Tuesday, March 16, 2010

your business model is...poop!

I haven't posted anything for a while- a sheer lack of inspiration that was instantly vanquished by the signage posted on a vehicle I followed for a little while today on Highway 133 (or as my husband, the consummate Californian, says...THE 133) Anyway, the sign on the truck advertised the business: CHEERFUL CESSPOOL SERVICE. Oh Yeah. First off; I want to know why. How is anyone all that cheerful about providing a 'cesspool' service? This is the next best advertising slogan I've ever seen on a vehicle. The best one was on a truck I passed on the way to the White Plains airport, which read, XYZ CLEAN-UP. WE'RE #1 IN THE #2 BUSINESS along with WE PICK UP WHERE YOUR DOG LEFT OFF. But that was a few years ago. I'd laughed, then pretty much forgotten about it. There's really something sophomoric about poo humor. But this reminded me of another thing...when is the last time you heard the term 'cesspool' if it wasn't referring to city life or moral decay or various other things that republicans try to make everyone frightened of? When someone is talking about an actual cesspool they often mean a septic tank. As I've been informed, (TMI) cesspools are not legal in many places anymore. Some of the differences involve things like drainage slopes, sewage chambers, and mortar. Please don't ask me how I know this. It has to do with being on the receiving end of a very uncomfortable phone call involving a neighbor's property and a very drunk friend of theirs who pooped in their toilet while they were on vacation and clogged up their plumbing and what they found creeping into the bathtub upon their return. Not pretty. That's why I know it's a septic tank, and I know that it requires proper maintenance. But in all the scary stories I've heard; nothing ever involved the Cheerful Cesspool Service. However, if we'd known about them- we'd probably have referred them to the neighbors in distress. Most likely, they could have picked up where someone left off.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

not buying the P & G mommy pander...

OK...I should start with the fact that I actually watched more of the Vancouver Olympics than any Olympic Games since the tragic Summer Olympics of 1972. Maybe it's just my love of all things Canadian (especially Brent Butt, the fact that there a President Kennedy Avenue in Montreal, pretty much any comedian from Toronto, the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary, and the entire city of Vancouver, even though my sister was kind of kidnapped by some random loggers when she was visiting as a teenager. Jeez, I hope my mother isn't reading this...)
Anyway...in watching so much of the Olympic Games, I couldn't help but notice the Procter and Gamble "Thanks, Mom" ad campaign.
Now, I need to clarify. I'm a mom, and if I do say so myself, I've done a lot for my kids that they should say thank you for. But first off, so has their dad, and second, no one needs a corporate reminder from P&G to yank our emotions around to say thank you. I found it offensive on many levels. First off- they completely excluded Dads from the equation, and that's not right. I know lots of heroic single moms, and single dads, and traditional families, and blended families, and same-sex families who are doing their best for their kids, and sacrificing, and doing the heavy lifting, (and not going on publicity tours like the former governor of Alaska)and I think it totally sucks that P & G left Dads out of their ad campaign, as if they don't matter. It's like saying half the population doesn't matter. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are lots of dads who are not much more than sperm donors. But there are a hell of a lot more out there who get up and go to work, then start up at home, cleaning the kid barf off the back of the car seat, and spend hours convincing the 2 year old he's not going to get sucked down the bathtub drain, stand up to the bullying gym teacher, take the slutty clothes away from the 12-year-old who borrowed them from her friend, call the friend's house to make sure if there are weapons in the home where your kids are spending the night, they are locked up; then sit up all night with a broken hearted 14-year-old, patiently explaining that it gets better, but right now life is going to hurt for a while. I know about the Dad who lets you wake him up at 3:00 am for a ride home, because the friend you went out with snuck some stuff to drink and now you both need a ride home. I know about catching hell for screwing up, but also the comfort in knowing that all would be forgiven. I understand about the Mom and Dad team. I had one. I am part of one. I'm married to a guy who embraced all those necessary 'Dad' things- including driving his kids bat-shit crazy, and I can't imagine trying to raise healthy humans without that energy. I also can't imagine why P&G felt it was necessary to exclude Dad in their warm, fuzzy commercials. So, to Proctor and Gamble...it's not just Moms that do stuff, and (hello??) buy stuff. On top of all this, you picked the Vancouver Olympics to do the "Thanks Mom" roll-out. Canadians have raised 'please and thank you' to an art form, in case no one has noticed...without P & G prompting us. Maybe it's just time to broaden those horizons a bit. Perhaps take a new look at what makes up a family, and if you want to reach out with a warm fuzzy; reach out to everyone who plays a role in raising healthy humans. There's a whole lot of Grandma's and Grandpa's out there too, who may appreciate a shout out. I'm just sayin...