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?