A friend of mine chastised me for not keeping up the blog. I haven't been sure what to post--I didn't want to phone something in, but haven't had the full time, energy, and enthusiasm for something elaborate.
So anyway, I thought I'd try to at least get something out there with a few quick hits, touching on a few pet peeves. Because, you know, I don't think anyone has ever used his blog to vent about pet peeves before, so I'm breaking really fresh ground here.
1. Dear radio ad makers: I'll fully admit that loud sound effects, although annoying, can be attention-getting. However, before you plan your next ad with honking horns, screeching tires, and the sounds of one car smashing into another one, please let me draw your attention to a little-known statistic that your demographic studies might have overlooked: Apparently, many people actually listen to the radio while driving. Who knew? So a side effect of this hidden population of car-driving radio listeners is that sound effects that make these drivers think that they're in imminent danger of being smashed to bits are probably a bad idea. Sorry to spoil your fun.
2. Dear retail sales force: I understand that this is the holiday season and that you're overworked and underpaid and all that jazz. I sympathize. But please understand that when we're searching your labyrinthine stores for a particular item to no avail, and when we finally manage to track down someone to ask for help, the last thing in the world we want to hear is "If we had it, it would be..." (usually accompanied by a vague arm gesture that encompasses half the store and outer Mongolia). I want precision. I want to know whether you have it or not, where the heck it is, and, if you don't have it, where I can find it and how you can help to get one for me. The next time I hear "If we had it, it would be..." my head is going to spin around.
3. I love Santa Claus. I love the whole idea of Santa Claus. I love talking about Santa Claus with my boys. You know what I don't love? Santa Claus "outers": people who seem to go out of their way to make it difficult for me to help my kids believe in Santa Claus a little longer. Seeing a cheap, poorly outfitted Santa Claus every place I turn around hacks me off. How am I supposed to explain the contrast between the Santa whose lap they sit on in our planned trip to the mall to visit Santa and the scrawny Santa with the beard recklessly slipping off slouched at the front of Half-Price Books with no damn warning? Or the Santa waving from the photo store at the mall? Or the Santa making a special surprise appearance at the neighborhood gathering? There shouldn't be a Santa Claus at every single damn retail establishment in America. If you feel you must have a Santa Claus, follow these rules:
- Have a good one.
- Have a prominent sign letting parents know what to expect when they walk into your store or attend your event.
- Put Santa off somewhere away from the center of things or else surrounded by Christmas decorations so that the only people who actually see him are the people who want to see him.
4. Oh, and while you're at it, suggesting to my wife, in front of our five-year-old, that something would make a good stocking stuffer? Probably a bad idea. Santa stuffs stockings, not Mom and Dad. Moron.