Sunday, August 29, 2021

This Credit Repair Commercial, Line by Dishonest Line


From the "let's pretend we are asking random photogenic people on the street about (fill in the blank") collection...

Spokeschoad:  "What's a good credit score?"
"Random" person:  "Um...600?"
S:  "Maybe...if you want to pay thousands of dollars extra in interest."

In fact:  A credit score of 600 lands you solidly in the "Fair" category.  "Good" starts at 670.  Certainly "Fair" isn't "good," but it's not "Poor" either.  If you are a young person- as this "random passerby" seems to be, it's actually pretty typical.

Spokeschoad:  "Will paying your bills fix your credit?"
"Random" person:  "YES!"
S:  "So confident!  But No!"

In fact:  The reason why this passerby was "so confident" in believing that paying bills will fix credit may be because she knows that it's the No. 1 factor in determining credit score.  Paying each bill on time, every time- and paying delinquent bills- most definitely DOES improve one's credit score.*  So smarmy, grinning jackass spokeschoad is just being dishonest here.   He's telling this person- and US- that we can't improve our credit score by paying our debts.  This isn't twisting the truth.  It's denying it.  It's a lie. 

Spokeschoad:  "Is credit repair expensive?"
"Random" person:  "Isn't having bad credit expensive?"
S:  "MY MAN!"

In fact:  This is the closest Spokeschoad comes to being honest, and he does it with a Yeahbutwhatabout non-argument.  Credit repair isn't expensive - in fact, it's free.  Just avoid using or any other BS "pay us to do what you can do all by yourself" service.  The "Isn't having bad credit expensive" line is technically correct, but the implication that your choice is Bad Credit or engaging is most definitely not.  This commercial tells us that 1) we need a very high credit score to avoid getting ripped off, 2) we can't get a very high credit score even by being a good credit risk, and therefore 3) we need to hire this company.  Period.  End of story.

Well, almost.  End of story should include one of these random people being verbally mugged by this smarmy jackass giving that smarmy jackass a solid kick to the teeth.  Maybe that actually happened but was edited out along with all of the responses that sounded too much like "that's incorrect; if you pay your debts and keep your bills paid up, your credit will improve, nice try spokeschoad." 

*35% of one's credit score is based on payment history.  Another 30% is based on amount of credit used:,Hampshire%3A%20729%209%20Nebraska%3A%20728%2010%20Hawaii%3A%20727

Saturday, August 28, 2021

I've got a few more things to say about Greg from those Prevagen radio ads....


...because I'm really sick of the powerful suggestion running through all of these ads that Greg is someone to be looked up to, respected, maybe even admired.  He is absolutely nothing of the sort.

We are told that Greg is a "Substitute Teacher, Motivational Speaker, and Paid Testimonialist."  As far as I'm concerned, that means Greg is Unskilled Labor with a Hustle.  He's found a way to take his total lack of productivity and turn it into a steady paycheck.  He sits in other people's classrooms when actual professionals are absent, he somehow manages to convince people that he can "motivate" them to do things he doesn't do, and he endorses things for money.  And that's about it. 

But here's the part that really grates me about the radio version of this ad:  Greg introduces himself to the audience by explaining that his motivation is to "give back."  THAT'S why he's a substitute teacher and motivational speaker (and paid testimonialist?) Not for the money, but because he wants to "give back."  The world has been good to him, you see, so he's going to sacrifice his golden years by "giving back."  Isn't he something, ladies and gentlemen?   Yeah, no, Greg.  Take that halo off, it doesn't belong there. 

Look, Greg.  Everyone's got to earn a living.  You earn yours by providing no actual value, but as long as you can find someone to pay you, I'm not going to knock your hustle.  But don't tell us you're doing any of this because you feel the need to "give back."  You're a warm body (substitute teacher,) a traveling hypnotist (motivational speaker,) and spokeschoad (paid testimonialist.)  There's nothing special, let alone admirable, about you at all.  A hundred years ago, you'd be drifting town to town selling apple cider mixed with gasoline out of a cart under the label GREG'S MIRACLE MEMORY ELIXER.  And at least you'd be putting actual effort in to earn that paycheck.  Right now, you're just a sad joke we want off our radios and tvs because we're sick to death of your self-congratulatory, smarmy shtick.   Go away now and take your BS snake oil with you.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Carnation's "give them your best" commercial


"Kids can change minds....they can even change the world around them..." wow, kids sound really, really important.  We should take care of them.

