Kindness Insults My Intelligence

Don't worry.  All those messages aren't you.  My mom called once last night.  (Photo credit: Dave Chamberlain)

Don’t worry. All those messages aren’t you. My mom called once last night. (Photo credit: Dave Chamberlain)

Thank you for your kind telephone call. Because the ringing started promptly at 6:30, I did not have to listen to my annoying family members during dinner.

Thank you for kindly not hanging up on our machine. We use it to weed out the undesirable callers but you demonstrated your friendliness by persisting.

Thank you for kindly leaving a message after the beep. We appreciate you taking the time from your busy schedule to inform us that we may qualify for lower interest rates on our credit cards.

Thank you for kindly repeating your message multiple times even though no one is on the line with you. It brings back the nostalgia of a scratched vinyl record. It also reminds me of political campaigns, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber.

Thank you for kindly using an automated message instead of a live human. Listening to a machine is less painful than hearing a man writhe in agony as he desperately seeks a lifeline.

Thank you for kindly calling back fifteen minutes later to make sure we received the original message. We had forgotten to check and we plan to forget again.

Thank you for kindly calling a third time so that we could finish our dinner with the same melodic ringing we started with.  You obviously understood that we were forgetting the second message as well.

And last, but certainly not least…

Thank you for kindly not suing us for picking up the phone and asking your robocaller if she dreams of performing [grown-up activity] with R2D2 and C3PO. Harassment is a serious matter and I trust that you would never stand for the mistreatment of any living or robotic entity.

Trivial Pursuit Insults My Intelligence

I’d like to start by welcoming all the new followers who have joined me since I was Freshly Pressed on Friday.  The cat post was cute and fun and the WordPress editorial staff demonstrated excellent taste by selecting it.

Of course, I think most (if not all) of my posts would be good choices for Freshly Pressed.  I hope my new followers will soon grow to agree with me.

Nevertheless, I should extend one minor warning: this blog is not always cute.  One of my long-time followers recently marveled at how I can find a way to be offended at anything; I do my best to keep my fans happy.

That said, it’s time for me to go nerdy because I happen to be a nerd.  And being a nerd, I am often accosted by a game called Trivial Pursuit.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a trivia game where players recall random and often insignificant facts in a race to demonstrate who’s more intelligent.

And whose brilliant idea was this?

Once upon a time, Ugg and Oog were sitting in their cave.  They had grown weary of explaining the philosophy behind the aesthetic dimensions of mammoth dung.

Aren't you glad I chose this suggestive picture instead of the photo of real elephant poop?  (Photo credit: Johnbod)

Yes, that’s supposed to be a mammoth.  Aren’t you glad I chose this suggestive picture instead of the photo of real elephant poop? (Photo credit: Johnbod)

But then, as now, someone had to be the leader.  Unfortunately, Ugg and Oog weren’t the type who liked hitting each other with blunt objects to prove their manhood… so the obvious solution was out.  And they couldn’t compete on the quality of dung explanations because there was no way to judge the comparative merits of their theories.

What are a couple of cavenerds to do?

Simple.  They decided to quiz each other on the specific contents of mammoth dung, focusing on what plant and animal remnants could be found during each month of the year.  Their answers could be objectively correct or incorrect and they could verify questionable responses by waiting for the appropriate month and finding a not-so-constipated mammoth.

Of course, this extended their playing time by several years. Since the winner could lay claim to being called the most intelligent, they considered the wait worthwhile.

And this tradition continues to this day.  Groups of people spend an eternity rummaging through a mammoth pile of dung just to prove to others how “smart” they are.  It’s such a trivial pursuit.

Blogger’s note: I do own a version of the game and I play it on rare occasion.   If I’m lucky, I get to play on a team with someone who knows about Justin Bieber and all that intelligent stuff.

 

Newfound Medications Insult My Intelligence

Once upon a time I was suffering from dry skin.

I couldn't find a dry skin picture that wouldn't make you vomit.  Therefore, I chose this turkey with equally crispy skin.

I couldn’t find a dry skin picture that wouldn’t make you vomit. Therefore, I chose this turkey with equally crispy skin.  (Photo credit: Leslie Johnston)

So I went to the pharmacy and was greeted with this:

The pharmacy also provides easy access to nutritional essentials.

