Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hyundai! Hyundai! Hyundai!

I gave my column this title because I learned from morning radio that people really like it when you shout “Hyundai!” repeatedly. If a radio ad isn’t loud enough to replicate the experience of putting your head inside a blast furnace, it just doesn’t sound sincere.

When you saw this title, you probably thought, “Oh, I hope this column’s about America’s best warranty.” But I’m afraid that despite indications I may have previously given to the contrary, I don’t really have anything to say about Hyundai today. I did just realize, though, that the radio plays so many car commercials in the morning because that’s when people are driving to work, sitting in their Pintos, thinking, “Why hasn’t this dang thing exploded yet?”

Plus, everyone’s all grumpy in the morning because everyone is the only good driver in the world, and everyone else is doing those things that everyone would never do -- drinking coffee, talking on their cell phones, running into phone poles, and making everyone late to work. Everyone else is always getting in everyone’s way.

So that’s when car commercials hit you, when you’re all groggy and grumpy and feeling as if your life would be better if only you had something that could get you away from everyone else – hence the popularity of off-road vehicles, because even though most forests now have Walmarts or oil derricks on them, we’d like to think that we could just tear off into the woods, even though we would never actually do that, because that might scratch the paint.

What better time to try to sell you a new car than when you’re half-conscious and unhappy in the car you’ve got? That’s when car companies dangle shiny objects in front of you, because they know that we’re all really just salmon, swimming around, looking for new ways to reach our credit limits. Or perhaps raccoons would be a more apt analogy for us, because raccoons also like shiny objects, and we all have mammary glands. Well, some of us have mammary glands. I mean, I don’t. You might, though. No, I was not looking.

Okay, I just looked it up online. It seems men do have mammary glands, but they’re vestigial and therefore totally useless, like the wings of an ostrich, or the outdoors to a child with a PlayStation 2.

And while we’re on the topic of mammals, have you seen any of the ads for CareerBuilder.com? They show a normal guy in an ordinary office, and all of his co-workers are chimpanzees. The guy wants to get work done, but the chimps are hopping around, playing with whoopee cushions, and laughing crazy laughs, like Eddie Murphy’s laugh from when he used to be funny, but much higher-pitched.

Sure, those ads are humorous, but I don’t really care for the attitude. Everyone else is not that bad of a driver, and the folks you work with are not chimpanzees, unless of course you are a zookeeper, and even then there’s a good chance that you work with polar bears or aardvarks instead.

Perhaps it’s because I spend much of an average day at work sucking my toes, but I don’t really feel like those CareerBuilder ads are saying nice things about most of us. There are about a dozen chimps in those ads, and only one human. If your workplace was portrayed, are your odds better of being the person or the ape? I’ll give you some time to think about that one, Koko.

4 comments:

  1. I resent that allegation; once I'm done with this banana I'm kickin your ass!!!

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  2. That ape... you know, the one over there antagonzing the zoo keeper and flipping off the crowds? Me.

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  3. My full-time job is taking care of three kids. What do you think?

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  4. Dudes, your freakin' comments had me laughin' so hard I almost choked on my toes.

    Dougie B -- Please forgive me for laying the smackdown on your comment. It was dang funny, but if this blog gets me fired, then I'll have to get by on my charm. And if that happens, I'm totally screwed.

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