Saturday, October 08, 2005
Requesting an End to the Conversation
Here's a longstanding pet peeve I have. It's when you tell the person on the other end of the phone that you have to go because something is unexpectedly demanding your immediate attention, and the other person just doesn't get it and keeps the conversation going. Examples:
1. You: "Oh, hey - pizza guy's here. I gotta go."
Other person: "Oh yeah? Pizza? That sounds good! What kinda pizza?"
2. You: "Oh, okay - gotta hang up - the movie's starting."
Other person: "All right. But hey, before you go, what are we doing on Friday?"
3. You: "Oh, hey - that's my dad on the other line - I gotta go."
Other person: "Yeah? Hey how is your dad by the way?"
This really pisses me off. This is a simple cue to get off the phone. Obvious, perfectly commonplace, perfectly understandable. And your friend ignores it. More than once I've been tempted to just stop everything, ignore whatever it is that's pulling me off the phone, and just give my complete attention to the caller, confronting him squarely about his failure to let me off the phone, engaging him in lengthy conversation about it, refusing to change the subject, until I've reduced him to whimpering and tears.
There is only one response to "X just happened, I have to go." and it's "Oh! Okay! Talk to you later." That's it. You either say that sentence, or you are an ass. Maybe there'd be an exception if your caller could somehow trump your emergency with something even more important, but that would be rare.
Orange Juice Commercials Posing as Public Service Announcements
We're all familiar with ads from the Beef Board or the American Dairy Council, where they promote, uh, beef. And dairy. It's all good. I like a nonspecific commercial for "beef". "Beef, it's what's for dinner." That's nice. All commercials should be like that. "Slippers. Warm, comfortable - go out and get a pair." ... "Paper. You know you need more." etc.
But the orange juice people have gone too far. The one thing you're not supposed to do with these ads is get brand specific. What the juice people do is make it look like it's some kind of health department public service announcement. They have a smooth voiced announcer telling you about rising cholesterol and the risks of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. In the background are jogging people and heartbeat-monitor graphics and lab coat types holding test tubes, and it looks very official. And then they get to the point. "Studies have shown that drinking a glass of Minute Maid orange juice every day lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease."
Hold the phone. Who gives a damn what brand of orange juice it is? Were the "studies" brand specific? Did the studies show that if you drank Tropicana orange juice instead then you were "Screwed, man. Screwed."
Now if it was an explicit Minute Maid juice ad then I wouldn't care. But this thing is masquarading as some kind of objective health announcement. The first 15 seconds of this ad had me convinced that this doctor really cared about me and my cholesterol. I was ready to take his advice. But no doctor telling you to drink orange juice would mention a brand preference. He's giving the game away. He's not a doctor, he's a Minute Maid house monkey.
The Minute Maid ad is fairly new. For years it was "Pure Florida Orange Juice", leaving me wondering why it was so important that the oranges come from Florida. Trying to make it sound like there was no health benefit unless it was a Florida orange. Bah!
What the Hell is This Thing?
I mean, I've seen this object dozens of times in commercials my whole life. Apparantly its purpose is to gently apply small dollops of honey to things. Has this thing ever been spotted in real life? Does a person buy one of these when he's not satisfied with just spooning honey into his oatmeal - he feels the need to turn it into a slow, fetish-like ritual? I think we need Martha Stewart to settle this one.