Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stupid Sales Pitches

As you all know, there is no end to stupid commercials. Basically every other ad that you see suggests that the owner of that particular company has an idiot son, who needed a job, so they put him in charge of advertising. But something you don't notice as often are decent commercials that have terrible sales pitches or messages. An example of this is the Budweiser commercial that has been airing during the Olympics. This ad has an original song meant to appeal to the average working man and includes lyrics like, "This is who I am" "This is what I stand for" and my favorite "This is what I believe in, when the day is done." That is fantastic! If someone were to ask one of my friends or relatives, "Hey tell me a little bit about Shea." I would want them to reply, "Oh, he stands for beer, and actually his is beer, and at the end of the day, what he believes in, is beer... Particularly Budweiser."

Now going back to the commercial. Of course this new theme song is being played along with a video of happy people, all engaged in good clean American fun. When in reality, it should be a video of some guy in a wife-beater, (you guessed it)... beating his wife, losing his job, or maybe getting arrested. All with that great Budweiser anthem blaring in the background... This is Budweiser!, This is Budweiser!, This is Budweiser!, King of beers!!!

I always pay attention to these sorts of advertisements and tend to notice when there is a glaring example of just such stupidity. This week, I think I found the worst one ever. It was a radio spot for a water-softener company, which featured an actor, talking about why he had decided to purchase a water-softener. He was moving through the standard lingo and sales pitches about soft water, healthy skin and so on. Then they took it a step too far into the realm of pure ridiculousness, when the guy suggested a major reason he decided to go with soft water, was to save money on soap! Save money on soap? SAVE MONEY ON SOAP!!! That is like saving your used toothpicks, to save money on fire wood! Let's see, if a water-softener runs $1,500 installed, and a bar of soap runs $.50 cents on average, and you use one bar a week, that would equal about 26 dollars a year in back breaking soap expenses. Now, if you could save half of that with this new, incredible water-softener, you would be racking up $12.50 a year in savings! That's over a dollar a month! That means the water-softener will pay for itself in just 120 years! What are you going to do with all that extra cheddar floating around!?!?! I don't know about you, but i am going to buy another water-softener!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Simple Life

Life just gets more and more complicated as you grow older. At some point I think you reach the pinnacle of complication (just before retirement) and then you are able to start slowing down again.

Right now, my 1 year old is on the extreme end of the spectrum. I realized this on Sunday when he was looking through an animal book and announcing excitedly that every animal was a “Doggy!” This is how reality looks for a one-year-old: If it has four legs, it’s a doggy. If it swims under water, it’s a fishy. If it’s flying, it’s a birdie. Most women are mommy. Most men are daddy. Anything that does not fall into these broad categories can simply be identified by the sound it makes. There are quack-quacks and honk-honks, monkeys are commonly known as ooh-oohhs. “No-no” is the sound that mommies and daddies make.

Beyond that, there are just a few other situations that unique to toddler communication. Such as: If you’re done with your food, you can just throw it on the floor. If you can’t throw, just rub it in your hair. (This is the toddler equivalent to putting your napkin across your plate) If you like another kid, try poking out their right eye, but if you don’t like them…. you guessed it… it is proper toddler etiquette to poke them in the left eye. Other acceptable forms of showing affection or distain include, clawing, scratching, and in extreme cases, biting. Biting can also be a way for toddlers to teach adults and other children valuable life lessons like, “If you are stupid enough to put you finger in someone’s mouth, don't be surprised when they bite it.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Fever!

I hope everyone was able to see the men’s 4x100 swim relay on Sunday. If not, you missed a classic example of why I love the Olympics. Any last second effort to take the gold is sweet. But when that last second surge also means beating the French and steeling their world record at the same time, well, I almost wept.

Now if you missed the match-up and the back-story, I now what you are thinking. “Wait a minute, the French were actually in contention for something at the Olympics?” I know! I was surprised as you were! The average person does not even know the French have an Olympic team. But they do! They are just usually more dominant in lesser known events like: snail eating, wine tasting, cheese-smelling (& smelling-like-cheese). They also hold several speed records in the events that involve surrendering, and they are the reigning “Ungrateful-that-you-saved us-from-the-Germans-twice” competition.

