Monday, May 29, 2023

A nice place to visit....


Yep, it's that time of year again- off to Tampa for another week of buffet meals, long walks under palm trees, maybe a baseball game- and, oh yeah, scoring hundreds of hundreds of essays that pop up on my screen from 8 AM to 5 PM (assuming no overtime, which is not a very good assumption given the track record.)  Can't believe how fast these years fly by. 

I love Tampa- I'm not going to live there, though.  It looks really expensive, I know from experience it's very hot and humid (even hotter and more humid than I prefer, and I actually really like that kind of weather) and I kind of like Seasons. 

See you June 9!  Until then, enjoy the archives!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Wendy's Commercials just keep getting stranger

Between seeing these mental midgets handling all this food without gloves, sticking their heads into ovens (yeah, I can see that becoming a real problem once they realize that they are over 25 years old and work at Wendy's, actually) to take deep sniffs of bacon (and get a fresh coat of grease on their faces) and then handing it to customers unwrapped on trays....yeah, I think we're all going to give it a pass, Wendy's.  

This series of commercials is just...weird.  I don't know if we are supposed to find these bizarre characters funny, or relatable (man, how sad would THAT be?) but I don't see ANY reason why any of this should convince ANYBODY to head on over to Wendy's to purchase a fat and carb sandwich any time of day.  Especially not at breakfast- the only reason I'd start my day with a pile of eggs, cheese, and sausage inside a croissant is if I intended to go right back to bed after consuming it, because that kind of "start" is going to get me "started" on a carb coma ten minutes after it hits my bloodstream.  Throw in a pile of hot oily potatoes and you don't sell a cup of coffee big or strong enough to get me to work without being pulled over for driving under the influence. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Michelob Light's really, really dumb "tennis victory dance" commercial


In real life, by the time this idiot was done preening and dancing and making a total fool out of herself,* the beer in those open bottles would be flat or warm or spilled all over the tennis court.  I originally thought the message was "yeah, it's a commercial, and it's 2023, so of course the woman has triumphed over a man and you can bet it wasn't even close," but now I think it's "nothing can ruin light beer because it comes pre-ruined." 

*the actual title of this ad is "Peace Treaty"- which I guess is supposed to mean that the best way to make "peace" with a person you just beat the stuffing out of is to act like a total idiot drawing attention to yourself as you very gradually and in the most ostentatious manner possible- bring him a bottle of beer-flavored water.  Um, whatever.  

Friday, May 26, 2023

RIP, Paul Anka!*


The first few times I watched this commercial, I didn't realize that it was supposed to be depicting the same person at different stages in his "life" and I thought "ok, three guys live together in a house and all three are weirdly addicted to the smell of Downy fabric softener."

It turns out that no, it's only one guy- and every time he pulls clothes out of the dryer he takes a huge whiff and he is transported back to some nebulous "good old days" when he- um- also pulled clothes out of the dryer and took a huge whiff.  I guess.  And apparently there was a time in his life when he wore clothes that were comically small for him.  Either that, or we are supposed to think that he was doing laundry when he was a small child.  I don't know.  No matter how you slice it, it's really, really stupid.

*Yes I know, Paul Anka isn't officially dead yet.  He's actually only 82 years old and from what I hear, he can still croon with the best of them.  But he's proof that if you live long enough, you become the villain of your own story- or, at least, one of your iconic songs becomes the background music for a stupid soap commercial.  I'm not exactly sure how that saying goes. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

TurboTax asks us to care. We really don't.


(Full disclaimer:  I use TurboTax and have for probably 20 years now.  I use their site to do my taxes with minimal help from their online support staff.  Because I don't really own anything.)  

1.  If you own enough property and make enough money to make doing your taxes so complicated the thought of doing them gives you nightmares, I don't care about your and your "problems."

2.  If you can afford to hire someone to do your taxes for you, see No. 1. 

3.  I don't really care about anyone all that much, and I'm a total stranger writing a blog nobody reads, so don't get too triggered about No. 1

Friday, May 19, 2023

Applebee's redefines the word "appetizer," and we're worse off for it.


Wait- what?  What the hell is a "full-size appetizer"

Here's the definition of the word "appetizer" I found in a quick Google search:  "a small dish of food or a drink taken before a meal or the main course of a meal to stimulate the appetite."  So again I ask- what the hell is a "full-size appetizer?"

I'm afraid I know the answer- it's a meal to be consumed before the other meal you ordered arrives.  Because if there's anything America needs more than a plate of fried cheese to "stimulate the appetite" before the "real" dinner shows up, I am not aware of it. 

Remember Taco Bell's "fourth meal" campaign from a decade or so back?  Judging from America's waistline these days, it caught on in an informal manner, as more and more people no longer have set times to eat but instead simply consume whenever and wherever (and, increasingly, WHATEVER) the mood and opportunity strikes.  Applebee's is just offering a time-saver here- you don't have to plan that fourth meal, just have it at the same sitting as one of your usual three meals and call it a "full-size appetizer."  Since Americans are really good at eating large amounts of food quickly and not allowing the fullness signal to reach the brain until we're bloated with excess calories, this will work really well as long as it can be packaged as a money-saving deal as well as a time-saving one.  Personally, I think $25 sounds like a lot of money for a plate of fried cheese and a piece of steak, but I'm weird like that. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Taco Bell Insults the World


"No, lady- the fact that this so-called 'restaurant' has no working ovens or grease pits and is actually just a facade* surrounded by television cameras and featuring a nobody bit 'comedian'** shouldn't convince you that you are in a stupid ad for an awful company determined to do its part in fueling the obesity crisis."

Oh, and it's absolutely no wonder that you work at Taco Bell.  The only mystery is- how did you get here without dying in a thousand different ways between getting out of bed and tying your shoes?

*it's a word and this is the way it's spelled.  Get over it, Spellcheck.

**nothing makes me want to start my day at America's favorite lard supplier more than Pete Davison's immensely unfunny, smarmy delivery.  Good call, Taco Bell. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

FanDuel gets its selling strategy from the experts


That is to say, they get their selling strategy from drug dealers.

1.  "The first one is free, kid!"  How do you get someone who isn't in to drugs to become a customer of your drugs?  Free samples. of course.  FanDuel goes one better and actually offers a financial incentive to reluctant consumers of sports who might still have a few brain cells to rub together.  You aren't really "betting" at all, you see- all the risk is on us (this time!)  Once you see how much fun it is, you'll never want to stop (and from our point of view, you won't be able to even if you want to.)  Which ties in nicely with....

2.  "It's all in good fun!"  Money is barely mentioned in ads for any gambling apps- sure, the "you could win and winning is the best" message is there, but the focus is on the excitement of winning, not on the cash itself.  You'll never hear any of the "winners" mention how they can now afford that new pair of HOKAs they've had their eyes on, or a piece of jewelry for their significant other- needless to say, you'll never hear anyone say anything like "yay I can buy food and pay rent this month" in response to a "win."  No, the excitement is presented as being the product of the bet itself, the fact that the player made the right choice at the right time.  Money isn't the reward- feeling like a winner is.  Kind of like getting high.  No, exactly like getting high.  Which brings me to the underlying message, which is....

3.  This is just another legal painkiller.  You should take drugs because pain is awful and life sucks and drugs dull the pain and help you ignore the fact that life sucks.  Maybe the most painful thing about life is that its kind of boring and predictable.  Since taking hard drugs is illegal and harmful to your health (and, despite what you see on TV, acquiring illegal drugs isn't super-easy for most Americans) a quick and easy and legal drug you can access without anyone's permission straight from your phone is Gambling.  For a few hours during a Sportsball Competition, you can experience escape from the monotony.  Some people do this by taking actual drugs. Others engage in rock climbing or mountain bike-riding or any number of adrenalin-pumping activities but let's face it, most of you aren't all that interested in stuff that requires moving around places that don't have access to Uber eats or a bartender. Gambling provides a thrill you can get without leaving the couch, and anything that can be done without leaving the couch is going to be popular in the United States. 