So how does starting their day with a glass of chocolate milk and calling it "breakfast" equate to taking care of them, exactly?  Are we TRYING to make sure that they're hungry before they get to school?  Because there's a reason why this stuff is called "Essentials:" it's because it's got vitamins and minerals and absolutely nothing else (like fiber) which might keep them awake through third period or less than absolutely ravenous well before lunchtime.

And get that stupid, self-satisfied look off your face, MommyWife.  Investing all of fifteen seconds stirring up two glasses of this crap just screams "half-assed effort," not "I love my children and they are the future of the planet etc. etc. etc."  If you believed that, you'd at least whip up some toast and pour some milk into a bowl of cereal.  Carnation Instant Breakfast?  The only message that sends is "I've got better things to do." 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Catholic University of America makes me feel so loved on my birthday...


Included in this very nice card is a promo code for 25% off at the CUA store.  Except the jacket I want hasn't been available for a year now.  And another jacket isn't available in any size except small and extra large- and it's not eligible with the promotion.  And another sweatshirt looks nice- but oh look, the promo code is invalid. 

Thanks, good old CUA, for remembering me on my birthday.  I'm still not donating, and you clearly don't really care if I buy anything. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Bambee deserves another verbal kick in the butt


"Minimum Wage Requirements!  Wrongful Dismissal Lawsuits!  LABOR REGULATIONS!"

These are the EVIL POTHOLES and HEADACHES that ASSAULT the decent, hard-working business owner every day, according to  And to deal with these and other hassles that necessary evil called Humans are just waiting to inflict on your poor poor put-upon self, you've got to hire a Human Resources Manager, which we're going to just refer to as another piece of equipment- "they cost $70,000 per year."

Now that Bambee has made it perfectly clear that it sees living, breathing fellow sapiens as royal pains in the ass whose annoying demands for things like a decent wage and compliance with laws passed to Support the Spread of Communism make sure workers are being treated like fellow sapiens, it's not surprising that this company wants to just outsource the career of Human Resources Manager to part-timers working out of boiler rooms on the other side of the planet.  I mean, Bambee couldn't be more obvious with it's utter contempt for workers who dare suggest that they have rights, so as a blood-sucking Capitalist Great American who just wants to be permitted to enslave his fellow man live the American dream, what choice do you have but to hire Bambee?  Live with those minimum wage requirements and other labor regulations?  So what you're saying is, you want the terrorists to win?

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Join this Family, Drink the Kool-Aid* (or Minute Maid Fruit Punch)


So I guess the "joke" here is that if you bring in anyone from the Outside to meet the Family, that Outsider can expect to be greeted by absolute silence- including the sudden muting of any music that happens to be playing and hell, while we're at it, the freezing of any cooking sounds that happen to correspond with the Outsider's arrival.  Silence, and very cold, unfriendly stares from every member of the Family who will treat you exactly as if you've just stood up at the local Kingdom Hall to announce that you are in fact an Apostate and just came to let everyone know they are in a cult.

The silence and the threatening stares will only end when, and if, the Patriarch hands you a glass of Minute Maid Fruit Punch and bursts into laughter worthy of any escapee from Beldam Asylum.  And when the rest of the Family joins in, well....if you hang around to actually drink that fruit punch, you must really like that girl or really like the idea of being "accepted" by this truly weird family.  I mean, it's one thing to meet the Crazy Uncle We Have to Invite first.  It's another thing entirely for that Crazy Uncle to actually turn out to be your girlfriend's dad and the role model for everyone else in this group of lunatics who somehow include your girlfriend.  I'd start to wonder what I got myself into, and if there was some kind of Get Out deal at work here.  In any case, I wouldn't drink that fruit punch, and I'd remind myself of that old saw "marry the girl, you marry her family."  

(By the way, these people really like Minute Maid Fruit Punch...I mean, it's not TERRIBLE, but...there are a lot of better-tasting drinks out there.  Seriously.)

*yes, I know it's not Kool-Aid.  But it wasn't Kool-Aid at Jonestown, either.  

Thursday, August 19, 2021

TDAmeritrade's shameless, manipulative exploitation of a shameless, manipulative song


Because I'm afraid I'll forget, I just have to spotlight one of the YouTube responses to this commercial which lets us know that Mr. Chapin's estate is very grateful that this song was used in this ad.  Yes, I'm quite certain that Mr. Chapin's heirs appreciate the royalty money.  Other than that, I'm not at all certain that Mr. Chapin would be thrilled to see his cloying tear-jerking mess of a song being used to pitch TD f--ing Ameritrade.

