Monday, May 12, 2008

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Mastercard Losing Touch, Smoothies without Straws, and Bagel Conundrums

I know, I know, we're all excited to get to the "conundrum" aspect of the post, but settle down and let's ease into it with some talk about the latest Mastercard ads.

Mastercard Losing Touch:
I sort of stopped paying attention to the mastercard ads when they come on tv. I mean, they've been doing the same schtick for years now, and while I'm all for the "priceless" campaign, I just don't pay as much attention as I used to. Plus, the last commercial I watched of theirs involved those confusing knives from the kitchen, and that was just odd.

Over the weekend, however, I heard a snippet of one which drew my attention to the tv. They said, "a burger and fries...four dollars." Four dollars? Try eight dude, and that's only if you're getting fast food! Is mastercard really shopping the dollar menu on this commercial? I don't think so. What I think is that they have finally lost touch with what things cost and have started phoning in their commercials. I started thinking back over previous commercials. "Two tickets to the game...fifty dollars." At the time, I hadn't thought twice about it, but now, that Dad and kid were sitting like twenty rows off first base! At a near sold out baseball game, in a major market stadium! There's no way he got those tickets for less than 80 dollars. On the other side of the spectrum is this commercial where they say, "Lasagna noodles, ground beef, cheese, vegetables...forty-seven dollars. Having a backup plan...priceless," and the lady's buying a Stouffer's frozen lasagna. First of all, she only buys like 8 items, and the most expensive one is probably a 5 dollar thing of ground beef. HOW THE HELL IS SHE SPENDING FORTY-SEVEN DOLLARS? Is she asking for a case of cigarettes from behind the counter? Is she the least thrifty shopper ever and purchasing her groceries at "Triple Mark Up Mart?" In this case, Mastercard showed that it might be clever, but it doesn't cook for a family of four. Another thing about this specific commercial that I don't get is that she buys a frozen lasagna as a backup plan-- like from the "lunch in your cubicle" aisle. So if her lasagna, which it's five simple ingredients somehow goes horribly wrong (presumably this woman doesn't have her shit together and her children and husband are constantly demanding she be in other rooms out of ear-shot from the oven timer), she plans on busting out a flavorless, dry and wet in all the wrong places, monstrosity for her family to eat instead? That commercial should be those lasagna ingredients and the phone number for the local pizza place. And when the checkout guy asked why I'd put down a phone number, I'd say I didn't know, why did the other woman in the commercial place the frozen lasagna several feet behind her other ingredients on the converyor belt?

Am I off topic? I never know. I'll just summarize here by saying that Mastercard needs to get its head back in the game. There. Fin.

Smoothies without Straws:
Have you ever tried to "drink" a smoothie without a straw? Because I was forced to the other day, and holy crap is it a terrible idea. When smoothies are coming at you through a straw, you feel in control, you feel healthy, and you feel socially at ease. When you try and drink smoothies without a straw, things change dramatically. Instead of feeling healthy, you feel like the laziest, fattest beast on the planet-- gripping your glass of food sludge and tilting it so it oozes into your awaiting maw. Sure, ordering a drink consisting of peanut butter, bananas, yogurt, soy milk, and maybe some chocolate seems totally ok, but try WATCHING IT as the thick conglomerate of bulk descends from the bottom of your cup towards your face and all you'll be able to think is, "ME WANT FOOD SLUDGE NOOOOW!" It's gross. The next thing that changes is your control of the situation. Instead of being able to suck at your straw, you have that cascade of semi-solids. When that cascade hits the breaking point (and you won't know when it is), the whole mass rushes at you like a protein avalanche, landing in your mouth, but also your eyes, you cheeks, your nose, and if you have facial hair, there to. None of this contributes especially well to the socially acceptable aspect of the experience. Once you are sans straw, you've broken the social contract, and others will invariably stare, gape, and mock you. "Look at that fatty, suckin' at the bottom of his drink! He needs more of it than a straw permits all at once!" Branded.

Bagel Conundrum:
My world changed this morning when I bit into my bagel, thinking it was the bottom half, only to learn that it was the top. Now maybe this isn't a big deal to you, but after years of experience, I simply fell into the routine of eating the bottom half first and the top half second. This is because the top half has most of the crap on it and I want to save that for the end. It's not rocket science--

(incidentally, I was talking about rocket science with someone yesterday, or more accurately, talking about the phrase "he's no rocket scientist" and mentioned that I'm surprised the phrase still has the same gravity as it's always had. I mean, our most public rocket scientists, those who work at NASA for outter space rockets, have been batting somewhere around Andruw Jones' 2007 numbers. Yeah, they hit a few home runs along the way, but overall, they're hitting abotu .200 and having trouble getting on base. Unfortunately for NASA, every year is a contract year when it comes to their budget. So I'm surprised that we haven't started saying things like, "Yeah, that guy's a rocket scientist-- he's had a few good ideas, but he's just not reliable." Or something like, "Yeah, we fired him-- he was a total rocket scientist.")

--and so I felt confident in my bagel eating ways. This morning, however, I bit into the "wrong" half of a bagel and was completely rewarded with immediate deliciousness. By the time I got to the bottom half, I was so saited from the top half that I didn't even notice the difference. So my question to you is, "WHICH HALF?" Which half do you eat first? How do you justify it? Have your tastes and routines adjusted over the years? And don't be one of those a-holes that says, "I eat my bagels cut in half width-wise, so I get both at once," because that's just asinine and I won't stand for it. Help me in my hour of need.

That Witz Makes Rocket Scientists Look Good,

1 comment:

momula said...

Back when I used to eat bagels, I would eat the top part first, exactly because of the reason you discovered - it tastes better than the bottom half. Not rocket science. Not even paper airplane science. However, I don't eat bagels anymore - they're way too fattening. I eat low-fat, whole-wheat english muffins now; not as good as bagels, but still an excellent delivery vehicle for peanut butter.... no preference for top or bottom first. There's a structural difference in english muffins, but no taste difference.