The pharmacy provides easy access to nutritional essentials.  (Photo credit: Susan)

Farther inside the pharmacy, I saw lots of nifty pills.

You could probably hide an Everlasting Gobstopper in there.

Who says bright colors are only for children?  (Photo credit: ParentingPatch)

And then I discovered what I had intended to find.

It was perfect.

When I left home, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be so lucky.  Who would have guessed?

I found moisturizer in a container that had been newly redesigned:

It's takes an aesthetically superior bottle to tackle aesthetically inferior skin.

It takes an aesthetically superior bottle to tackle aesthetically inferior skin.

Absentee Fig Leaves Insult My Intelligence

Once upon a time, a young man named Adam shared a garden with his wife Eve and a devious little critter named Mister Happysnake.  The not-so-happy couple had, much to their regret, recently discovered an abiding love of apples and had subsequently found that some parts of their paradise were at risk of frostbite.  Mister Happysnake, in particular, was not amused.  The frigid winds caused him to shrivel up in fear until he no longer resembled that evil serpent who had visited such harm on him.

“Please protect me,” cried Mister Happysnake.  “It’s so cold I can’t even release my tears.”

Eve heard her friend’s cries and begged Adam to find some sort of solution growing from the ground.  Adam hesitated, remembering the last time he had listened to his wife when she was under the influence of lizards.  But he relented and soon discovered a most excellent fig leaf.

Appreciating nature is a lost art.  (Photo credit: London Permaculture)

Appreciating nature is a lost art. (Photo credit: London Permaculture)

Unlike the apple, the fig leaf was a gift sent from heaven.  It remained magically affixed to the much grateful Mister Happysnake and it formed an airtight shield.

But one day the serpent returned and told Eve, “Lady, you gotta try this new cotton plant.  Just pull it out of the ground, roll it up, weave it just like this, and you’ve got something that will make Mister Happysnake even warmer.”

Eve did as the serpent said, for the Big Man hadn’t prohibited the use of this plant.  Unfortunately, she lacked the artistic skill necessary to make a properly warm article of clothing.  It didn’t matter, though. Adam took pride in his wife’s handiwork and the couple started teaming up to create more and more holey items, for the Big Man had encouraged holeyness and they didn’t want to divert from his wishes again.

And soon their lives revolved around manufacturing these useless items and then convincing the nearby sheep and alpacas that a cotton sweater was exactly what they needed to make their lives complete.

God bless progress.

Brand Names Insult My Intelligence

I do not purchase clothing that prominently displays a brand name.  (On the other hand, I’d be tempted to wear an “I love Halliburton” t-shirt for the shock value.  But that’s another post…)  I am not a walking billboard and I am not stupid enough to pay for the privilege of becoming one.

Unfortunately, most people are not as wise as I am and I usually must remain silent about their mindless attire.

I’m not presumptuous enough to tell you that clothing should be art.  Since I’m less than wealthy, I see little point in plunking down over $100.00 for a designer shirt that will be shredded within a year or two.  (Those luxury goods aren’t always designed to last.  Rich people often care more about the latest fashions and they can afford to replace things more regularly.  In their minds, a shirt from 2012 has already gone out of style and belongs in the dumpster.)

Instead, I want my clothing to cover all of the necessary body parts and remain intact long enough to keep my bank account from crashing.   (Gender appropriateness is also important.)  Therefore: clearance racks!

And you thought this would be an advertisement for Wal-Mart…

This works for me because I’m a guy.  By contrast, women often like to accessorize with pretty things.  For example, a non-utilitarian purse.  They treat it like clothing and it has to match the outfit, so they often end up owning many purses.

I’ll leave the “battle of the sexes” content to the bloggers who do it better.  I’m more interested in the idiotic, and one particular design type stands out.  It’s the standard “look how special I am because I can afford an expensive brand” variety:

This demonstrates the owner's aesthetic excellence.  (Photo credit: )

This demonstrates the owner’s sense of aesthetic superiority. (Photo credit: prettycatty)

Let’s review.  You’re carrying around a container that holds cash, cards, and expensive electronics.  Why are you advertising to potential thieves that the contents might be especially valuable?  Of all the purses at the football game (note the obligatory transgression of gender stereotypes), yours now stands out as the most desirable to steal.  Brilliant!