4.  This comes with a warning- engaging in this activity can lead to addiction.  What's wrong with addiction?  We aren't told, unless its embedded in that microscopic print that's on the screen for approximately 1.5 seconds at the end of an ad which spent 28.5 seconds telling us how gambling is Innocent Harmless Fun.  Might have something to do with obsession, social isolation, and personal finances, but I can only guess unless I decide to pick up my SmartPhone and use it to make myself just a little - or a lot- more stupid. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Wendy's latest "Let's Advertise our hiring of the mentally ill" ad


First- oh my god, the characters in these ads have actual names that I guess we are supposed to know by now.  I understand that this series of ads has been running for more than a year now, but I didn't realize we were supposed to be taking notes and getting to know the actors selling their souls portraying obviously mentally ill, sad losers hanging out at Wendy's wearing uniforms (there's no evidence that any of these people actually work there, which leads me to...

Second, I'm convinced that the cast of characters aren't meant to portray actual Wendy's employees.  The black guy who I think is supposed to be the manager, the pretty white girl doing most of the narration for this particular episode of Sad Losers at Wendy's, and the Skinny Brain Damaged Allegedly Adult White Guy we recently saw trying to crawl on to an old man's lap because he thought he was Santa are obviously so pathetic that they fantasize about working at Wendy's and managed to find costumes on Amazon.  While most pathetic no-life losers are cosplaying Marvel villains, these Failures at Failing are posing as People with Jobs.  Because, I'm sorry, there's simply no way anyone is paying these people to handle food.

Third, the proof of my previous assertion is that the skinny white guy has a terrible sunburn somehow achieved while consuming a strawberry milkshake thing-- during his lunch break?  Yeah no.  The ozone layer might not be in the best of shape ( I am not sure; even the fact that I can remember Ozone Panic ages me) does not mean you can get a severe burn during a lunch break, I don't care how pale you are.  So what really happened is that the skinny white guy is no longer welcome to consume his hourly Wendy's order in the dining room and is politely ushered to the outdoor chairs instead (the final nail in the coffin was probably that Sit on an Old Man's Lap episode back in December.)  He's outside pretty much all the time, coming in only to order more Wendy's and hope to be mistaken for an employee.  The stupid fat guy who made a spectacle of himself stretching out the cheese in his sandwich this winter doesn't show up in this ad so he's probably in the same boat.  Meanwhile Pretend Black Manager and Pretty White Girl is probably still low-key enough to be tolerated by the actual staff, and maybe they even take out the garbage now and then.  

Friday, May 12, 2023

Insulting Indeed


...which seems like a pretty good idea, actually...

Look, buddy- as much as you need Indeed, you don't need it as much as the other main character in this stupid commercial.  Your mother needs it more.  After all, she's the one with the unemployed idiot son living under her roof and on her dime.  So if she seems super-pushy and super-persistent, well, take the hint, stop dicking around, and get a job.  Even if you have to swallow your pride and take a job from someone who asks you interview questions like "where do you get your persistence from?" which would convince me that the universe was manifestly unfair because how the hell did this jagoff get himself into a position to be interviewing people instead of being unemployed and living with HIS mother?  I mean, what's the next question- "do you consider yourself a people person?"

Sunday, May 7, 2023

FanDuel's celebration of gambling zombies


Just look at the faces of the guys in this ad.  Once upon a time, the reason for those anxious faces would be that their team is on the verge of winning or losing and these guys are real fans who really, really want their team to win because...well, because they are fans. 

Nowadays- and in commercials like this and for all the other Don't Just Watch, Bet "services"- the assumption is that those anxious faces are created by real concern for their wallets.  What happens on the screen in the next few seconds determines if these guys win or lose money.  In another instant, they are excited because they've won (these commercials never, ever show anyone losing, of course.  That would be like Vegas slot machines making noise the 99 times out of 100 that the fruit symbols don't line up.)  Being an actual fan of one of the teams is strictly optional and actually kind of pathetic, as the only legitimate reason to consume sports in 2023 is if you've got skin in the game in the form of cash. 

Years ago, I went to a Sunday afternoon football-watching get-together in which every single person except me was constantly on their laptop or phone keeping track of the progress of their fantasy sports player.  I thought that was lame and boring and kind of depressing because nobody was really watching the actual game; kind of like being at a Superbowl party where everyone is waiting for the dumb game to take a break for those Super Awesome Funny Commercials.  I can't imagine hanging out with people who are hanging on every play because they placed a bet on the outcome- especially because I'd be watching a lot more losing than winning.  It would make me nostalgic for the harmless Fantasy Sports Zombies.  

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Jim Beam and Sweet Caroline: If you didn't hate Red Sox Nation already....


...watching a crowd of obnoxious drunks sing this god-awful song approximately 300 times during the baseball game you're trying to enjoy will certainly do the trick.   And you can't tell me that the bartender pouring out the Jim Beam hasn't wanted to off himself before opening day of every MLB season for the past twenty years. 

Just bring back Mila Kunis already!

Friday, May 5, 2023

"Accepted" is a college movie that is multiple levels of Fail


The stupid kid in this stupid movie spent his High School years being stupid and, as Taylor Swift has taught us, if you play stupid games you win stupid prizes.  This kid's stupid prize was a rejection letter from every college he applied to.  In other words, the consequences of his own actions.

So this stupid kid decides to invent a school and get himself accepted to it in an attempt to trick his parents into believing he isn't the total loser they think and know that he actually is.  He puts more effort into creating a college than he ever did in getting decent grades in High School, but I'm pretty sure that the stupid point of this stupid movie is that the stupid kid is actually brilliant but just doesn't fit into the Square with a capital S hole that is Traditional Education or some such self-congratulatory BS.

I'm not going to get into the entire stupid plot of this stupid movie; instead, I'm going to point out that if this stupid kid was half as smart as we are supposed to think he is, he could have solved his problem with roughly 99.9 percent less effort:

1.  Write a fake admissions letter from an actual University far, far away from the hometown and any relatives (don't do what this kid does and invent a school that exists five minutes away, which requires him to rent a freaking abandoned building.)  Overseas is best of all.  There- no fake websites, no fake merch, no fake anything except a simple admissions letter.

2.  Go backpacking in Europe for a year on your "college tuition" money.  Create a photo journal of your travels.  Better yet, find some college-bound friend to share a room with, get a job, and take some courses online to improve your chances of being accepted in the next year.  If accepted, just tell your parents you're transferring.  In three years you can explain that you are on a specialized five-year program.

This kid pulled his con using the most difficult, impossible-to-pull-off-in-real-life way imaginable.  Because he's stupid.  But then, so are all the other idiots who join his fake college- not only are none of them particularly concerned that they are hanging around doing nothing in exchange for their tuition payments, but they aren't even angry at him when his con is exposed because he "meant well" or some such garbage.  Everyone involved in this deserves to die painfully.  Back in the 80s we had good comedies about college like "Back to School."  Now kids get this level of dumb?  What did they do to deserve it?

Sunday, April 30, 2023

This Domino's Commercial is Depressing from the very first line*


Domino's takes delivery so seriously that....they are going to retain their very best delivery drivers by paying them a living wage?  They are going to stop encouraging customers to help them to eliminate  delivery altogether by giving them incentives to pick up their own damn non-food?

Nah.  Somehow, this "delivery is super important to us" message transforms into "so here's our latest invention- greasy fried potatoes doused with sugar and cheese."  Because that makes sense.  To somebody.  But I guess I should be grateful- at least Domino's isn't offering ways to bet on the Purchasing Cheap Warm Sludge Experience yet.  I've reached the point where pretty much any commercial that isn't encouraging people to gamble is automatically worth a extra half-star.  I'm reminded of Chuck Norris in Code of Silence- "I'm gonna hit you so many times with a left, you're gonna beg for a right."  Yeah, bring on the pizza and small business credit card commercials, all is forgiven. 

*"At Domino's we are obsessed with fact in breaks our heart to see delivery done wrong."

Seriously.  I suggest a suicide pact.  I mean, when you guys were young, did you ever imagine you'd be uttering those words unironically on television?

Saturday, April 29, 2023

No wait, I take it back- FANDUEL is Tuberculosis!


These guys have taken all of the best tips from drug dealers, right down to offering us their own version of "the first one's free, kid!"

