Bud Weed was in a funk, his normally bristly mustachio drooping like limp genitalia. This Hitler and potato chip thing is what gives advertising a bad name. It makes us look like a gaggle of moral simpletons and silly chuckleheads.
Budbon vivant, man-about-town, confidant and teller of after-dinner stories that leave guests glancing at their watches or dozing offwas referring to the story from Bangkok about an ad agency hawking potato chips with the help of Adolf Hitler. The TV commercial in Thailand showed Der Fuhrer giving a smart Nazi salute while munching happily on a bag of potato chips for some reason sold as brand X, which in the course of the ad morphs into a swastika then back to an X.
According to the winsome Weed, the premise of the commercials is that had Herr Hitler snacked on potato chips, he would have ended up a fun-loving, likable, garrulous and gossipy guy, someone like good, old Bud Weed himself.
Instead, alas, Herr Hitler, sans potato chips and stuffing his face instead with Kartoffeln und Rotkohl annexed Austria, invaded Poland, marched into Paris, lobbed rockets into London and gathered up Jews for the gas chambers.
The Hitler potato chip gaffe points up a perennial gimmick of the advertising trade. As BradVom Brauer, director of account planning at Harris and Love, Salt Lake’s most happenin’ agency, admits, endorsements are a proven formula for getting attention for your product. If a celebrity uses the product, it must be good. Thus we have Alice Cooper endorsing Big Bertha golf clubs, June Allyson doing adult diapers, Merlin Olson endorsing everything from flowers to French ticklers.
The wonders of technology have resurrected famous people long since moldering in their grave to push various products. There’s poor Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner, Bogart extolling denture adhesive, Elvis telling you how white your panties can be.
What the ad guys in Thailand did was actually a clever variation on an old theme. Instead of using a celebrity with a high Q score (a measurement of popularity with the public) to hawk a mediocre product and turn it into something marvelous, the guys in Bangkok turned things upside down. They took for granted they had a great product, and then argued that the product would turn the sow’s ear endorser into a silk purse. Thus, good potato chips would make Der Fuhrer into a happy-go-lucky Bud Weed kind of guy.
After some initial misgivings, Weed confided in me that he’s working up a secret memo on how to apply the Bangkok principle to local advertising.
Don’t tell a soul, but I think we could have saved Tom Welch’s job at the Olympic committee by showing softfocus video of him stroking llamas at the petting zoo, giving him something constructive to do with his hands. And, you know, he really is a sweet guy.
We think Karl Malone has mellowed a great deal since he’s started doing those Rogaine commercials. That extra hair has given him a certain panache; always a fellow with a quick wit, now the Mailman has an extra dimension of humor.
Seeing the success with Rogaine with Karl Malone, we’ve been having top-level discussions with Gov. Mike Leavitt behind the scenes about him going the Rogaine route. We think that if the governor had a full head of hair, he wouldn’t have got us into this road reconstruction mess. He spends so much time putting on his hairpiece in the morning, that he can’t be bothered with working on the state’s infrastructure.
But If you notice, he’s been wearing more baseball caps in public, and that’s because he’s been secretly rubbing in the Rogaine for a month or two now. If he puts too much on, his hairpiece starts to slide off over his ear. He’s been applying extra amounts at night, and these nocturnal applications are succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. He’s starting to look like George Michael.
Bud Weed rubbed his hands together in glee. We think the governor will have as much hair as Robert Redford by the time the 2000 elections roll around. Insiders say Gov. Mike will be VP for President Kenneth Starr. The special prosecutor is now using extra-strength Rogaine, too.City Life - Happy-Go-Lucky Hitler DC75F3E4-1372-FCBB-8371E16AE64273C6 2007-09-06 14:14:51.0 1 1 0 1998-06-11 00:00:00.0 62 0
Dan Quayle delivered one of his more incisive prognostications the other day at a Republican prayer meeting: Anyone can beat Bill Clinton in the 2000 presidential election.
