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Home > Lucki Stars > Adding Insult

Adding Insult
by
Lucki Melander Wilder

Lucki, I think we're kindred spirits on the advertising thing.  I notice many of the same little nuances,
and have often thought I should keep a notebook handy to write them down.  -- Tom Ligon, SF author

It's surprising (or perhaps not) how many times I "Say what?!" to TV advertising, and want to share the fun with someone (everyone?) else.

Email me to subscribe or give feedback, or to call attention to your own (un)favorites. Not all feedback necessarily appears in this page, and may be edited for links, typos, multi-source redundancy, and relevancy. That doesn't mean we consider negative feedback irrelevant or refuse to post it, as negative feedback can often help us learn to do more and better.

2021-05-07
Double Down Dippy

The product is a bitcoinish buy/sell/store facility. The 30-second commercial is unique. Attention-grabbing. Reeking of bleeding-edge modernity. Well, that makes sense, 'cuz cryptocurrency is, ya know, such an investment opportunity. *Snort!*

Not a word is spoken. There's only the series of sparse title cards. The upbeat techno music. And the jazzy animation of a line chart with swooping line, reflecting change in value over time.

Open safe full of gold barsIt starts in 2009, wobbles up and down a bit, and finally shows a modest figure in the $25 range. OK. I can believe it. In 2010, it manages to gain about 20%, approaching $30. All right, somebody's buying it. But in 2011 it drops to a mere tenth of its previous value, hitting the $2 range, before managing to jitter back up to, oh my goodness, a $1000 range. Well golly, somebody was buying the dips. But that uptick seems inflated. Is someone artificially ramping up the market price to project way more trading than is actually happening?

But let's continue. In 2012, it gains another 10% or so. Reasonable. In 2013 it has a little modest growth, then nosedives downward. 2014 sees at falling below the $300 mark. 2015 sees it waffling around in the $200s before it takes a sharp upward turn and soars to new heights, passing $1500 on the fly. 2016 seems to have five figures in the offing. Gosh wow. And by 2017, we're talking almost the $20,000 range before another precipitous downturn. Which means by 2018, we're back in the $3000 range before we start to see a wobbly upturn.

Are you getting seasick yet? 'Cuz I am. This is an awfully volatile investment. Makes the Vomit Comet flight path look like a straight line. If a binge/crash dieter did this much weight yoyo-ing, they'd probably be dead of a heart attack by now.

2019 is mostly wobble, too. But by 2020, hey, the value has skyrocketed thru the $10,000 range, the $30,000 range, to nearly $50,000. And by 2021, by gum if this baby isn't closing in on $60,000! The animation goes into paroxysms of elation - replete with the occasional cash currency symbol plus atoms, unicorns, and scads of other crypto graphics. I mean, ya gotta love this current, if realistically imaginary, figure, right?.

Well, so what's next? After all its flashbanging self-congratulation, the line chart adds a dotted-line projection. Straight up into the stratosphere. 'Cuz ya know, it's only the beginning for cryptocurrency.

Roulette wheelThanks, but no thanks. I don't need your buy/sell/store services 'cuz the whole thing is way too volatile for me. If its past is any indicator, that meteoric rise you're experiencing, never mind projecting further, will be followed by an equally meteoric fall. And once it's that big, the crash-and-burn could figuratively - or perhaps even literally - kill some people. Maybe a lot of people. Even innocent bystanders. Didn't we learn anything from the previous crashes in stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.? During which the most vulnerable lose everything while the fat cats get obese.

'Cuz ya know, "the Market" in general is no longer a greenhouse. It's a casino. Modest inventors don't get to help the kind of entrepreneurs who drove innovative growth back when we were producing real things. Rather, filthy-rich investors who need for nothing but want more more more get to gamble with money they have too much of anyway, so they can make more money that they'll never really need (or live long enough to have the chance to spend on anything meaningful) at other people's expense.

Plus which, and this should give EVERYONE pause, the superservers used to run cryptocurrency currently suck up as much energy to do their thing as the whole state of New York. At the current rate of growth, they alone are on track to cause a two-degree rise in global temperature! Add that to other sources of climate change and it could end up killing all the people!! After which, of course, currency of any kind will be a moot point.