Check out how many different ways you can risk your paycheck in a game: if you're a football fan, you can bet on which team wins (yeah, thanks Grampa!) but also on which team scores the first points, how those points are scored, yards gained on the ground and air - yeah, no chance that any of this bleeds into the game itself and creates a massive scandal five or six minutes from now.  After all, it's XFL season. Even the saddest addicts aren't betting on XFL games, are they?

Baseball's even better.  You can be a "winner" in one inning, and a "try again" player (we don't use the word "loser" here.  Like in scratch-off games, everyone's a winner!) in the next.  And you don't have to wait till the next inning to experience that rush of adrenalin that can only come from risking next month's mortgage payment; you can bet on the result of each at-bat.  Again, no way this impacts the actual game.  It's all in fun, kids.  Except for that Pete Rose guy.  He's pure evil because he did something bad.  Something no player would do today.  Of course not. 

I'm not at all sure I won't live long enough to see Jamie Foxx and Kevin Hart pitching the Joys of Heroin use on my tv; after all, I've lived to see "The Official Beer of Falling Asleep in the Bathtub" and "You haven't lived until you've risked your kids' college funds" ads.  And I'm really healthy, dammit. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Skirizi's song IS Tuberculosis know, if I have to choose between wearing long sleeves and taking a drug that increases my risk of "infections including tuberculosis," I'm gonna just wear long sleeves.  The people in these ads act like they value nothing more than showing as much skin as possible in public.  This particular woman is literally DANCING because she's wearing a sleeveless blouse.  I mean, what the actual hell?

And yeah...that song.  God, it sucks.  I don't want to hear it anymore.  I mean, it's nice that the singer's "new plan" is to have "nothin' on my skin," but hearing that is really killing my soul and I'm so very done. Please, let's hear the B side now. 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

DraftKings and Miller Present: the Perfect Crossover!

Personally, I see this as such an obvious win-win my only question is, why didn't anyone ever think of putting these two favorite pastimes together?  I mean, what could possibly go better with drinking than gambling?  Driving a semi?  Piloting a passenger jet?  Sex?  Everyone knows that drinking improves reasoning skills and makes it easier to make well-thought-out, sensible choices.  

So pop another beer and rethink those silly second thoughts you had about gambling your paycheck on the length of the next field goal made by a left-handed kicker drafted out of Alabama.  You'll be glad you did.  And if you aren't, well, there's that 800-number on the bottom of the screen.  You won't need it, but it's there anyway. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Gambling and Sports go together like Drinking and Driving. And Because Capitalism, there's probably no stopping this train wreck.


I was watching the Orioles v Tigers game the other day and noted that at least half of all the ads were for one gambling app or another.  The game which forbids its players from gambling- and has banned one of the greatest players of all time from the Hall of Fame for gambling- is being heavily sponsored by gambling. 

Do the people who get suckered in participating in this dangerously addictive behavior realize that these commercials are expensive to produce and run (contrary to what you may believe, Kevin Hart does not do Ads for Everything for free?)  Where do they think that money comes from if not the pockets of gambling addicts?  Multimillionaire Kevin Hart, living in one of his multimillion-dollar homes, isn't going to pretend to be excited over getting $200 in free "credit" to gamble with without getting an actual check representing actual money, people.  In other words, he's not taking his pay in App Credit. 

We've got NFL players being suspended for gambling while our screens are awash in Gambling Is Harmless Fun By The Way Check Out the 1-800 ADDICTION HELP Number We're Required To Slap At The Bottom Of The Screen commercials.  We've got entire shows on ESPN and the networks dedicated to betting.  We've got odds scrolling across the bottom of the screen during games.  And we've got one Check Out How Glamorous Risking Your Paycheck Is commercial after another during games being watched by children.*   Cripes, I used to complain about the stupid obsession with Fantasy Sports.  Those days seem downright quaint now.  Can we get back there please?

In two years Las Vegas will have it's own baseball team, courtesy of the insatiable greed of the billionaire who owns the Oakland A's.  Just a decade ago, the idea of Vegas having a major league sports team was considered extremely problematic; in 2025 it will have three.  Because Vegas can't be a gambling mecca in a country which permits gambling on pretty much everything, everywhere, and far worse makes it almost criminally accessible to everyone.   This is not going to go well.  

*Despite everything I wrote here, I'm actually quite Libertarian in my views on gambling, drinking, smoking, vaping, consumption of processed sugar and fat, and all of the other self-inflicted damage we Americans in particular like to indulge in.  But I do worry about the next generation automatically associating sports with gambling, and gambling with adventure and fun.  As I wrote above, this is NOT going to end well. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Point of Personal Privilege: Where's Lex Luthor now that we need him?

Last Saturday afternoon, while returning home at the end of Spring Break, my car broke down on the Garden State Parkway.  I called for a tow truck, and me and my car (which had a ruptured gas tank) were taken to a dumpy shop somewhere in Hackensack, New Jersey.  The shop was closed (and would be closed until Monday morning) so I got myself a Lyft to the Amtrak station in Newark and got myself home, walking into my apartment at exactly 1:30 AM- or about five hours later than planned.  

Let's talk a bit about Hackensack, and about this shop.  Hackensack is a craphole, of course.  I imagine it's been a craphole since at least the 1970s.  If you used to be familiar with Hackensack but for obvious reasons haven't visited in the last several decades, let me satisfy your curiosity.  Still a craphole.

Now let's talk about the shop.  As I said above, it was closed.  It was closed the next day, too- when I called from home to ask about my car, I was told that there was nobody there to look at it and that I should call back Monday.  I called back Monday, and was told that there was nobody there to look at it until later in the day.  That afternoon, I finally managed to talk to someone at the shop, and was told either "there is so much corrosion that I can't even dismantle the tank to put a new one in" or "we can't take this job on, we have too many cars waiting in line already"- I'm not sure I didn't hear some version of both.  I asked if the car was a total loss, but I couldn't get a straight answer on that, either.  I asked about a few personal items in the back seat that I had been unable to take with me on Saturday and he made it clear that "we aren't going to be sending anything."  I got the very strong sense that the guy on the other end of the phone was put out to still have my car on his lot several hours after he had opened for the week.

Fortunately, I was able to contact a friend of a friend who has a friend who runs a tow service, and for a very reasonable price had the car picked up Tuesday morning and delivered to Maryland.  And here's the main point of the not-great review I gave this shop on Yelp:

My car was in this lot from 5 PM on Saturday until just before noon on Tuesday- a total of 67 hours, of which 38 were hours in which THE LOT WAS NOT OPEN and there was NOBODY THERE TO SPEAK TO ABOUT MY CAR.  But I was charged $183 for storage fees- $43 per day for FOUR DAYS, plus tax.  Yeah, technically the car was there for "four days"- Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  But give me a break- more than half the time it was there, it was not retrievable because of the lot's hours.  

So Mr. Luthor- I'm out of Hackensack now and am therefore the envy of pretty much everyone currently still in Hackensack.  Please, proceed with your plan.  Absolutely nothing of value will be lost.  Even Miss Teschmacher's  mom must have moved on to Florida by now.  Fire away. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Another take on those Planet Fitness Ads....


...because sometimes I have a hard time letting things go...

Each one of these ads ends with the same line- "...and that's why I hate gyms..." spoken by someone who 1.  seems to feel the need to explain to the salesperson that even though they've inexplicably found themselves walking through a Planet Fitness, they are resistant to the idea of actually joining a gym, and 2.  seems to feel the need to justify their attitude toward gyms with a bizarre 1980s comedy film stereotype of what they think gyms are.   I mean, come on- I've been a member of the YMCA almost continuously for almost forty years.  I've never experienced anything like what is being shown in these ads, and I really doubt anyone else has, either.  

"....I'm frightened and intimidated by people who are in better shape than I am, and I project that lack of confidence on to those people by imagining them to be shallow, 'roided-up weirdos.  This is how I convince myself that it's ok not to work out at a gym.  Still don't know why I'm telling you this, or even why I'm here.  Maybe this is just cheap therapy for me."

