Friday, September 05, 2008

Ads That Upset Me

As much as I love living in Celebration, there are times when I cringe at the prospect of being known as a Central Floridian. It isn't bad enough that the Casey/Caylee Anthony fiasco has put us in a negative and neverending national spotlight, making the rest of America just as sick of the whole mess as we are. Now we've got a group going by the name of "Metro Orlando Mommies" that's protesting Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights billboard ads.

First, how the hell can I take a group seriously when it has such an eye-roll-inducing name? It conjures up visions of bored, overprotective soccer mommies whizzing around in their SUVs and trying to figure out what to get offended about next.

Second, it's Halloween Horror Nights, people. Yes, horror, as in blood, guts and gore. The ads in question show this year's icon, Bloody Mary of urban legend fame, with freaky white eyes and dripping blood and of course a broken mirror. Not much worse than what you can find at any given moment if you have cable TV.

Supposedly this horrific imagine is terrorizing little Britt and Kyle and Dillon as they whiz down I-4. Come on, how many Soccer Mom Spawn to you know that even pay attention to billboards? They're all too busy keeping their precious little noses stuck in the SUV's built in entertainment system. After all, God forbid they be expected to amuse themselves for more than a minute or two without artificial help.

I'm glad I grew up in tougher times. My mother didn't believe in babysitters, so she dragged me to horror movies from toddlerhood on. I saw "Night of the Living Dead" at the age of three and virtually every other blood-and-gore movie you can imagine. Dracula, Blackula and Count Yorga...yep, saw every single version of a blood sucker that Hollywood ever put out. Infamous grade B romps like "The Corpse Grinders"...yep, saw those too. Eco-disasters like "Frogs?" Oh yeah, we were front and center for those. Nearly from the time I cleared the womb entrance, I was exposed to every kind of cinematic gore possible.

Did this turn me into a cringing blob of jelly? Hello, no, I love Halloween and haunted houses. If someone's kiddo is terrified by a billboard, it's time for a little toughening. Of course, these are the same Mommies who insist that everyone get a trophy and that the whole class be put on the honor roll so that Buffy's delicate feelings won't be hurt. Then their kids grow up with absolutely no coping skills, and they bob their bubbly heads and try to figure out what went wrong...duh!

I'm shocked that the newspaper and TV stations are even giving this ridiculous story any attention. I suppose there are two reasons: one, the hurricane is a spectacular un-event; and two, it gives them something else to focus on other than Caylee ad naseum.

If they really want to focus on a scary and disturbing ad, I suggest that they turn to the latest offering from Charmin toilet paper. I stopped using Charmin several years ago, when they decided to illustrate the principle of "does a bear shit in the woods?" with frolicking, butt-wiping cartoon bears relieving their bowels and wiping their butts in disturbing family-gathering situations. I'll take Bloody Mary over happy, poop-wiping bruins dancing as they polish their posteriors any day.

Now Charmin has really crossed the line. Their cartoon bears have developed dingleberries! I kid you not...they now have a bear running amock with a crop of nasty white klingons while Mother Bear (probably a member of the Central Forest Mommies) chases him with a dustpan and broom. Ugh! That's just so wrong.

Are dingleberries really such a issue that we have to be subjected to such a graphic demonstration? Should watching a sticky-butted bear really make me want to turn to Charmin to protect me from the problem?

Bloody Mary may be scary to Orlando's overprotected junior set and their air-headed, offense-seeking Mommies, but I'll take her any day over Charmin's "Attack of the Klingons." Yes, bears do shit in the woods, but some things are meant to be done in privacy rather than be splashed all over my TV screen.


Brooke said...

You crack me up! I have been labeled a soccer mom because I have children, who play soccer, and to make it even worse, I drive and SUV with a built in DVD player (because its the only time I can get some quiet, we have headphones). Very funny stuff you write! I also have seen every horror movie known to man and usually get a stern look from my husband when then kids watch. We have the mommie groups here too, lets just say one 9yo kid couldnt come to my sons bday party because INdiana Jones was too scary...WTF??

Anonymous said...

Barb - I've been reading your blog for years and think you are a hoot. But your commentary on protective parenting came off a bit judgemental (a behavior that you routinely lecture against in previous columns) and only caused my eyes to roll.

Juz said...

I caught that charmin ad the other day, couldnt believe it... A bear should be more careful.

There are complaints all over the place about Universals ads, even the have taken some flack about the ads. Surely that is exactly what Universal want, free press... These people give universal the reaction they want!