Of course, your bag’s probably fake.  Just like you.

Funny how things work out…

Rice Insults My Intelligence

Would a rice by any other name smell as sweet?

riceAs my regular readers know, I like to shop at international grocery stores and the brand names are always a little confusing.  Instead of going with something obviously appetizing like Star-Kist that clearly describes the container’s contents, it seems that everything in the Asian food section is happy or joy or lucky or golden.

That’s right.  The packages are trying to tell us that the food will taste good.

It’s a foreign concept around here, literally.  People from those East Asian cultures make the mistake of assuming that their cultural preferences translate over to the American scene.  And they are mistaken.  They ought to do as every other great culture has done and pander to the lowest racist denominator.  We have:

Mahatma: based on an Indian name everyone recognizes

Uncle Ben’s: with the picture of a black guy on the box  (Is this for white people who remember that “Uncle” was a term that effectively denigrated slaves and their descendants or for black people who don’t remember the history?)

Rice-A-Roni: noticeably Italian brand with ethnically Italian-American founders who decided to corner the market on customers who think Italian food is too exotic.  That’s why they went the ultratraditionalist route and decided to highlight their San Francisco roots.  (This must be the only time since at least 1968 that invoking San Francisco would appeal to the most conservative crowd out there.)

And so I congratulate the folks at Golden Smell for not trying to focus their brand on an ethnic identity.  Unfortunately, the attempt didn’t succeed because the brand’s geographic origin is immediately recognizable.

And that’s kind of sad.  My pee has a golden smell.  That’s how the name translates in my world.

The University Industry Insults My Intelligence

I was lucky.  One year after I finished my undergraduate degree in Subject With Declining Enrollments, Professor X had his career chopped off.  He didn’t even make it to a tenure review hearing; several years separated his departure and what he hoped might have been.  When I visited campus shortly after his firing, Dr. Y recalled with horror that he hadn’t published a word during his several years at the university.

Fair enough.  If your contract requires you to publish, you need to publish or face the consequences.  Pesky little legal issue, I know…

She also told me that Professor X was “scaring away students.”  Being a naive early-20-something, I couldn’t comprehend what she meant.  Dr. X was the friendliest member of the department, a fact that even Dr. Y recognized.  On the other hand, lots of students considered Dr. Y to be profoundly disturbing to their psychological health.  (I liked Dr. Y, but my regular readers already know how weird I am.)  How was he scaring away students while she wasn’t?

I should note that Dr. X’s job description also contained one unusual detail.  He provided pedagogical training to the new graduate students who staffed the introductory and mid-level courses.  He mentored them, observed their teaching, and designed the curriculum.  The homework load didn’t block my social life while the textbook, though being of a halloweenish orange color, could hardly count as ferocious unless the teacher decided to throw a copy at your head.  Damn hardbacks.

So how could this friendly little fellow scare away students?

I eventually went to graduate school and had the pleasure of partaking in an initial teacher preparation seminar; in that course, I learned that Dr. X’s instructional methods had become outdated.  Big time.  That’s not to say I didn’t learn from them.  I consider myself fortunate to have gone through the undergraduate system while he was in charge, before the department was overhauled to teach Rocksforjocks instead.

I hope this picture of "Rocks for Jocks" won't offend the distinguished geologists among you.  (Photo credit: somewheregladlybeyond at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecb/136287275/)

I hope this picture of “Rocks for Jocks” won’t offend the distinguished geologists among you. (Photo credit: somewheregladlybeyond at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecb/136287275/)

Are the new methods worse?  Not necessarily.

However…

Let the words of Dr. Y echo through your head: “He was scaring away the students.”  The new methods entertain the students much more (which, in itself, is not a bad thing) and that encourages students to take more courses in the subject.  That also helps the professors keep their jobs.  Few methods exist for firing a tenured professor, but eliminating a department is one of them.  So of course it didn’t seem to matter so much to Dr. Y that Dr. X’s syllabi didn’t meet departmental or university expectations for maintaining up-to-date instructional practices.  Suffice it to say that his classes probably inspired much gratitude from local espresso merchants but it’s the academic merchants who are trying to sell their wares.

