Archive for the ‘animals’ category

Jif’s “Squirrel” Commercial…

September 8, 2019

 
I would probably have long since starved to death were it not for peanut butter.  I’ve eaten it since childhood, and continue to turn to it several times a week.  At times, I even crave it; peanut butter is my go-to lunch and snack of choice when I don’t know what to eat. That being said, I indulge my guilty pleasure at home; even I may not be seen at a park, slathering peanut butter on a slice of bread.  I’ve never been known to carry a jar of peanut butter around with me; I’m just not that hard-core…

…not so the curly-haired young lady in our Jif commercial!  Seated on a park bench, she whips herself up a thickly-spread slice of peanut butter bread, only to find herself approached by a squirrel.  Aww…isn’t he cute?  Who could deny him?  So she gives him a tidbit, and is soon approached by another squirrel, then another! No good deed goes unpunished, after all.  Soon the woman is surrounded by dozens of squirrels, kinda like what happens when you feed french fries to sea gulls at the beach…

…It’s then that the commercial takes a surreal turn, for towering above the sea of squirrels is a creepy man-squirrel, wearing a squirrel mask that covers his entire head.  He, too, is seeking a hand-out, and even making beseeching squirrel-noises.  Is this a peanut butter pervert?  And what should the young lady do?  Mace him, scream for help, or try to bean him with the peanut butter jar? This question is left unanswered, but some people will go to any lengths for the product.  It’s that Jif’ing good, we’re told.  I do sympathize, honestly, sharing the addiction…

…but in my twisted mind fed by a love for horror, the question lingers;  what happens when the woman runs out of peanut butter?  Do the legion of squirrels and their squirrel-headed human-sized leader decide that the lady might be tasty, too?  A few pounce on her to take a tentative nibble, and soon she is writhing under a blanket of them…Aieee! (The screen fades to black as we hear squirrels chittering…the Day of the Squirrel is at hand!)

 

“Cats;” Two Paws Up…

July 21, 2019


  

“Cats,” the movie version based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical upcoming in December of 2019, promises to be one of those things that you will either love, or passionately hate.  Previously the studio had released little information about the film other than that it was coming out in December.  A trailer is now available of the film, and reactions run to polarizing extremes with either praise or excoriation .

“This is not a cat,” huffs one, “this is an abomination!”  Other descriptions have included the terms horrifying and terrifying.  Why, you may ask, do some people freak out so badly over the early images from Cats?  The answer might lie in the fact that they are not comfortable with the idea of anthropomorphic animals, which in this case involves a blend of live action and CGI animation.  The cats in Cats have human mouths, teeth, and lips blended in with their furry faces along with human hands, and this seems to creep some people out to no end.  Some of the cats wear clothing and others do not, with the female felines who do not showing breast swellings.  The cats also have tails that move and sway, which seems to have phallic connotations for some viewers.  Anthropomorphic representations of the animal characters also seemed to disturb viewers of the Sonic (the Hedgehog) movie.

Those things being said, the cats of Cats move with ballet-like feline grace and are quite engaging once disbelief and initial astonishment is suspended; they show distinct personalities and a variety of moods.  The cats are shrunk down to their appropriate proportional size in their environments, and are not human-sized even if bearing some human features.  The cast is stellar, and includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, and even Ian McKellan…yes, the actor who played Magneto is playing a cat!  When Jennifer Hudson opens up with her powerhouse voice to sing Memories, time seems to stand still.

I’m hardly objective about all of this, being a furry myself.  I could fit easily into this world, but I can understand the discomfort of those who cannot.  This is entertainment, after all…consider it as something different, not as an affront to reality; you may like it, and it might even grow on you.  Cats the movie is likely to be a big hit for the holidays, with viewers likely to love it, hate it, or simply shrug and say, “that was weird.” Such was the reaction to the original musical, which ultimately became wildly popular.  A tale based upon anthropomorphic cats who sit about introducing themselves until one of them dies is weird by nature, and likely to provoke fur-vor on both sides…

Colonel Chester…

July 10, 2019

The iconic KFC founder and spokesman Colonel Sanders has enjoyed a lively if bizarre post-mortem career, melding into Robocop, being portrayed by Reba McEntire, and even tripping the light fantastic with Mrs.Butterworth.  Now the Colonel has morphed once again to be portrayed by Chester Cheetah, retaining the original’s trademark white suit, beard, and tie.  Frankly, this spokes-cat wears the garb well!