"Well, fortunately for you, Planet Fitness isn't a gym.  It's Planet Fitness.  The only thing we have in common with a gym is exercise machines and a monthly membership fee.  Sign here." 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

This Tide Commercial is a slap at the Supreme Court


This is such an effective advertisement for Birth Control, my only regret is that it didn't come out 30 years ago.  We might have been spared the existence of the bottom-feeding* idiots who populate this commercial.  I also think that it should be sent to every member of the SCOTUS the next time they are asked to decide on an issue involving the bodily autonomy of American women...

*Almost.  We also have the YouTube commenters who give Tide a high-five for this "funny" ad.  We'd all have been better off if THEIR parents had practiced a little more safe sex, too.  

Friday, April 14, 2023

5 Reasons why Planet Fitness is (Evil?) Genius


1.  Advertises itself as a "Judgement Free Zone" while it's commercial are ALL ABOUT JUDGEMENT.  Like building muscles?  This place is not for you.  Are really hot and proud of it?  This place is not for you.  Oh, but we're a "judgement free zone."  Ok then...

2.  Features a "Lunk Alarm," which is an air horn that goes off if someone grunts too loudly while lifting weights, or drops weights, or does anything else to indicate that they might be pushing their limits or something horrible like that.  I've heard one YouTuber suggest that the "Lunk Alarm" goes off at the sound of muscles contracting.  Again, this is a "Judgement Free Zone" but if you dare exert yourself, you'll be made to feel like you've been spotted trying to escape a POW camp.

3.  Offers free pizza one day a month, and free bagels another day a month.  I just love this- a strategy which discourages gym members from improving their health and thereby losing the incentive to keep up their memberships.  Work out (modestly,) Get Fat,  Work out, Get Fat, lather, rinse, repeat.  And keep that monthly membership fee coming.  Speaking of which....

4.  Prices membership so low that people can't resist signing up and can't be bothered to cancel because "it's only $10 a month, if I cancel I've given up, I don't want to pay the initial sign-up fee again, I'll just keep it I'll use it someday."  Of course, it's not really "$10 a month."  It's ten dollars a month PLUS taxes PLUS an annual fee PLUS that initiation fee.  To make it worth while, you really have to keep it and use it for a year, after which you'll probably keep it because you can't cancel online but must instead visit the location you signed up at (you CAN buy a membership online but not cancel...hmm...) but you'll stop using the membership, which is all part of the strategy because...

5.  The average Planet Fitness location has 6,500 members.  No kidding.  But the average Planet Fitness location also has a capacity limit of 300.  So the whole business model is built on people signing up and not actually showing up- more than 90% of members aren't there at any given time.  This is like if America went back on the Gold Standard; yes, it works very well, as long as 90% of people never actually want to trade their paper dollars in for gold. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

What is going on in this McDonald's commercial?


I really don't get why this kid thinks that the guy who walked into his bedroom, opened the shutters, and waved a bag of "food" in front of his nose thinks that this means the guy "works at McDonalds."  If someone who lived in my house brought home a bag of McDonalds "food" my first thought wouldn't be "oh, so you work there?"  It wouldn't be my second, third, fourth or fifth thought, either.  Kind of like if someone came in with a bottle of milk I wouldn't ask them when they got a job at a dairy.  Maybe this kid is really, really, REALLY stupid.  

Who is this guy, anyway?  He looks too old to be the kid's brother.  So is he this kid's dad?  Well, if so...that's pretty sad.  I mean, I'm not going to seriously knock anyone's job, but....unless you're managing the place, McDonald's is not the kind of work for anyone over the age of 30 and it's not the kind of work you should find yourself in if you've got dependents.  I bet there are a LOT of twentysomething kids working at McDonalds who have already handed their DNA to the next generation, but I don't think we ought to be celebrating this in advertisement.  Maybe that's just the Boomer in me talking, but....*

I almost forgot that I only found this ad because I heard a radio commercial for the "1-2-3 McDonald's Breakfast menu" in which a woman theorizes that if she goes to bed a little earlier, she'll be able to get up a little earlier, and she'll be able to eat breakfast at McDonald's a little earlier, and this is something she's putting a lot of thought into and I'm sorry but that's really sad.  Not as sad as those "Official Beer while taking a shower" or "Official Beer of remaining on the couch all weekend" ads, and maybe not as sad as "if someone brings me McDonald's it means they work there" ads, but pretty close.  Hey lady, your favorite diabetes delivery system will be there when you get there.  They aren't going to run out of coma-inducing carb sludge if you arrive at your regular feeding time.  Hit the snooze and stay in bed a little longer.  Your body will thank you- especially if you reconsider this whole Breakfast at McDonald's thing. 

*Ok I listened again and now I hear "I didn't know you were gettin' McDonalds," not "I didn't know you were workin' at McDonalds."  So about half of this post is based on a misheard line.  Whatever, it's still dumb. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Is Advantis Early Payday all about maintaining a false front?


I've never seen living paycheck-to-paycheck and so close to the margins that getting paid 48 hours early is a game-changer as such an attractive lifestyle as it's presented in these ads for Advantis Early Payday.  Clearly the people in these ads don't have the credit history to hold a VISA card but must use cash for everything- and if they don't have cash, they can't make purchases.  Yet here they are driving nice cars and living in big houses.  I'm getting a "keeping up with the Joneses/keeping up appearances/Little Boxes" vibe with these ads. 

 Is it all smoke and mirrors, or what?  I mean, they present a really convincing veneer of being stable, middle-class earners, but they need their money early on a regular basis?  What is really going on here?

Friday, April 7, 2023

The real punchline of this "Medicare Insurance" ad


Hey, harping, carping old lady- if you stop bleating your script at your poor husband for a few seconds I'd be happy to let you know why he hasn't "made the call" yet:  

It's because he wants to die.  

Want to know why he wants to die?  Look in the mirror.  But be warned that when you look in that mirror, you'll be reminded that he had an option other than dying.  He can get rid of that reason for wanting to die. 

And if you insist on pushing him, he'll be making the call all right.  To 1-800 DIVORCE or 1-800- HITMEN.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Ode to Obesity, Ode to Jardiance


"I love my magic Jardiance and I feel Swell
Just pop a pill and then I'm off to Taco Bell!

Comfy in my body livin' life my way
Ordered a life-sized poster of Tess Holliday

Think my yellow dress is hot this is so fun
though some may think I look like I'm a second sun

It took two days for me to film this stupid ad
Stopped every fifteen seconds 'cause my feet swelled bad

Hey kids just keep on eating you can be like me
By twelve you'll lose control of your A1C 

Be pre-diabetic before you reach High School
The BMI is full of crap the "O-word's" Cool

Fatphobic doctors tell me I could just lose weight
I tell 'em "it's genetic" and it's all just Fate

Look I'm a dancin' icon and I'm havin' fun
don't wanna use the stairs and never wanna run

Gyms are all so toxic so I stay away
all gym-bros got EDs and steroids anyway

The thins they all will hate me but I got no ears
for their "we get picked on too" yeah f--k your skinny tears

You get on all the park rides and doctors treat you reals 
and your BS "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"

But we'll survive the famine 'cause we got the genes
and you skinnies soon will learn what real oppression means

You can deny it all you want but you know its true
Body Positivity was never meant for you

But back to the point, Jardiance is great
It cares how I feel, not what I ate. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Downy's Rinse and Refresh ad featuring the Backstreet Boys- because, well, why not?


When I first saw this ad, I thought that the concept of laundry was completely foreign to this woman and that she was legitimately confused when it was suggested to her that she might be able to do something with a dirty, smelly shirt other than just toss it away; you know, like actually clean it.

Then I realized that no, it's not that she doesn't do laundry and just chucks away her clothes after wearing them once- it's that the particular shirt she's going on about is so old that it's clinging to odors.  First, is this a thing?  Do clothes actually become resistant to cleaning as they get older?  I've never heard of such a phenomenon.  Second, if it's not a thing, what on Earth is the owner of that shirt doing to make it so damned smelly that repeated cycles through the washing machine won't get the odors out?  I'm legitimately curious.  I don't think she'd be wearing that shirt while gardening or jogging or doing anything else that might cause it to smell particularly bad.  What is the deal?

As for the Backstreet Boys- well, to each her own, I guess. 


