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 because...um....because 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 "ummm...do 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 on....no offense, mom, but....really....."

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Chewy.com lost me at "hey pet lovers!"

...so 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 Chewy.com 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

Chewy.com- "where did this new mammal thing come from?"

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

"Um...food.  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, so.....it 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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Truly Pointless Passat Commercial

"Have you ever wondered what the motorcade driver drives when she's not in a motorcade?"

No.  Not ever.  Not even once.  Has anyone else ever wondered that?  I really have to doubt it.

Am I supposed to know who this woman is?  Her name is promoted in the title.  Several YouTube posters mention her.  She's called an Actress in the description.  So she's not a motorcade driver.  She's an actress in a stupid commercial which starts with a stupid question nobody asks.

So I guess the idea we're supposed to get out of this is that

1.  Motorcade drivers are daydreaming, bored-out-of-their minds robots who really, really hate driving motorcades (hmmm, kind of makes you wonder why you chose "motorcade driver" as a career....

2.  When they aren't at their Job from Hell, Motorcade drivers love to drive....their Volkswagen Passats.

3.  Amanda Klein is someone we're supposed to recognize, trust, and associate with Volkswagen.

Well, thanks, Volkswagen.  Where do I go to get that thirty seconds of my life back?

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Walmart and Capital One: Stupidly Ever After

So the young couple in this ad is smart enough to be able to afford a typical television suburban palace, but not smart enough to realize that you can't leave a new puppy unattended in that palace unless you put it in a fricking crate.  Even I'm aware of this very simple fact, and I don't own a dog OR a suburban palace.

They don't get much brighter as the commercial continues, either:  they buy one of those stupid pet/child gates which will only keep the puppy from doing damage in every other room except the one he's stuck in.  Is the puppy going to be kept in a room free of everything but his own toys?  Well, maybe- it's a suburban palace, after all.

Anyway, this stupid couple is so freaking delighted with their new living toy- almost as delighted as they are to be heading off to Walmart to use their credit card every few hours.  When they are home, they are shocked to learn that not only does the new mammal they brought home in lieu of a child chew up furniture when they aren't around, but it doesn't even know how to use a toilet and is not super-responsive to reactions like "no no no no no!" coming from its human owners.  So it destroys furniture, messes on the carpet, requires significant expenditures, doesn't respond to commands....why do I want one of these things again?

Oh, right- because I live in the suburbs and I'm supposed to.  Well as I've posted previously, there's a whole bunch of other things I'm supposed to do that I'm still ignoring- like be married, have kids, buy one of these suburban palaces, and stand around on the front lawn wearing a bathrobe with a cup of coffee in my hand.  Just call me a rebel, but I don't get the attraction of any of this.