Sunday, April 01, 2007


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From watching TV last night and actually listening to some of the advertisements, I now know that I will never be tolerated by polite society unless I drive the correct car or carry the de rigueur credit card. Similarly, I can expect to be treated like a pariah if I fail to wear the right bra, insoles, or lipstick. There is also the distinct possibility of shunning if I accidentally buy the wrong toothpaste, soap, pain reliever, or deodorant.

Did you know that using the proper brand of aerodynamically engineered and reinforced toilet paper will not only get the job done but leave you refreshed and confident enough to take on the world? Of course, choosing the right tampon, razor, or feminine hygiene product will do the same thing.

If you don't buy the right brand of furniture polish, antibacterial wipes, air spray, or vacuum cleaner, you will die a hideous death from allergies, and you will suffer the tortures of the damned if they're accompanied by mites. You can't see the tiny assasins, so you must have the products. Slackers will be devoured from the inside out and choked in their sleep. I know it must be so; the TV said so.

I cower in fear that my friends will judge and reject me for having the wrong phone, mop, or cleaning products. If you get caught with off-brand stuff, the implication is that you're just stupid and deserve whatever dire consequences you get. Get the wrong bathroom cleaner and not only will your whole house stink but your children will be cursed for generations to come. I now know without a doubt that if I use the wrong shampoo or conditioner, I will go bald. If I pick up the wrong brand of hair color, my head will either swell up like a beach ball or my hair will be so fried I'll have to wear a helmet in public.

If I pick out the wrong stove, my food will catch fire and taste bad. An off-brand microwave will explode my food into the stratosphere. If I get the wrong refrigerator, I'll not only suffer with salmonella and E. coli but will be heckled because it's ugly. And wrong. If I accidentally on purpose pick up the wrong coffee, bread, or bug spray I'll be labeled as uninformed and hopelessly provincial. And God forbid I should eat a hamburger from the wrong chain or buy jeans at a non-hip store. I'd quickly get a reputation as a closet Republican that'll take me two lifetimes to live down.

I was rather horrified to learn that if I were a man and I ever got a gray hair, my life would be over. But praise the Lord, I can use a male hair coloring product which will turn my head and facial hair such an appealing sepia color that I'll get lucky on the spot, wherever I happen to be.

There are body washes guaranteed to keep my skin so moist and dewey that I'll look like a teenager for the next 150 years. And there are lotions which, if only I have the good sense to buy them, will perfectly rejuvenate my skin in four weeks and make me desirable for life.

There are juices and power drinks from which I can get all the vitamins I'll ever need, wonderful looking snack foods which contain no calories and which will turn me into an irresistible vixen overnight, and pretty pills for every ailment known to man which I can browbeat my doctor into prescribing for me.

It's probably a good thing that I usually zone out during commercials. Actually paying attention could wreak havoc with my brain circuitry, not to mention my budget.

The weekend docket of Words Gone Wild rounded up and turned over to Twisted Linguistics:-

invisable - You'll see the results of watching all those ads in this credit card bill.

woman's temperate movement - A grassroots campaign instigated by Republican men.

Kapeesh? - Capiche!

queue-card - A small piece of cardboard which ensures your place in line.


Roxan said...

I hang my head in shame at the off brands that occupy my cabinets. Not really.
Some things I buy by the brand name because it is a better products. Brand name dish soap, for instance, works better than store brand.
Not being one to follow trends, I could care less what people think of me.

tfg said...

I've never been very good at keeping up with the Joneses, either. Once I achieve my fortune, I may buy them and see what it is I've been missing. :>

Web 2.0 Kid said...

Happy foolish day!

Make more gag images on :)

Hale McKay said...

Great post. A lot of your observations could be used as new extra verses for the Stones "(I Can't Get No)Satisfaction."

..A man comes on the radio and tells me how white my "teeth' should be...

When it comes to brand names, I have observed that a great deal of people use 'the brand their parents used' and swear by them, often having never tried anything else.

Roxan is right, there are many brand names that are better than the generics - but there are a far greater number of the knock-offs that are just as good.