Saturday, April 1, 2023

This Paxlovid Commercial is just another gift from Doctor Television


Know how old I am?  I'm old enough to remember when doctors were people you went to to find out what was wrong with you and to get the best treatment options for that thing that was wrong with you.  That was before it became ok for drug companies to buy time on commercial tv, and suddenly the doctor became the guy that YOU told what to give you for your health issue because Doctor Television told you to.

There is so much seriously off-putting about watching these people announce that if they have COVID, they are going to rely on this particular drug, and the doctor is just a middleman who exists because Stupid Laws still require someone with an actual medical degree to sign off with a prescription and you can't just go to Amazon and buy the Magic Pill You Saw On the Television five seconds after the ad aired in your living room.  I can just see these obnoxious idiots storming in to their doctor's office and announcing "I have COVID, so prescribe me Paxlovid.  It's the best drug to deal with my symptoms, I Just Know because TV Said So.  I don't need any medical training or knowledge to know what's best for me, Mr. Smarty Pants Doctor.  Just send the prescription to my pharmacy, and it sure would be helpful if you had a few free samples hanging around so I don't have to wait till later today to start a regimen of this drug I know nothing about beyond what the commercial told me, not that I even really paid attention to that."

Oh, and while we're at it, maybe if you're worried about COVID's long-term impact on your overall health, be vaccinated and don't be obese?  I am quadruple-vaxed and my "bout" with COVID meant being a bit tired for a day or two.  Because I don't abuse my body when I don't have it or any other health condition.  Funny how nice your body is to you when you are nice to it, don't you think?

Thursday, March 30, 2023

One Shining Moment Cringe, this time compliments of AT&T


The "One Shining Moment" song is so played, it's become the second biggest irritant of the tournament.  A nice, uplifting, catchy little tune in 1987, it's been beaten to death each March and to tell you the truth, it doesn't age well and it's actually kind of an annoyance, especially when the people on tv sing it as if the song has exactly three words.

The BIGGEST irritant is commercials featuring people who obviously couldn't give one fat rat ass's damn about college basketball except when it's time to appear in a tie-in ad.*  Like, get lost Lilly, and take your poser friends with you.  Your charm wore out at least five years ago.  Why are you still around?  Oh, right- because concepts must be beaten to death and burned to the ground, and then their ashes must be beaten to death. 

*I'd really like to know which college Lilly is giving a fist-pump for, considering her Alma Mater didn't come anywhere close to making the NCAA Tournament this year, and in fact hasn't earned a seeding since 2019....

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Endurance is what you'll need if you ever deal with these Scammers


99 times out of 100, the "Check Engine" light means that, according to the Odometer, it's "time" to get your oil changed.  This doesn't mean that your oil needs to be changed, just that your car has a little device which turns on the "check engine" light every 3000 miles.  The device is reset by the guy with the eighth-grade education at Jiffy Lube who is already angry at you because you didn't fall for the "full service package" which includes transmission flushes and overpriced windshield wipers and blinker light fluid and a new air filter Because Look How Dirty Yours Is.  

If you aren't in the mood to hand Jiffy Lube five hundred dollars when you just went in for their $39 oil change which has never ever cost anyone only $39, here's another way to throw away your money- buy "warranty" coverage from scummy scammers like Auto Shield or this Endurance place.  Pretty much the only honest part of this commercial is when they tell you that there will be "no checks in the mail"- yeah, I'm sure anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to get suckered in by your pitches knows this already.  All of the checks go in one direction for these grifters- from your account to theirs. 

All covered repairs will be covered by their coverage, they promise with complete honesty.  What repairs are covered?  They'll let you know when you need them, at which point the answer will be Not That One.  100 times out of 100, you are far better off just creating a rainy day fund to deal with car repairs.  Stay away from these clowns.  And Jiffy Lube, unless you go in with the steely resolve to insist on an Oil Change and nothing but an Oil Change No I Don't Need My Tires Rotated or Re-Aligned Thank You Very Much Mr. Works On Commission and that's Not My Problem.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Engaging with the Gecko/Geico Fantasy Universe for a Moment....


So the Geico Gecko is having a yard sale, but it looks as though he's just holding the sale as a way to draw more customers to the services offered by his employer, Geico Insurance.  He's able to do this because a young couple admiring a tiny piece of furniture chirpily comment that they own a new home.  I've been to enough yard sales to know that mentioning how a particular piece of junk would look good in a New Home I Just Bought will naturally bring a sales pitch for homeowner's insurance, so this is super-realistic even if it does include a CGI lizard with an Australian Accent.

Also seems to me that if a tiny rocking chair would be "perfect" for their new home, pretty much everything else being sold by this lizard would also look perfect, because this particular couple intends to decorate their home with tiny furnishings.  To each his own, I guess.  I must say they were quite lucky to stumble into this particular yard sale;  in my previously mentioned extensive lawn sale experience, I've rarely found such a large collection of miniatures as this one has.  Aren't a whole lot of CGI Geckos out there holding yard sales?

Here's a universal rule about these sales, though:  The item is not for sale because it's on the lawn, it's on sale if the owner says it is.  The tables the items are on are also on the lawn; doesn't mean they are for sale.  The stupid talking lizard and the couple themselves are on the lawn; probably neither are for sale.  Don't think you're going to call a cop and an attorney even if a tagged item is withdrawn from sale.  These people are throwing weight around they simply don't have.  Why am I overthinking this?  Shut up, that's why. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

QuickIdea: GET A JOB!


"When I started my (insert ego fantasy here) company, I thought it would be fun.  I mean, I'd be a boss and wouldn't answer to anyone and I'd order other people around and my name would be on the front of the building and I'd be able to show the world how I was much, much better than those losers who go out and work a 9-to-5 job for someone else, the losers!"

"Then I realized that owning a business involved numbers and accounts and employees and insurance and salespeople and vendors and customers who didn't constantly kiss my butt or thank me for reinvigorating the local economy and all that stuff and it turned into a big headache."

"So I was faced with a serious choice:  either go out and get a real job like an actual adult and admit that nobody gives a damn about (insert ego trip here,) or get Quickbooks and be able to pretend I'm Super Special and waaaaay too good for one of those Job things for a few more months before reality hits me in the face like a frozen halibut and I have to face the reality that...well, I think I made that pretty clear at the beginning of this paragraph, didn't I?"

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Just don't confuse "Permission" with "Forgiveness"

I give the cops permission to pull this guy over for being a complete and total douchenozzle and use all the pepper spray and electrodes available to put him on the pavement for recklessly crashing through the barrier because he "forgot to get his ticket validated."

I give the poor guy at the booth permission to take this guy's cellphone and just toss it on the road behind the car for wasting his time and making him consume both gas fumes and the sound of the driver's voice; I honestly don't know which one is more noxious or headache-inducing. 

I give the driver in the car behind them permission to run over the phone that is now on the road in front of him.  And then to back up and run over it again.  

I forgive absolutely no one associated with the making of this travesty. 

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Coke Zero's Contribution to an old commercial trope.


Does this Coke Zero commercial seem familiar to you?  It should, because it uses the same "duel for the last item" bit that has been a staple of tv ads since "Leggo My Eggo" polluted the screen more than forty years ago.  That Eggo commercial never made the slightest sense, as the nasty frozen waffle thing popping out of the toaster clearly belonged to whoever put it in the damn toaster- I mean, that was obvious when I was ten years old, it's obvious now.  

This one makes a LITTLE more sense, because that Coke Zero is sitting in a convenience store cooler (I know that if I want to increase my chances of bumping into famous people, I hang out at convenience stores) and does not yet belong to anyone.  What DOESN'T make sense is that it's sitting on a shelf and not one of those sliding things that Every Actual Convenience Store on the Planet uses (there's another Coke Zero ad that shows bottles just sitting on a similar shelf- again, this doesn't happen either.)  What also doesn't make any sense is that these people are fighting over the last can (shaking it up in the process) while I'd just let the other person take it- I mean, if this is a typical convenience store, it's main clientele (other than mega-rich retired sports superstars) are rather sketchy types who have probably put their fingerprints all over that can and put it back in favor of another can...sorry, but there's usually a REASON why there's one left of any particular item.  I'm not taking the last doughnut, I'm not taking the last bag of chips, I'm not taking the last can of a particular brand of soda.  It's been rejected too many times. 