[BTW, this was my 100th Adding Insult entry. Yay me!]

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Entries During
2021-2022

2021-05-07 Double Down Dippy

2021-04-27 Hitting the Deck
2021-04-23 Too Dumb To Drink
2021-04-16 Petty Puddles
2021-04-09 Plainly PETurbed

2021-03-18 Cheap Cheep
2021-03-08 Red Bear Blue Bear

2021-02-26 Puppy Prob
2021-02-15 Medium Miss

2021-01-20 Rollin' Along
2021-01-08 Dippity Dum

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2021-04-27
Hitting the Deck

Speaking of swarming termites, as I figuratively did last week, they do show up for real in another idiotic commersh. One I find so ridiculous that I laugh sardonically just about every time I see it. And would not trust these live-action characters to fall if they ran 50 paces off a cliff and didn't look down, they're that cartoonish.

Abutting their home, they have a deck about (using the number of step risers as a guide) 3.5 feet off the ground. And they're grilling a meal on it. Well, HE's grilling. 'Cuz, ya know, it's a man thing. He tops off a Tex-Mex plate for her. She gladly acknowledges it and turns to, one assumes, go sit down somewhere. And then, looking at a corner post of the deck, she sees something absolutely appetite-stealing. "Termites!" she exclaims in disgust. And, ever ready, promptly sprays them...

Cartoon of a 1-person food fightHappy black child sitting at a slide bottom with her feet on the ground...with her plate of food. Which clanks against the corner post. Which promptly snaps in three. Totally collapsing that corner of the deck. Which in turn causes two of the other three corner posts to break. Leaving the deck tilted at a sharp angle. Dumping off half the deck furniture. And trapping the rest all cattywampus against the railing tension lines. Including the tilted-over, fiercely smoking grill.

Well, he's fast. He grabs the post cattycorner from the collapsed one as he falls. The only one that didn't break. And she's fast. She grabs onto his legs as she falls. And hangs there as they plead with and reassure each other about not letting go. All while she's futilely kicking like a kitten with a toy kick-stick (albeit carefully twisting to ensure that she, the actor, isn't repeatedly slamming her foot against the nearby edge-hanging chair).

Which begs some questions, like:

= Why didn't they build and upkeep their deck with pressure-treated and toxicity-(re)sealed wood?
= How long has that colony been there, that it's now big enough to start swarming?
= If the termite damage looks that bad, why haven't they done something about it before now?
= Just how heavy was that plate of food anyway?
= How long can they really both hang on?
= The deck midline now only half as high as it was, why doesn't she let go and slide till her feet touch ground?
= Then get out of the way so he can do the same?
= Preferably before the grill sets the whole thing on fire!

Hey, sardonically inquiring minds want to know.

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2021-04-23
To Dumb To Drink

I'll tell ya, the dumb-butt commercials are coming outa the woodwork like swarming termites. I guess I'm OK with that, though, as maybe it'll help me catch up on the dearth of average-one-per-month entries over the last 10 years.

This commersh qualifies for the well populated "Why would I ever trust that person's choices?" category. Actually, it's two different adverts for the same product, and/but they really are two of a kind.

Desert waterfall sculpting sandThe guy in rolled-up sleeves and loosened tie collapses in the middle of the vast, rolling desert. Not a relatively moisture-rich desert like the Mojave. No, more of an endless nothing-here-but-us-sand-dunes desert like the Sahara. And he's thirsty. Really, really THIRSTY!

The gal in spacesuit and helmet plods across the relatively airless surface of our rust-red neighbor. Not, say at a water-reclamation facility at the pole. No, in the middle of nothing but miles and miles of arid iron oxide. And she's thirsty. Really, really THIRSTY!

Well, he sees a lone cooler in the sandy distance. Drags himself up. Staggers to it. At first he's elated. Then he's irately disappointed. Why? Are you kidding him? 'Cuz there's just plain ol' water in it. (A bit frosty-looking; must be one heck of a cooler.) Which he ain't interested in drinking, no way, no how.