I have to tell you, when I heard the French had been talking trash about “Smashing” the Americans, I thought “Well good for France, manning up a little, talking a little jive and then getting whooped, rather than just getting whooped and saying nothing.” But then I heard that the French were actually the favorites to win the relay. This was shocking to me. And of course a long, sarcastic list of things I would expect them to be the favorites in came to mind. (But I won’t list them here, “Favored to show no heart in the finals” or here “Most likely to give in to terrorist demands”).

Regardless of what the commentators had to say, I just could not see the U.S. losing in anything, to the French. I didn’t care if the French were allowed to use jet-skis in the relay! Apparently my new hero Jason Lezak felt the same way as he ran down France’s #1 swimmer (whose name I have already forgotten), from behind, against all odds. And that is what I love about the Olympics and being an American; the fact that an unknown swimmer from the U.S., can out swim France’s finest just because he feels like it. That’s American know-how baby! Jason Lesak, my hat is off to you. And if you ever visit Cedar City Utah, dinner is on me.

And to all my French, former-readers; I bid you adieu and bon voyage, until the next time we are saving you from a foreign invader.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Kid is Such a Liar

Kids are liars. Anybody with children knows its true. And the only reason that we know they are lying because we remember all the lies we told as kids. I mean kids lie constantly, they are always telling lies. Rarely do they say anything that is true. "My tummy is full", "Yes I washed my hands", "I’ll tell you if I’m going to throw up". Lie, lie, lie! Like when your kid looks you straight in the face and explains how it was the family dog that drew anatomically correct stick figures in red crayon on the living-room wall. This may be a lie to you, but not to your child, he probably really believes what he is telling you! In his mind this explanation makes perfect sense. You give this kid a lie detector and he’s going to pass it every time! And really this is a fascinating phenomenon that we’ve yet to fully explain. Science can’t explain it people. The military has been trying for years to crack the "lying-kid code" and tap into its unlimited power.

In fact during WWII our government was working on ways to keep kids in that “child like” state until adult hood, and then turn them into spies and stuff, because it would be impossible to tell whether or not they were lying. This is true, they split all the kids up into groups called like: “Politicians ” “Attorneys” “Sales Persons”, and started honing their lying skills. But then the Cold War ended and the whole program went belly up, and they just cut bait and released these kids back into the general population.

You can imagine it must have been total pandemonium when it all hit the fan. There was one guy shredding documents, another opening the cages and shooing all these A-moral kids out of the building with a broom “Just let them go, just let them go!”. “Move it people, move it!, we’ve got to make it look like this never happened!”. “Hopefully they will just blend in”.

After that they erased the memories of everyone involved. That is why right now there are hundreds of defense lawyers wondering why they get that sad, lonely feeling when they are at the zoo. Their wives ask “What is it honey? Is something wrong?” “I, I don’t know Christine. There’s something about these cages, something familiar… something from a long-long time ago. But never mind that Christine, have I ever told you how I am willing to do anything, and I mean anything, to make a buck. For some reason lying has always come easy to me”.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mutant Powers

Have you ever watched a show about super heroes like "X Men" and wished you had some sort of super-human, mutant powers. If so I think I have some good news for you my friend.
Everyone has mutant powers. It's true, the problem is just that everybody we know has at least one or two of several basic powers. Like some people might have the mutant power of annoying people to death, but this power is basically useless here, because the same amount of people also have the mutant power of withstanding the really annoying people. By the time we reach annoyance levels that would normally be fatal, the two mutants have exhausted all their powers and canceled each other out. Seriously, mark my words, if they ever find life on other planets the aliens will be freaking out. They will be like, “You mean to tell me the there are people on your planet who talk and talk for hours at a time?” (Because on their planet that is like being able to breath under water or something) Then you’d be like “Oh yea that’s nothing, I’ve got all sorts of mutant powers. Like, I can eat my weight in potato chips in the course of just one of our earth years. I have the power to zone out my wife and 3 kids while I watch ESPN. Yea, it’s like they don’t even exist. Basically I make them disappear. I could go on and on.” Right now there some guy reading this getting all excited that this might really be true. Maybe he is even starting to hope that aliens really will invade. That guy is thinking to himself. “On what planet would a paralyzing fear of rejection be considered a super power?” Relax brother. All of this is just speculation. So do what you can now to move out of your mom’s basement. That’s never going to be a good thing. (Though I guess technically you actually are a mutant.)