So, out with the old!

The new methods, despite some legitimate educational advantages and antidepressant side effects, have also helped permit the major to become significantly more fluffy.  People graduating with that major today do not possess sufficient skills to tell a prospective employer that they can be of use in the workforce.  However, an easy A will attract students to any course and that’s why families sacrifice so much to pay for college.  That, and beer pong.

And then you’ll discover a few nefarious aspects.  (Yeah… I started with the kid-friendly version.)  In a major publication of the American Association for Rocksforjocks Education, a prominent teaching specialist encouraged college Rocksforjocks faculty to make convenient use of placement exams.  “Convenient” means letting students skip over as many of the boring introductory courses as possible so that they can get to the interesting stuff, making them more likely to select Rocksforjocks as a major which in turn maintains desirable levels of Rocksforjocks funding as well as (once again) the faculty’s jobs.

And make no mistake about it: students don’t complain about this arrangement.  If you inflate their grades in the advanced courses, they’ll never know how unprepared they were.  At least while they’re still at the university plunking down all those tuition dollars…

Similarly, the faculty would judge teaching methods based on students’ enjoyment and appreciation of them, not on whether learning actually transpires.  Some of the new methods created astoundingly positive effects but they were chosen for the wrong reasons.

But let’s fast forward a little, shall we?

Now that I have finished my education and have been unemployed for a while, I can only growl at what education in my former field has become.  Although my skills are up to snuff, employers surely look at my resume and assume the opposite.  The new grads can’t cut it, so why would I be able to?

And then I apply for teaching jobs at the high school level.  I’m competent to teach more than that one subject but I’m constantly asked about the one I majored in.  Even if a school isn’t seeking a teacher for that subject.  Today, a job applicant is believed to only be capable of doing what he majored in… even if the resume indicates otherwise.  But in my old field, applicants are now assumed to be incapable of performing within the major, for obvious reasons.

Needless to say, I am never going back to teaching Rocksforjocks.  Some people get desperate when they’re unemployed and they take any available position.  I’m desperate to not inflict the same fate I’ve experienced on any future students.  A few would surely benefit from the legitimate information that Rocksforjocks provides but it’s not worth the collateral damage.

Let’s leave the jock’s rocks at the docks.  They’re a crock.

I also know from observation that Rocksforjocks teachers in high school and college spend considerable effort recruiting students into their courses.  To anyone preparing for college entrance, I’d suggest never enrolling in a course that the faculty is actively advertising.  Professors have their own agendas and the associated needs do not always coincide with what will benefit you most as a student.  You don’t get to see the behind-the-scenes pressures that school administrations place on your teachers.  You should not assume that they are your benevolent advisers, although you will find some who will behave honestly and honorably towards you.

Just like banks and credit card companies, colleges are businesses and you are their customer.  If they make you feel happy with their product, they have achieved their goal.  Just be sure to maintain that idiotic grin as you’re being ripped off.

Traditional Meditation Techniques Insult My Intelligence

As my regular readers already know, I’ve been unemployed for a while.  Although the president recently attempted to sway employers to not discriminate against the long-term unemployed, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and start my own business.  Since everyone seems so stressed about life concerns that pale in comparison to my own, I have developed my own line of new-age meditations.  I have mastered the art of zen stoicism and I want you all to share my good mental health, if not necessarily my consumer acumen.

Existing products don’t fulfill the promises they make to spiritual acolytes.  Just look at this guy:

Contemplation (Photo Credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands)

Contemplation.   In an attempt to drum up business, I decided to raise the photographer’s blood pressure by cropping today’s images beyond recognition.  (Photo Credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands)

Some mental health gurus would make you expend significant amounts of money to find a deserted molehill-sized mountain where you can stick your butt out and stress about all the money you spent to reach the mountain.  Since money had probably caused your stress, I doubt this helps… especially since your financial irresponsibility will surely inspire your spouse (a.k.a. your other major source of stress) to rip your head off once you arrive home.

That can’t be rejuvenating.