Plus, it's Coke Zero for Chrissakes.  It's not that special.  And it's probably available from the freaking soda fountain anyway.  This commercial makes my brain hurt. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Taco Bell's "The Hang" commercial is just an annoying 20 seconds of Dumb.


"The hang."  Because Taco Bell is down with the young people, yo. 

I'm going to set aside the fact that this commercial gave me a headache the one and only time I even tried to watch it.  All of these stupid pictures of people with their "food" (actually, it would be more accurate to say they are pictures of food, with people in the background) acting as if this greasy nutrition-deficient garbage is something to celebrate flashing on the screen made me legitimately queasy as well.  Not as queasy as I'd get if I actually tried to ingest any of this cheap heart disease booster, but probably pretty close.

Know what else made me ill?  Scrolling through the comments.  Yeah, that's"song" you've come up with here, Taco Bell.  It's a real winner- to the glue-sniffing bots who post compliments like these like puppies begging for attention and treats.  So much a winner that they are falling all over themselves to praise it.  Because they have nothing better to do, I guess.  What I don't see is any praise for the junk they sell at Taco Bell.  I wonder why that is. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Tonya, Mom of 9, is a selfish moron.


"Hey kids?  I have an important announcement to make.  As the 42-year old mother of 9, responsible for your care, I have decided to make a major decision concerning my health."

"Yay mom!  We know you can do it!  We are behind you one hundred percent!"

"That's so sweet, and I haven't even told you what I am going to do yet."

"Well, it's no mystery!  We want you to know that we'll pick up the slack no matter how many nights you want to go to the gym, and we are totally on board with tossing out all of the junk snacks we've had in the cupboards and want to eat balanced, healthy meals right along with you!  We're all in this together!"

", I'm not talking about weight loss.  I'm talking about getting Botox injections."

"What?  Those really expensive injections that have all kinds of dangerous complications?  You're going to do that to...get rid of a few wrinkles?  But what about all that excess adipose tissue that's pressing up against your heart, is hormonally active, and is opening you up to all kinds of serious health issues that might leave us without a mom?"

"Yes, those injections!  Isn't that exciting?  I'm going to look exactly the same, except younger!  And I'm even going to do an ad for them when I'm done!"

"You know, Weight Watchers hires people to do ads does Planet Fitness..."

"Yep, I'm going to look at least ten years younger!  So exciting!  Finally, I'm doing something for ME!"

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Bell & Howell solves another problem we didn't know we had....


What I love about all Not Available in Stores products - and they do all have this in common- is that they are all sold with the exact same pitch:  "Here's a minor inconvenience enormous hassle you never knew you had have always suffered with that we have a stupid gimmick miracle cure for!"  

In this case, the "incredible breakthrough technology" is a built-in vacuum cleaner for an electric razor.  Because we've all received tongue-lashings from our Significant Others who insist on standing next to us as we shave, just waiting to jump down our throats as soon as they realize that we aren't catching our facial hair as it falls off our faces (I understand this is the third-leading cause of divorce in the United States, after drug abuse and financial stress.)  And it's always such a hassle to get that hair out of the sink, if only there was a simple way to transport water to such places, I bet that would do the trick (and I'm totally flummoxed by the demonstration of the power of the vacuum razor thing here- why is there hair in the sink to pick up with the vacuum razor?  Either it didn't work properly, or this guy used a REGULAR electric razor to shave, made a mess in the sink, and then just used the vacuum razor device to clean up the hair....a level of Stupid which I believe in the fourth-leading cause of divorce in the United States....I might be wrong about that....)

Friday, March 10, 2023

Third Way "Health" with Garlique.


"I have high cholesterol.  I figured I can worry about it, I can do something about it- or I can pretend to do something about it by going down the Holistic BS aisle at my local grocery store and picking up a box of Pretend Medicine like Garlique.

"Since I don't really care about my health, and I have zero respect for 21st century science, I'm going to take Garlique and con myself into thinking I'm doing something of value.  Why I, an educated, middle-class white American with health insurance, is doing something this stupid is like asking why I haven't given my kids the phony Instant Autism Chinese/Hillary/Biden Plandemic Jab and refused to wear a mask in 2020 or 2021.  Why should I?  I have an immune system, sheeple!"

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Three Unfounded Rumors about this Kars4Kids commercial


1.  That the radio version of this commercial has caused more car accidents than overindulgence in alcohol.

2.  That all of the kids included in this ad were personally donated by their parents, who quickly changed their own last names and moved out of town without leaving any forwarding address.

3.  That 80 percent of the people who call Kars4Kids are disappointed to learn that the exchange does not work both ways. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

The sad truth about 2011's "Moneyball"


1.  It's the heartwarming story about how a few statisticians with a dream transformed baseball from a game of inches into a game of computer-generated statistics and analytics-obsessed number crunchers.  In other words, about how two nerds turned the greatest game ever invented into a spreadsheet, leading to more intentional walks, overshifts, and pitch counts than any of us who grew up with baseball in the 20th century care to count.  

2.  It's also the amazing story of how the same two nerds turned a small-market baseball team that used to win World Series into one that could accomplish the amazing task of pretty much never making the playoffs anymore on an even smaller budget using those aforementioned "analytics."  I mean, it's pretty remarkable how far the A's have gone with so little money in the 21st century, isn't it?  Surely their empty trophy case is the envy of every other team in baseball.  Whatever. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Die Hard 2 Never Made Any Sense!


1.  So the plot involves a drug dealing Central American general/gangster/whatever being extradited to the United States, and a terrorist group's plan to rescue him as he arrives at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia (Washington, DC suburbs.)  Ok- I've seen this film at least a dozen times (I managed a video rental store in DC when it was released on VHS and it was a popular title to show on the store's tv) and I still don't really understand how the bad guys could be so stupid in so many ways.  First, their plan involves seizing control of one of the largest airports in the United States, which in turn involves hiring dozens and dozens of mercenaries who are embedded into American SWAT teams- what kind of long con is this?  Second, the plan is "successful" when they get the general on board a plane and take off from Dulles- but why do they think they are safe at this point?  Why don't they think they'll be forced down by a military jet as soon as they are over open water?  Can someone explain this to me?

2.  The plan gets messed up right away when John McClane asks for I.D. and gets shot at instead.  So if these brilliant terrorist masterminds had just remembered to fake a few airport I.D.'s, the plan would have worked to they never imagined that at any point anyone would ask to see I.D's, or figured if anyone did, they'd just open fire....what the hell.....

3.  A major plot point is that a dozen or so jumbo jets are circling Dulles throughout the entire film, unable to land because of weather conditions and Other Reasons.  These jets are running out of fuel as they circle, and ultimately come in - we are told by one pilot- "on fumes."  But why do they spend hours circling Dulles when there are a dozen airports in the vicinity perfectly capable of accommodating jets of that size; locally there's Reagan National and BWI, but let's assume the blizzard is also impacting those airports.  Just up the coast there's Philly JFK and LaGuardia and Newark and Logan.  Off to the west there's Pittsburgh.  To the south there's Charlotte.  Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago are all closer than the "hours" the planes are pointlessly circling Dulles as they run out of fuel.  There's even Andrews,* which is big enough to handle Air Force 1 so is certainly capable of handling any passenger jet. I mean, this is really dumb- the movie wants us to pretend that if the planes can't land at Dulles, they are going to crash.  

I actually liked this movie better than the first Die Hard film- and it's the last of the Die Hard films I liked at all.  But man it asks the audience to suspend a lot of disbelief, especially if you live in the DC area like I did.  

*speaking of which, why is a general/gangster/drug mastermind entering the United States at a freaking civilian airport in the first place?

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Taco Bell: Never has $5 cost so much.


Even if you down this warm toxic sludge with a diet soda, you're still satisfying your "craving" (not "hunger"*) with roughly 1000 calories of nutrient-deficient grease, cheese and empty carbs.  Meanwhile your heart is busy craving relief from your brain's cravings, you've once again trained yourself to respond to any notion that you haven't eaten for several minutes by piling in the cheapest, most palatable junk available, and you've gulped down something that is just going to make you sluggish and sad if not downright exhausted (just in time to hit up Starbucks for a sugar rush!) within minutes after hitting the bloodstream.  

