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Friday
Jul082011

Get Out Of My Head!

By Al Vinikour

With my heavy travel schedule I get to watch a lot of television in hotel rooms. Since most of the trips are domestic the commercials that run are usually national so there’s the same characters I see on my home television. Thus I have made a mental list of those characters and companies that are most irksome and what I’d like to see happen to them.

First, and foremost is that damned Flo from the Progressive Car Insurance ads. What does she do all day besides wear an appropriately white coat, and strut around waiting for people to ask her inane questions? Then there was the commercial where she was sitting on a motorcycle in a static display with a background video of a ride, and fans blowing air on her and her fellow rider. Then she gets her ugly ass off the bike and asks the prospective customer if “she has bugs in her teeth” as though no one could tell they’d never left the building! For all I know she’s probably got bugs in her underwear, but I don’t know anybody that would go near that mouth. Even a bug has more class than that.

Next comes that jackass from Geico who walks around with his pompadour hairdo and bad suit and makes some nasty-assed comment like “What, do you live under a rock?” or “Does it take two to tango?” or “Does Charley Daniels play a mean fiddle?” I don’t know—or care! Just once I would like to see old Charley Daniels put numbers on his fiddle bow from 95-107, stick it up that guy’s keester and take his temperature with it.

Keeping with the Geico miscreants, what’s with the limey gecko that has been fouling television’s air for years? Not only does he look like a miniature version of the dragons I’d see at 35,000 feet when I was still drinking, his otherwise decent boss seems dumb as a drum. Where did a guy who converses with a gecko get his undergraduate degree? Please tell me because I don’t want my grandkids to enroll there by mistake.

Insurance companies aren’t alone when it comes to stupid commercials. Take cruise lines, for example. There are several of them that run some beautiful-looking ads showing their awesome ships smoothly plowing through calm seas. Where did these magicians find calm seas? It must have been one hell of a soundstage because no ocean I’ve ever sailed on (and I think I’ve hit them all) has 6-in. swells that wouldn’t slow down a Zodiac Boat let alone a 900-ft. cruise ship. What you don’t see are the hundreds, if not thousands of passengers on the opposite side of the ship, leaning over the rail and returning the lasts three meals they ate to the sea. And did you ever notice that they shoot a lot of these commercials at night? That way the greenish tint of the passengers’ skin won’t show.

Don’t even get me started on airline commercials. The only honest airline commercials I can think of are the ones for Southwest Airlines. Other than abhorring fat people, they don’t charge extra for checked baggage. They don’t charge extra for changing reservations. They don’t charge extra for meals (okay, you’ve got me there…they don’t offer any meals. But I wouldn’t put it past an airline like Spirit to charge for a meal just because a passenger was thinking of one). They only promise to get you from Point A to Point B…and they do it! When other airlines show one of their larger aircraft smoothly flying by and some voice-over person is telling you how wonderful it is to be resting comfortably on one of their “premier” jets, just remember that you’re looking at a 200-ft. aluminum can of air rage ready to explode. And that doesn’t even include the anger from the TSA rectal examination prior to boarding.

Another genre that isn’t worth its weight in camel dung are these tax companies that promise to have your “$4 million tax obligation lowered to an easier-managed $50.” If they’re so good…why is Wesley Snipes spending his nights chasing away prospective bridegrooms in federal prison? And what’s with this goofy bastard standing outside of New York’s Central Park wearing a cowboy hat telling us, “You have enough to worry about.” That’s for damned sure. I wouldn’t be within 100 miles of Central Park if I knew he was lurking around it. Or that red-bearded guy who claims his company’s legion of former IRS accountants will see you get treated with respect. First of all, what the hell kind of accountant doesn’t know he can legitimately deduct razor blades as a business expense? And as for the “respect” thing? Every prospective conquest is treated with respect until that first lustful thrust. Then it’s a question of what comes first…the IRS being satisfied or the victim bleeding out.

Or how about that corporate commercial for General Electric? There’s one scene where workers on the jet engine line are dancing around like they’re in line for the bathroom at Longhorn Steak House. I don’t know about you but I do NOT want to fly in an airliner that’s powered by engines made by a bunch of seeming Hillbillies who are square dancing while installing critical parts. Who does the maintenance for Ryanair in Ireland…Michael Flatley and his Celtic dancers? Keeping with GE’s advertising “creativity,” what is the deal with the dancing baby elephant? First, any half-witted worker who saw a real one (as opposed to the kind they see after sampling Lynchburg, Tennessee’s finest) would scoop that pachyderm into the bed of his pickup and go in search of Cat Deeley and the cast of So You Think You Can Dance?faster than you can say “I quit!” Second, Don’t you think if this little creature were dancing down the aisles of an aircraft plant that at some point all the hay and grass he’d eaten that day would make for the exit? It’s bad enough that some of the workers probably don’t wash their hands after they go to the bathroom, but who besides the valedictorian of an Ohio high school is going to clean elephant crap off a factory floor? Consequently, elephant feces is going to get into the fans and gears of the engine and, after causing undetectable corrosion, at some point over the Pacific that engine(s) is going to lock up and the aircraft will be lost at sea with all 376 passengers and crew forever unaccounted for. That’s why I stick with Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce jet engines whenever possible.