September 30, 2009

MY GRADE: starblankblankblankblank


Airborne, you are the perfect example of how not to market a product to me. First of all, take something I’m concerned about — getting sick — and turn it into a wacky Mad Magazine style cartoon.

Then, to prove you’re on the cutting edge, list where I can use your product and make sure to use terminology that’s 20 years outdated (I can take it at “health clubs”? Oh good, I’d hate to get sick at my Jazzercize class and miss my Thompson Twins concert)

And most importantly, really sell me on it’s credibility by announcing that it was “Created by a schoolteacher!” Read the rest of this entry »



September 29, 2009

MY GRADE: starstarstarstarblank

free refills

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Oh, and free drink refills…”

— The Declaration of Independence (1st draft)

Remember the barbaric days of the 1970’s and 80’s when you’d order a Coke at a restaurant (or a Tab if you were really rockin’ the 70’s) and if you asked for another Coke it was considered another Coke??? When the term “bottomless cup of coffee” was a rare and beautiful thing, a beacon in the ocean of unrefillable beverages. (I never liked the term “bottomless cup of coffee” — it always conjured the image of a 200 lb Denny’s waitress named Rhonda serving me coffee without pants.)

No more. Somewhere in the early to mid-90’s it became official: it is our right as a sovereign nation to unlimited drink refills at all major restaurant chains. Nowadays “soda” is like “fish” — the word implies both the singular and the plural. So keep ’em coming! And while you’re at it, bring me another fish!

Now, I’m not certain whether this phenomenon is a good thing or a bad thing. After all, I don’t know if you’ve heard but some of these soft drinks have a bit of sugar in them. Like enough to frost the roof of a life-sized gingerbread house.

On the other hand, it’s FREE. And free is always good. Whether it be “Free Mandela” or my “Free to Be You and Me” or, most delightfully, free samples of Canadian Brie at Trader Joe’s. (And by the way, Canada, it’s not great. Sorry. “A” for effort though!)

It used to be a startling scientific fact that human beings are made up of 70% water. But since the emergence of free drink refills the percentages have changed. It now breaks down to something closer to this: Read the rest of this entry »


September 28, 2009

MY GRADE: starstarhalfblankblank


The last time I went to the dentist she cleaned my teeth, and then with a disappointed and horrified look on her face handed me this tool…


She said “You need to use this every day.”

My first thought was “I’m glad she’s not my proctologist.”

She further explained “It’s a gum massager. You need to massage your gums twice a day. Everyone should.”

I replied “To be honest, I’m brushing three times a day. I’m flossing. I’m not sure how much more dental-related activities I can fit into my daily schedule.”

She nodded, thought for a moment, and came up with this great idea: “Keep the gum massager in your car and massage your gums as you drive.”

That conjured two images for me. One was my high school driving instructor strangling my dentist with five feet of dental floss. The second was a 15 car pile-up on the 405 freeway with me in the middle of it, and a gum massager lodged two-thirds of the way down my esophagus.

Later on that day, as the police officer was writing me a traffic ticket for gum massaging without a hands-free device, I realized it wasn’t my dentist’s fault. She’s a dentist.  I’m sure she massages her gums 5 times a day. Matter of fact, she probably takes them out for a girl’s day at the spa: massage, hot stone treatment, a jacuzzi, then a pedicure. *

(* Note to readers: I know. That made no sense.)

And that’s how all professionals, specialist and experts spend their days: telling their customers and patients what we all need to be doing and how we’re failing to do it. The plumber thinks the only thing we should think about all day is proper pipe maintenance. Your barber thinks you should be giving your hair special hot oil treatments 6 times a week. Your mechanic wonders why you don’t bring your car in for a tune-up every 13 miles.

But I never remember any of this stuff.  So as a result of my neglect, my gums are tense, my hair isn’t sufficiently hot and oily, and my pipes feel angry and betrayed.  So I decided to shape up once and for all, and GET THINGS DONE.  I made a list to remind me of everything.  You can use it too!  Here goes: Read the rest of this entry »


September 25, 2009

MY GRADE: starstarblankblankblank


"... buy me an IRA and crackerjacks..."

It used to be that every sports stadium in the United States was named after an old, dead governor or a Kennedy.  But not anymore.  Now teams are more than willing to whore out their stadium naming rights for a little cash: Citifield.  AT&T Park.  Vagasil Stadium. (Okay, ya got me.  I made that last one up)

How did this trend begin?  I have two theories:

  • Either corporations are slowly taking over the entire world


  • There are no decent Kennedys left to name stuff after.

And honestly, I don’t know why corporations are showing such restraint.  Why stop at stadiums? Why not buy the naming rights to everything? Here are some suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »


September 24, 2009

MY GRADE: starstarhalfblankblank

texting at funeral

Eulotweeting (u-low-tweet-ing) ; verb

1. a celebrity min-eulogy of a newly deceased celebrity via the popular social networking website Twitter.

2. free publicity

Okay, I admit it.  There’s no such definition in the dictionary.  I just made it up.  But this odd new media phenomena has been on my mind lately because… well… I don’t know if you’ve noticed but every celebrity is now dead.

Yup, it’s true.  Check the newspapers.  They all died this summer.  Well, except David Hasselhoff — who’s in rehab and just hanging on by a thread.  And let’s face it, calling him a celebrity is really stretching the boundaries of the moniker.

But back to my point — when did it become tasteful and even REQUIRED that celebrities tweet their condolences? In the real world, if you heard your best friend’s mother just died most likely your first reaction is to make a phone call, or at least order something from the florist.  It wouldn’t be to grab your iPhone and tweet:

“RIP Steve’s mom. #1 MILF of my childhood. Gone too soon. Was always such a big fan of your work (raising Steve and all). You won’t be forgo—–” (cut off due to 140 character limit) Read the rest of this entry »


September 23, 2009

MY GRADE: halfblankblankblankblank


Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not an 8 year old girl.  As a matter of fact, I think 90% of my friends would back me up on that.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not a disturbing trend.

Disney and the likes have crammed it into every prepubescent girl’s head that highest, most lofty goal in life is to become a Princess.

What’s wrong with that, you say?

Well, let’s break it down.  What exactly is a Princess?   The short answer would be a rich freeloader.  A kept woman.  An unemployed moocher.  If I was getting real nasty I might go as far as to say “a high class whore.”  (Don’t worry.  I’ve never yelled that to an 8 year old girl dressed as a princess.  Okay, maybe once.)

And how does one become a princess?  Well there are several ways.  You can be born rich and have your parents hook you up with Prince (or in the case of real life, an inbred cousin).  You can be poor and really hot and work that hotness until a Prince finds you.   In order to increase those odds, you should start dating all sorts of ugly, brutish, unpleasant creatures: beasts, frogs, hunchbacks, and hope that one of them gets the call up to the majors — getting the big prince promotion (or “prince-motion,” if you will.)

So really, girls, it involves a lot of waiting around and a lot of primping.  No time for medical school.

Meanwhile… Read the rest of this entry »