Sunday, July 27, 2008

Odds and Ends

It seems as if both radio and TV have come up with a new crop of obnoxious commercials for the summer season. Some of the latest offenders are:

  • A series if Aflac commercials where the Aflac duck makes screechy "ack, ack, ack, ack" sounds. I think the worst of that bunch is the one where an auto mechanic is talking about his repair shop providing Aflac for their employees, where the duck imitates a car that is hard to start: "Af LACK, ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK, AAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!" I want to wring the "acking" duck's neck every time I hear an Aflac commercial
  • The Honda "I'm back and I'm knocking" commercial complete with the sound of someone knocking on a TV screen. I want to knock that guy's head off every time I hear it.
  • Bullfrog Sun Block. The kid yelling BULL frog! several times during the commerical makes me want to yell BULL shit! back at him.

As anyone who lives or has ever been to the United States knows, toilet paper is marketed as "bathroom tissue" here, though toilet paper is never referred to as such in conversations. "Toilet paper" is the most common polite reference to this most useful product, though I've heard "toilet tissue" infrequently from those of a more genteel nature, and sometimes by the acronym, "TP". More commonly, I hear it referred to my cruder terms: shit paper, hockey paper, crap paper, and so on.

But never, ever, as "bathroom tissue"

I'm wondering if it's always been marked on packages as "bathroom tissue" and, if so, why? If not, what was it originally called and who decided to start marketing it under this euphemism.

And I'd ask readers who live in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any other English-speaking country, how are packages of toilet paper marked in your country?

While listening to a local talk show, one of the hosts mentions to the other host that he was offended by a political bumper sticker he'd seen recently that included the "f bomb", to use his own words. He asked the other host, who is a lawyer, whether or not there were "decency" laws that be leveled against the owner of the car with the offending sticker.

I rolled my eyes at this, knowing that he was going to trot out the old, tired "But what about the children!" rationale for wanting to limit the free speech of another person.

And he did not disappoint me. No sooner had I thought this than he said, "Well, I don't want my kids to have to read that! And you have to see it if you're pulled up right behind him!"

For one thing, no, you don't "have to" read it. You don't have to look at the bumper -- you can look at the trunk, the back window, and so on, instead. And you should have your kids in the back seat, anyway, where they couldn't read it to begin with.

People are so predictable.

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