Now that that's out of the way, we see that this is one of those ads that has nothing to do with any product but instead is designed only to elicit feelings of warmth toward a particular company.  "Awwww....look at that dad being involved with his kid!  Awwww...I remember this song, which is about a father who neglected (worked for a living to keep a roof over his head) his kid!  Awwww...the company that bought the rights to use this music must really, really love dads who really, really love their kids!  I should invest with them, maybe!"

Oh seriously, gag me.  This commercial features maybe ten three-second scenes from eighteen years of a father's life with his son, including baby-holding time that son will NOT remember or appreciate later.  Are these three-second scenes representative of the guy's relationship with his son?  Or are they the rare highlights of 18 years in which the dad was essentially absent (the rare highlights that this guy images reflect the kind of awesome dad he was/is, while if the son looked at this commercial would think "yeah, I guess that ten times over the course of 18 years, dad and I did stuff together, but what about the great majority of the time when he was nowhere to be seen?")  Also, if this IS an accurate portrayal of his life as a father, so what?  Being a father is Optional.  This guy chose to be a father.  He's just doing what decent fathers should do.  This ad suggests that this guy should be up for a Nobel Prize because he held his son when he was a baby and played catch with him and took him out for a burger on occasion.  

And finally...this is, in the end, a commercial for TDAmeritrade, a company which in all of it's other ads feature people staring at stock analyses on laptops and cellphones or sitting in coffee shops or "green rooms" chatting away with greasy analysts about how to spend more time obsessing over money.  No kids to be seen, anywhere.   So what's with the mixed messages?  Are guys supposed to spend time with their kids, or are they supposed to be spending every waking moment manipulating their money?  I know which one yanks the heartstrings, but I also know which one signs up the customers.  Which is why this particular ad is the outlier. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Ocrevus declares war against biology. I guess.


This is exactly like those stupid "Stand Up To Cancer" commercials I used to see- and actually commented on more than a decade ago.  You know, the ones where random people (and Lance Armstrong) would stand up and stare at the camera and challenge cancer to a fistfight, or something. 

This really weird anthropomorphizing of a disease always struck me as being weird.  I have rheumatoid arthritis.  My specialist never suggested to me that RA was "out to get me" and it was "me against RA" or that shooting up with Humira twice a month was my way of "fighting back" against RA, maybe because he's an adult and I'm an adult and he realized that to describe my condition and it's treatment in that manner would be treating me like a child.  Instead, he just told me that Humira can aid in controlling the symptoms of RA.  He didn't describe RA as a monster that had invaded and was determined to take over my body and "control me."   And I'm grateful that he didn't because I prefer to take my doctor seriously.

To the best of my knowledge, diseases don't exist to challenge us or knock us off our pedestals as the Most Awesomest Living Things Ever.  They don't exist for any purpose at all, and they aren't thinking at all, let alone thinking of ways to bring us down.  To think otherwise requires a level of self-importance even I can't obtain.

On the other hand, if phrases like "Win The Fight Against COVID" and "Defeat COVID" and "It's Us Against COVID" convince the roughly one-quarter of the American population currently determined to let Stupid enslave them (and, more importantly, make life difficult for the rest of us,) then I say keep using them.  But I'm not going to stop thinking that this is all pretty stupid. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Eventually, everyone gets their own SiriusXM channel. And here's the proof


The SiriusXM commercial advertising the channel "starring" this talentless one-trick pony whose one trick grew old and hackneyed more than a decade ago has him waxing poetic about how he was "discovered" after "entertaining" an audience of slack-jawed, tasteless yokels:  As he was walking off the stage, Ron Schneider and David Spade walked up to him and said he was an awesome talent.

Because if you want to send someone to judge a comedian's talent, you can't do better than...Rob Schneider and David Spade.  Seriously, if those two told me someone they heard at a comedy club was funny, I'd ask them how they could possibly know, having never approached Funny's zip code in their entire careers.  Rob Schneider and David Spade think you're funny?  Then the jury's still out as far as I'm concerned.  Seriously, when Daniel Lawrence Whitney told me that he was discovered by Schneider and Spade, I thought that he was just telling another joke- one much funnier than any I'd ever heard him tell before.   It's like someone boasting that Donald Trump told him that he had Class and Modesty. 

