By Denise Hart
I admit, I’m just back in the swim of the commercial sea, after having been too poor and too proud to have cable for the past six years.
I was shocked at how easily I fell into the reality TV pit - I’m finding that there is practically no show too stupid or banal to mesmerize me: Real Housewives of Virtually Any Town, “Hoarders” (although I could not watch the one where the guy bred the pet rats and there were literally thousands in the house), “Top Chef” (kind of an upper echelon reality, so there!), even, God help me, those Bethenny shows where it’s really just one long episodic swilling of her low-cal tequila cocktail mix.
What can I say - I love her baby’s Dominican nanny, Gina - Gina is sick.
I choose to watch those silly shows - I find them funny and über relaxing.
OK, almost coma-inducing. But the commercials are so disgusting I can hardly sit them out. The worst offenders, for me, are the toilet paper and floor-wipe categories.
I’ve never liked the commercials where the bears poop in the woods and leave their used (though amazingly soft!) toilet paper behind. Although I see recently they’ve been upgraded to a house.
Somehow, the new toilet paper issue has become the pieces of lint from the paper that might stick to your ass after wiping. I’ve never had that particular problem. I’ve almost always lived in an old house with bad plumbing that could barely handle paper at all.
So it’s always been slick paper Scott for me—no lint, no butthole mess.
But now, we’ve got to look at the baby bear’s bum when he comes out of the bathroom. Yep, lint and pieces of paper all over it. Gah!
There’s another t.p. product where (although I wouldn’t swear to this) there are some middle class women having tea and this issue comes up. The tagline is “Enjoy the Go.” Gag.
The floor-wipe commercials are not the only ones guilty of this putrid sell move: close-ups of dirt and microbes that they wipe up from our floors.
Toothpaste and mouthwashes use this tool, too; but somehow the floor-wipe ones get to me more.
I don’t mind the microbes so much, actually, because they’re more like little cartoons.
But the dirt and hair and lint shots, to quote Roseanne Roseannadanna, “Mek me SICK!” (I just realized hardly anyone recalls Ms. Roseannadanna anymore. In addition to having a sensitive gag reflex, I’m getting old.)
There are cuter ones now, showing dirt and mud characters all dolled up waiting for a date only to connect with the soft attractions of the floor-wipe, but damned if they don’t show the close-up dirt shots too. For some reason, the same one that makes me incapable of emptying the sink drainer thing myself (that’s Paul’s job), this kind of thing makes me want to hurl.
Oh, there are other puke-inducing ads out there.
One is a cartoon of babies trying to get their diapers full—the fullest one wins.
And silly ones—the one advertising bikini razors that has women striding by differently shaped bushes makes me laugh.
I am aware that I really need to turn off the sound or walk away—but I’m often in some Bravo induced state of watching.
Watching other people live their lives.
Watching these damn commercials.
Somebody throw me a line! I need help, I think.
(Denise Hart is a writer in Minnesota.)