Similarly, this guy has fallen for another marketing scam that will not improve his life:

Relaxation (Photo credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands)

Relaxation (Photo credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands)

I’m sure he felt quite relaxed, closing his eyes and contemplating the universe, just as he drifted off to sleep, soon to be submerged in eternal sleep under the soothing ripples of water.

But at least he’ll experience less stress.

And traditional meditation techniques always assume that an individual will be dumb enough to pursue one of these alternate venues for something that can be done at home.

Well, I suppose that depends on the loudness of your cohabitants…

Nevertheless, better places exist for relieving your psychological strains without noisy interruptions.  Here’s one possibility:

from CLR3

Emptiness (Photo credit: Cheri Lucas Rowlands)

Because of the real estate meltdown a few years ago, you should have no difficulty finding an abandoned building in a newly deserted part of town.  Just find where a window used to be and climb on in.  It may require a little exercise on your part but, then again, exercise relieves stress.

So thank me.

Anyway, now that you have discovered a cost-effective meditation location, you must station your body there without hesitation.

Lie down.  Don’t worry about all the dirt on the floor.  You can’t expect someone to vacuum a foreclosed property.  Besides which, the dirt will bring you closer to nature’s eternal aspect.  Especially if it’s asbestos…

Now close your eyes and let my calming words penetrate the inner reaches of your being:

Breathe in.  Cough.  Breathe out.

Relax your feet, your legs, your arms, your hands, your neck, your shoulders, your bladder.

The world is your oyster.  Smell the oyster. Feel the wetness, the sand, the shell.

Be the shell.  Fill your shell.  You are the center of your shell.

Don’t clam up.  Be the oyster.  Relax your shell.  Let the plankton in.  Let the algae in.  Let the amphibious roaches in.  Be nourished.  Be loved.

Rest your mind, little oyster.  The fisherman will not come here.  He cannot find you here.  You are at peace here.  Exhale.  Let the roach exit your mouth.  He isn’t healthy.

The reaper won’t find you here.  The seasons don’t fear the reaper.  Nor do the wind, the sun, and the rain.  You can be like they are.  Don’t fear the reaper.

Don’t fear your life.  You are the oyster.  A living oyster.  Do not fry.  Stay cool.  Stay slimy.  Stay in your shell.  Your shell is safe and comfortable.  Be comfortable.  Be free from breadcrumbs.

Come out of your shell.  A virtual ocean surrounds you.  You are more powerful than the ocean.  Splash.  Make waves.  Feel the waves wave back.

Be the waves.  Flow with the wind.  The waves came from you, your bladder, your soul.

Your soul is the center of your universe.  Feel the orbit of the cosmos.  Inhale.  Exhale.  And breathe.

Feel the cool air enter your lungs.  Don’t worry about the gnats.  Don’t worry about anything.  The world is your oyster.  You are the oyster.  Your stress is your cloister.  And you are the nun.

You have a habit.  A bad habit.  A black habit.  Release your habit.  Release your mind, your bladder, your soul.  You can be happy.  You can frolic on the beach.  Feel the waves.  Hear the waves.  Smell the waves.  Be the waves.  And release the holy note of mystical revelation.

Behold the world.  The world is your oyster.  Eat the oyster.  Feel the oyster massage your tongue, your throat, your stomach.  Feel its illuminating power.  The world is your oyster and the oyster is in you.  The oyster is you.

Engage.  Disengage.  Feel the mountain.  Feel the rocky mountain.  You are the rocky mountain oyster.  You create the waves.  You are the bringer of life.  Feel your life, your soul, your scrotum.  Be at one with nature, the waves, the sand, the oysters.

You become a transparent eyeball.  You are nothing.  You see all.  The currents of the Universal Being circulate through you.  You are part or particle of God.

You are no longer the oyster.  Shed your shell.  You are no longer the rocky mountain oyster.  Shed your skin.  You are no longer the maker of waves.  Shed your soul.

Awaken renewed and refreshed.

Although you need not pay for travel to pursue this spectacular new stress reduction method, you’ll probably need to invest in some strong laundry detergent.  Despite that, I can proudly tell you that my “Seafaring Meditations” will be released on iTunes relatively soon.  My calming voice will restore your life’s meaning, the meaning it had before you got all caught up in trivialities like the Super Bowl.

And this, my friends, is my new business.  What do you think?