Personally, I wouldn't watch two minutes of this guy's exaggerated Jim Foxworthy routine if you paid me.  If anyone subscribes to SiriusXM to listen to this multi-millionaire pretend to be a hokey redneck, it's probably the same kind of person who watches Duck Dynasty and believes the stars of that show are just Reg'lar Folks Like You and Me and not the phony media products they are.  Personally, I think one 30-second commercial for this played-out no-talent more than fulfills my daily get-r-done quota.   

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Lending Tree's Good Commercial with the Wrong Message


Sure you can see the punchline coming from a mile away, but this is still a pretty cute commercial featuring a guy admitting that he's put himself way over his head in debt in order to live a lifestyle society "expects" him to live because he's a white guy in Suburban America.  He's got the ridiculous house that everyone in commercials but very, very few people in real life have.  He's got a huge SUV and is an "upstanding member of society" (guy willing to throw money around in order to look far wealthier than he actually is) because he belongs to the local golf club.  And he's got himself a trophy wife who either has the brain of a canary because she's been conned into believing his BS or is as much in denial as her husband is. 

The problem is that this isn't a commercial for fiscal responsibility, it's a commercial for Lending Tree.  So after thirty seconds of this guy setting up the "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs" punchline, we get the even bigger joke that the "solution" to his problem is....more debt.  This after he tells us he can barely pay the finance charges on the debt he's ALREADY accumulated.  

This reminds me of those blank checks I still occasionally get in the mail from credit companies encouraging me to use them to pay off my debts and "consolidate" them into "one easy payment" of $217 per month for the rest of my life or so.  There's no end to banks, credit card issuers, etc. eager to buy up your debt so they can soak you for interest from now until the universe suffers from heat death.  But it's so obviously a dumb shell game that only the most desperate- or stupid- would ever fall for it.  I guess this guy qualifies, but seriously, buddy...the LAST thing you need is to buy into the idea that you can just borrow your way out of debt.  Do you think that you can wash yourself dry or binge-eat your way to a fitter body, too?  Because it's the same mentality. 

How about just living within your means?  Anyone do that anymore?

Friday, August 13, 2021

CashNetUSA is The Dumb


I've never been as happy about anything as this woman is to be taking out a loan to fix maybe thousands of dollars of water damage done to her roof.  She really looks like her day was made when the ceiling collapsed, drenching her husband, because apparently nothing gives her a thrill more than whipping out her phone and committing both of them to paying off a high-interest loan.  Just a couple of questions that don't involve questioning the mental state of a woman who beams from ear to ear simply because borrowing money is easy:

1.  Are you even going to call a carpenter, plumber, or any other professional to give you an estimate on how severe the damage is or how much it's going to cost?  Or is the plan to just borrow a certain amount of money and hope it's enough?  If the latter is the case, how did you go about buying that home- did you just borrow a massive chunk of money figuring "yeah, a house should cost this much?"

2.  You sure took out that loan fast.  It's like you just wanted to borrow money and were waiting for an excuse.  That's really weird.

3.  Do you guys NOT have homeowner's insurance?  Isn't that a legal requirement pretty much everywhere?  I can see jumping to file a claim, NOT to take out a loan.  

4.  You guys own a home, and the best option you can think of when you have an unexpected repair bill (and again, you don't even have a bill yet) is to use the same service people who DON'T have property they can use to get a SECURED loan use?  That would be like if I ignored the money I have in the bank and my credit cards and just toddled off to Aaron's to rent a tv, or if I ignored my driving record and sought car insurance from one of those by-the-month pay-through-the-nose barely-legal-coverage places.  What is the matter with you people?

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Community Tax understands you deadbeats


"If you owe the IRS $10,000 or more...."

First, you don't owe "the IRS" anything.  You owe the American people $10,000.  Which means you owe your neighbors, your community, your friends, because you haven't been paying your fair share.  That "Freedom isn't Free" bumper sticker doesn't mean "Support the Troops By Putting a Bumper Sticker on Your Car and Voting Republican."  It means that it costs money to keep a stable society which includes infrastructure going.  And if you want to enjoy the benefits of that stable society, you have to pay your fair share.  And you haven't been, so

Second, stop shaking your head at those pieces of paper on your coffee table in your Suburban palace.  Shaking your head isn't going to make those pieces of paper- which I assume are friendly reminders that you live in a stable society and haven't paid your fair share- go away.  Neither is some scammy bs "Tax Service" which paints the Internal Revenue Service as an Evil Monster trying to Victimize your poor, innocent, All You Wanted Was To Not Pay Taxes and Also Not Face Any Consequences Self.  

