• Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

T V Commercials

search I laughed when I read the comments posted under my Facebook friend’s question: If you could ban one TV commercial you hate, which one would you choose? With her permission, I posted the same question and warned that comments would be shared in this column.

I don’t like TV advertisements, but I understand that sponsors are necessary on commercial networks. I endure, and usually mute, commercials during sport events and fast-forward them on recorded dramas so most commercials that my friends mentioned I hadn’t seen. I googled them. There are some strange ones.

Many friends don’t like a famous actor who transforms into a strange persona with scrawny arms or crazy hair or someone called a meathead. The first time I saw Scrawny Arms, I laughed. Somehow it made me think of the Three Stooges. Humor that’s good for one laugh.

My friends obviously think food should be eaten in kitchens and dining rooms. Certainly not in a car and certainly not in a provocative way. I agree. Does anyone else remember the commercials about coffee that was good to the last drop? And soup that is M’m, M’m good? Those aired when families ate meals sitting around a kitchen table.

Animal lovers cringe when they hear a ‘sappy song’ because they know that pictures of abandoned animals will be shown. “I can’t get to the remote fast enough!” one friend said. She changes the channel and doesn’t watch the program.

A grandmother doesn’t like car commercials that show irresponsible driving. “Do young drivers really need to know that a car can do a figure 8 at 90 mph in a parking lot?” she asked.

Furniture commercials made impressions. Bad impressions. It’s annoying a friend said to hear a one syllable word, chaise, be ‘drug into eight syllables.’ And watching a woman drag a chair around her house irritates many people.

Several friends commented about drug commercials. One said, “I don’t think they should promote prescription drugs. Especially when they read disclaimers for thirty seconds at double speed and have no idea how drugs will react with some of the other drugs that you are taking.” And another wondered why anyone would think that green monsters coming out of someone’s nose would sell medicine.

Many friends would ban what I call behind-the-door commercials. I say, “If a product should be used a behind closed door, i.e., bathroom or bedroom, I don’t want to see a commercial for it.” A mother said, “It’s embarrassing to see such products advertised while sitting in the same room with your teen-age grandchildren or father-in-law.” One friend doesn’t even like seeing a bear squeeze a package of toilet paper.

Then there are annoying jingles and songs that get stuck in my friends’ heads. Five, five dollar, five-dollar foot long. You could’ve had a V-8. The writers of these commercials did their job too well.

Two friends expressed concern about banning anything, anywhere, anytime. And some friends reminded me that there are alternate ways to watch movies and dramas and ball games. Or if I’d simply hit the off button on the remote, I could avoid all annoying commercials and the programs. Or I could watch only public television where the commercials are much more pleasing.

Or I could read a good book. I’ll do that as soon as this basketball game is over.

Woman Battles Pests

imagesI hate dandelions and TV commercials and flies.  I attack dandelions with vengeance.  I push a tool – one that looks like a long screwdriver and has two sharp points on the end – down beside dandelions and dig up the roots.  Now I know when dandelions seed, they’re fun for kids to blow and watch the feather-light seeds float in the air.  But not in my yard.

TV commercials are easy to avoid.  I record my favorite programs so I can fast forward through commercials.  The faster, the better.  And if I watch TV in real time, I hit the mute button during commercials. That leads to some creative thinking.  During a commercial for a laxative, a pair of red, spike-heeled, ladies shoes danced across the screen.  What’s the connection?

And then there are flies.  Like the one that buzzed over my head as I lay in bed ready to sleep.  And then it flew around the lamp on my bedside table.  I marked my place in the book I was reading and rolled up a magazine.  From my reclining position, I swatted the magazine every time Pesky Fly flew within arm’s reach.  Swatted left to right.  Forward and backward.  He won round one.  This was no ordinary housefly – maybe a horse fly.

I got out of bed and tromped to the utility room to get the fly swatter.  Pesky must have heard me coming back to the bedroom.  He was nowhere to be seen or heard as I stood in the middle of the bedroom with my weapon raised.  “Where’d he go?”  I asked Husband.  He shook his head and continued to read his espionage thriller book.  I climbed back in bed, read one page of my book, and heard the buzz coming from the lamp.  Do flies get energy when they circle light bulbs?  I threw off the covers, turned off the lamp, grabbed my fly swatter, and gave Husband instructions.  “Turn off your light.  I want that fly in the bathroom.”

Pesky followed me.  He buzzed past my head and near the brightly lit ceiling light.  I didn’t want a red bloodstain on the ceiling so I stood, fly swatter in hand, and waited.  He flew.  I swatted the air as he flew.  I swatted the vanity beside the sink.  I swatted high and low.  And then silence.  No sound or sight of Pesky.  I waited a minute or so.  Guess I’d unknowingly won the fight.

When I opened the bathroom door, Pesky flew over my shoulder into the bedroom.  Husband had turned on his bedside light and held his book in hand.  Pesky buzzed from one side of the room to the other, barely missing my head.  “I hate dandelions and TV commercials and flies!”  I said.  “It’s your turn!  I give up.”

By the time I settled under the bed covers and found the page in my book where I’d stopped reading, Husband swatted once and said, “Got him.  You must have worn him down.”  Yep, I’m sure that’s what happened.