Vuvuzela Monologues – Ads

Here’s some vuvuzela blasts to advertisements of the you-must-be-kidding sort. Virtually all of these are from the Sunday newspaper coupon sets. Because these go a long way to paying my salary, please buy every one of these. They’re fine products at honest prices.

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Del Monte has a new campaign for its canned fruits and vegetables. The slogan goes, “When fresh fruit spoils, your food dollars disappear.” The rest of the ad’s big print goes, “Pick Del Monte canned fruit instead. Enjoy sunny taste. Without the waste.”

Moldy peaches are no fun, but keeping an eye on them, eating the softest ones first or cooking them in something, will strengthen the world’s supply of tin cans and syrup.

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Kraft is remarketing, repackaging or repurposing its processed American cheese as ideal for microwaved nachos that even children can make. “Kraft Singles Melt Downs — Kids Can Melt Their Own Fun!”

Anyone who can punch 15 seconds (as pictured) on a microwave keypad can use real cheese, with more flavor, calcium and protein, as easily as laying over a handful of chips a slice of Velveeta, in three flavors, Nacho, Pizza and Taco. Take the plastic wrap off first, kids! It takes no more time, and want those flavors? Mom has spices you can sprinkle –chili powder, Italian mix and, uh, chili powder –and you won’t get extra salt and preservatives you didn’t need in the first place.

That was before I checked the related website. A video mini-drama automatically opens of a high school principal having a bad morning with, yes, a meltdown. Apparently, this 2:03 video has been re-edited into 30-second TV spots. Intact, this feels much longer than two minutes. Maybe it’s intended to remind adults if not kids of comedies like Ferris Buehler’s Day Off or Breakfast Club, but soon the overwriting and overacting seem real — even before the 2-second segment with a gun.

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Our friends at Kleenex (Kimberly-Clark has “Personal Care products manufacturing facilities” in Conway and Maumelle, Ark.) have introduced paper hand towels with a pop-up dispenser not unlike their tissues.

The copy reads, “Your hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them.” The picture shows two bathroom walls side by side, sharing a towel bar. Hanging on the left is a wadded, smudged, formerly white towel. On the right is an upside-down dispenser box of Kleenex Hands Towels with a crisp piece of paper ready to grab. Slogan, “A Clean, Fresh Towel Every Time.” The box, with a wedge-shaped top, is designed to rest on and behind the towel bar, or right-side up next to the sink.

The website includes a song for children to sing as they wash. For convenience, it’s an MP3 audio with a pleasant male voice, under which are printed the lyrics with a bouncing ball hopping happily to each syllable as it goes along. On the same page are two videos. One is an animation with a boy and a dog, an orchestrated version of the singer on the MP3. The one with the real little boy is rap. Hip-hop, get a mop, don’t be a sop, as they say in the ‘hood.

We could expect the sequel videos to explain how to use Cottonelle toilet tissue so let’s check. Nope. It’s a video where a gray-haired serious man in a suit and tie addresses the over and under controversy.

I wanna go baffroom.

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Want the convenience of modern public restrooms in your own bathroom and kitchen? Lysol recommends its No-Touch Hand Soap System. Put this unit by the faucet, and place your palm under the nozzle where an infrared eye will sense that you’re ready for a dollop of hygiene. The price online is about $17.

Slogan: “Never touch a germy soap pump again” and the copy continues, “Helps stop the spread of bacteria … Starter Kit Includes No-Touch Dispenser, Hand Soap Refill and Four AA Batteries.”

The website has a helpful, fear-mongering video and notes the soap — you have to use Lysol’s with a specially shaped bottle — comes in three varieties, Soothing Cucumber Splash, Refreshing Grapefruit Essence, and Cleansing Green Tea & Ginger.

It’s a wonder the soap isn’t canned by Del Monte.

Vuvuzela Monologues

As long as soccer’s World Cup has made the vuvuzela stadium noisemaker a common word in America, Brick wants to horn in on its ubiquity for a new series of short takes. Today, it’s skin and drama.

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Speaking of vuvuzela, one rash has come home to roost, on my left forearm. Until the most recent semi-seasonal clean-up the  Shady Hill yard, I have for years assured My Beloved of my immunity to poison ivy. Early last week, two days after battling privet on the perimeter, itchy blisters appears on said limb. Immunity has ended.

In researching valid treatments, I found a great Wall Street Journal article. Along the way to prevention and treatment, it notes that anecdotally there seems to be more, and more toxic, poison ivy this summer. The story cites research blaming global warming. Being the Journal, it does not use the phrase “global warming”:

A study, published in the journal Weed Science in 2007, suggested that poison ivy is getting bigger, spreading faster and producing more urushiol [the itching oil in the sap] as the result of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

As for prevention, science says soap-and-water works as well as store-bought poison-ivy rinses. My mistake was washing hands but not up the arms. This gardener has briefly suspended his organic principles to buy the smallest bottle of Roundup and spray only the leaves of three. We have lots of other ivies and other nuisance plants, and chemicals cause too many problems for cavalier use. I’ll continue to cut and pull rampant weeds, year after year. But poison ivy? Shrivel and die, you!

Science says over-the-counter cortisone cream reduces the itching. I agree. One tip not found online: Cortisone spells relief, but if you pick up a cat before the ointment soaks in, fur will stick to your arm. That spells itch.

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Maybe my town’s municipal auditorium, the Walton Arts Center, has gotten small for the area. Maybe not. But there’s enough influential people who think the Washington-Benton County area needs either a bigger capacity space or simply a new one that it’s going to get cussed and discussed until the recession eases enough for bids, designs and contracts.

The latest kettle has been tossed in the fire by Continue reading