Third, I don't care what the state of the economy is presently, and neither does this "service," because they use the same script whether we are in a recession, depression or boom times.  No matter what year it is or what the unemployment rate is or where the stock market is at, these commercials are always bleating about "these uncertain times" and "the current economic downturn."  Know why?  Because people who owe taxes always think times are bad.  It's like that old saw that a "Recession" is when your neighbor is out of work, and a "Depression" is when you are.  These ads target people who are living on the margins (usually due to stupid decisions like overpaying for cars and houses because I Want It and I have a Right to have It Right Now) and figured they could just save some money by not paying their taxes.  In other words, Stupid People who love to be told that their situation is Anyone's Fault But Theirs.  Telling them "times are really tough right now, we understand" is going to get a response because it implies that "everyone" is in the same boat, never mind that the vast majority of Americans actually pay their fair share even if it means doing without because they haven't figured out that Responsibility is for Suckers. 

Fourth, I hope all these people end up in jail.  I have a right to feel that way- I pay my taxes.  I pay my fair share.  I don't live off others and I have zero respect for anyone who thinks paying taxes just isn't something smart people should have to do if they want to use that money for something else.   I'm just weird that way.

Sunday, August 8, 2021; an easy go-to on a Sunday morning


There's a radio version of this ad running pretty much constantly on Sirius/XM which features some smarmy jackass pretending to quiz people on their knowledge of the importance of a good credit score.  He asks them what a "good credit score" is, and a woman guesses "600?" to which he mockingly replies, "sure, that's good, if you want to pay thousands of dollars in extra interest."  If you have a radio, you've probably heard this ad.  

Anyway, the host eventually asks a guy "does paying your bills on time improve your credit score?"  And guess what- when the guy answers "yes" the host responds "sorry, no."  Which breaks my rage meter, because as I've been preaching here for years, paying your bills on time, every time is the No. 1 way to keep your credit score high, or to improve it if it's not where you want it to be. outright LIES to make it sound like your credit score is out of your control, so you need to use their "service."  It would be as if Optima Tax Relief told you that you CAN'T deal with your tax issues with the IRS on your own, instead of carefully telling you that you SHOULDN'T.  It's crossing a very fine line between Possibly True and Downright False and I wonder why the United States has such lousy consumer protections when it comes to misleading advertising.  (Actually I don't wonder; it's called Capitalism, cloaked with Buyer Beware with a nice coat of Ignorance is No Excuse.)  

So the idiot scam artist in these ads is basically telling his intended victims that they have no control over their credit score, which means it will be low, which means they'll never get that new car and house and vacation they "deserve," unless they hire this company which knows how to fix credit in ways that are unavailable to the intended victim, which is yet another lie.   Thanks for the material,  You never disappoint. 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

The first of several comments concerning DriveTime Commercials, you can be sure of that.


How does this stupid wall of noise convince anybody to use this service to buy a car?  How does it convince anyone to do anything other than make a mad lunge for the remote and the mute button?

Oh, right- this is all about convincing people with crap credit and no money that their crap credit and no money does not necessarily translate into No Car.  Sometimes, it can translate into Car That Will Hang On You Like Lead Weights As You Struggle To Remain Afloat.  Oh but it's so fun to imagine your phone vomiting money and building a "money man" or whatever the hell that stupid woman says as the other stupid woman does a stupid little dance.  For the stupid audience.

Meanwhile....comments are turned off for this video.  That means you KNOW its bad, because YouTube is where people with no taste and no sense of humor go to tell the world how rib-spitting funny and awesome every commercial out there is.  And to ask what the music in the background is called.  Because Stupid People.

Friday, August 6, 2021

How to file a claim with Car Shield in Seven Easy Steps!


Step One:  Call our convenient toll-free number.  It's free!  It's the only part of our service that's free, so you might as well use it.  For free!

Step Two:  Wait on hold for a minimum of twenty-five minutes while our Dedicated Operators deal with other frustrated, worried customers who are dumb enough to think that they are actually going to benefit from the "insurance" and "peace of mind" they think they've been paying for for months if not years. Enjoy the tinny music running in an endless loop periodically interrupted with messages like "your call is very important to us" and "did you know that you can save us even more money by not bothering our operators and just filing a claim which we'll totally ignore online?  You get the same non-service online as you'll get if you keep waiting on the phone, stupid!"