Well, she nears a column of smoke marking what's left of a supply cache at a crash site. Speeds up, breathing hard. Finally reaches it. At first she's elated. Then she's irately disappointed. Why? Are you kidding her? 'Cuz there's just plain ol' water in it. (Part of which precious supply she shatters in disgust.) Which she ain't gonna drink, no way, no how.

Then thanks to someone's eagle eye in the sky, a rescue helicopter arrives. Hovers overhead. A flyer leans out and drops him a little bulb of flavoring. Which he grabs with gusto. NOW he'll drink.

Then thanks to a robot's eagle eye through which contact is reestablished, a manned lander arrives...237 days later! Sets down. A fellow astronaut opens the ramp and tosses her a little bulb of flavoring. Which she grabs with gusto. NOW she'll drink.

Desert waterfall sculpting stoneSince the helicopter is there anyway, the guy who threw him the flavoring asks if he wants a ride. But no, not him, he and his flavored water are just gonna walk. Really? Where? Using what map? (And I bet that cooler's gonna feel awfully heavy awfully soon, don't you? Of course, it may get lighter faster than the guy wants it to. Never mind the teeny bulb, does he even have enough water to make it out of the desert? OTOH, I guess he did make it all the way IN, so what do I know?)

Having come all that way, the lady on the lander asks the astronaut if she's coming with. But no, not her, she and her flavored water are just gonna go back to her lonely shelter and wait for the next lander, (And I bet she's gonna be awfully unhappy if contact fails again, or the next one crashes, or it never shows up. But even if all goes well, never mind the teeny bulb, does she even have enough water to last another 237 days? OTOH, I guess she did make it all the way through those first 237 days, so what do I know?)

These two people are too picky and just plain stupid to drink the only liquid around when they're dehydrated? And in the middle of nowhere? Never mind to accept a rescue? And I should trust their judgment because...why?

P.S. I doubt I'd use that stuff if I had it. As far as I'm concerned, the existence of a  hearty fix of clear, crisp, plain ol' ice water when I'm thirsty is absolute proof of the existence of God and Her benevolence.

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2021-04-16
Petty Puddles

Speaking of canines, as we were last week, I'm all for people loving their dogs their whole canine lives. Even when said dogs are pouncing puppies. Alert adults. Aged animals. With all the minor wreckage that can entail. Because, no matter what, they're STILL psyched to see you.

So the little girl comes home and her little puppy is SO happy to see and greet her. It bounces right up. Oops, that juice box just got squirted all over the carpet. No prob, they can clean it up, right?. Somehow?

And then the not-so-little girl comes home and her adult dog is obviously glad to see and greet her. It scoots right up. Oops, that cup full of soda pop just got knocked all over on the carpet. No prob, she can clean it up, right? Somehow?

And finally the grown-up collegiate girl comes home and her aged pet is still excited to see and greet her. It plods right up. Oops, when she embraces and pets it, its quiet excitement results in an accident all over the carpet. No prob, it's OK, old girl. She can clean it up right. Make it all better. With her fancy dancy appliance for pet-related (and, one is expected to assume, any other) stains.

3 stages of dog life: puppy, adult, senior

Cute. Heartwarming. Understandable to pet people everywhere. That your pet is more important than your carpet. That the relationship is worth the occasional messes.

But why didn't mom stop her little girl from putting her juice box on the carpet to be stepped on?

And why didn't the middling girl put her open cup of cola somewhere safe instead of on the carpet to be knocked over?

And especially why on this pleasant day, if she knows that gal's-best-friend with the weakening bladder is always gonna come to greet her, doesn't the gal in her Barton U hoodie come in the back door instead and immediately invite the dog outside before she stops to pet it?

Or at least, knowing as she does that her dog knows when it did something wrong and needs to be reassured, why doesn't she have a pet pad at hand? A pad that she can slip under the dog before it sits down and she pets it?

It's not like such forethought is all that revolutionary, is it?

