Autopilot On The Fourth Of July

04 Jul

After a visit from my brother last night, which involved three (3) slabs of ribs each the size of a skateboard, and about fifteen chicken legs for the kids, and a dozen ears of corn and maybe some beers – who knows? Anyway, after this visit, I find myself lounging around on the couch for most of the day, power-sleeping on the Fourth of July.

Suddenly it’s six o’clock. Oops. Looks like we’re going to be phoning this in today, maybe just turn on the television and type what’s on there, then get this blanket back over my head until it’s dark out again.

It’s hard to watch the television without picking it up and launching it into the street. The news is like a science fiction movie with no comic relief. The commercials are like having Lenny from Of Mice And Men standing there in the middle of your living room, pointing and braying donkey laughter at you.

Community is gone until next season. You can only watch so much Burn Notice and Justified before you run out.

So I decided to watch the commercials that I normally fast forward through, to see if -out of total curiosity – I can find something positive and which doesn’t make me want to scream.

The Budweiser commercial makes a good point, about how there are all these different forms of male greetings that have gone in and out of style. They show a bunch of guys doing various handshakes and bro-hugs, and I can remember most of those, coming and going. Clanking beer bottles together has always been around and it’s still here.

Okay, that’s something.

Now we get a commercial for cable. Weird, cause it’s on cable, but okay, it’s a commercial for the channels you don’t get unless you pay the extra twelve bucks or whatever.

You guys are going down, cable, and you deserve it. Netflix is going to rip your heart out and show it to you before you die.

Who’s this Tosh.0 guy? I always see the end of this show and I’ve laughed once in a while, but man, he’ll just go south out of nowhere, show you a seven hundred pound dude with his privates blurred out, eating pie with his hands.

Soccer. Something just happened with regards to soccer. John Stewart is telling me about it. Okay, so this isn’t even television it’s something I DVRed.

Then we have the dark-haired State Farm dude. He’s a laid-back fellow whose role at State Farm is unclear – some kind of celebrity spokesperson except we’ve never heard of him. I understood when the president from 24 was suddenly a spokesperson for Allstate, because I knew who the hell he was.

But this guy looks like an average corporate brown noser, draped with layer after layer of nonthreatening business clichés. It looks like if a girl brought this guy to Thanksgiving, Grandma Tucker and Aunt Vicki would start squawking with joy, but Dad and Uncle Chuck would be thinking, okay let’s take this guy out to the garage for a conversation.

Every time I see him, I think, there’s a guy could stand an old-fashioned beating. He reminds me of Justin Case from Safe Auto, except Justin Case is sort of joking. This guy is in love with his own corporate reflection in the mirror – and for some reason that’s supposed to make me think highly of State Farm.

Like isn’t it funny when he’s lurking on the edges of the group of guys who go to the diner, with the one fellow who has brought his own sandwich to save money?

Ah, yes, just a bunch of guys cutting up at lunch. Our spokesperson is one of the guys, but he’s kind of talking to us, too. He’s the only one who can see us. I think the idea is, we’re his clients, and he’s taking us out to lunch, and he’s super laid back because the there’s nothing dark or crooked or slimy about the insurance company he works for.

I’m sorry I just barfed in my mouth a little again.

People think of all kinds of ways to save money, he muses – like bringing sandwiches to restaurants and buying insurance from State Farm.

You know, restaurants will take your sandwich away for that. If you want to eat a sandwich for lunch, go to the park or sit there at your desk.

During a lunch rush, every single chair in a diner is worth money, and not just to the owner. To the servers, too. So if you’re going to sit there eating a sandwich to save money, understand that what you are doing is stealing the chair.

Wouldn’t it be a funny commercial for a restaurant, if this same Business Barbie Ken Doll were sitting there beside a table where a group of guys plotted to rob their own construction site for the insurance money, get the claim and then resell the supplies?

Then pan over to our laid-back spokesperson, cracking up with the gang, on the edges of it. “Everybody’s trying to save a buck these days, by stealing from companies when it’s convenient, and embezzling and commiting fraud. It’s hilarious. But there’s a better way – just come to Fred’s Diner, where the lunch specials are out of this world.”

State Farm ought to know that. If that guy gets food poisoning from eating that sandwich he’s had sitting in his desk all day, guess whose fault that is? It’s the restaurant’s fault. In fact, if State Farm were insuring the restaurant, they’d jack up its rates and send a letter about not letting people bring sandwiches in.

Like when there’s a hurricane, and you have hurricane insurance, but they won’t cover you because, well, your house was destroyed by a flood, seconds before the hurricane. You didn’t have flood insurance did you?

Oh, man. Sorry. Thanks for the thousands and thousands of dollars in premiums, though. Please enjoy this short video of a smiling man in a suit jacket with no tie.

Well, it was a nice thought. I started out turning on the television in search of something positive. Got an amusing beer commercial and things were looking good, but then this guy. Something about this guy makes me feel stabby.

Well, there you have it, that wraps it up. Blogging about watching not just television, but commercials. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I’ll be back tomorrow with something less lazy.


Posted by on July 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


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2 responses to “Autopilot On The Fourth Of July

  1. sparrow1969

    July 4, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I hear what you’re saying about being on autopilot. Today was like that for me too.

    With regard to the television, I shouldn’t be surprised, but it never ceases to amaze me how I can have over 100 cable channels and still find nothing but reruns and drivel on to watch. Thank goodness for At least the reruns out there may be something so old I’ve forgotten it already and can stand to watch it again.

    Something funny to note, I told my kids (ages 17 & 15) that we only had three tv channels growing up (I’m 41). If we were really lucky, we could get the prairie public channel and one in from Canada, and we never had cable until I was 12. They all but accused me of lying and then asked if I had to go uphill both ways in the snow to watch the TV to begin with.

    Happy 4th Tom!

  2. Bill V

    July 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I am no fan of those bastards at the insurance companies. Yes, yes, they are pleased to accept premiums for years and years but they hedge and stall when a claim is submitted. Oh wait, the claim was rejected because it was submitted on the claim form for Tuesdays. You see, we received it on a Wednesday. Please feel free to resubmit for consideration and please be mindful to submit your premium or we will have to cancel your policy.


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