August 1, 2014
Below the beltwaySunday, January 26, 2014
Gene’s true calling... is calling
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Today, another
installment in my Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the plight of the beleaguered customer service representative.
Jif peanut butter
Me: I have an idea for a marketing campaign for your product. You know those short, silent, funny video loops that are all over the Internet, called G-I-F files? They’re really popular, like the one of Hitler eating watermelon.
Me: I bet you didn’t know they’re pronounced “Jifs.”
Bethany: Actually, I did!
Me: Then you see where I’m going with this?
Bethany: I think so!
Me: You market Jif with GIFs, and you’ll go viral.
Bethany: But what would it be? The image?
Me: Hitler eating peanut butter!
Me: Hello? Hello?
— 0— — 0— — 0—
Jif peanut butter, second call
Me: I have a complaint. I bought your product but it still has some hard bits of peanut in it.
Nancy: So you’re looking for something real creamy, and you don’t have it?
Nancy: I’m sorry. OK, if you have the jar, read me the UPC and serial number.
Me: (I do.)
Nancy: Sir, that is extra crunchy peanut butter.
Me: I KNOW. THAT IS WHAT I AM COMPLAINING ABOUT.
Nancy: It’s made that way.
Me: You leave it unfinished on PURPOSE? “We haven’t squashed all of the peanuts yet, but let’s just call it a day?”
Nancy: Some people like it like that. It’s the only kind they buy.
Me: I suppose that’s why people love spinach with the sand still in it.
— 0— — 0— — 0—
Bella Famiglia Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil
Me: I want you to know I’m not the kind of immature guy who sees double-entendres everywhere. But I’ve been studying your label, and I think you have some explaining to do about “Extra Virgin.”
Me: The label says the olives have been “selected for their smooth, delicate perfume and fully rounded body.” That’s pretty suggestive language, isn’t it?
Ashley: I’m not sure I ...
Me: And “olive” is an anagram for “I love.” If it ended there, we wouldn’t be talking. But I think you know it doesn’t end there, Ashley. “Bella Famiglia Mediterranean,” as you may well know, is an anagram of “Man, re: bridal female genitalia.”
Me: “Extra virgin,” indeed.
Me: I’m sorry about this, Ashley. I don’t invent anagrams; they are already out there, hidden, with mystical meanings. I just channel them. It’s a gift.
Laurie: (cutting in) I’m the supervisor. May I help you?
Me: Can you explain this remarkable coincidence?