I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me Clinton is now in his second term, and unless they rescind the 22nd Amendment, it’s unlikely he’ll be running for president any time soon. Apparently the gathered Republican poobahs muttered into their creamed chicken and rolled their eyes toward the ceiling in exasperation at the latest proof that Danny is one dim bulb. Apparently Quayle’s crash course at the Sylvan Learning Center hasn’t made much of a dent in his extra thick corpus collosum.
Maybe Quayle was just confusing Bill with Hillary, who is thinking about making a run of her own. She’s already filed papers to change her name back to Hillary Rodham, and if she gets a Bob Dole type face-lift, most people would forget she was once an acquaintance of President Billy, who is planning to go into a low-profile retirement in Heber City with Monica Lewinskyor is it her sister the ice-skater, Tara Lewinsky?
Maybe Quayle was thinking about Al Gore, whose collected speeches are now being marketed as CDs to stupefy hyperactive children. Studies also show his soporific style works better than Halcyon, the sleeping potion that made George Bush chuck up his moo goo gai pan at that Chinese state dinner a few years back.
With Gore in the White House, we wouldn’t have to worry about Monica Bimbo eruptionsor Gennifer Flowers, Miss America, Sharon Stone, let alone that wild afternoon frolic President-elect Bill had in the White House jacuzzi with Barbara Bush. No, Al Gore clearly has his hands full with Tipper, and is more interested in megabytes than mammaries.
Furthermore, Al just doesn’t have the requisite star power. I’ll tell you who would make a good president, and that’s Al Gore’s roommate at Harvard, class of ’69, Tommy Lee Jones. He’d kick ass, to use George Bush’s revealing locution. Did you see Tommy in The Fugitive or Men in Black? He doesn’t give a damn about feeling your pain or saving the ozone layer. He just wants to get it done!
Tommy Lee has it over all those other Hollywood types who have actually played the prez in the movies. Michael Douglas? Bill Pullman? Kevin Kline? Harrison Ford is a tough guy, but he always looks befuddled, as though he’s trying to remember where he’s parked his car.
I’m actually all in favor of electing a woman president. As I mentioned earlier, Hillary Rodham wants to run, but she’d be constantly trying to dispel rumors about her affair with Dan Rather. Liddy (or is it Libby? Lizzy?) Dole is another possibility, but do you really want to see pictures of First Husband Bob Dole taking his Viagra dose at state dinners?
A lot of people think Oprah would be a perfect president, and I certainly prefer her over Madonna’s former paramour, Rosie O’Donnell. Oprah would get the nation reading inspirational books, and we could follow the drama of her everlasting diet. But what about her boyfriend, Steadman? His book, 10 Habits of Marginally Effective Boyfriends of Famous Females, sunk like lard in lemonade. Unless Oprah loses Steadman and takes up with someone like Denzel WashingtonSpike Lee would be fun, tooshe’s not going to be considered a serious candidate.
Oprah also needs to soften that hard edge of hersmaybe learn to tear up like Clinton does when he hears a heart-warming story about a downtrodden citizen who’s sculpted a likeness of Chelsea out of a side of beef.
There are a lot of other competent, capable women out there in public life who would do a better job than our recent sequence of nitwits, crooks, philanderers, and Sunday-school teachers. Diane Feinstein, Deeda Seed, Gayle Ruzicka, to name a few, would lead us into the millennium. But my money is on Mayor-For-Life Deedee Corradini. She’s one tough broad. Sure, she’s had some problems with Bonneville and Gifts from Rich Guys, but those are mere rotting rodents in Deedee’s red parka.
Unfortunately, our society still has hang-ups about single peoplemen as well as womenrunning for office. I’ve been consulting with local politicos about finding Deedee a suitable partner. Robert Redford is too short, Bob Bennett is too tall, and Tom Welch is too good-looking. According to those in the know, the unanimous candidate for Deedee’s consort is guru and gourmand Rick Majerus, who was recently seen shopping with the mayor for matching spandex bicycle shorts.City Life - Deedee For President DC75F4EE-1372-FCBB-83A902DA824AEB55 2007-09-06 14:14:51.0 1 1 0 1998-06-18 00:00:00.0 55 0
I recently came across a PR release that somehow made its way into one of Salt Lake City’s newspapers. The author of the release seemed to be some professor named Jackson who is described in the article as thoughtful and erudite.
