Sunday, August 19, 2007

An Interview with the Cruel Virgin - Question #3

Hi everybody,

I'm behind schedule, so here I am early on a Sunday striving to catch up. And so, on to the third question in the series.


3. What commercial can you remember that you really thought was kick ass? Why? Has advertising improved with time or gotten worse?

I struggled a bit with this one. I wanted to provide as honest an answer as possible. Honesty may be the best policy, but it's also a tremendous challenge for yours truly.

For the most part, commercials have always been mediocre. There are exceptions, but usually the better ones are foreign (and typically from Europe). Here are several examples (that I actually have stored in my laptop and can email to anyone who is interested ... I'm sure they're also on YouTube).

Commercial #1: A man in his early 30's is in a supermarket with his son (who looks to be about 3 or 4-years old). The boy keeps attempting to put a bag of candy in the cart. The man keeps saying no and putting it back. "But I want it!", the boy shouts, and shakes the cart. Finally the boy throws a massive tantrum, taking items off of various shelves, and violently throwing them to the floor. Finally the brat is on his back on the floor in the middle of the aisle, screaming. Everyone is looking in the poor guy's direction. Finally the simple tag line displays on the screen: "Use condoms".

Commercial #2: In a commercial for Danier Leather, a very attractive woman poured into a one piece knit dress and leather jacket walks into an upscale hotel lounge and sits alone at a table. A man at an adjacent table, who cannot takes his eyes off of her, boldly strides over and places his room key (Room 808) on the table in front of her, and walks out. She nonchalantly glances at the key, does a thoughtful double-take, and then gets up. The lady saunters over to the bar and places the key in front of another man sitting on one of the stools, gives him a sexy over the shoulder glance, and leaves the bar. The last scene shows the two men riding up in the same elevator, with the first man finally looking down at the key in the other dude's hand as the elevator doors close. As the commerical fades to black, the tag line, "What does leather do for you? Danier Leather: Feel the difference." is displayed.

Commercial #3: A little boy, who looks about 5, is shown in a series of scenes, as follows: 1) eating a giant ice cream dish; 2) buying a giant snake; 3) getting a tattoo; 4) bringing a chain saw to show 'n' tell and cutting the teacher's chair in half; 5) pulled over by a motorcycle cop while driving an exotic convertible; and 6) getting in a plane to go skydiving. In each scene the boy emphatically says (subtitled), "My mom said I could!" The last scene shows the boy running down the hallway to his mom's closed bedroom door. "Mom, can I put the cat in the washing machine?" From the other side, the boy hears, "Yes! Yes! Yes!". He pumps his fists in the air, and exclaims, "Yes!", then runs off to find the cat. The commercial ends with the tag line, "Hansaplast Condoms. Pure Pleasure."


To answer Enemy's other question, I do think there's hope, as domestic commercials ARE getting wittier. In particular, I am one of the many lemmings who enjoy the Geico "Cavemen" spots. I have to stop what I'm doing - even if it's pleasuring myself - to watch them. I was hooked from the first one, where the announcer takes two of them to dinner, profusing apologizing because he didn't know they were still around.

Of course, anyone who goes to the occasional outdoor rock concert could tell you that they've always been around, but I digress.

Nonetheless, the "Cavemen" are a brilliant ad campaign.

Sometimes though, rather than using an entire new concept, such as the Cavemen, a existing spot could be humorous and effective with just a bit of fine-tuning.

For instance, what if the Life Alert medical products people used Joni Mitchell to help hawk their emegency alert pendent? They could use the existing commercial where the elderly lady takes a tumble down the stairs. Only in MY version, it's depicted in slow motion, with Joni singing, "Help me, I think I'm falling, and I can't get up ...".

See what I mean? Better, right?

Or how about if they used that old tune, "Tighten Up", NOT for Titan Auto Insurance, but for tampons?

Also, I've yet to see a single commercial that acknowledges homosexual men as major consumers of leather goods. So why not license Smokey Robinson's "Cruising", for use with a series of gritty black and white "cinema verite" street and nightclub sequences? "I love it when we go cruising together".

Note the Little Lamb booth in the background of this photo. Coincidence?

Has anyone given serious thought to using Elton John's "Rocket Man" for Trojan Condoms? And how about the spots that don't make any sense? For instance, I'm reasonably certain bears don't use toilet paper, or concern themselves with fabric softener. What WOULD be funny is if the first bear wiped his ass with the second.

I'm going to kick myself for writing this, but what are YOUR thoughts on the matter?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Interview with the Cruel Virgin - Question #2

Hi everybody,

Here is the next question in my 5-post interview with the Cruel Virgin (a.k.a. - Enemy of the Republic). (Holy crap! I can't believe I actually managed 2-posts within 2+ days. This series will be the death of me yet.)


