Sunday with Zin: Time for a Commercial Break!

Hello, I am Zin! I have another project coming up, and a fun one thanks to Jeanne Holtzman who sent me a wonderful book, but I need more time, and I am a bit worn out after all the Italo Calvino memos so this Sunday is playtime: Commercials!

I love commercials! Sometimes they are the best things on TV! Some are really good, and some are so bad they are good!

I love the Mayhem guy! I do not even know what insurance company he is advertising (does that mean someone has not done his or her job properly?) but I laugh, really laugh, when he yells “RECALCULATING!” and he really does shake his head like a dog after he hits the Invisible Fence! He must be a really good actor!

His name is Dean Winters and he has been on a lot of tv shows like Oz and 30 Rock and L&S:SVU. I always wonder if it makes actors sad to do commercials! Or maybe they get paid so much they are happy! But then I found out something else: before he was Dennis or Mr. Mayhem, he died! Back in 2009 he had a bacterial infection and his heart stopped beating for 2 minutes, his thumb and some toes were amputated, and he had reconstructive surgery on his arm! So when he says he is Mayhem he knows what he is talking about! I do not imagine much makes him sad after recovering from all that!

Insurance has been a gold mine for commercial producers lately! I do not have much use for Flo except for the squirrel dream commercial: “Someone stole the nuts…Squirrel jail…justice!” and that is more about the writer. That makes me giggle! Otherwise she annoys me. I do not know what chipmunks and squirrels have to do with insurance, but if it made sense it would not be as much fun!

The car hamsters are not on any more, there is another commercial that is not as good, but I loved the old one that ended with “Doo Dah Dippity!” I thought it was “zippity” and it was some kind of retort to Song of the South but it seems not, though it could be! The hamsters really capture the essence of movement! It is great!

I like a couple of the underwear commercial songs! The first, “You Can’t Overlove Your Underwear” was the best, I think , it was really the perfect country song until you actually listened to the lyrics! But most country songs, all songs really, are like that I think! Really, without the fruit costumes you would think it was a regular country video! I can not find a songwriter, just Wojahn Brothers Music who as a sound designer company it seems takes credit for the song and the recording! They do a great job of creating songs that really embody a particular genre!

Another musical commercial in the underwear series was “Musical” which is fun (it is in Spanish for South American tv and was shot in Argentina) but the very cool part is – you can watch a six–minute video showing how they shot it! This is so cool, because it takes a lot of work to come up with an image that may take less than one second on the screen! It is hilarious, too, with a bullfighter, a surgeon, a construction worker, a logger, and all kinds of other men ripping off their clothes to show their underwear and come together at the end in a grand finale! All that in 30 seconds!

Then there are commercials I do not understand at all! Like Capella University! I would never go to that school because they seem pretty confused to me! Here is this one: I wake up and I leave for work and pet a dog and buy coffee and walk past a nursing home or hospital where an old lady is sitting in a wheelchair on the porch, and I am suddenly struck by an urge to spend thousands of dollars and a couple of years studying to be whatever they train – nurses, I assume, maybe nursing assistants – so this total stranger can get the care she needs instead of just hoping she will? Does it mean I am an awful person if I do not think that? Does anyone think that?

And the other one: I am driving along drinking coffee and listening to the radio and a bunch of kids are crossing the street with a crossing guard – no, I do not hit them because I am drinking coffee (are they going after coffee addicts?) and listening to the radio, though I think someone should do a spoof of that – but I suddenly think, wow, I need to again spend thousands of dollars and years to teach this little girl I never saw before just because she happened to cross the road in front of my car? And what about the other kids? They can just go to hell, I suppose.

Can you imagine people doing this sort of thing? When you see a dog you decide to be a vet, but on your way to vet school you pass a blind man and decide to be a Braille teacher, and then you see a dirty building and start a steam cleaning company except you get distracted by a pothole and become a construction worker… you would never get anything done!

And finally: I worry about people who are so lonely they talk to their cell phones like they are people. That is pretty sad. But it is even sadder that someone needs a $400 phone to verify that the water falling from the sky outside her window is, indeed, rain.


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