Thoughtful goes a long way toward convincing me of Prof. Jackson’s trustworthiness, but erudite clinches it.
The International Olympic Committee Coordination Commissionall thoughtful and erudite mencame to town last week to make sure Frank J. and the lads at the SLOC were not slacking off. Frank had invited me to share a sauna with him at his secret retreat near the Kennecott Smelter. The sauna (Frank pronounces it sow-nah) was hot, but not nearly as hot as the Coordination Commission is making the local Olympic fraternity. These freeloaders come to town and expect me to towel them off when they exit the sow-nah. I don’t mind that, it’s the brisk torso massage they demand as well.
Prof. Jackson puts a different spin on things. We’re really a nice group of people, really positive about being positive. It’s always better to be positive about being positive, especially if you’re a really nice group of people. If you’re negative about being positive, people just get confused.
According to the PR release published in the paper that bills itself as Utah’s independent voice, about 25 commission dignitaries descended upon Salt Lake City to spend three days intimately reviewing the numbers, policies and procedures relevant to the roughly 40 separate but interwoven functions that go into putting on Olympics. The key word here is intimate, as attested by some bloke from Sydney who has already worked with the Coordination Commission. According to the PR press release, the Aussie is intimately involved with the process. All the cozy intimacy is to assure SLOC that the Commission is not a watchdog but a guiding hand.
The way the press release made it sound, the Coordination Commission’s guiding hand is not the easy touch and slow hand the Pointer Sisters looked for from their lovers. The commission comes and goes in a heated rush. As SLOC senior vice president Dave Johnson said of the commission’s visit, They’re not here to play. Senior VP Johnson doesn’t have to convince me. Whenever I’ve seen the IOC brotherhood on TV they’re all working up a sweat while intimately reviewing numbers, policies, procedures and lugging around gifts, freebies and complimentary beer. I can’t understand why they think they need to spend so much time in Frank’s personal sauna, unless it’s just a Scandinavian habit they can’t seem to break.
One of the top intimate priorities is housing all of the official visitors from IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch to a reporter from Tibet. Frank told me they’ve found an abandoned ski hut near the summit of Alta for the reporter from Tibet, but finding suitable housing for His Excellency Samaranch is an Olympic-sized headache. Up to now Andy has been happy to bed down on a cot in Earl Holding’s spare bedroom, but he has a bad back, and ends up spending too much time in my sow-nah. So we’re trying to get someone to donate a posturepedic in fairly decent condition.
My intimate sources inside the SLOC tell me that the real reason the Coordination Commission came to town was to brainstorm about Salt Lake’s Olympic mascot. The International Olympic Committee hasn’t trusted the local folks to come up with their own mascot ever since Los Angeles picked Pee-Wee Herman. Of course, the IOC didn’t do much better with Izzy, the Atlanta mascot, who looked like a cross between a space alien and George Bush.
The commission rounded up the usual suspectsseagull, Angel Moroni, Mr. Mac. One contingent of Mormon bashers want something totally secular, like Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp, the High Uinta Beaver or the ubiquitous Park City Realtor. Why people are so uptight about our Utah heritage is beyond me. I think looking for a single mascot is wrong-headed, anyway.
Look at the success of the Beanie Babies. Let’s come up with a collective mascot, and then market each one at financially lucrative intervals. We could make enough money to get a decent hotel room for his lordship Juan Antonio Samaranch. What about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? By any objective standard they are the best thing about Utah. We could fashion realistic replicas of each member, and kids would have a great time collecting the entire choir. I mentioned the idea to Frank in the sauna, and he’s all for it. It exemplifies the Olympic Spiritsopranos dressed as figure skaters, tenors in those form-fitting luge outfits, the Tabernacle organist doing a triple salcowI think the commission will buy it.Singing In the Sauna DC75F674-1372-FCBB-83067BA951DFA63D 2007-09-06 14:14:52.0 1 1 0 1998-07-02 00:00:00.0 52 0
I’ve been using Clean Shower for about a week now, ever since I learned the company is sponsoring the Utah Showdown, the senior golf tournament up at Park Meadows later this summer. I was so excited about the old guys getting a sponsor that I rushed over to Albertson’s and grabbed a bottle of Clean Shower with its bright yellow label.