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2021-04-09
Plainly PETurbed

So the canine family is driving down the highway, jonesing for the rest stop they all obviously need. Mama, Papa, Sis, & Junior look quite relieved when their navigation device tells them they've arrived. Only there's this big glitch. The SIGN. In your face. Oh dear!

"No Pets Allowed" sign

Of course, "No Pets Allowed" doesn't apply to them. They're not anybody's pets. Nope. No tags hanging from their collars. As far as we can see, the only licenses they need (the adults, that is) is drivers' licenses. So by definition, they're, ya know, PEOPLE. The rest stop is all theirs for the using.

So they pull up in front of the place (apparently there's no parking lot, but they don't even bother to hug the curb), quickly consult on how bad they gotta go no matter what, roll down the driver's window a bit for air flow (yeah, that's gonna help keep the car cool when it's not even under a tree), and out they all jump to bark their way to the facilities.

Junior, released from his child seat, is the last to hit the ground running. But not for long. Short as he is, and for all his dogged determination to catch up, he's far behind the rest of the family when he hears something. Something show-stopping.

He turns around. And sees a very disgusted-looking tiger tabby in the driver's seat. Meowing a query and a plea. It's their pet cat. Who, of course, isn't allowed in the rest stop. And is protesting.

Well, that's a bummer. Junior waves a paw at the cat and whimpers his sympathy. The cat, with a grumble, claws at the window. (Which, incidentally, is open sufficiently that if it fights hard enough, the cat might be able to squeeze its way out sideways. Remember: Cats don't have big anchored clavicles like we do. They've got these little bitty rudimentary free-floating collarbones. Which is why, unless they're obese, they can squeeze themselves through any space as wide as their whiskers. Maybe the dogs forgot that.) It should protest and claw. Rightfully so. Leaving that poor pet in the car IN THE SUN. One hopes Junior cares about that. But what can he do? After all, he's just a pup. And he's gotta GO.

Maybe yon doggy family needs to be driving a car named not after the sailing sisters gathered together near their sea-nymph mother and earth-giant father but, I dunno, after a cosmic canine. Like, say, Sirius or Canis Major? Or maybe they need an even bigger reminder. Howzabout a cosmic feline like Leo or Lynx?

Constellation Pleides plus parents  Constellation Canis Major  Constellation Leo

In the meantime, I recommend you traveling canine contingent while away some of your hours between rest stops by deepening a bit on 'Abdu'l-Baha'sguidance re teaching kids about pets. Like:  Educate the children in their infancy in such a way that they may become exceedingly kind and merciful to the animals. If an animal is sick they should endeavor to cure it; if it is hungry, they should feed it; if it is thirsty, they should satisfy its thirst; if it is tired, they should give it rest. Also, doggone it, do the research needed to plan for your pet's needs on your trip. Find and aim for rest stops that WILL allow it in. And obviously don't leave it alone in a car in the sun.

Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 11:41 PM, Nancy B wrote:
  You know, it's easy to see the dog and the lion when they draw the figure around the stars. It's not so easy otherwise. The only one I recognize at night is the Big Dipper.
  About that last paragraph, RIGHT ON!
  Constellation Orion with Orion's Belt & Orian's Sword nhighlightedLucki responds to Nancy B:
  Yes, the Big Dipper, an asterism of Ursa Major, is very recognizable in the northern sky all year round.
  In the southern sky, perhaps the most findable winter constellation is Orion because of its two easy-to-see asterisms: Orion's Belt of three stars and, hanging below it, Orion's Sword.
  But don't feel bad about it being hard to find so many constellations. The ancients didn't have to deal with all the light pollution and smog that modern cities do, and a lot of people didn't have all that much more to do after dark except stargaze anyway.
  And re caring for your pet's needs, indeed. As you have obviously done with the likes of Lucy, her snuggle-buddy Hansel, and Max.

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2021-03-18
Cheap Cheep

OK, so the puffbally things are kinda cute. If somewhat self-absorbed on occasion. But their unfuzzy couch-potato comrade leaves a lot to be desired. I don't care how inexpensive that prepaid service is, I don't want it if it's gonna lead me into such loutish laziness.

