Archive for the ‘absurdities’ category

“Frozen Aisle” Aspen Dental Commercial…

July 4, 2018


While visions of Hell usually emphasize a hot, burning place, horror can be found in many locations, and the image of a dentist emerging from a freezer case to snatch someone back into its unspeakable depths suffices nicely.  Like this dentist, the emissaries of the netherworld can also be charmingly seductive…

Our Aspen Dental commercial begins with a woman and her self-absorbed hubby prowling the aisles of a generic supermarket while she complains about having to pay for her dental services, whether or not she’s happy with them. “There has to be an easier way,” mutters hubby, his eyes never leaving his paper.

Thus summoned, the dentist rolls out of the adjoining freezer case, complete with frost and icicles on his body and dental chair…chilling!  While the woman gawks and hubby continues to read his paper, the dentist from a frozen hell begins his spiel.  “If you’re looking for easy, look no further,” he advises as he tells the woman of Aspen’s money-back policy on dentures.  Next the woman is happily in the frosty dental chair; “That’s pretty easy!,” giggles the woman. “Easy said, easy done!” agrees the dentist as they are retracted back into the freezer case which closes. – –Abandon all hope,  ye who enter here?

Clueless hubby finally looks up from his paper, obviously totally unaware of where his wife is or what has just gone on.  I’m sure that those of us who are in or once were in a relationship can relate…

Janice Buys A House…

April 27, 2018

“Cycling is my passion!,” declares Janice, sister of Progressive insurance’s arch sales rep, Flo.  The trouble is, sister Janice isn’t terribly passionate about anything, like so many today.  Peddling her exercise bike at a snail’s pace while chewing gem and taking “selfies,” Janice maintains that she is “blasting her quads.”  So when disturbingly perky and intensely focused sister Flo appears at Janice’s house in her trademark white uniform to push the notion of using Progressive’s Home Code Explorer feature, Janice can only complain that Flo is ruining her workout, finding all kinds of reasons not to look at Flo’s presentation.  “I’m in a meeting!,” she contends as she scrolls idly through her phone.- – Isn’t technology wonderful, keeping us all connected?  One can hardly fault Janice for giving Flo the brush-off.

There’s a little bit of trendy Janice’s self-defeating absurdities in many of us, or at least we may know someone somewhat like her.  If not, Flo’s dysfunctional family resonates in the American psyche…and actress Stephanie Courtney has played Flo in over 100 commercials, together with all the members of her fictitious “family…”

(Aside:  This blog has been quietly converted to a paid plan, which means ***No Commercials*** for you, valued readers, and a few other bells, whistles, and shiny things...)

The Aspen Dentist At Large…

April 19, 2018

The Aspen Dentist is ubiquitous, appearing in his crisp white clinical dental jacket in such locales as a beauty salon, a carnival, a garage, a frozen food aisle, and a restaurant.  The man has emerged from a sarcophagus, for cripes sake!  In some of his commercials, he is even whisked through the setting on a motorized reclining dental chair!  I am forced to consider that he may be some kind of trans-dimensional being, appearing as he does on multiple planes of reality unrelated to dentistry.  The dreaded dental chair is some kind of conveyance, like the Silver Surfer’s surfboard.  Or perhaps he is an alien, trying to disarm our suspicions as he operates from a flawed and troubling model of what his kind believes constitutes normal human behavior.  You have been warned…call Fox Mulder while there’s still time!

Parallels may be made to Progressive Insurance’s “Flo,” who is also in the world while not of it.  Flo and the dentist are disturbing approximations of reality, tuned to another wavelength entirely different from that of we mundanes.  There’s something not quite right about them.  Perhaps there’s even a hint of madness conveyed, dancing beneath the surface.  One should not approach or stare too closely, or perhaps you may be pulled into one of their parallel universes, never again to emerge, at least with your sanity intact.  Maybe the dentist is here to harvest our tooth enamel…or perhaps in the afterlife, the Almighty will intone, “Tsk, tsk…you really should have taken better care of your teeth!”  Is the Highway to Hell like the road to gum disease?!  At Foxsylvania, we dare to ask such questions…

So open wide, and no matter how you brush or floss, you’re doing it wrong.  And how do you wish to pay for today’s services?- – With your soul?, ahahahaha!  


Aspen Dental “Sarcophagus” Ad…

February 8, 2018

What’s creepier than a dentist appearing out of a huge golden sarcophagus in an ancient Egyptian artifacts museum?