I usually read labels pretty carefully, but I couldn’t wait to try the new stuff out. I just read the back of the labelNo Rinsing, No Wiping, No Scrubbing, No Squeeging, No Harsh Fumesthen hopped in the shower and started spraying Clean Shower all over my body, starting at the feet and working up. I thought, Great, I’ll save a lot of time. No more soaping of difficult to reach areas, no more towels, and best of all, no squeeqing, which can be a bit awkward to use on body surfaces that aren’t relatively flat.
It has a nice misting action, and I liked the tingling sensation. I could feel it working! After a few days, however, my skin got a little too sparkly and shiny for my tastes. So I called the 800 number on the back of the bottle to find out if maybe I was using too much Clean Shower on my body. A nice lady named Teresa told me that although there is nothing toxic in Clean Shower, it’s mainly intended to clean the shower, you know, the door and curtain and tiles and fixtures
Teresa did say that people use Clean Shower for other thingslawn furniture, carpet stains, and one lady even called in to say Clean Shower did miracles for her dentures. As for myself, I don’t use Clean Shower on a daily basis anymore, but every once in a while I’ll give myself a good spray just to get that tingling clean-all-over feeling. (I think the secret ingredient must be the Linear Aliphatic Polyether Non-Ionic Surfactant.)
I’m glad the Utah Showdown (how about changing it to Showerdown?) wasn’t embarrassed by getting a sponsor whose product eliminates soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew stains. It’s a good idea to branch out a bit from the usual sponsors for sports events, arenas, and stadiums. The Cadillac this, the Honda that, Nestle, Nissan, Buick. It’s all getting kind of boring.
Some purists out there recently objected to the Rose Bowl capitulating to the seductions of Mammon and taking on AT&T as a presenting sponsor. Instead of the AT&T Rose Bowl, it will be known as the Rose Bowl Presented by AT&T, thus preserving what a stake president drinking buddy of mine calls Temple Recommend Virginity. As long as the sponsor is not actually in the name itself, but just rubs up against it as a modest modifier, all is well. No harm, no foul.
I’m for going all the way on this sponsor thing. The search for ever more clever mascots is tiresome. And political correctness has eliminated mascots found to be offensive. Why not just go for the big bucks to be gotten from sponsors who want their name on an arena and let them pay to sponsor the team itself? It looks like the Salt Lake Buzz will soon be looking for a new mascot. Wouldn’t it make more sense to find a company like Clean Shower that would like to plaster its name on uniforms, seats, bases, fences, balls, bats, showers, toilets, etc., etc.?
For alliteration Joe Buzas might try the Salt Lake Spam. Or given the number of players in the line-up, how about the Salt Lake K-Y Nonoxynol Nines?
I think we could also do a lot better on the names of arenas and stadiums. Franklin Quest Field is a rather flaccid name. Fudge Stick Field is a name the fans could really get behind, and the folks who make Fudge Sticks would put up a lot more money than the brethren at Franklin Quest. There would be money left over for Deedee’s run for the Presidency in 2000 (and Bud Weed, the Mayor’s confidante, tells me that Deedee’s boyfriend Rick Majerus, has a one entire refrigerator stuffed full with Fudge Sticks.)
We’ve got to do something about that place they call the E Center, certainly before the Olympics come to town. With no expectation of a finder’s fee, I’ve made inquiries to various companies who positively exude the Olympic Spirit. Odor-Eaters, Inc., is interested, as is Beano’s, the gas preventative.
