By DOUG MOWBRAY
Just about every Friday night I return home from a long week slaving away in Gristmill Cubicleland to settle in for an evening of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights - boxing, not that MMA nonsense - and laundry, oh, and some beers: typically more than a 6-pack if you’re counting at home.
Friday Night Fights has two major sponsors: AutoZone and Just for Men. AutoZone, two guys wailing on each other in the ring. Yeah. I can see the connection, sorta. Pugilists inside the squared circle inflicting damage on each other’s faces and ribcages, hair dye for men. Huh?
But that’s not the most egregious issue I have with the Just for Men sponsorship. It’s one commercial in particular that drives me up the wailing wall, and it goes like this:
Dad is in the living room. Reading the paper. (Has grey hear, not full grey, just peppery.) Two daughters enter. One about 4, the other about 6 or 7. The youngest is holding something behind her back. In their cutest, voices they say, "Dad, we think it’s time," and the little girl pulls the item from behind her back and reveals a Just for Men box, and they both say, simultaneously, "Please." Dad smiles. Then we cut to dad on a date and taking a picture of him and his date and sending it to his daughters (nary a babysitter to be found) and the daughters both high five, and say "Yes!" Just for Men.
What the motherfucking jesus fucking holy hell batshit fucksense is this all about? Where is Mom? Did she die? My guess is yes: they are far too chipper to be a broken family. So, we have: two precocious daughters, dead mother, lonely father who has greying hair, who presumably hasn’t moved on from his dead wife, not because he still loves her and is simply devoting himself to his daughters, but because he has grey hair he is in no shape or capacity to go out into the meat market and look for mommy number two. Forget grief. Or devotion. Or simply needing time to process the loss of so much a part of his life: it’s the grey hair that’s making him impotent, and his daughters have intuited this and I presume were up on a Friday night and saw one of the other commercials during Friday Night Fights (remember, no babysitter apparently, and no mommy around) where some middle-aged guy is picking up 20-year-old college girls at the bar simply by dying his hair and these two cute-as-a-button little harpies both looked at each other and said: shit, sister, that’s what Dad needs so we can get what we need - another Mommy.
Somehow, this commercial raises an ire in me that is incomparable to any other disgust I can recall right now, and much more despair than I have ever felt from hearing about genocide or mass destruction on the news. To me, this is one of the sickfuckest 30 seconds ever produced by people who have the audacity to call themselves people. It makes me hope that Just for Men, years from now, proves to be some super cancer causing agent and it wipes out the mothereplacers out there dumb enough to think that that hair dye is the way to heal a broken father.
Speaking of impotence: weird juxtaposition of commercials the other night while watching Jimmy Kimmel’s new late night talk show (I swear I only recorded this to see Van Morrison’s performance, which was, uh, interesting—makeup did him no wonders—a rare instance indeed, and how the fuck did Kimmel score him? Oh, that’s right, Van is pitching a live CD, which is good by the way—Astral Weeks Live—and it’s on Van’s own label so he is finally collecting all, or most, of the dough from his work, so why not go out there and grovel a little bit. When have the Irish ever been too proud?)
Anyway, first commercial: you should have seen my reaction; I just had this feeling it was going to be a dick getter upper commercial and I screamed out NOOOOOOOO!!!! when it turned out to be indeed a dick getter upper commercial, Viagra this time. OK, whatever.
Next commercial: Vagisil.
So…..we have a guy with a raging hard-on, and a woman with an itchy pussy.
I’ll leave it to you to deconstruct this (surreal? paradoxical? ironic?) juxtaposition.
Are the programmers paying attention at all? And what if commercials do have the power of hidden suggestion? The weaker among us would be popping that little blue pill every time his wife started grimacing and switching in her seat and pulling away from him when he started reaching for her crotch.
Enjoy middle-life, America.
There’s a reason why I moved from the relative safety of Colorado back to Baltimore: North Korea’s nuclear warheads can reach me here, and I’m hedging my bets.
Another Friday night and I kinda got somebody, I got some money cuz I just got paid, now how I wish I had muted the TV, I’m in an awful way…
March 6, 2009. The Just for Men commercial came on again and I failed to mention another crucial, yet sickening line:
When the girls say, "It’s time," they also say: "You’d be a nice catch for someone."
What does a 7-year-old girl know about a ‘nice catch’? Is she trying to secretly seduce her father by making him appear to be younger? What kind of sick mommyabandonmentfuck wrote this shitsense?
The writer of this commercial should be castrated with a sharpened Barbie doll. (I’m at the 6 in the 6-pack mark, case you couldn’t tell.)