Not a heck of a lot, really.  In a recent Aspen Dental commercial, it seems that a man and his wife are walking through an Egyptian museum puzzling over insurance coverage for dentistry when they approach an enormous gilded mummy case.  The lid slides open with fog rolling out, revealing an Aspen dentist, clad in his white clinical jacket.  The dude even has a dental chair in his body box, and explains how Aspen will work directly with insurance providers to make things easier.  The visiting male is somehow transported on to the dental chair…someone fetch the Egyptian Book of the Dead, quickly!

“If easy is wrong, I don’t want to be right!,” comments the dentist as both he and his unwitting patient descend into the sarcophagus.  The lid slides closed, leaving the hapless woman crying out to her husband.  We mentally process this surreal scene…is this what happens to you if you’ve led an evil life?  Ra moves in mysterious ways…

…perhaps Anubis was into dentistry, or maybe this is just one vision of hell, I dunno.  Perhaps this is how King Tut bought the farm, or maybe he died so young from gum disease.  Such things are beyond the comprehension of a simple woodlands creature like myself.  But speaking of hell, I go to the dentist next month…

Ernie the Elephant…

November 27, 2017


One of the latest commercial pitch-beasts is Ernie the Elephant, voiced by John Cena.  Although a fish out of water or elephant away from the jungle, Ernie is strangely at home everywhere, and would be infinitely more affable as a symbol of the Republican Party than the sitting American president.  

Now Ernie prefers pistachios to peanuts, and touts them for the Wonderful Pistachio company at a variety of sites including a ball field (above) and even in an elevator where he’s set off a weight sensor alarm. Ernie regards pistachios as a healthy snack, which he relates to be important in a age of unrealistic body images; ain’t it the truth! Nothing says healthy snack more than an elephant with saggy gray skin and a ton of junk in the trunk, apparently.

Elephants in commercials are rare, with the icon for Elephant Insurance being the other exemplar who comes to mind.  Ernie is far more laid back, however, and if you have to have an elephant in the living room, I’d rather that it be this easy-going guy.  In my mad world I’d love to see a cross-over series with cgi animal characters such as Ernie, Chester Cheeto, and the milk-that-messes-with-you cow from the Lactaide commercials…now that’s entertainment!



Seen This “Cheeky Monkey?”

September 12, 2017

Better known for voicing Shrek and creating Austin Powers, comedian Mike Myers creates another Brit Tommy Maitland in the ABC network revival of The Gong Show.  Shown here with a furry act, Myers/Maitland is the flamboyant host of the series, strutting on stage each episode wearing a matador’s hat to the punchy notes of a killer band.  

While non-existent, Tommy Maitland is reportedly a beloved 72-year-old British comedian with a long history of career successes.  A small British flag and a picture of a younger Queen Elizabeth adorn a table on the set.  Performing in deep makeup, Myers as Maitland presents and champions each act before sending them off for a “nice cup of tea” and another reward which varies.  The “presenter” frequently mimics or mocks each act with props and exaggerated expressions during their performance.

This inner joke within a spoof can be quite a hoot, or Snax the Rabbit as the case may be.  And by the way, the proper reply to the question of “Who’s a cheeky monkey?” is a resounding response of, “YOU ARE!”  

And in closing, we pose the questions:

…Isn’t Snax a great name for a rabbit?

…Aren’t we all Cheeky Monkeys, at least some of the time?  

 

The Trump Rat…

August 16, 2017

 

What’s orange, inflatable, fifteen feet tall, and full of hot air? – – Why, the Trump Rat, of course!  Now, Donald Trump has been depicted as a variety of anthropomorphic animals, including a rooster.  The Trump Rat, however, shows uncommon attention to detail.  In addition to the trademark hair, there’s also the pursed lips, the red tie, and in a whimsical touch, Confederate-flag cuff links!  

The Trump Rat was positioned a short distance from Trump Tower when The Donald retreated to New York, and has become a popular site for tourist selfies.  Its creator was supposedly inspired by a particularly revolting rat that he spotted in New York City some time ago. The windbag is supposedly poised to travel to other locations, at times shadowing Trump himself.  

I would hasten to add that normally rodent-human hybrids have a proud and respectable heritage, with Mickey Mouse, The Secret of NIMH rats, and Fivel of An American Tail but several examples that come to mind…