Exclusive New Restaurant owned and operated by Two Lovely Young Dreamers.

All this because two people noticed their Almost Perfect world wasn't 100 percent perfect and, owning a Mazda and being Rich Young People in America it really ought to be perfect plus impulse decisions are the very best of decisions.  In two years they'll have a less than Perfect day in the restaurant business- maybe the Creme Brulle had a bit too much vanilla- and decide to start their own Olive Oil farm.  Whatever these spontaneously wacky kids do next, they'll be sure to do it in their Mazda, and we'll be cheering them on because after all America.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Principal Financial Group "Dream Car" really hits home for me

So here we've got a retired-at-55 grandpa ready to spend a chunk of his investments on a ridiculous ego boost in the form of a stupid sports car.  Because there aren't any grandchildren who maybe need help with college, or any charities, and his wife isn't interested in taking ANOTHER cruise or trip to Europe, I guess.  Nope, Grandpa has found his dream car and it's his money and if you think this is a heartwarming story designed to pull at the heartstrings, well, you ain't seen nothing yet.

His ne'er-do-well son shows up with a granddaughter in tow and dumps a gigantic wet blanket on Grandpa's plans-- Son "needs" to take a new job far, far away and Granddaughter needs to finish her senior year at college, sure would be great if Grandpa and Grandma agreed to let her stay with them.

No pressure, though....take your time in making this "decision," grandpa.  Meanwhile, granddaughter is sitting right there, to remind you that her college career depends on that decision.  If you say no it's totally on you, NOT her dad.  So what's it going to be, grandpa?

Grandpa naturally takes in granddaughter, stepping into the role that his son is eager to abandon.  Which seems to mean that the Dream Car is off.   Why?  We'll get back to that.

This is starting to get uncomfortably familiar, and I'm starting to get triggered by the whole thing.  I'm moving on.

Grandpa bonds with daughter in the few seconds of this ad which is actually really enjoyable to watch.  Granddaughter isn't being demanding- we don't see her sneaking boyfriends into the house, or smoking pot without sharing, or throwing parties in the living room.  In other words, we don't see her acting like an entitled douchenozzle like, for instance, her Dad.  And grandpa seems to actually like having her around.  It's hard to imagine grandpa dumping his granddaughter on a relative the moment she becomes inconvenient.

And at the end, Grandpa visits his Principal Financial Group money man and works out a way to buy granddaughter her own car.  And now I'm really ticked, because....

....If Grandpa was ready to buy a $40,000 sports car before Granddaughter shows up, but now needs to move things around with his retirement portfolio to pull off the purchase of a much more modest car for his granddaughter, I have to believe that granddaughter arrived at his doorstep with no financial support from Dad.  Dad didn't just leave his daughter with grandma and grandpa-- he also left them with all the bills that go along with taking care of daughter.  I heard Dad ask if Daughter could stay with Grandpa and Grandma- I didn't hear him ask them to take on the entire financial burden of raising her for the next year.

 Did I forget to call Dad an entitled douchenozzle?  No?  Well, then let me add grifter to that description.  Dad thinks that parents who can afford to pay the bills of their children ought to do just that because....well, because it's much more convenient that way, and being responsible and paying your own way is lame, and suggesting that you should do so is being toxic.

So granddaughter was a year away from graduating, but Dad has this opportunity out of state, so it's only Right and Natural that Grandpa and Grandma step in and pick up the slack.  They've got the money, after all.  They don't need Dad's.  And they are happy to do it.

Maybe they are.  But here's a little "toxic" reality check, Dad:  every dime you spend on yourself while your parents are dipping into their retirement fund to pay for your daughter is THEFT.  Every latte.  Every beer after work.  Every weekend with the guys or with the wife.  Every.  Single. Time. You buy something for yourself, you are stealing from your parents.  Because no matter how much grandpa and grandma love that granddaughter, no matter how "happy" they are to provide for her, nothing can change the fact that they are using money they worked hard for and are spending it not on themselves and their own responsibilities, but on you and Yours.

Ok, I'm done being triggered now.  I'm going to go back to reading the YouTube comments about how heartwarming and sweet this all is, and wondering if Dad gets over his serious bout of Entitlement and starts sending some cash to Grandpa and Grandma for doing the job HE SIGNED UP FOR.