New Video Games Insult My Intelligence

Growing up, I spent tons of time in front of video games.  Now that I’m grown and unemployed, I wish I could still find some games of the type I used to love.

These are the old-school RPG’s.  Since many of you will only be familiar with the newer model, here’s a glimpse of the past:

That video highlights what used to be possible in a video game.  At the start, you could choose the job type (magician, warrior, etc.) of each character and all sorts of combinations were possible.  That meant you could play the game repeatedly and you’d always experience something new because you’d need a new strategy for the group you had selected.  The four white wizards in the video were known as the most challenging combination possible in the original Final Fantasy game; a lot of imagination went into devising the method of winning portrayed in the video.  (That was the game’s final battle, which is why the video’s ending is so surprising.)

In case you don’t remember what imagination is, look it up in the dictionary.   We don’t breed much of it these days.

And since RPG’s have always taken notoriously long to complete, the video game companies obviously saw a losing proposition.  You can’t have customers being happy with your product for too long or else they won’t need to buy anything new.  (I wonder if this is why cars break down so often…)  So the companies added more intricate storylines and, eventually, movies to the games.  Once you add this, the characters must always be the type that is portrayed.  Player choice becomes impossible unless the game companies start programming the myriad variations in stories and videos to accommodate a player’s options.

That’s going to happen, right?

And there died the ability to replay an RPG once you’ve completed it once.  Evil marketing genius, I say.

In fact, new games arguably revolve around around the movies and storyline instead of gameplay itself.  I liked the old-school RPG’s because I didn’t have to fumble with the controller and struggle with my less-than-stellar reflexes.  And then these games were unceremoniously transformed into first-person battle simulators that bore no resemblance to the original genre.  And now they’re becoming interactive movies that require neither reflexes nor anything else but the willingness to shell out large sums of money. (Well, I suppose they also require the ability to gaze into a screen for long periods of time.)  If I want a movie, I’ll buy a DVD or join Netflix and spend a lot less for it.

Nevertheless, the game companies get away with calling these offerings RPG’s.  In some cases (Final Fantasy, anyone?), game mechanics became unrecognizable in new releases even though the game title presents the new product as an installment in the longstanding series.

Just put a crappier car under the same nameplate and idiots will flock to the new vehicle, ignoring all evidence that they’re being sold nothing more than a name.  This isn’t the understandable evolution of a product.  Instead, it borders on bait-and-switch.

Granted, I don’t miss the hours and hours I used to spend repeatedly battling small monsters so I could build up my characters’ skills enough to progress in a game.  Nevertheless, it’s not too hard to program a game with more major tasks that are separated by smaller gaps in how far your characters have developed.

Oh, wait.  It is too hard.  Those huge gaps ensured that programmers didn’t have to design larger world maps and more enemies to fight and longer stories.

And there’s the irony.  Expanding the storytelling aspect decreases the quantity of story the programmers must devise.  A 15-minute movie clip often progresses a story less than a few brief shots of text, but the movie clip looks good and that’s all that matters with games.  Besides which, it takes fewer movie clips to make a “legitimately” long game.

Or perhaps I should say a legitimately long “game.”

Mortuaries Insult My Intelligence

Slide1I’m standing here at Deddinboxtin & Co. Funeral Services Inc. headquarters and have the good fortune to chat with this happy looking man, Mr. Deddinboxtin himself.  Face powdered white like an old-time theater ghost and black hair slicked back like a guy who has a bunch of perfumed girls lined up for the evening, he has kindly agreed to show me around the place.

His voice, it rumbles like a train crushing a poor little squirrel, thunderous in spite of the havoc it creates under its nose.  “We got us here some great opportunities mister.  What sorta receptacle can I pleasure ya with today?”

“Mr. Deddinboxtin, I’d like…”

“A casket I suppose.  We have lovely wood grain veneer coffins with shiny red satin lining and a pillow soft as snow for your loved one to feel cozy all eternity or however long she stays dead.  You can sell us the pillow back after the viewing if yer cheap that way, we don’t mind but yer loved one’ll haunt ya ’til the cows start singin’ Dixie.  Casket’s rated to last forever or ’til the worms get in and let those like totally gonzo embalmin’ fluids seep out and kill the water supply.  Best you buy the whole damn package… pillow, casket, sealant, and our extra special memorial keepsake ornament you can keep on yer Christmas tree every year to remember this special time in yer life.”

