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Weekly Column by Andy Grieser
Column by Andy Grieser

September 27, 2002

Aaaaaand we're back. Sorry about the hiatus, but I had absolutely nothing new to say the week of Sept. 11, and last weekend the Sunshine Girl and I were visiting friends in New York City.

The mail delivered while we were gone included the latest Entertainment Weekly — hey, it makes for easy reading at the gym. I was surprised at the headline: Stephen King Tells Why He's Written His Last Book. Whuh? I knew the man was retiring, but I figured he had a Dark Tower novel or two left.

As it turns out, he does. The seventh and final DT novel is still in the works. In fact, he specifically says late in the article that he plans to keep writing — but never release the books publicly. In other words, the headline was blatantly untrue.

I know, I know, shock and horror that a mag like EW would breathlessly gasp out a headline in a cynical attempt to get folks to pick it up. But I've seen more and more just downright awful advertising lately, as if companies are desperate to lure consumers into buying their wares. Yeah, consumer confidence isn't as high as we'd like, but I can safely say there's a whole lotta consumin' goin' on.

You know which ad pisses me off the most right now? That stupid Bud Light Stranger spot. It's the one where the hot redhead calls her (of course doofy-looking) boyfriend with this incredibly mangled message: When someone gets home tonight, someone should be wearing a naughty French maid's outfit, a blonde wig, and holding a six-pack of Bud Light. That's verbatim. (Thank you,

Holy Lord, that's some convoluted sentence construction. Who talks like that? I mean, really, who talks like that? Oh, wait, it's funny because it gets doofy boyfriend into a French maid's outfit. Upon seeing this, the hot redhead slams her door in his face. Honey? I've spoken English all my life, and your sentence explicitly states that the boy should be dressed up. You're obviously at home already, so the someone can only refer to him.

Dudes, writing a beer commercial ain't hard. But some ad exec slapped together that insult to rudimentary intelligence and it made it onto TV. (I will be amused to no end should someone involved in that production contact me and insist that no, their friends and/or lovers all talk in such pronoun-heavy, deliberately misleading sentences.)

The commercial also continues the trend of rock-dumb male characters. The same guy who played Doofy has played many such stereotypes (and of course always has a hot, hot girlfriend — in one case by A&W, he's horribly offensive yet has a hot wife). See, men are bewildered by the role of fatherhood, and also cannot touch the over without billows of smoke floating out. Ha! Thank God for pizza places and frozen food and women who arrive just in time to rescue the obviously mentally deficient men they nevertheless married and bore children for.

Okay, one more deserves my wrath this time: There's a city college here in Chicago with a radio spot that just drives me crazy. A deep voice claims the folks who write product warning labels must not be graduates of said college, and then goes to on list some really duh-worthy warnings. Hey, college dudes? Those warnings are there because morons — quite possibly including your own students — did stoopid things and then sued for damages or something. By blaming it on the folks who write the labels, you've just shown me how deficient your own teaching is.

Wow, I feel better now. That'll last until, oh, the next time I turn on the TV or radio. Can I go be a hermit now?



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