Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stripping (#221)

There’s this new television ad about Crest teeth-whitening strips. (What did you think I meant?) Maybe you’ve seen it. The thrust of the ad is that you can wear these strips and still do things. It features some pretty young women doing things. It kind of reminded me of those old tampon ads that assured women they could remain active while wearing them –- although apparently that activity was limited to running in slow motion through a field of daisies. 

What the pretty girls are mostly doing in the whitening-strip ad are laughing and tilting their heads in an attractive manner. I think they’re walking in one shot and sitting at a table in another.

The voice-over extols the benefits of doing things while wearing an invisible whitening strip on your teeth. There’s a close-up of one of the pretty girls, presumably the strip-wearer, smiling a pretty smile. Her teeth gleam. There’s no sign of a whitening strip. It really MUST be invisible!

Near the end of the ad, you could tell the voice-over guy was getting excited. He was headed for a climactic statement – the clincher that would tip the balance for an uncertain viewer: While wearing them “you can even,” he exclaimed, “drink water!”

Holy Cow!

What an incredible, slap-the-forehead moment! Let’s assess what we’ve learned so far:

We have the freedom to “do things” when we use these Crest whitening strips. It appears the things we can do are, in no particular order: sit, stand, smile, walk and tilt our heads.

And we can “even” (I love that they used that word!) ingest the most benign substance on the planet!


Now, I may not be the sharpest lure in the tackle box, but “even” I can do the math here: If you use these whitening strips and put anything in your mouth except water – your head may very well explode.

Ok, maybe not explode - but I bet something bad would happen.

Ever seen those nifty videos of folks putting Mentos mints in bottles of cola and turning them into mini volcanoes?

I wonder if something like that might happen if the strip-wearer drank some Coke instead of water? Now, if Crest ran a whitening-strip ad that featured a bunch of folks spouting mini, mouth volcanoes while en route to brighter teeth, it might tempt me to try them.

But I’m no darn good at sitting, looking pretty and sipping water. (However, one out of three ain’t bad.)

As the kids today might say (and I pride myself on being pretty darn hep to the jive) this ad is an epic fail.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mad Marie vs Chazz Chopperboy (#220)

Watching my bird feeder from the front window has provided a lot of entertainment lately. (Holy crap. There's no denying it now. I'm old.) Each day’s usual parade of visitors includes squirrels, chipmunks, mourning doves, sparrows, goldfinches, redwing blackbirds, grackles, cardinals, bluejays and chickadees. Occasionally a robin hops along, apart from the seed-seekers, in a never-ending quest for small, wriggly things.

Some of the birds seem crankier than usual, especially some of the mourning doves. Now, few of us would argue that the Creator favoured all his creatures with various gifts.  For instance, chickadees are cute, brave and curious. We all know dogs are loyal and fun-loving. Crows are clever and watchful.

Morning doves, although strikingly pretty in some light, are dumb as posts.

It’s easy, when regarding those tiny heads bobbing up and down, to imagine them filled with a single, cartoon thought balloon containing the word “EAT."

I liken them to cows - placid, social, ever-grazing, regarding the world with a singular lack of curiosity.

Like their bovine brethren, mourning doves generally get along quite amicably with each other. They also tend to tolerate the presence of other ground feeders, like sparrows, grackles, juncoes and squirrels.


Lately (as I said upstream before getting so windy) I’ve seen a few cranky mourning doves. One will suddenly decide it wants the feeding area to itself and will turn on, and chase away, another. It may have been grazing happily beside it a moment before, or it may challenge a new arrival while ignoring a couple of others.

I can’t account for it. Unless they’re males trying to act tough to impress a lady. Or maybe pregnant females having hormonal issues.

Anyway, today I was witness to a National Geographic moment: Mad Marie Mourning Dove vs  Chazz "Chopperboy" Chipmunk!

Bring It On!!

A flurry of feathers drew my attention to the area below the bird feeder. This, of course, is where the seed falls from above when scattered by the sloppy eaters. (I'm looking at YOU, sparrows!) This drop zone is roughly circular and about three feet in diameter.

The flurry that caught my eye resolved itself into a sulking mourning dove, standing just outside the seed circle and staring back inside, where a muscle-flexing chipmunk was patrolling and filling his cheeks.

At one point, the chipmunk absently worked his way toward the mourning dove and turned its back.


The cartoon balloon word changed from “HUH?” to “ATTACK!” and the dove launched itself at the chipmunk’s rear end. I couldn’t hear the squeak through the glass but I’m pretty sure there was one, as the chipmunk leaped and skittered out of the circle.

The circle which was now proudly paced by the victorious dove. “EAT” was on display inside its head again and it pecked away, seemingly without a care in the world.

For about 20 seconds.

That’s how long it took for the chipmunk to decide it was mad as heck and not going to take it anymore and hurtled its furry little body towards the unsuspecting dove.

Once again, in an angry flutter of wings, the disgruntled dove hightailed it for the border where - uh-huh, you guessed it -  it pouted until the chipmunk presented itself as a target once again.

A few minutes later, something outside startled both combatants and they scattered. I'd score the bout a draw, with about three or four successful oustings each. It was very, very funny and a treat to witness. Unfortunately, I’m not ept at using the filming feature of my camera and my attempt failed.

I'm telling you folks, if there's nothing on tv - get yourself a bird feeder.