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The War on Obesity and Other Stupid Ideas

Specifically, stupid ideas we see on television commercials.

by Dear Jon
May 3, 2005

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The War on Obesity and Other Stupid Ideas

Dear Jon,

With the War on Obesity escalating, how soon before President Bush starts sending troops into McDonalds' corporate headquarters?

The End Is Near
Dear End,
That will come some time in his third term, which will be shortly after certain constitutional details have been mopped up or ignored, which will happen shortly after a memo circulates through the White House written by a mid-level bureaucrat in the Justice Department.
More likely than an invasion of McDonalds' is that the President will identify a series of resort fat farms in Costa Rica and send in the 82nd Airborne. Once occupying the fat farms, he will arrange a deal with McDonalds to provide these fat farms with nutritious meals which will be flown in by helicopter. Members of the 82nd Airborne, meanwhile (those that survived the landing because their parents sent money so they could buy parachutes that actually opened), will be required to purchase fast food variety McDonalds at approximately 3.5 times the retail value in the contiguous United States.
All of these pressures, of course, with all of the sacrifices that must be made in a War on Obesity, will create premiums on vegetable oil, allowing retail fast food restaurants to gouge customers. "Blame it on Costa Rica," they will say, and we will all nod our heads in understanding, because we will have been told all about Costa Rica's secret Fat Farm Industry (FFI) which was harming the American Way of Life in foreign countries.
The sky-rocketing prices of fast food due to the Vegetable Oil Shortage will be the final blow that puts the truck-driving industry out of business. This will then be touted by President Bush as a "positive in a plus-sort of way, if you catch what I'm trying to, you know, the drift of this policy" because, as the economy snarls for lack of independent driving contractors, "the roads are safer in that they are less dangerous because of the trucks not being there."
All the while, Costa Rican nationalists (called "Terrorists" by the State Department because they oppose the American Way of Life in their own country) will be using American soldiers as target practice. This will rally civic organizations around the country, who rightly support our troops, to launch the "Buy Helmets For Our Soldiers" campaign, featuring third-graders canvassing door-to-door for spare change.

Dear Jon,

Why is it that in most TV commercials featuring married couples, the husband is generally seen as a bumbling neurotic half-wit with a huge inferiority complex, while the wife is usually the practical no-nonsense person with all the right answers who ends up simultaneously soothing and patronizing the man's sensitive ego?

Sensitive Man
Dear Man,
The answer is obvious: Art imitates life. The only pure fiction in this scenario is that a wife is soothing a husband's ego.
In most TV commercials featuring single men, single men are complete idiots.
There are those TV commercials that still appeal to the fantasy that the right beer in hand, or the right car, really will attract the gorgeous babes. Those commercials are invented by the kinds of single men who are parodied in other TV commercials, in which the right beer has nothing at all to do with anything except beer, in scenarios in which men are complete idiots.
The current fantasy commercial rage has to do with men's cologne. It is true that there are Playahs that exist in the hetero-metro crowd that seem to have everything going for them, the "mojo," including the right scent. Women flock to these men, like the Italian guy who lived across from my room in college. He dressed well and he smelled great, all the time, which more than compensated for his looking a lot like Danny Aiello.
Those fantasy lifestyles are the exceptions that prove the rule. Most guys do not have cologne on their mind until after a girl has entered their life and turned them into a project. At that point a girl wants her project of a boyfriend to smell decent when they go out so that she avoids complete humiliation.
So to have a girlfriend sitting in the dining room waiting for a televised sports event to end, who is then squeezed by a jersey-wearing guy after his team has scored, and that moment launches for her all kinds of affectionate memories, that commercial is a complete fantasy. Guys who plan an afternoon of watching televised sports with other guys in their own homes, who are wearing official team logo products, do not concern themselves with what cologne they should apply.
It is especially a fantasy if the scent of his cologne reminds her of a camping trip. It is much more likely that when he hugs her after watching a football game, his smell does indeed remind her of the way he smelled on the camping trip, and that smell will have nothing to do with cologne and it will definitely not stir up any affection.
The ultimate fantasy on televised commercials is any suggestion that a sports-watching couch potato can become a metro chick-magnet with the right beer or the right car or the right cologne. I vastly prefer those commercials that imitate real life, where sports-watching bozos, married or single, turn out to be bozos, their beers, cars, colognes, or insurance companies notwithstanding.
The best commercials on television, of course, are McDonalds. I'm loving it (while I still can).

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