Along with my caring parents, nothing raised me better than television. It shaped me into the well-rounded individual that I am today. Watching hours of Gilligan, Lucy or Fonzie did little more than keep my finger on the pulse of the American consciousness, but what did have a lasting impact on my psyche were the commercials. There were three in particular that immediately spring to mind.
The first, and earliest commercial to mould and forge my impressionable young mind was a public service advert about smoking. This animated short featured the three pigs and their old nemesis: the Big Bad Wolf. This wolf wasn't a "huffer and puffer." No. He was a flat out puffer - 2 pack-a-day, stinky ass clothes, yellowed toothed "Fweeeeep... Ahhhh. Flavour country " smoker. When it came time to blow the house down, he could barely muster up enough breath to blow out a birthday candle.
That sh*t was just flat out scary. In fact, it was this indelible vignette that served as the impetus for me to quit smoking. After years of attempting to woo the ladies through a hazy cloud of Camel Lights, I finally decided I'd had enough (along with the fact that I played soccer on a team that seldom had substitutes to relieve me in my hacking and wheezing.)
Then there's the Trix commercials. These plugs nudged me towards altruism. Those little sh*theels that denied the poor rabbit the simple pleasures of a bowl of sugary cereal drove me to odium. What's a bunny gonna do if he gots a sweet tooth. Rather than lookin' out for a brother, these little cretins yoinked the sh*t right out of his hands. There's an endearing group for you. Then again, kids in commercials have always annoyed me like underwear in my crack.
It's not so much that I know behind the cameras lie a deluded stage mom delighted to have sold her child to shill-dom, but as a general rule, kids in commercials, particularly lately, strike me as as*holes. Ever see that commercial where that middle school kid's mother gives him a Pop Tart on the way out the door? Then he runs into 'Kid B,' who gives him the contraband Toaster Streudel. When they finally get to Sh*tbag Jr. High School Kid B asks Kid A what he does with all the Pop Tarts just as an avalanche of uneaten Pop Tarts hits the floor. F*ck you, you little ingrate. If you're not going to eat the Pop Tarts have the decency to tell your mother to stop spending her hard-earned money on them.
Finally, anybody over the age of 30 will likely remember that advert featuring a Native American dude, paddling a canoe across a litter filled creek. As he stands by the roadside, Whitey comes along and chucks a take out container of spaghetti and meatballs out of the window of their 1974 Chrysler POS. The only thing that might keep this commercial from re-airing is that it toes the line of ethnic stereotypes - the same ethnic stereo-type that felled the laundering 'Chinaman' and his "Ancient Chinese Secret: Calgon".
Judging by the amount of sh*t that accumulates on my heavily trafficked front yard, I'd say this commercial wasn't as memorable to other members of the community. You know who you are, sh*tbird. You're that same lousy parent that allowed your children to make phrases such as "Please," "Excuse me" and "Good morning" as archaic as "groovy" and "jive." Yeah, I see the byproducts of your ovum and sperm walk past twenty-eight garbage cans on garbage day and instead toss their heavily salted "Frito Lay" bag in my garden upon finishing it. I wouldn't mind it if it were biodegradable, but then again, healthy food is beyond your grasp.
I noticed that the eating habits of the average litterbug borders on sh*tty. A steady stream of grease stained pizza plates, McDonald's soda pop cups, Hostess doughnut & ice-cream sandwich wrappers and the aforementioned corn chip bags will attest to the fact that this walking sack of fat and bones has a bloodstream that flows as smoothly as toothpaste. It's comforting to know that this person will likely die soon, but in their wake they will leave another generation who tosses cigarette packs and losing lottery tickets on the sidewalk without compunction.
I'd be willing to take the place of Iron Eyes Cody. It won't be a tear you see on my cheek. You'll see a twitch of rage, a clenched fist and a chubby Hispanic male running up the street, shouting "Come back here, you c*ck-sucker. Come pick this up before I jam this pizza box in your ass. Sideways!"