Yeah, looks so much fun.  Especially when we get still shot after still shot of people jamming this poison into their face holes.  Thanks, Taco Bell, for remaining a great big part of the problem.

*as if there is any difference between "craving" and "hunger" in America today.  Most of us walk around dehydrated and confuse thirst with hunger, so why not just confuse cravings with hunger as well?  After all, this slop is cheap and available within two or three miles of pretty much everyone in the United States- if not Taco Bell specifically, some other sugar and fat merchant ready to take your order.   F--k your heart; what has it done for you lately?

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Sign of the Times


It took me a while to figure out what I truly hate about this commercial, which just sets me off every time it comes on the air (and that is often.)  I finally figured it out:  It's the fact that this commercial makes having high blood pressure look like fun.

These people are having an absolute ball because it's so easy for them to check their blood pressure; for some reason, they are dancing all over the place- maybe because they just checked and found that their resting heart rate was nice and low and decided that was too boring.  Great message- "if you've got high blood pressure, don't sweat it, just get this gizmo and you're good."  

Um, no.  If you've got high blood pressure, get control over your diet, get on an exercise program, and fix that issue before it Ends you.  Being able to monitor it is nice and everything, but this is basically the same as being able to check your blood sugar any time you want- and then going ahead and stuffing yourself with cake and seeing that Hey Isn't That Interesting, My Blood Sugar is Spiking Go Figure.  Personally, I don't worry about my blood sugar levels because I don't eat sugar.  I don't worry about my blood pressure because I keep myself at a healthy weight, exercise my cardiovascular system* and don't eat crap.  I guess the alternative is to just get one of these stupid things, except that they don't fix any problems.  They just give you a fun way to watch yourself fall apart.  

Don't stop dancing, because that's pretty good exercise.  But get those stupid-ass grins off your face and stop thinking you've accomplished something because it's easier to monitor your descent into bad health.  

This is getting depressingly common- more and more gadgets and more and more drugs and less and less simple advice to do things that kind of require personal effort.  Doesn't bode well for the future, but I guess a lot of these people won't be around in the future anyway. 

*Sometimes I even dance, though I prefer running and hitting my heavy bag.  But to each his own. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

The 80s are gone. Let's all get over it.


For anyone who grew up in the 1980s, the Indiana Jones Trilogy was one of those things that truly defined the decade.  I saw the original- when it was called "Raiders of the Lost Ark"- in 1981 with my father at the Paramount Theater in Barre, Vermont.  We loved every minute of it (I mean, really, what's not to love?)  Years later, my college girlfriend insisted on watching it over and over again whenever she came over for a date.  Just can't think of the 1980s without being reminded of Indy, his whip and his Fedora.

The series came to an end in 1989, and we all knew it.  Reagan's presidency ended that year, too, and there was a pretty strong sense that not only a decade but an entire era was ending.  The Berlin Wall was falling, bringing a close to the Cold War that a lot of us thought might turn very very hot when the decade opened.  That summer of 1989 was probably the biggest for summer blockbusters in the history of Hollywood - not only the last of the Indiana Jones films, but Batman, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, a Bond film, two Undersea Monster flicks....that summer was packed.  If you were in the United States you were going to the movies every weekend and seeing something everyone else was seeing, too.  And maybe the biggest moment in film was watching Indy and his dad ride off into the sunset.  

Well, we know what happened almost two decades later- 1980s nostalgia was all the thing and we got unwanted remakes of Total Recall and more Alien films and a Ghostbuster reboot nobody asked for and another Independence Day and yet another Star Wars Trilogy basically every time we turned around we were being assaulted by reminders that we had left our youth in the last century.  Worst of all, we got some god-awful mess called Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull or something like that and it was lame and lazy and CGI-infested crap. 

Harrison Ford is past eighty years of age, but I guess he's borrowed Tom Cruise's age-defying camera filter and is ready to pretend to be young again like we'd all like to be, and despite the steaming pile of craptitude the fourth film was I'll probably watch this one because Child of the 80s and all that.  It doesn't have Shia LeBouf, after all.  That's something.  But gosh am I tired of being reminded that I'm a product of another era who is supposed to have extra cash in his pocket to hand over to movie studios that ran out of ideas when Ronald Reagan, and Harrison Ford, rode off into the sunset.  

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Jesus won't get me, I run too fast!


Seems to me that if Jesus Botherers can afford to spend $20 million* on a 30-second ad to play during the Great Big Sportsball Game, they can afford to pay taxes.  Why are churches tax-exempt if this is how they spend their money?

Maybe Jesus gets it.  I don't. 

*reportedly part of a $100 million ad campaign.  Yeah, these guys need tax-exempt status.  Um, because they do Charity.  Yeah, that's why.  What a racket.

Friday, February 17, 2023

We knew Doritos would make a Superbowl Ad Appearance. And we suspected it would be this bad.


So the entire point of this stupid ad for Doritos Obesity Chips is that they are shaped like triangles.*  It would make more sense if the point was that you're better off eating metal triangles than the carefully-engineered-to-be-addictive Death Crunchies being pitched in this Hi-LARIOUS commercial that loses any semblance of cleverness roughly 8 seconds in but keeps going and going and going for so long you'd be excused if you thought that the Energizer Bunny was going to make an appearance.

*shaped like triangles, not actually triangles- unless triangles normally come bent, broken, and looking more like soggy tissue paper than anything with three straight sides.  

Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Superbowl Ads: Seriously, just shut up about them already.


"Millions of people will tune in to the Superbowl, and many of them will be watching just for the ads..."

Yes, I am aware.  There's a name for these people.  They are called Sad Losers.  

Seriously, though- if you are the kind of person who will sit in front of the television for more than three hours just waiting for the stupid sportsball stuff to take a break so you can get back to enjoying those awesome, awesome advertisements, well, I don't want to meet you and I don't want to know what went so terribly wrong with your life.  Commercials are an annoyance that we've largely moved beyond with streaming services- that is, we who have agreed to pay a set monthly price instead of being begged to buy stuff every few minutes and being told that our lives are not and will not be worth living until we can crash through the woods in this truck, download this app, text into this phone or ingest this drug.  I don't care which actor I thought had died years ago makes a "surprise" guest appearance in an ad for Doritos Obesity Chips during the first quarter, and I don't care how "cleverly" I'm being sold everything from Payday Loans But Now It's Through Your Phone So That's Different to Wendy's Cheese and Carb Sandwiches Prepared by Mental Midgets.  The commercials are the painful part of the Big Game- an excuse to take a quick walk outside to stretch, grab some more snacks, or - here's the most revolutionary idea- start up a conversation with someone you are sharing the experience with.  Most of the time, I watch this game by myself, with the mute button on.  On occasions like tonight- when I'm at a Superbowl Party- I'll be ignoring the ads, and trying extra hard to ignore the other people in the room who insist on commenting (or, worse, laughing) at them.  If everyone else insists on paying attention to the ads, I'll do the most 21st century thing I can do and just stare at my phone.  Gotta fit in somehow.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Help yourself to some InstaDebt


This App and a hundred others just like it that suddenly by total coincidence started to pop up right around the economy tanked a couple of years back (and at exactly the same time that a hundred ways to gamble your money away on football games through your phone suddenly became available, which I'm sure is also a coincidence) can sell itself as a way to "get your money early" all it wants.  But it's just new lipstick on an old pig:  We've had short-term payday loans for centuries now.   Then we had "Rapid Refund" which meant nothing more than "give us your tax refund in exchange for some money that doesn't quite equal that refund right now."  We have "Annuity" services that offer a bird in the hand to people who are stupid with money or just plain desperate.  Right now, there are at least half a dozen places within walking distance of where I'm typing that will gladly lend me money at exorbitant interest rates.  

Know what they all have in common with this App?  They all take advantage of people who live paycheck to paycheck.  They set up those people- the people who are least able to part with any of their money, the people who already live on the margins- with a debt spiral that seeks to prove that you can, actually, get blood from a stone.  And they make it seem so fast, easy, and convenient- just like brick and mortar payday lenders, without the embarrassment of actually walking into one of those places.  This is just another sign of the times, and it's really, really sad. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Some LifeSaving advice for the people in this "Choose RNs" commercial


Trigger warning:  This one is going to be mean.  That is to say, even more mean than usual.

