If you’ve read some…any?...of this blog you know that I have a TV addiction and that addiction began way back in my underprivileged childhood when we didn’t (and my parents still don’t) have cable. We had the rabbit ears and the five stations. Count’em 5. Watching the double feature Kung-fu Theater and Big Monster movies on Saturday afternoon. My point being that the unfortunate side-effect of this lifestyle was an unhealthy diet of commercials.
But flashing forward to today the way I do through commercials using my DVR, I have almost eliminated the horrid thirty-second torments. But occasionally Heather will demand we watch “real time” TV instead of what I have recorded or a DVD like any right-thinking 21st century person. No matter how many times I hit or how hard I push that fast-forward button, I’m trapped. Last night amid a Futurama and between brainwashing plugs for sugarcoated sugar cereal puffs with sugar-filled marshmallows and pre-broken, lead-paint-enhanced action figures was an unexpected ad for the Mantis tiller.
It threw me back to the useless garden tool ads of my childhood and to the lord of them all: the Garden Weasel. It had that perfect blend of PBS reality and TV glamour to appeal to my rural upbringing and every time they dug into those pre-loosened patches of dirt, I dreamed of this gadget making my chores so much easier—dare I say, fun. But it wasn’t just the pitch that I bought into. It was the absurdity. Here was someone in the outside world that had created a business empire and had the sense of humor or audacity to call their tool a weasel. A weasel, for godsake. Clearly these people had never even seen a weasel. I imagine them sitting around an oak boardroom table wondering aloud about names and someone going: “Weasel, that’s an animal, right?” And there it was, perfect. A tool that you can weasel out of things. That will give you the power to slip between the lines in life.
Long live the Weasel!