I mean, this conoid icon of outa-shapeness actually thinks, and baldly tells his friends, that phone chatting with them is good enough 'cuz it's not worth going anywhere to join them in a face-to-face, homey, around-the-kitchen-table, communal gabfest. (This is taking place in a pre- or post-pandemic world, of course. No masks/social distancing required.)

It's not about packing up and traveling afar, you understand. It's not about driving a couple of miles to their house. Not about trotting down the hall to their neighboring apartment. Heck, not even about going from one room to another. No, it's about walking ten feet from the studio's living-area couch to its kitchen-area table.

But no-o-o. It's too far! Ten FEET!
Cricket playing cricket, spotlighted by a lightning bug
Too far for his endomorphic abdomen, packed pelvis, and pencil-thin legs. 'Cuz obviously, hey, he never gets ANY exercise that would improve those weird-ass proportions of his. (Shut up about body shaming. It's a geometric shape, not a human being.) Nope, too blasted lazy!

Well, maybe that's an unintended but very apropos metaphor. The company (and even more so the corporation it became a subsidiary of) certainly doesn't have the greatest reputation these days for going out of their way to provide the best customer experience/service. In fact, this isn't the first company that's gone downhill since being gobbled up by that corporate owner.

Sorry, the optics just bug me. So I wanted to shed a little light on it. And do not get me started on how batty it drives me when technology is repeatedly "improved" until it becomes absolutely useless.

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2021-03-05
Red Bear Blue Bear

Where is Dr. Seuss when you need him?

And no, I'm not talking about the six books that have been pulled. It was the estate's decision to make and they made it. (And by the way, despite the exclamatory cries of pundits and vendor websites, the books were not "banned". They were pulled by the owner, with no legal of official dictum imposed whatsoever. That's totally different.) Maybe they'll reissue the books if and when someone can make appropriate changes to the negative images. In a Seussian artistic mode but without the (conscious or sub) racist overtones. Maybe not. Their choice. I'm not bent out of shape about it. I'm not even really referring to it. I'm referring to the family (or families?) of bears in the not-in-the-woods commercials. And I was planning this article before the books were pulled. Sorry for the confusing timing.

Red Bears, Blue Bears, & Orange Too Bears

First of all, I'm trying to figure out whether or not you red and blue and orange bears in different adverts are all the same bears.

Red 1, blue 2, orange 3= Hey, are you three different families. Then why don't you ever mingle? I've only ever seen two colors of you in three ads. And in two of those, the two of you were adversarial. (OK, admittedly in the earliest versions from, like, goin' on two decades ago when the bears were still in the woods, there were more colors of bears in the same commercial, but they were more "natural" colors - pale yellow, soft orange, sandy tan, light brown - rather than glaring primaries.) In fact, even all the bears in your laboratory workplace are the same color. Ba-a-ad optics. And why do so many of your boy-cubs need glasses? Inbreeding?

= Are you perhaps from different climes? Even three separate species of bears, like polar and black and grizzly?

= Are you the same bears at different times of year? Changing colors according to the seasons like, say, stoats or arctic foxes?

= Are y'all really all white all the time, and you dye your hair? Are there also yellow bears and green bears and purple bears? Polka-dot bears and striped bears and plaid bears? Moire bears and rainbow bears and tie-dye bears?

Secondly, why are you parental bears so freaked out by a pair of briefs on the bathroom floor? They're your cub's undies. (Although why he needs them is beyond me. He doesn't usually wear any. Not on his bottom, anyway.) Pick 'em up and throw 'em in the laundry. Or, if you're that bent out of shape, in the trash. Sheesh, you need to grow up more than your kid does.
White baby cub hugging orangy mama bear in the snow
And speaking of your cub, there's no way he can unroll all that tissue all over the floor and then get it back on the roll as neat and tight as it originally was. Neither can his papa. Nor his sister and gramma. Plus which, why haven't you taught him that tissue from off the floor and/or run through not-yet-washed hands may no longer be safe for ALL uses, so it should at least be set aside for safe uses? (Especially when y'all have been rubbing it all over your faces and fur, for Ursa's sake.)