I’m happy to announce, however, that Frank and the lads at SLOC will soon bestow a new name upon the E Center: It will be called the No Nonsense Sheer to Waist Panty Hose Hockey Arena.Bring on the Spam DC75F78E-1372-FCBB-83FB761439E36483 2007-09-06 14:14:52.0 1 1 0 1998-07-09 00:00:00.0 52 0
Why does BYU want all their teachers to be married? Are they afraid they might fool around with their students? Being married doesn’t stop that stuff, as anyone who has ever worked in an institution of higher learning well knows.
Even married high school teachers fool around, like that mixed-up woman who is jail for fornicating with a 13-year-old boy. (And now they’ve got a couple of kids!)
Maybe BYU doesn’t want onaniststhose practitioners of solo pleasurespilling their seed all over campus. (A highly placed source informed me that President Bateman is still sensitive about his nickname in junior high. Instead of Merrill, resident wisenheimers called him Master Bateman.)
Another hypothesis is that hiring only married people will keep gays and lesbians from recruiting students, the vast majority of whom apparently have no clue about their sexual preferences. Jared or Janet? Hyrum or Harriot? Hetero or Homo? It’s all so confusing. The choice is almost as perplexing as picking a major.
An administrator at BYU named Elder Jim Gordon has been quoted as saying, The Church teaches that people have a duty to marry. This seemed to me to contradict the Mormon doctrine of free agency,people are free to be saints or screw-upsand I found myself getting headaches trying to resolve the Orwellian double-think of being free to have a duty.
I can see the Church being strict about the usual Christian virtuesforgiveness, charity, hope, good-grooming, etc. But marriage? I can see people being punished in eternity for all sorts of vices, but remaining unmarried hardly qualifies as one of those things that should determine which floor of Heaven you get to live onthe Celestial, the Telestial, or the Mezzanine.
I knew the only person who could shed light on the matter was Zeezrom, the youngest of the Three Nephites, those disciples of Jesus in the Book of Mormon who were promised immortality until his return to earth. As with aging movie stars, there is some doubt about Zeezrom’s real age, but as far as I’ve been able to determine, he’s somewhere between 1,964 and 1,993 years old. By my calculations, that makes him exactly 30.46 times wiser than Elder President Bateman.
I caught up with Zeez out at the Olympus Hills’ Dan’s Foods, where he bags groceries and regales customers with stories from the old days: everything from sailing with Columbus, (though he can’t remember if he was on the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria), to the time he was ushering at Ford’s Theater when Lincoln was shot. Abe was so bored by the play he kept dozing off.
I finally got Zeez to give me his take on BYU’s marriage policy. Well, everyone knows the Mormons have always been big on marriage. The old Christians, St. Paul especially, were kind of hung up on sex and saw marriage as a last resortbetter to marry than burn in Hell for fornication. Celibacy was best, because you could focus all your attention on pleasing the Lord, rather than pleasing the ladies. But let me tell you, those poor priests and nuns have always had a hell of time keeping their minds off sex. Nothing workscold showers, flagellation, hair shirts, nude volleyball, whatever.
Now, the thing Joseph Smith realized early on was that celibacy was a crock. And that polygamy rigmarole had nothing to do with lust or lechery. It actually put most of the guys off sex. It was strictly for purposes of procreation. You had to see what those ladies looked like. Of course the guys were no great shakes, either. I remember a line that Mark Twain stole from me about them homely gals: The man that marries one of them has done an act of Christian charity which entitles him to the kindly applause of mankind, not their harsh censureand the man that marries 60 of them has done a deed of open-handed generosity so sublime that the nations should stand uncovered in his presence and worship in silence.
Zeez paused to bag a tomato. Now today, what with good nutrition, orthodontia and horseback riding, those BYU coeds are all real babes. And that’s the problem. This marriage requirement for the faculty is just phase one. Sometime next year the administration is going to require that all students be married. That way they can kill several birds with one bone.
As one administrator told me, ’No faculty temptation, no student masturbation, no homo-persuasion. On the plus side, more babies equal more Mormons. Best of all, what with pregnancies and bottles and diapers and staying up all night with squalling infants, we calculate that sex acts per capita will decrease considerably.