It all comes down to taste. I only buy Coca Cola soft drinks - I don't like Pepsi's offerings.

When it comes to eating crow, I think most of us will agree that the original can't be topped.

Serena Joy said...

Don't worry, Roxan. You won't have to live in shame and infamy for long. I hear that the ad agencies are planning to open Rehab centers all over the country to help fight the spreading epidemic of addiction to off brands. LOL! You know what, though? Many store brand products are manufactured by the same companies as the name brand items. There are many "off" brands that I actually prefer over the name brands.

True, TFG, but what about the Smiths? When you buy the Joneses, could I play with them just for one day?

Oh, man, Mike, aren't those damned white teeth ads maddening? If you get the wrong one (or none at all) and your teeth aren't visible from outer space, you might as well commit suicide. I wonder if that stuff's lethal if you swallow enough of it?

I agree, a lot of the knock-offs are VERY good. I don't like store brand colas, though. Give me Coke and Dr Pepper. We all have to eat a little crow now and then, but I'll let you in on a little secret -- put hot fudge sauce on it and you'll never know what you're eating.:)

Anonymous said...

I'm happy that the commercials you are hit by don't make it to my viewing. I'd go nuts.

littlebirdblue said...

That's it, sister; Table the Label.

As Mr, T. says, "I pity the April Fools."

Serena Joy said...

German TV isn't deluged with commercials, Steve? Amazing! You're very lucky.

Yo, Littlebird. Right on! I had some 80s looking hair going on today but I never spotted Mr. T.:)

ThatGreenyFlower said...

We had a discussion about advertising several years ago with our son, then about 6 or so. Ever since then, he's delighted in picking apart every commercial he sees. It cracks me up! He'll say, "Mom, if you buy me this cereal, my toys will come to life and I'll be happy all the time," or, "Dad, if you use this toothpaste, all the women will stop on the street and faint." We get a lot of mileage out of billboards, too.

I am as consumer as the rest, I guess, but I save where I can so I can spend where I want--and I spend for me and my family, not for anyone else's opinion. The whole keeping-up-with-the-Jones' thing is what's gotten Americans up to their arses in adjustable-rate mortgages and credit-card hell. I'm proud that I'm not at the mercy of either of those. (Just student loans, you know...)

And yes, this vehement post is coming from someone who just spent a mint at the Bobbi Brown counter. Ahem. But that beauty-comes-from-within thing is just bullshoes, you know? It's TOTALLY from a bottle.

Serena Joy said...

That's funny about your son, Greeny, and good that he's learning young what to take seriously and what to shrug off.

I agree with you about the ridiculous concept of "keeping up with the Joneses." I save where I can, too. I'm not a bit averse to buying cheaper brands. Although, I'm about to follow you and pay the fabulous Bobbi B. a visit.:)

Lee said...

After reading your post, I'm not game to move now, Serena...I've probably broken all the rules in the book! Oh! Dear! How can I ever face the world again!!!!!! ;)

December Quinn said...

I manage to ignore the brand-name ads over here, because there aren't many and the products just aren't that great.

But they do absolutely gut-wrenching charity ads here, constantly airing, with beaten children and bears driven mad by poor treatment and...oh it's just awful.

cathy said...

I was thinking of doing something about ads but it involves shakespeare so I am still in the research stage...
don't hold your breathe, unless of course you aren't using the correct breathe freshener.

Liz said...

" And there are lotions which, if only I have the good sense to buy them, will perfectly rejuvenate my skin in four weeks and make me desirable for life."

The trouble is I keep believing these - or want to believe!

Serena Joy said...

It'll be okay, Lee. There's a "program" for that. LOL.

Oh, I know what you mean, DQ. Some of those charity ads are gut-wrenching.

Shakespearean ads, Cathy? I can't wait to hear about that. I used to not hold my breath because of the turning blue thing, but I now know I can buy a lotion and makeup to take care of that.:)

Liz, that's what they're counting on. I hate to even think of how much money I've spent because I believed.:)