Virtual Surreality #26
September 2001
Still No Slogan

Virtual Surreality, Actual Stupidity

  1. TV Commercial: It's morning in America, a somewhat youthful but middle-aged model-like guy is washing up and then trying on different outfits, casual, dressy, formal, Hawaiian, etc. The voice-over says something like "today's the day. Today's the day you're going to take control, etc". After a dozen outfits, the guy decides on khakis, dress shirt, sport coat, and tie, but later takes off the tie in his HIV (or is that SUV? I always get it confused). The guy can't even take control of his wardrobe, he's going to take control of his life?

    What could all this anxious preparation be for? A job interview, a first date, a first time meeting future in-laws? Turns out that the guy is going to his doctor to find out about Viagra. If this guy has to try on numerous outfits just to see his doctor, Viagra ain't gonna solve his problems.


  2. As I was throwing darts one night, I hear this at the end of a local news show, "Closed captioning provided for OUR VIEWERS", with extra punch on OUR VIEWERS. Duh, who else would they be providing it for?


  3. The local independent supermarket is very proud of its slogan and has two signs proclaiming, "Serving our customers, one at a time". How else is a supermarket going to serve customers? Spray cold cuts with a Gatling gun? Shoot canned goods with a bunch of baseball pitching machines?


  4. My bank's slogan, printed on all their materials, is "Success is confidence. We can help get you there". Ignoring the disturbing Orwellian imagery, what the hell does that mean?

    The sign at the bank's commercial window says "For your convenience, window hours Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. No Saturday hours". No Saturday hours, wow that is convenient! Now I have more time to enjoy my confidence.


  5. At the Camden Riversharks game recently, the same bank has a sign on the scoreboard: "They're your team. That's why you're here. You're our kind of fan. That's why we're here". You like sloppy minor league baseball so you'll love a sloppy minor league bank? Who thinks up that treacle?

    Another sign at the same ballpark, this one is for Acme Markets. "It's your store. It's our team". I dare anyone to find any logical meaning in those two sentences.


  6. This all reminds of some forgotten small business back in the '80s which came up with the slogan "servicing you with quality since 1983". Sometime back in the '80s some boob decided that servicing people sounded more professional then serving them. Actually a bunch of people as I saw that service was quickly replacing the word serve. Twenty years later, Orwellian Imagery may well be a step up from Penthoussian imagery.

    "Dear Penthouse, stuff like this never happens to me, but I went to a small business and was serviced... with quality...."


  7. The Standard Tap, a very fine tavern and one of the city's best beer bars, got a very nice write up in the Inquirer's Food section a few months ago. Not once, but twice the writer mentioned the bar's "hand tapped" beers. There is no other way to tap a keg. Actually the taps are very well engineered to be operated by human hands. The owners of the Standard Tap are very down-to-Earth non-pompous folks so it was fun to bust William Reed's stones about his hand tapped beers.

    I blame it on Jim Koch (he's a worthy target) of Samuel Adams with his annoying radio commercials whining about his "hand-crafted Samuel Adams beer". All the locally produced brewpub radio ads have picked up on the "hand crafting" thing.

    Now the powerful regional brewer Yuengling has started radio advertising, always mentioning the hand-crafting of their beers. Who the hell wants a brewer putting his hands in the beer? It's beer, not a tailored suit or a chair (BTW this e-zine was "hand typed"). Actually Dogfish Head Brewery, whose brewing operations are radically different from Sam Adams or Yuengling, has a very good piece showing that their beers actually are hand crafted. It's on their Website at Maybe Sam overheard me bash "hand crafted beers" sometime.


  8. As everyone is sick of hearing, I despise the local TV news. This isn't a Philadelphia thing; I've been around the USA and all local TV news shows suck. I usually make a point to avoid it, but sometimes you just can't.

    Immediately before the Sixers/Lakers championship games, rather than leaving it to national experts, Channel 10 news had their own pre-game commentary. Sadly, sadly I had to listen to anchorboob Larry Mendte babble treacle twice. Here's the best/worst, to illustrate how Sixers fever crossed ethnic lines, Larry said "Philadelphia is no longer white, black, red and yellow, it's Sixers' red, white and blue!" So let's see, still white, still red, no longer black, and no longer yellow. The black and yellow folks were apparently now blue, and that was BEFORE the Sixers fourth and final loss to the Lakers.


  9. An oddly common bumper sticker: "I'm a grandparent of twins". Yeah and my neighbor's a dentist.


  10. A very nice civic-minded soul put a barrel at the intersection of Aramingo Avenue and Wakeling Street. Painted on the barrel is "Place litter* here". I'm confused, am I supposed to throw my trash near but not in the barrel?


  11. For a few months this year, there was a smallish billboard sign on the Philadelphia side of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge that said "Chill, don't kill - God". I think I know exactly how many murders that sign prevented.


I'm done. - Scoats


* All litter is trash, but not all trash is litter. If you are confused (K-Lab), look it up.


Virtual Surreality is a mostly monthly zine published by Scoats. E-mail: scoats at greylodge dot com. (c) Scoats 2001. All rights reserved. Most wrongs unintentional. Reproduction permitted as long as it accompanied by this entire paragraph. If you do reprint something, please let me know.

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Last updated on 08 January 2003.
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