I am the youngest person in Port St. Lucie ! This place is Heaven’s Waiting Room. Downtown looks like a Halloween parade. We are watching the N.Y. Mets flail about furiously trying to play baseball. “Wait till next year” is already the fantasy heard around the stadium.
I have a really nasty cold that is not going away. Even reading isn’t something I want to do right now. So I’ve had the TV going…and talk about pain ! Three of those two minute Bowflex exercise commercials in a row crunched into my TV tonight. One of them is all you should be allowed to watch without a note from your doctor. Don’t get me wrong… I exercise. Every morning when I wake up, I go up down, up down, up down…then I do the same thing with the other eyelid.
Actually…I do push ups most days…and I ride my bike…because like most Louie-Louie generation guys… I don’t want to get any fatter than necessary. It is guys like me who are the reason that Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation often says…”All god’s children are not beautiful. In fact some of us are just barely cute.” Big Louie also says, “If you must work out…you ought to do it early in the morning before your brain can figure out what you’re doing.” And as usual, he’s right.
I did morning D.J. shows in New York and Boston…so, I know you can do lots of stuff before your brain wakes up. People often use coffee to wake their brains up in the morning. But most of them don’t do it properly. To wake up your brain really fast, don’t drink your coffee…just pour it in your lap. That does it every time.
I bet the Bowflex machine isn’t nearly as exhausting as those damn two minute long commercials. I do television commercials for a living. I try to make them as short, simple, and interesting as I can. Because like you, I detest TV commercials.
I especially hate the TV commercials with the voice over guys who have the snarling voices that sound like they’re really saying…”Buy this product…or me and a bunch of other very ugly guys will come over to your house at 4 am and look in your bedroom window.”
And oh do I hate the screamers. You want to kill them by stuffing a pillow into their mouths, and holding it over their noses for a few minutes while you’re at it.
Then there’s the pretty, perky young woman with the phone headset telling you, “If you call right now without even taking the time to think about it or change your underwear, you’ll also get three extra widgets and the title to the state of Minnesota.”
The ad agency guys talk about you in the control room when you’re doing a commercial voice over. You can see them, but you can’t hear what they’re saying. So I used to try to read their lips. But I stopped. Because it usually looked like they were saying…”Who hired him. Oh my God what are we going to do.” But then when they hit the talkback button on the mic, they always say…”Hey…that was great…really great. But let’s try it again, and this time try to make it sound more like George Clooney.”
One time my agent sent me on an audition, and he said, “you’ve really got this made…they want somebody who sounds like Dick Summer.” But when I got there, the casting guy who had never met Dick Summer, hit the talk back mike and said “Hey, that was great…really great…but this time try to make it sound more like Henry Fonda.” That was before anybody ever heard of George Clooney. Bottom line was that a guy by the name of Jonathan Schwartz got the commercial for which they wanted somebody who sounds like Dick Summer. He must have sounded more like Henry Fonda than I do.
Some of the networks are now stuffing so many commercials into their programs that you can completely lose track of what’s going on in the program. Most of the commercials in an hour of TV run in the last forty minutes of that hour. They’re trying to manipulate the audience ratings by doing that. And they are succeeding beyond their wildest imaginations. There’s almost no audience watching at all after that last twenty minutes full of commercials.
That’s why now there’s the DVR ! Digital Video Recorder. The TiVo. The idiots running TV have now greed-ied things up so badly by selling so many commercials that we’ve figured out a way to never have to watch commercials again. That’ll fix them. And me too I guess.
My neighbor Steve knows I do TV commercials. We don’t like each other. It probably won’t be long until he starts pointing his TiVo remote at me if we meet on the street.
I did some of the first TV commercials for the panty hose that came in a packaging that I could never figure out…it was a plastic egg. That made sense only if you consider that Hugh Hefner’s Bunnies would look good delivering them at Easter. Those commercials were pretty risqué stuff in those days. And for a short and wonderful time, those panty hose commercials must have kind of type cast me, because then I did a bunch of commercials for Cross Your Heart bras. Those were really interesting recording sessions.
We now have commercials for “erectile disfunction.” That description is a major achievement…a milestone…in the development of the English language. Erectile disfunction. They nicknamed it, E.D. I call it, “ED’s Disease,” which does not sit well with my buddy Ed. I can think of three things we used to call it when I was a kid…and I’ll bet you can too. And how come we see lots of commercials for erectile disfunction, but we don’t see any for condoms ? I thought we were supposed to be “fair and balanced.”
Vasectomy is another word which can be considered an important development in the formation of the English language. My Lady Wonder Wench had her horse vasectomized. But vasectomy isn’t a word they use in connection with a horse. She called it having the horse “fixed.” Interestingly, when he heard about it, our son Eric said, “That’s not having him fixed that’s having him broken”…and he’s right.
I suppose we actually needed a word like vasectomy, because there are those of us who feel we have passed enough of our genes down to the next generation. But no Louie-Louie Generation guy I know would ever go to be fixed, spayed or broken.
It is impossible to explain to a woman how guys feel about things that threaten our viagral parts. As a joke…sort of…I frequently told the guys at the stable where my Lady Wonder Wench kept her horse that they will never know when I will show up in my little airplane…and they better keep their hands off Lady W.W. or I will perform a vasectomy on them with my propeller. We always enjoyed a nice laugh together about that, but then the next day, I got to do all the laughing, because I used to fly low and buzz the barn and watch them scatter.
I’m looking forward to getting over this cold in the very near future, because you shouldn’t fly if you’ve got a cold, and if I don’t get up in the air again soon, I’m going to start breaking out.
My Lady Wonder Wench likes flying with me. And when she’s riding in our little airplane, running the radios for me, I call her my Prop-Chick.
There’s a story about L. W. Wench’s Prop-Chick-Hood in the current podcast. It’s called, The Lady Wonder Wench Ski Fantasy. Give it a listen. It’s commercial free.