2. What is the most endearing feature about women? What is the most annoying?

Their most endearing feature is that every woman is a self-contained amusement park. And while, like their human counterparts, every female is unique* in some way (* not entirely unlike snow flakes, and equally capable of forming into ice ... but alas, that is a concept for another post), I do believe they all have this trait in common.

Sure, with some gals, the majority of the rides have been in a state of disrepair for quite some time. Maybe some of them never quite gave the thrill that the designer intended. But there they sit nonetheless, safely contained within those fading yellow safety lines painted onto the blacktop.

But before I get to some of the rides, let's cover a few of the other areas within the park.

We of course start out with the ticket office at the entrance. With most women, the steep price of emission, er, admission is a series of conversations that express and reinforce the concept of a more than passing interest in the female. Often a coupon is provided in the form of a meal over which some witty* (* optional) banter is exchanged. Upon admission, the male's hand is stamped in difficult to remove ink. Sometimes the ink is actually ultraviolent, er, ultraviolet in composition, and the male naively forgets that it is even there. But other amusement parks have the same UV light apparati, so employees of one know that you've been frequenting the competition.

Once inside the park, you will typically spot the administrative offices. Over there to your immediate left is the Nurses' station, which - though often taken for granted - will prove handy for the occasional boo-boo, associated swelling, and foreplay.

Next is the Security Office / Lost and Found. Chances are you will wind up there at some point; if you violate some rule (of which you were probably unaware) while on one of the rides, for instance. Or else you may become disoriented and lost, and may need to be re-educated on the layout.

Finally we have we have the combination Season Pass / Film Hut. Season Passes are available, but bear in mind that they ARE non-refundable and subject to cancellation if the usage policy is not closely adhered to. And while film and disposable cameras are available for purchase, both still and motion pictures can only be taken within the park subject to discretion of the management. This is primarily for marketing reasons, as way too many amateur photographs tend to wind up on the Internet. And the resulting often very unflattering images have been known to discourage visits from new patrons.

As we make our way into the park, we start to encounter various booths hawking cheesy souveniers. But as we are intoxicated with the promise of new experiences further inside, every "tchotchkie" has the potential for fleeting amusement. But remember: "caveat emptor". Today's cute "tchotchkie" is tomorrow's tasteless impulse purchase. So think twice before you buy that "invisible dog on a leash", or a hat that makes you look like a bigger* dork (* if even possible).

A few steps away are the cotton candy and junk food booths. These kiosks of decadence are the "perfume" that brings the sense of taste (or lack thereof) into the experience. Overindulge, and you will deal with the consequences the next morning.

We are almost at the rides, but have to walk past some of the booths that are also vying for your attention. Look to your right, and you'll see the one with all of the Pam-sprayed plates that you can vainly try landing quarters on for a prize. But in a twist on this perennial favorite, if you fail, you have to wash each plate and put it back in the cupboard. So you may want to avoid this attraction.

The next booth features a new spin on the classic "guess your weight" dealie. In this game, you have to guess the woman's weight. In order to win, you have to accurately predict - within 3-pounds - NOT WHAT YOU THINK SHE ACTUALLY WEIGHS - but rather, what the woman "envisions" as her ideal number. Easy, you say? All you have to do is guess extremely low? Not so fast, Amazing Carnac. Guess too low (more than 3-pounds negative), and she will KNOW you are a lying sack of shit. And that you think she's fat. This will certainly result in a visit to the Security Office that was mentioned earlier in the tour, and a possible suspension of your Season Pass.

Another ubiquitous park feature is the "You Know What You Did" booth. You only get three guesses, and there are no prizes even if you get it right on the first try (which, since the game is rigged, is impossible). So move on to the rides as soon as the booth employee becomes distracted.

Finally, we have arrived at the rides. All of the usual park staples are here: the vomit-inducing Jilt-O-Whirl, the Relationship Roller Coaster, and - a personal favorite - the Bumpin' Ugly Cars. And if you're into that sort of thing, there's a ride or two that involves swinging.

I recommend steering clear of rides that go in slow, tedious circles, such as the "Marry-Go-Round". Also avoid the Haunted House of Female Psychosis and the Hall of Ex-Boyfriends* (because it has mirrors that distort "Mr. Happy", making him look even smaller and shrivelled than he actually is).

Finally, the Tunnel of Love is intriguing, and on occasion you may be fortunate enough to get the V.I.P. pass that bypasses the velvet rope and affords access through the non-public access portal in the rear. But, alas, it is usually in the "Tomorrowland" section of the park. And THAT, my dear Enemy, is the most annoying feature.

Well that's it for Question #2. I hope you enjoyed your visit, and kept your attention inside the post at all times.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

An Interview with the Cruel Virgin - Question #1

Hi everybody,

At last, the "good news" is I'm FINALLY getting to the interview questions that Enemy of the Republic (a.k.a. - Cruel Virgin) specially prepared for Yours Truly. The "bad news" is that I'm having SO MUCH fun with them, I've decided to turn it into a series of posts.