On the other hand, when you think he's not being clean, momma bear, wouldn't a private conversation be in order? Do you really have to call him out in front of all his friends like that? He's certainly doing better (if not better off) than when he was back in the woods.

Like I said, where is Dr. Seuss when you need him? 'Cuz something seems a little, uh, fishy here.

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2021-02-26
Puppy Prob

Haven't seen Mr. Mayhem Like Me around for a while. There may be a reason. Not a good one. I mean, come on, last time I saw him, well....

'Cuz if Mayhem Like Me is now your 70-pound St. Bernard puppy, why the blazes don't you have him properly restrained in the back seat? In a dog-harness seat belt? Even better, 'cuz those really only work for well-behaved dogs, in a zipline harness? Better still, in a dog crate? Or at least behind a backseat barrier, assuming one would actually stop 70 pounds of pummeling pooch

Any of those restraints, properly applied, would be, ya know, handy.

St. Bernard handing head out of car windowBut no, he's hanging out the side window back there barking. Then turning to lick his person's face. While she drives. With his big ol' slobbery tongue in a mouth that she saw him previously use to eat p...never mind. Then lunging to the front seat to pick up her purse like a dead rat and violently shake everything out of it. Then hanging out the front passenger window - wait, when did she close the back window and why did she open the front one for him? - to hold converse with a way-smaller dog in the adjacent car. Which distracts said smaller dog's person and almost causes him to have a rear-end collision.

And her flippant excuse - hollered out as she gets around to apologizing some 10 seconds, or something like a tenth of a mile, past the stopped small-dog car -- is "He's a puppy!"

And that doesn't even get into the dangers to the dog of letting it hang its head out a side window in the first place. Where at the least, the air flow will drastically dry out its eyes. Or blow debris into them. Assuming your car doesn't first get too close to some other vehicle. Or to something beside or over the road like, I dunno, a low tree branch. Or to something that will trigger the dog into lunging out of the car altogether, through the window that you have opened all the way. Or are you OK with your dog maybe deciding a kid on a bike is really a toy that runs by itself until - and if - caught?

Nope, seems to me that neither your car nor you dog is really in safe hands at all.

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2021-02-15
Medium Miss

There's this psychic being consulted by the young couple. The script pokes a bit of fun on the way to selling its car. I snorted at first, and then ruefully chuckled.

As often happens, there are two versions of this commerical. There's the long version that tells a complete story. Then, after a carefully calculated exposure timeframe, there's the typical shortened version the agencies place more economically to remind viewers of the longer advert.

Costumed female fortune teller with crystal ballIn the full ad, the psychic sees three things in s uccession, and addresses the couple accordingly.

1. She tells the young lady to dump her dating app 'cuz he's the one.
2. She says gesundheit a moment before her client sneezes.
3. She sees the stars of the right car for them.

Obviously the third point is the money shot. And the first point does a good job of immediately establishing what's going on. But that second point is the only one where we see the results of her actually knowing something before it happens. That is, the sneeze is indeed snoze.

Of course, she could've simply seen a nose wrinkle, made a guess, and taken a chance based on observational experience. Maybe she even intentionally wore an irritating perfume in hopes that it would cause one or both of the couple to sneeze. But let's give her the benefit of the doubt and say that middle point actually proved some sort of psychic foreknowledge.

Then there's the short version. In which the second point is totally eliminated to help fit into the shorter duration. What little proof there was? Gone! The result? Now, the whole act looks like an obvious con game. And no one really wants to take advice about buying something - especiially something as expensive as a car - from a blatant, tricked-out con artist, do they? Which may be why I didn't see very many runs of that shorter version. Or, actually, of the longer one either.

Guess the medium didn't work more'n a little bit in the big city.

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2021-01-20
Rollin' Along

Last month, my first blog - Abiding Blog - celebrated its tenth anniversary. This month, it's Adding Insult's turn to do likewise. Yep, ten years old today. As my Number One Son would say, "Whoo hoo!"