I'm sorry, but- does anything jump out at you about pretty much every person in this commercial?  The couple walking on the beach, and 67% of their offspring.  The nurse practitioner that the guy goes to see about how every time he eats 200 tacos at one sitting he suffers from heartburn, or something (there's no audio, but I'm really good at reading lips, so I'm 99% positive that's what he's complaining about.)  The med tech who takes the order for more tests.  The second nurse practitioner who then gives silent but I'm sure sage advice to the other parental unit we saw influencing the tides on the beach earlier.  

See it now?  I mean, I'm not wrong here, am I?

Practically every freaking person in this commercial about health care providers is suffering from morbid obesity- the pandemic nobody wants to talk about.  The one that has been out of control for several decades now and is only getting worse; in fact, which is actually becoming normalized in commercials that have nothing to do with health, which is bad enough without just casually normalizing it in an ad which is supposed to be ALL ABOUT HEALTH.  The first patient had a BLOCKAGE IN AN ARTERY but we don't end the ad with him taking a brisk walk or serving salad to his dangerously overweight family, "lesson learned and lifestyle adjusted."  Nope.  We see him sitting on his butt strumming a guitar.  

But hell, why should we expect him to be getting good health advice from people who wouldn't take it for themselves?  Sorry, Registered Nurses- but I wouldn't go to a dentist with bad teeth, I wouldn't hire Pee Wee Herman to be my personal trainer, and I simply can't take you seriously as long as you are carrying around excess deadly adipose tissue.  If all you did was get this guy to a surgeon to have expensive, dangerous surgery and then sent him back into the world to resume a terrible lifestyle that he's sharing with his wife and passing on to his children, well, it's hard for me to consider you "health specialists" at all.  I mean, thanks for the stent and everything, but shouldn't we be talking about preventive care?  I mean, just to pass the time before my next 911 call?

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sensodyne's Lack of Sensitivity.


In 2012, I noticed increased sensitivity on one side of my mouth.  I went to my "dentist" (I use that phrase very loosely.  She didn't take insurance, and she didn't take credit cards.  She had an office and used those tools you generally associate with the practice, but I'm not at all sure she was actually a dentist.  She was always very sketchy and I stayed with her way too long) who prescribed a special toothpaste that did nothing. 

About two years later, I dumped this "dentist" and went to another one, who decided to ignore my complaints about stabbing pain on the left side of my mouth and give me a referral to see an oral surgeon about a burn mark on the roof of my mouth.  I threw the referral away along with that dentist's number.  Then I went to another dentist who sprayed my teeth with a numbing agent which gave me relief for a few hours and fitted me for a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding.  I wore it.  Nothing changed.  I had pretty much given up on ever biting down on my left side ever again without feeling pain.  

Then, last year, I found my new dentist.  First, he filed down some of my teeth because he said they were not landing properly.  That didn't work, and the pain intensified.  Finally, he told me "you need a root canal.  Right now."  The next day, I had that procedure done (all the jokes are true.  It's a horrible thing to go through.)  I was in pain for two days, but since then I've had zero problems biting down on my left side.  For the first time in a decade, I can chew normally.  

And it only took four dentists.

The bottom line:  If your dentist tries to brush you off (no pun intended) with "try a toothpaste for sensitivity," ask right then and there what happens if (when) it doesn't work, and make a follow-up appointment for the following month.  Ask if it's a root canal issue.  And don't think for one minute that a spray or paste is going to solve the problem if it's been a problem for any length of time.  The dentist in this ad is taking money to recommend Sensodyne, and I'm sorry, but that's not the way to put the needs of the patient first.  Do your job, dentists.  Do.  Your.  Damn.  Job. 

Snapchat's dark vision of our future


Or you could, you know, just go out and meet actual human people and have actual face-to-face conversations with them instead of spending another year obsessed with your stupid electronic drug of choice.  Just a thought.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

I really, really hate these Wendy's ads


You raised a guy who looks like he's approaching middle-age and not only works at the local Wendy's, but spends a ridiculous amount of time either waxing poetic about the "food" he sells or playing with it.

Maybe you made good French Toast, lady, but you probably should have let the feral cats living behind the dumpster outside the 7-11 manage the education of your son.  He's a pretty sad case, overall.  And if you don't believe me, I guess you weren't around when he was convinced that the fat customer- no, the fat customer with a beard- no, that PARTICULAR fat customer with a beard- was Santa Claus.  Or that other time he was gazing at stretchy cheese like a baby fascinated with car keys.  Maybe next time get that lead paint scraped from the living room wall BEFORE you get pregnant.  Just a bit of free advice,  no need to thank me.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Another of these painfully predictable "red flag review" commercials


Since the guy's wife isn't there to be right, we all know the kid is going to turn out to be right.  I mean, an adult male hasn't won an argument in a tv commercial since at least the 1990s. 

Just ONE of these red-flag replay commercials which shows an adult male winning a challenge against a woman or a child.  Just ONE.  PLEASE.  I DARE you!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Verizon's latest stupid ad manages to humiliate two people- one dead, one alive- at the same time.


Congratulations, Verizon.  You managed to turn one of the greatest minds of the 20th (and any other) century) into a Wacky Clueless German Scientist ("Kaput?"  Really?) AND an Oscar-nominated actor into a straight man for some ridiculous "actress" I guess I'm supposed to know but haven't a clue.  I know for sure she isn't Paul Giamatti. 

Can someone explain to me what kind of person is convinced to buy ANYTHING through caricatures of famous, respected figures from history?  Am I the only person on the planet who is sick to death of seeing groundbreaking geniuses in the fields of politics (Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin etc.) and mathematics (Einstein) being used to sell everything from cars to beer by tasteless, shameless corporations?

And by the way- did every big star from Jamie Foxx to Paul Giamatti secretly lose all their money in the crypto crash, or what?  Why are they stooping so low they'd beat a caterpillar in a limbo contest every time I turn on my TV?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Pizza Hut's latest Artery-Melting offering to a society too eager to die


Hey look, it turns out that people who are paid to promote Pizza Hut's latest Diabetes Delivery System are willing to eat it in public, go figure. 

I think someone could do a clever version of this ad in which the pretty, slim girl who has inexplicably got herself addicted to highly-processed empty carbs and sugar (which doesn't even taste good) keeps bumping into future versions of herself which are morbidly obese, reliant on scooters, maybe carrying around their own canned oxygen, and are on a pharmacy's worth of drugs in order to control their cholesterol and blood sugar among all of the other problems that started to gather when she first decided to commit suicide in slow motion.  

And as for that clown in the taxi (or maybe I'm being a Boomer here, and it's an Uber)- dude, just stop.  We get it.  All you eat is Pizza Hut products which, because we don't really have Truth in Advertising laws anymore, can be sold as "food" over the airwaves (come to think of it, I don't think the word "food" is ever mentioned in any fast "food" commercial.  Am I wrong about those Truth in Advertising laws?)  You've long since stopped listening to your body which has been begging for mercy for years now.  You live in a country where more than half of the citizens are fat and more than one-third are obese, so you fit (pardon the pun) right in.  You aren't special.  You're just sad. 

Friday, January 27, 2023

The common, but weird, language in this Cymbalta commercial


Cymbalta is "not approved for children under the age of 18."  Fortunately for me- maybe- it is approved for children over the age of 18.  If it improves my current conditions, I'll be grateful to one doctor but very, very irritated with another.  Like, these commercials have been running for years.  Why didn't you suggest I try it?

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Domino's Shock "Value"


1.  No one ordering two carb 'n sugar pies from America's favorite starch bin is going to notice what the delivery monkey is driving.  Nobody who eats this slop gives a damn.  I'm willing to bet that 90 percent of pizza is delivered in the evening hours- and nobody is peering into the dark street to see what Delivery Boy is driving.  Nobody.  Cares.

2.  If you regularly order two $6.99 "pizzas" from your nearest franchised pig trough, you might indeed be in for a shock.  It's called a heart attack.  And of all the tragedies in the world, I'm trying to imagine one more pointless than a heart attack brought on by cheap processed Fat in a Box.  Nothing is coming to mind.