25.1.06

Help Woodsy Spread the Word...

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!"

22 comments:

jfh said...

oh, GOD, Prego, you remind me of the kid on the old (some box of something that you pour on chicken and then bake it) and the nasty little ankle biter who says, "And I hepped!). I hated that kid for years. Another one is some air purifying thing and the mom says, "My daughter eats like a Tomboy". What the f*ck does that have to do with anything about stinky clothes??? I offer you a blog called http://mentalhijinks.blogspot.com where the writer is trying to set up some kind of garden in the front of her newly purchased Mission District house in S.F. And, btw, how are the hh's?

Mary Tsao said...

I definitely remember the Native American dude and the Give a Hoot Don't Pollute owl. And I don't litter. We need to bring those commercials back because littering is out of control.

Plumkrazzee said...

Littering is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. I live at the end of a long street, and the wind blows everyone's junk into my yard on a daily basis. I've actually followed a car of teenagers who threw some wrappers out the window...when they turned into the mall parking lot, I told them they needed to go turn around and pick up their trash.....and they did!! It was hilarious. I don't do that much anymore, i'm afraid someone's gonna shoot my ass or something.

surcie said...

Dude, we need to get you a wider audience. Very funny.

I'm thinking that the commercials and PSAs of the '70s might've been more moralistic than they are now. Coke was sorta promoting world peace when they wanted to teach the world to sing, right? (Or maybe they really just had something against folks singing off-key.) There also was that Boy Scouts spot with the kid trying to remember the oath and screwing up when he got to, "to do my duty. . ."

See, I too learned a lot by spending so much time in front of the television as a kid--though I never have been able to figure out why Fred Flinstone couldn't just SHARE his Fruity Pebbles with Barney Rubble. Barney like the Pebbles were crack and he was an addict. I bet he had to spend his royalties on rehab.

Jeff said...

Prego after reading this post I wanted to recommend a book to you... "Branded" The Buying and Selling of Teenagers...By Alissa Quart. A great book and interesting read that discusses the childhood propaganda/commercials directed at our parents and how they have transformed over time into the persuasive images directly speaking to the children of today.

Meghan said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. My neighbors in the cube farm think I have turrets syndrome.

And yes, litterbugs tend to eat shitty food. When was the last time someone flung broccoli in the gutter?

~A~ said...

BRAVO!

I do have to admit to not remembering the smoking one. I'll have to ask Rob if he remembers. He was more the commercial kid than I.

The pop tart one annoyed me because pop tart are just not food. I know a woman to complains all the time about her children's behavior and I ask her what she gave them for breakfast. Her reply, pop tarts. Well no shit they're acting like wild heathens, give them sugar cubes, they're healthier.

Claire said...

I don't remember any of these but that would be growing up in a different country to you!

Plain Jane said...

I feel the urge to bust out with, "Meeeemories...."

Jacques Roux said...

Atta boy, just let the hate flow. Just let loose the reins and allow that vitriol to ooze over you like the warmth of your mother's womb. Feels good, doesn't it. I'ts nice to let nature do it's thing.

Now you must heed the siren's call and break out that 12 gauge street sweeper, and do a little "cleaning up" of you own. Your family, neighbors and community will thank you for it. Trust me.

Claire said...

I'm back and from Michele's this time!

Viamarie said...

It may be weird, but I honestly don't know many commercials. When they are showing it's my chance to stand up and continue doing some household chores.

Cheers from Michele!

Canadian Dude said...

Here from Michele's... bravo on the litter piece.

Cheers!

Nikki-ann said...

Very well said!

(Here from Michele's).

Dave said...

Fortunately I wasn't brought up on American TV but I do so agree with the sentiments of your post!

margalit said...

Mazel Tov on the littering piece. I am with you 100%. I do not get people that throw stuff out their car window. Why? It's just as easy to put trash into a plastic bag and toss it in your garbage can on the way home, isn't it?

Michele sent me

Plumkrazzee said...

I loved the Ancient Chinese Secret, huh commercials. I can hear it as I read this.

aka_monty said...

I so remember the puffing Big Bad Wolf...

Hello, Michele did NOT send me today. I just wanted to see what you were up to over here. ;)

And I always wanted to give that poor rabbit some trix, and the leprechaun a big bowl of lucky charms.
:( I felt sorry for them.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Kids in commericals annoy me too. I wanted to give the Trix Bunny all the Trix he could eat.

I also couldn't stand the Welches kids with their so called cute lispy voices.

ARGH

Here via Michele's :)

Carmi said...

You've once again prompted me to spew my milk all over the kitchen table, Prego. This is too funny for words.

My list of memorable commercials would fill the average hard drive. I shudder to think of how much of that crap has sunk into my brain over the years. Maybe that explains why I am the way I am.

OMG!

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