This is the 90th entry in this blog. So I haven't actually posted one every month. OTOH, some of the entries (especially the ones with "Short" in the title) took on, like, two or five or a dozen commercials at once. So we've definitely lambasted at least 120 adverts. (And even complimented a couple ... how's that for being even-handed?) I say "we" 'cuz you've also had the chance to enjoy the occasional curmudgeonly guest rant from old friend and famed SF author Tom Ligon.

I hope you've been able to see all the commercials I panned, even if you had to use keywords to find them online. I hope you've had a hearty laugh or ten. I hope you've even found food for thought on occasion. I guarantee you I'm going to keep seeing pitches that make me go "Say what?!" Like the one with the lady who intentionally rolls:

Roll Cake - before= Out of her bed. Much to her dog's consternation. With her bedding. Into her rug. Which wraps around her.
= Out the front door. Taking curtains and whatnot with her. Down her steep concrete steps. Also taking her welcome mat with her.
= Down her sloping sidewalk. (Guess she made a sharp right-angle turn when we weren't looking.)
= Exchanging greetings with the guy working on his car's undercarriage. Who seems pretty nonchalant about the whole thing.
= Catching and wrapping a garden hose around herself. Tugging it out of the hands of the neighbor lady watering her garden. Who doesn't even scream at her.
= Through someone's back yard. (How does she keep making these turns?) Wrapping their line full of clean clothes around herself, too.
= Then happily - yes, she's been grinning and giggling and whoo-hooing all the way - down the middle of the hillside road. (Wait how did she get out there?) Into a business district.
Roll Cake - after= Where she (having once again somehow gotten back onto the sidewalk) at least says "excuse me" to the guy trying to deploy a tablecloth. Which also gets pulled into her rolly-tube. And who doesn't yell at her either.
= Past the barber and the customer whose hair he's cutting. Who just watch her go by. Who look at each other inquisitively. But who, like everyone before them, does nothing to try and help her stop.
= Slamming into the lady carrying an armload of flowers from her truck into the flower shop. Sending flowers everywhere.
= Back into the middle of the street (how's she steering that thing?) and rolling down another steep hill into infinity in her now-flower-covered cocoon. (Well, at least she'll have some flowers at her funeral, right?)
= All while the laid-back voiceover of a presidential spokesactor tells you this is how protected you'll feel with the sponsor's products. Including the techie new ones.
= Which, given the whole mess (to say nothing of all the people she adversely impacted) is, for my part, NOT AT ALL!

Really. All this to tell you to trust in the handy insurance company. But, uh, how much can it do to protect her when she gets to the inevitable intersection on that final hill ... and rolls into traffic? Without even a horn? (Although I suppose she could try screaming WHOOO WHOOOOO HOO!)

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2021-01-08
Dippity Dum

The three princies of serendip riding out on their questAre you familiar with the story of "The Three Princes of Serendip"? The English version of the French translation of the Italian translation of a Persian fairy tale? It's the story from which the word "serendipity" derives, although only in a very roundabout way. The word's first appearance in English was on 28 January, 1754 when Horace Walpole wrote a letter to his friend Horace Mann regarding an unexpected discovery he'd made about a lost painting. Walpole likened it to the princes who were "always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of." Usually discoveries that were worth more than what they were originally seeking. In other words, unexpected happy accidents.

Well, in its latest ad, the little insurance spokeslizard shows off both his marketing savvy and his literary acumen. He reminisces about standing amidst the wild greenery beside a small lake, thinking up a likely company slogan. The first one he comes up with, though - containing one simple fraction - just doesn't have the requisite pizzazz. Too long and anticlimactic. Then he flashes on a second one - containing one double-digit whole number, said twice - and is so stunned by it that he "drops the rock. And his smug, standalone, final word? "Serendipity."

Except, he was already seeking a good, a better, slogan. So the improvement he discovered, while happy, was anything but unexpected or accidental. And it certainly wasn't worth more than itself, as it WAS what he was looking for and worth exactly what it was worth.

But then, I suppose you shouldn't expect command of perfect English from someone who's speaking it as a foreign language. Which, for the average lizard, English certainly is.

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