Day 070: I’d Rather Not Be Educated By A Waterbed Ad [Friday Thought W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. We’ll take the Spruce Moose! Now shave those sideburns! But sir. I said “Shave. Those. Sideburns.” It’s Friday, November 27, the year that’s almost over. The weather in Brooklyn is 61° & Pantone 17-4540 and somewhere, somebody is staring down the vent in the bathroom. Not once have they ever seen or felt physical evidence that it’s working. They never hear it clink, they never feel it as they walk by, there’s literally no reason to think that it’s a functioning vent. They’re tempted to call the Super, but there’s an inherent fear that they’re going to be laughed at. For all they know, that vent hasn’t been working for years and the real vent is somewhere else. Or maybe it’s not even a vent at all. Compelled to find the simple truth, they search the bathroom high and low for a newer vent. And me? I just trust that my vents are working. Because if they weren’t, my bathroom would be like the inside of a mouth with Winterfresh Gum: much, much, cooler. That reminds me, I have a thing on my mind.

– As we grew older, not only did we pick up on useful factoids, we probably also remember how we learned them. Or maybe it’s just me. I learned way too many things from watching TV, but I did so in ways that weren’t meant to educate. Whenever, for some reason, I have to remember how many hours a human body needs to sleep every night, my brain references an ad for Big Sur Waterbeds. It started with an old film reel documentary that stated that the human body needs 8 hours of sleep. But then it goes to repeat, “8 hours” and the film slows down and breaks, cutting to a 90s as fuck spokesperson, shaking his head. He says something like, “8 hours?!? Get real! I have a life to live!”. I don’t remember how the commercial ends, but I’m sure some narrator tells the guy that Big Sur Waterbeds is having a sale and he’s like hell yeah, Imma sleep all them hours. That’s not important. Wait, the ads is actually up on YouTube. I’ll be damned.

Well there you have it. Upon further review, that commercial is cool as balls. It’s most definitely getting a full analysis from me in the near future. As you can clearly tell, this ad had a huge effect on me. For the past 25 years, whenever I try to remember how many hours of sleep I need, I play back this stupid commercial in my head. It’s wholly ineffective. I could just know off the top of my head because it’s common knowledge. But unfortunately, my brain wants to entertain itself while working.

The same can be said whenever I’m taking my temperature, which is an activity we’ve all been doing ad nauseam this year. When I’m trying to determine whether or not I’m sick, how do I remember what the goal temperature is? If I was a normal person, I’d just immediately know that it’s 98.6. But because I’m me, I instead play this ad out in my head:

And the thing is, my body runs cold. If I ever hit 98.6, I know there’s a huge problem. Usually, I’m between 96.6-97.8. So every time I hear the thermometer ding, I look at the display and sing to myself, “It’s much, much, cooooooooolerrrrrrrr!”.

I’m not sure if these two factoids have made me a better consumer. On paper, it looked like it. I slept in a waterbed for 8 years and chewed a whole lot of Winterfresh gum. But the waterbed was a hand-me-down and I’m not sure if it came from Big Sur. Also, my gum chewing was always at the mercy of whatever was in my Mom’s purse and she was a Winterfresh gal. So really, those ads did nothing except educate me. I don’t think that was their actual intention.

– Try this trick over the weekend: Learn life lessons from a Taco Bell ad.

Have a border-running weekend, everyone!

– TeeCoZee