June 7th, 2007


Voicebox Pitchman In Bunyan Country

If the phone rings off the hook today like it did yesterday, I will kill somebody.

Should the opportunity arise and any of you are thinking of making the trip out to New York, be prepared to see a lot of bunions. Bunions bunions bunions, everywhere there's bunions. Because everybody who lives in New York HAS bunions except for the millions of doctors who treat them and advertise on subways and in newspapers with disgusting pictures of bunioned feet before/after shots where the After is equally as disgusting as the Before because not only does everyone in New York have bunions, but also really fucking nasty-looking feet. So, be prepared for that. And don't question why you see these little nail salons every five feet when you walk through the shitty neighborhoods. People here NEED them, all right?

Do you think Paul Bunyan ever suffered ... that is to say, is that how he got his name?

It is my firm opinion that there aren't enough cartoons featuring Scottish accents. Not that that has anything to do with anything, but I believe that with the end of Duck Tales, indeed so ended the last bastion for children looking to attain some Scottish culture. I mean, where else are you gonna see a kilt? OR a giant bin filled with gold coins ... by the way, have you ever tried to swim in a bin full of gold coins? Very tough on the joints.

But, I'm not here to talk about that. No, I'm here to talk about this advertising campaign - I'm pretty sure it is exclusive to New York City, but if it's not then you might know what I'm talking about.

It's this ... Latino, and he's walking around talking about all the things he used to love to do - like swimming and baseball umpiring and the like - but he can no longer do them because he's forced to breath through a hole in his neck and use a voicebox to talk. It's either an anti-smoking ad or he's going around selling voiceboxes, I can't decide. Anyway, first of all, I have to say that it would be SO COOL to have a baseball umpire who used a voicebox. How hilarious would it be to hear his robot-like, "He's Out!" And whenever a manager ran out to argue a call, to see him toe-to-toe with Voicebox Umpire Man doing the whole barking-head motion with one hand on his hip and the other manning the voicebox while he says in his most intimidating robot-like voice, "That's Not What Your Wife Said Last Night!"

But, really, what I take offense with is the fact that these commercials think we're all idiots. Riddle me this: if you smoke so much that they have to gouge a hole in your throat, that probably means you smoked A LOT. And we're supposed to believe that this guy, who's old, who's out of shape, and who smoked like a train, was spending all this time swimming and umpiring baseball games and doing God knows what else? Pretty active for a man with half a lung. I'm waiting for the commercial where he's standing on the side of a crowded street saying through his voicebox, "Theess ees the New York Marathon. I used to run in theess. Eet was something I loved to do but now I cannot because I have to breathe through a hole."

Which brings me to one of the coolest exchanges I've seen in a while, in a David Lynch-directed episode of Twin Peaks:

When did you start smoking?
-- I smoke every once in a while; it helps relieve tension.
When did you get so tense?
-- When I started smoking.