“A Christmas ornament?  I don’t think…”

“It’s green and red and has a picture of yer beloved’s face on the front surrounded by holly and we can get a mistletoe fer it if ya wanna keep the romance goin’ if ya know what I mean.  It’s silver veneer over a plaster interior and it’ll stay with ya the rest of yer life unless it falls apart like those cheap plastic ornaments we sold last year.”

“I’m curious.  What made you decide to become a mortician?”

“Easy schmeezy.  I get to help peeps through the toughest part of their lives and they always find everlastin’ joy.  Take a look at this here memorial flower arrangement.  It’s only $1,999.99 and comes with all the roses yer beloved could ever dream of, unless ya want the deluxe bouquet with these rockin’ neon lights.  It’s a steal at only five hundred more.  She’ll know how much ya love her when she looks down from Heaven I hope and sees the lovin’ embrace yer givin’ her in the grave.  Them ladies gotta have them some flowers.  Ya want one arrangement or two?”

“What, pray tell…”

“Prayers, oh yeah, I about forgot the minister.  We keep a minister on staff and he’s the greatest thing you’ll ever see.  Dresses all in black to mark the occasion and he’s even got his own set of holy books.  Wrote ’em himself so we can say they’re good for any religion or atheists.  Them there atheists need a minister too and I’m here to sell him to ’em.  Oh, and you.  Should I mark ya down for the fifteen or thirty minute sermon?”

“But Mr. Deddinboxtin, no one died.”

“Oh, that’s too bad.”

“You” Insults My Intelligence

It’s Sunday and you’re sitting on the couch watching TV instead of doing something useful with your time.  Okay, maybe that wasn’t entirely fair.  With the economy being so rotten, let’s assume that you’re performing your patriotic duty by watching commercials.  Maybe you’ll even buy something.

Today, I’d like to help ensure that your much needed purchase doesn’t turn out to be crap.  The method is simple: look for the word “you” in the commercial and, when you find it, avoid the product.  Claiming that a product is “perfect for the perfect you” or “fits the way you live” relieves businesses from having to make specific claims about their product’s quality.  Perfect for you, how?

Because it has “the quality you’ve known for years.”  True, but if the product is garbage, that’s not a selling point.  Telling me that I know the product is garbage shouldn’t make me want to buy it…

Unless I’ve had a lobotomy.  Sad thing is, these commercials work.  You can tell this by their continued proliferation on TV.  And they work because we’re all little children.

File:Mirror baby.jpg

(Photo credit: roseoftimothywoods)

Get a clue!  You’re perfect and you’ll be even more perfect with our product.  (Obligatory grammar note: I realize that “more perfect” is gibberish, but since when is gibberish prohibited from commercials?)  We can sell a new you to you because you love you, don’t you?  And if you buy our crap, it behooves you to believe us when we tell you that you are really buying you.  And it’s all true, too, because you belong in the loo.  And we can rhyme “you” and “true” and “too” and make a nifty little jingle out of your pathetic little self.  And then you will think you never knew differently, at least until the bill comes due.  Then you’ll be blue.

ooooooh…

Just be sure your pathetic little self forks over the $24.99 for shipping and handling.  You handle the payment, the mailman handles the delivery, and we handle the long pointy object going towards your [adult content, censored by blogger.  However, in the spirit of the post, it should be noted that the body part sometimes resembles a giant U.  How convenient.]

New Year’s Resolutions Insult My Intelligence

trake za trcanje i trkaci

Buy your gym membership today and don’t forget to stock up on protein shakes and other expensive supplements. (Photo credit: trcanje)

New Year’s Day (n): Conveniently situated right after a monthlong sequence of gluttonous holidays, it’s the world’s most lucrative advertising opportunity for gyms, Weight Watchers, diet pills, and exercise equipment.  It happens far enough in advance of Valentine’s Day candy for people to forget how quickly their new year’s resolution dies every year.

Blogger’s note: walking or jogging in the park costs nothing even though fresh air may be hazardous to your health.  The trees won’t judge you if you move slowly…