Step Three:  Actually file a claim which will be carefully filed in the circular file container next to the operator's desk which looks suspiciously like a trash can.

Step Four:  After three weeks or so, call back to be told that your claim was rejected because the damage done to your car includes items that are not included in the All Covered Parts are Covered covered list.  Should have read the fine print, stupid.

Step Five:  File an impotent complaint at the Better Business Bureau website, which you think will do something because you think that the BBB is some kind of government watchdog agency when in fact it's just another private company that has done an extraordinarily good job convincing people that it's some kind of government watchdog agency.

Step Six:  File an impotent complaint with Ripoff, which will accomplish exactly as much as that BBB complaint accomplished:  it will help you blow off some steam about the money you wasted.  

Step Seven:  Admit you paid the Stupid Tax and never, ever buy into Car Shield, Home Shield, or any of these BS "extended warranty" scams again.  

Monday, August 2, 2021

All of these car "warranty" scammers use the same script.

At least three or four times a week, someone calls my mother's land line to "offer" an "extension" of her long-expired car warranty, and having chatted with these disgusting scammers (scambaiting is kind of a hobby of mine) I can anticipate the script with almost 100 percent accuracy.  They all offer an extension of the same warranty mom had when she bought the car brand-new.  They all offer exactly the same "coverage," and they all offer a caveat that she must accept or decline during the phone call "because people might decline and experience car trouble and then try to get coverage"- never mind that none of these bottom-of-the-barrel scum-suckers require a pre-coverage inspection but instead are willing to take the customer's word for it that no warning lights are on, there are no current problems with the vehicle, etc. etc. etc.  They do vary widely in how much money they want to steal from you- we've been offered "coverage" of anywhere from three to five years in length, costing anywhere from $99 to $350 per month.   Other than that, though, all of these people seem to be using the exact same script they picked up from (if such a service exists.)  

I've noticed that recently these companies are using Indian call centers to make the initial calls and then transferring us to American "salespeople" to "complete" the transaction once we express interest.  I'm assuming that this is done to cut Scam Overhead costs while increasing the likelihood of pulling off a successful scam (certainly an American is more likely to trust someone who doesn't speak in broken English with a thick Indian accent while claiming an obviously fake English name.)  This phenomenon certainly makes ending the call more interesting- when Indians realize you are scambaiting them, they usually just hang up or at the very most curse you out for a few seconds before cutting off the call.  Americans are more willing to get involved in insult-hurling contests, as if I can be judged, let alone shamed, by a guy who chooses to make his living by trying to rip people off.

Anyway, I guess that this particular company has amassed enough income to buy commercials on low-viewership channels, competing with endless ads for Nutrisystem and BS "Medicare" deals that dominate airtime between crap movies and reruns of the Andy Griffith Show.  But they are basically just more expensive versions of what you can hear over the phone if you swipe right for Scam Likely. 

(BTW, I do appreciate the generic fees included in the receipt shown in the ad and especially the way the "total" amount is circled in red followed by Sales Tax, as if the customer isn't at all concerned about the Sales Tax.  I guess maybe I wouldn't be all that concerned either after paying all that money for Shop Fees and Oil.  Hysterical.)

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Picking on BMW Again


Just back from a week at Hampton Beach New Hampshire- which is most definitely not The Hamptons, but is in fact just one of the more popular of the hundreds of beaches in New England featuring Arcade-littered boardwalks offering culinary delights for any palette as long as it's limited to fried dough, hot dogs, cheap pizza and ice cream, cramped cottages a five-minute walk to the beach renting for $1000 or so a week, and tinny bar music mixed with the sounds of those arcades you can't quite ever get away from (if you were indifferent to the song "Sweet Caroline" when you first visit a New England beach, you are guaranteed to loathe it a week later.  Seriously, it's the freaking National Anthem of this region.)

And my very first day back, I'm greeted with...this.   A reminder of how awesome it must be to own a palace in Hawaii with a marble driveway to park your tricked-out BMW in.  Uh huh.  I'm as sure that this is 100 percent accurate as I am that it is 0 percent relatable.  Where's a devastating typhoon when you need one?  Isn't Hawaii due for a volcano eruption?  Give me SOMETHING here.