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?