Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Your Mileage May Vary

So as I was getting ready for work this morning, I had the television on in the background, as I am wont to do. Usually, I just try to get a few soundbites of news, weather, traffic, that sort of thing -- arming myself with snippets of knowledge before heading out into the world. This morning, while lacing up my footwear (triple-ply leather, steel-toed, Croatian army surplus tanker boots. I work in the Bronx; form follows function), I managed to catch something that made me want to crawl right back into bed and pull the covers over my head.

Toyota has some new gadget they’re trying to push in their line of cars that are apparently named after children from the inner city (Yaris, Corolla, Tercel, etc) – just another useless toy that can only serve to further distract a driver who already is swerving into my lane so he can call friends on his flashy cell phone and tell them all about his new iPod dash charger / coffee warmer / anal vibrator. Toyota’s particular gizmo apparently offers both a hands free cell phone and automated map directions for people too stupid to look up where they are going before they leave the house. Remember the days of pulling into a gas station to ask Achmed how to get to the freeway?

In any case, I wasn’t as much concerned about the useless doohickey, but more about how they were marketing it. I present to you, in its entirety, the transcript to the commercial.

Man driving in shiny red Toyota Shaquille or whatever the fuck it’s called along a twisty road under a clear, blue, cloudless sky. He uses the Lazy Idiot 3000 to plot his course to some destination and then decides to call home. After pushing a button mounted in the dash, he crisply orders the car to “Call Home.” Within a half a second, as if she were waiting breathlessly for his call, his wife picks up.

Woman: “Hello?”

Man: “Hi Honey, I’m going to be late; I have a conference to go to.”

This cheerfully mundane conversation is interrupted by a pleasant female voice muttering something about “making a left turn.”

The wife, despite the distinct probability that she was with her husband when he purchased the fucking car (or at least has been privy to its electronic peripherals’ capabilities since), asks: “Do you have a woman in the car with you?”

The man attempts to answer, but is cut off by the car’s voice informing him that “the hotel is ahead on the right.” (We, the audience are supposed to assume that he’s attempting to find said hotel with the intent of attending the aforementioned conference. Perhaps he’s really got a trunk full of garter belts and camisoles and is going to meet his crossdressing lover, Phil. We don’t know).

Upon hearing the word “hotel” from the digital trollop, the wife shrieks “Hotel!?” and immediately hangs up.

The man, with a look of resigned dismay, punches the cell phone button again and sighs, “Call Florist.”

Then the scene ends and the viewer is treated to a “special financing deal” with an APR so high it would make Shylock gag.

End commercial.

Within that space of thirty seconds, even a foreigner with a rudimentary grasp of the English language is able to discern the following about what corporations think of their customers:

1. American “businessmen” go to conferences in the middle of the day, unplanned, at out-of-the-way-hotels.

2. American wives do not work during the day, but instead sit at home waiting for their husband’s call. They also have no idea what sort of electronic widgets their husband has had installed on their $30,000 car.

3. American men are so full of infidelity and hubris that they would brazenly call their wives while sitting directly next to their mistresses.

4. American mistresses are so stupid that they would verbally point out the hotel in which they are planning their carnal activities while their paramours’ wives are on speakerphone.

5. American women are shrill, illogical, over-emotional beings who jump to conclusions and hang up on their husbands without a shred of plausible evidence or without giving their lifetime partner even five seconds to explain.

6. American men are so whipped and cowed by their spouses that instead of calling them back to fully clarify a case of faulty logic, they instead resort to spending ludicrous amounts of money on overpriced floral arrangements in an attempt to mollify their idiotic wives.

7. Both American men and women agree that a bouquet of carnations and daffodils can simultaneously placate morons and repair obviously defective marriages.

You think I’m hyperbolizing? Turn on any network sitcom and you’ll see the same formula : Stupid father who is always wrong + Stupid mother relentlessly over-dramatizing every situation, + their Stupid, spoiled, precocious children = Comedy Goldmine.

This is one of the reasons I don’t watch TV and will never buy a Toyota.

I will, however buy a car from a company whose advertisements are geared towards cynics and realists:

Man driving his shiny new convertible, the "P-Nys NV", on his way to work. He pushes the button to activate the speakerphone and dials his house.

Wife: “Hi honey!”

Husband: “It’s 2 in the afternoon. What the hell are you doing home from work?”

Wife: “Oh, I, uh, had to pick up little Dakota from school before dropping her off at her tennis / swimming / piano / ballet / meaningless structure lessons. Thought I’d get a head start.”

Husband: “That sounds like bullshit to me. Dakota has soccer / macramé / fencing / contrabassoon lessons on Thursday…”

Man is cut off by female computer voice informing him that the hotel is ahead on the right.

Wife: “Do you have a woman in the car with you?? Are you going to a hotel?”

Husband: “It’s the car, dumbass. And I’m going to a conference that happens to be in hotel. That’s what I do for a living – I endlessly attend useless meetings and show PowerPoint presentations using words like “Brand Awareness” and “Synergy” so we can afford to buy talking cars and Dakota’s peanut allergy shots. And don’t change the subject. You’re the one who is mysteriously home in the middle of the day. What are you doing, fucking the gardener again?”

Wife: “Phil’s a landscaper, not a gardener, and I wouldn’t have to if you weren’t so busy at all your meetings, you worthless prick!”

Woman hangs up phone. Man nudges the car up twenty MPH faster and hits the phone button again.

Husband: “Call Gun Shop.”

Finis.

2 Comments:

Blogger Moni said...

******ROTFLMAO***** And you said you'd never been married before. Hmmmm? ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Valannin said...

No, but I once passed a kidney stone. Pretty much the same thing...

Monday, January 22, 2007 6:16:00 PM  

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