My male readers may enjoy this essay I wrote for The Morning News: Schr
Posts from February 2003.
Apparently the recent decision by the Federal Government to go Code Orange and urge Americans to arm themselves with duct tape and plastic sheeting caused Wal*Mart’s sales to skyrocket. Of course, in our consumer oriented society, it’s not difficult to figure out what’s going to happen next.
Stage one: Regular Terror Alerts: After intense lobbying by hardware stores and other establishments selling sundry supplies, the Feds will issue terror alerts whenever the economy needs a “shot in the arm”. Typical announcement: “A recent uptick in ‘chatter’ leads us to believe that a terrorist attack could occur anywhere in the United States, except in participating Wal*Mart, Sam’s Club, and Home Depot locations.”
Stage two: Brand Names: Then, when telling Americans how to protect themselves against the threat of terrorism, specific brands will be mentioned. Typical announcement: “We urge all American’s to stock up on Terror-Care brand duct tape and plastic sheeting. Terror Care: Buy It, If You Love Your Family™.”
Stage three: Product Placement: Soon, those selling non-safety related items will pony up to have their product mentioned in the warnings. Typical announcement: “And because you may have to remain holed up in your house for weeks after the detonation of a so-called ‘dirty bomb,’ we recommend you immediately preorder Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from Amazon.com, just in case.”
Stage four: Naming Rights: Lastly, the terror stages will rechristened to incorporate the names of the highest bidder. Typical announcement: “Today we are raising the terror alert to Code Orange Julius. We remind you that this is the second-highest level of threat, superceded only by Mountain Dew’s Code Red.”
Me: Hey, so are you watching that Joe Millionaire show?
J: I saw a couple episodes, but not really. Why?
M: Well, I haven’t watched it at all, but I know the premise of the show — about how the guy isn’t really rich and all. And I heard that there was some additional super bonus twist they were going to throw into the last episode. I was wondering if you knew what it was.
J: Nuh-uh. I heard a rumor that after he picks a girl and she finds out he isn’t really a millionaire, FOX is going to give him a million bucks so that everyone lives happily ever after.
M: That’s the twist? You gotta figure that the guy already is a millionaire, practically — I mean, after this he’ll be on talk show and get movie roles and whatnot. So giving him a million dollars isn’t much of a surprise.
J: Well, I also heard a different rumor that if the girl still wanted to be with him after she found out he was poor, FOX would offer him a million dollars to dump her, and then he would now be in the position of having to choose true love or shallow gold-digging.
M: Hah! That’s pretty funny. But they should just have surprise after surprise after surprise, like the last half an hour of Terminator. Like, after he dumps the girl and says he wants the million dollars, FOX should say that he doesn’t deserve it and give it to the girl instead.
J: Right! Or, instead of giving it to the girl outright, they should say “we’ll give you the million dollars if you marry the guy who just dumped you on nationwide TV for money.”
M: Hah hah. Yeah, and then if she accepts they should say “psych!” and give the money to the guy who played the butler.
J: And then they should reveal that Joe Millionaire is gay. And then, after the reaction to that announcement has died down, they should say “Nah, we were just kidding: he’s not gay.”
M: And then they should pants him.
J: Annnnnnnnnd curtain!
The Jungle Book 2: “About as pleasant as having my wisdom teeth pulled. ” — J. R. Jones, CHICAGO READER
Shanghai Knights: “Here’s where we we get out the thesaurus and look up synonyms for “garbage.” ” — Mike LaSalle, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Biker Boyz: “Has the stink of man-musk all over it. ” — Michael O’Sullivan, WASHINGTON POST
Deliver Us From Eva: “Scriptwriters behind Deliver Us From Eva obviously expended all their creative energy on the catchy title and then promptly ran out of steam. ” — Megan Lehmann, NEW YORK POST
How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days: “This is a stupid movie for stupid people. If you’re a stupid person, knock yourself out. Please.” — Gregory Weinkauf, DALLAS OBSERVER