And so it comes to pass that Cheetos mascot Chester Cheetah becomes Colonel Chester to mark the launch of a new Cheetos Sandwich, even skateboarding in his commercial outing.  The popular anthropomorphic mascot is but the latest in a kind of rotating spokesperson concept for the franchise.  Time will tell if he continues to be “dangerously cheesy…

  

 

 

 

The Ozark Howler…

June 7, 2019

The Ozark Howler as profiled on In Search of Monsters (Season 1, Episode 10, the Travel Channel) ranges in the dense forests of the Ozark mountains, and is a large feline-type creature traditionally described as having black fur and horns, and equipped with razor-sharp claws and teeth. In some accounts, he also sports glowing red eyes, with which it can give a “death stare.”  In spite of this, there are no reports of a Howler attack on people!  As his name would suggest, the Howler has a cry described as unsettling, uncanny, and terrifying.  A family in Missouri has recorded this cry, and it can’t be identified.  Some speculate that the loud and focused cry is a form of communication between other members of the species, suggesting that there is more than one individual member.

Game camera images also exist supposedly of the creature, images which a wildlife expert could not identify.  In 2015, other photos of an unidentified, horned creature were also taken that could not be identified (below).  These images appear to be of a smaller, less terrifying creature, and some regard them to be photoshopped although the photographer adamantly denies this.

The history of the Howler gets interesting, with witches known to have been active in the Ozarks once upon a time, and one such witch reputed to have had a horned familiar.  Is the Howler then a supernatural entity created by witchcraft?!  None less than Daniel Boone in 1810 described shooting and wounding a black, horned creature.  More mundane speculation is that the Howler is a black mountain lion, leopard, or jaguar.  Winters in the Ozarks are judged to be too harsh for a leopard or jaguar to survive, however…

The Ozark Howler should not be confused with the Midnight Rambler, which was a Rolling Stones song not heard often enough. As my mind moves in strange directions, however, I can imagine myself visited by the Midnight Rambler, a terrifying late-night cryptid who arrives uninvited and engages in pointless conversation when you only want to sleep. “Just get to the point, dammit…either that or kill me and end my misery, OK?,” I pleaded. (What passed for a grin moved momentarily across The Rambler’s face. He fed off human misery, and had no intention of ending my suffering.)  “Let me tell you about what I had for lunch yesterday,” he began as I pounded my head against the wall, and prayed for the sweet release of death that would escape me…

 

“Meet the Best of Geico Winner” Commercial

June 3, 2019


  
Most of the great ones are here…the most iconic Geico spokesmen, that is, in a recent commercial set in their makeup trailer!  We briefly see the Gecko, the squirrels, the sloth, the Caveman (“Let’s do the eyebrows first”), and the contest winner, Kathleen.  But where is the Camel, it’s asked?

“Mr. Big Shot’s got his own trailer,” bitterly answers the Caveman, and we cut to that location, where we see the Camel in the lap of luxury, receiving the ministrations of two makeup artists while he sips on a lemonade and Alonzo Vasquez’s Rollout tune pumps.  Even Joe Camel of cigarette fame never had it this good! – – Ahh, being Number One has its privileges!

The Slowskys in, “Snail Mail”

June 1, 2019



It’s good to see The Slowskys again, especially with Bill Jr. growing up so fast!  Parents Bill and Karolyn continue to live life in the slow lane, loving drip coffee, lay-overs, and being put on hold; heck, they even get snail mail, delivered by an authentic snail!  With today’s posting comes the message that they’ve been invited to a Y2K party, to which Bill Jr. quips, “Wasn’t that like 20 years ago?”

“Oh look, Karolyn, we’ve got a mathematician on our hands,” grouses the father turtle in the Xfinity commercial.- – Ahh, the impetuousness of youth!  Young Bill Jr. is a modern, with-it kinda reptile, however, sporting his headphones and backwards-turned ball cap and tapping away on his Xfinity powered cell phone.  This is a turtle of today’s generation who’s on the move, and headed to the future…

Sierra Trading Post Squirrels; “Too Soon!”

May 2, 2019

Our Sierra Trading Post commercial begins with two chubby squirrels with human faces sitting on a rock presumably in a park, one of them holding a nut, and city skyscrapers visible in the background.  Two human joggers go past them, and they pause to admire their outfits, which it’s speculated were bought at Sierra. The male squirrel remarks that he used to jog, and the female chortles, “You never jogged!”  The male persists that he did, but had to stop when his Uncle Scruff apparently had a less than favorable encounter with a vehicle.  “I’m going to go across the street today,” ventures the male.  They both scream in a shrill fashion…

“Scruff had no sense of direction,” remarks the female squirrel.  ” Too soon!,” replies the male.  Epic brands…vast selection…Teeny-tiny prices, like our squirrels…Sierra!  RIP, Uncle Scruff…

(tip o’ the pen to Cary Comic for alerting me to this one!)