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ODDS & ENDS
The TV Commercial Lesson
Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke.

by Hal Evan Caplan
September 9, 2009

My tyke is my teacher and what a wonderful teacher he is. He has mastered the art of teaching me lessons when I least expect them. As I have mentioned many times, these lessons can be presented at any time, whether I like it or not.

Kids have a tendency to just "blurt out" what they are thinking. I wish I could say that my teacher is the exception to this rule, but then again, he is only a tyke. Some television commercials use people's insecurities in order make someone feel like they need the product being advertised. Now put the two together and there's no telling what will come out of children's mouths.

My teacher has become quit a fan of the "Monster Jam" truck series. If you are not familiar with what this is, it is really large vehicles with huge wheels that smash ordinary sized cars by driving over them... literally. These "Monster Trucks" also jump high into the air from very large dirt ramps and as you could imagine, they cash as well. I have to admit, it is very entertaining. You might remember the original monster truck named "Big Foot". Big Foot is not part of the Monster Jam series, but it is the same concept. I think the names of the trucks are pretty cool too: Grave Digger, El Toro Loco, Monster Mutt, and my personal favorite Bounty Hunter.

I know I had a point here... oh, yeah, in the city we live in, this Monster Jam series is on the Speed channel. This of course is not a kid's network; therefore, the advertisements are not geared towards children.

I was upstairs in the office working when I heard my teacher yelling at the top of his lungs for me to hurry up and come downstairs. I was a little panicked from all of the commotion because this is not something that my teacher usually does. Random thoughts whirled through my head as I raced downstairs expecting to address the situation that would be thrown my way. Once I was downstairs, out of breath of course and expecting the worst, my teacher pointed in the direction of the television...

"Are you ok?" I exclaimed.
"Yes, ...look." He requested.
"Are you sure that you are not hurt?" I asked again.
"I'm not... hurry look!" He assured me.

As I stood in the living room in a crouched position with my hands on my knees, breathing hard as if I just finished playing one of my hockey games, I glanced up and looked at the TV. Let's just say that I was not pleased at what I saw. He was watching the Speed channel, and on it was one of those grow-hair-on-your-bald-spot type commercials.

Okay, hit me where it hurts, I thought to myself. I am the demographic that this TV commercial was targeting. I have a bald spot on the back on my head about the size of my palm. I just stood there shaking my head.
"The TV says it can fix your head." My teacher pointed out.
"You mean to tell me that I rushed down here for this commercial?" I roared.

Apparently, this was the beginning of the lesson that I was to learn from my teacher. I never saw it coming... as usual.

"Isn't that hill-ous"? Hilarious is what he attempted to say.
"Yeah, that's really HILL-OUS." I repeated.

Obviously, I was relieved... but come on now, this was the last thing I expected. Was my teacher is hinting that I should have hair "there"? Actually, it didn't appear to be a hint, it appeared to be direct.

"Ok, what's your point?" I asked.
"It's funny." He expressed.

"You want me to do that?" I pointed to the commercial. "Grow more hair on my bald spot?"
"No, not really." He explained.
"Then why did you scream at the top of your lungs to show me the commercial?" I questioned and a little stunned from his response.
"Because I never saw that before." He explained.
"So I'm just asking again, you don't want me to grow hair on my bald spot?" I asked.
"No." He quickly replied.
"Why not?" I questioned.

In one sentence, he wrapped up the lesson in a big red bow...

"I never want you to change... I like just how you are, Dad."

In a nutshell, the lesson that I was reminded of that day is: Be happy with who you are, and don't let anyone or some TV commercial dictate how you should look.



About the Author:
Originally from Colorado; now residing in Alabama. Hal is married and has a son. Hal loves the outdoors, especially snowboarding and plays ice hockey on a weekly basis...and of course, always learns from his son.


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