What's that? Heckling and derision? You say you've had it up to here with multi-post concepts that I never seem to finish? Well, even though I don't know where you got that idea (and plan to explain why, in - you guessed it - a series of future posts), I shall prove you wrong with the following challenge: I plan to post each new question (along with my response) every 2-days until all 5-questions have been answered.

That's an astounding 5-posts within the next 10-days, people! If that doesn't put the wind back in your shorts, nothing will.

So here goes, with Question #1


1. Given your fascination with our past presidents, which one would you like to see come back to life in order to save America? Why?

"More than four score and seven years ago, I opened my first can of whoop-ass. I have a new can to open."

Much as I tried to think of a "sexier" choice, there were none. So I'll go with my first impulse and only viable candidate: Abe Lincoln. I picture him in his "chic retro" black suit that was usually one size too small, wearing his trademark stove pipe hat* (* which he would place in his lap during plays, and fill with popcorn in his "folksy" spin on the classic "penis through the hole in the bottom of the popcorn bucket gag").

But MY present-day version of Honest Abe would pay homage to Sheriff Buford Pusser from the 70's classic, "Walking Tall". And just like Joe Don Baker's character, Abe would carry a Louisville Slugger that he would use to beat the crap out of bad guys. He would drive a black 1973 Lincoln* (* of course) Continental, and place a penny over each swollen eyelid of his whoop-ass recipients as his calling card.

A few vignettes in particular would set the tone for Abe's reemergence as a modern-day superhero.

In the first one, a cell of Al Qaeda numbnuts manage to slip through airport security* (* since the current Administration is responsible for hiring and training those folks) once again. Confident their plan is on target, they stroll toward their gate.

But whoa! Who is that angry looking mo-fo with the bat long-striding toward them from the opposite direction? Why, its none other than Honest Abe! And it looks like he wants to play back-to-back double-headers. All signs indicate the terrorists are the ones who have been thrown the curve.

In a sardonic reenactment of The Babe's "Called Shot", Abe points to each location where each head will land. Look out! Even folks in the cheap seats of Concourse-A are destined to catch a bloody souvenier.

Abe takes care of business, but doesn't get on the plane. For he knows his job isn't finished, and has been advised that the flight will have visual entertainment he would have to sit through (and he won't fall for that ploy again; not after that Ford's Theatre headache).

"Thus ever to tyrants who bastardize the classic popcorn bucket in the lap gag!"

In another scenario, Abe decides that stock market manipulators have to be taught a valuable, if not life-threatening, lesson. So he decides to pay Wall Street a little "visit".

As he descends on the trading floor, he strikes lethal blows on anyone "selling short", and at one point actually shoves the bat up the "margin" of the first Rolex-wearing S.O.B. that he sees. He then extricates that bat from it's "weighted donut" and wipes off the blood and excrement on the human popsickle's Brooks Brothers suit.

Normally a hornet's nest of activity, the room becomes eerily quiet. Abe speaks up, with piercing eyes reinforcing his point. "If I catch ANY of you f*ckers attempting to move any share of stock that hasn't been held by the owner for at least two years, I'll be back to liquidate YOUR assets, assh*les."

Abe then heads for his Stealth bomber. He has to take a certain insolent little DICKtator (who needs a second "L" added to his last name) in North Korea to the woodshed.

I hope you found this as "emancipating" as I have. I am set free from Question #1. It now belongs to the ages. Four more and ten days to go.

"Daddy, tell me again how you opened up a can of whoop-ass. Oh, and can you take me to go see "Cats"?"


Monday, August 06, 2007

The Bad Samaritan

Hi everybody,

With apologies to the Cruel Virgin (a.k.a. "Enemy of the Republic"), I still don't have the time to do a PROPER job of addressing her interview questions.

So instead I was hoping to "weasel by" a bit longer with a very short story. I heard this one on "The Bob and Tom Show" this morning on the radio. They have THE best radio comedy show that I personally have ever listened to, and they're syndicated (out of Indy, I believe; perhaps Pud may have heard of them), so they might be on in your area. And if they are, check 'em out.

Here goes. Hope you like.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

The Bad Samaritan (my title, BTW)

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

It's 2AM when the couple awakens to a persistant knock on their front door.

The husband slowly gets up, meanders to the door, and answers the knock.

It's a man standing out there in a fierce downpour.

"Mister, could you give me a push?"

The husband is not in a generous mood.

"No, I can't. Sorry."

And he returns to his wife and bed.

"Honey, who was at the door?"

"It was a man needing a push."

"Now sweetie, don't you remember last month when OUR car broke down, and that kindly man helped US out? Now's the time to pay it forward. Go and give that man a push."

"Dang it. You're right."

So the husband gets dressed, puts on his galoshes and raincoat, and heads out the front door.

"Sir, are you still here? Do you still need a push?"

The husband hears the man reply, "Yes. I do.", but he can't see him through the blinding rain.

So the husband says, "Where are you?"

The man replies, "Over here. On the swing."