Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dum it Down

Dum Dum Lollipops are the best in their class primarily because competitors are only left feeling frustrated when they attempt to call this market leader silly names. We took a survey.

"Every time we tried namecalling with those Dum Dums, they always won up front with their name," said one competitor.

"After awhile, we stopped competing with Dum Dums and went after Smarties. There was more room to knock 'em down," replied another competitor.

"You are what you eat, so we ate Dum Dums and Smarties at the same time. Quite frankly, we were confused" said Anonymous.

"We named one of our products Stupid Stupids, but we weren't nearly as successful as those Dum Dums," emailed another company.

"We have a lot of respect for the Dum Dum family. But, we plan to take them down with Idiot Pops," said another company.

"We were going to sue them for trademark infringement, but we were just too melancholy" said a Glum Glum representative.

"Honorable honorable," was the brief reply from the president of "The National Association for Protection of Stutterers Stutterers" (NAPSS) when asked about the Dum Dum name.

"We collaborated with them on a product called Dum Gum, Dum Gum, but the market response was disappointing" said the marketing manager for Gum Gum, Inc. "Fortunately, NAPSS bought all of our inventory."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

She Called Me a Peeping Tyler

At my house, "leaf peeping" is another way of saying "opening the blinds in the family room". However if someone named "Leaf" ever moved next door, the phrase would require a lot of explanation.

Get Granite Counters Through Our Elliptical Machine Trade-In Program

Dear Omnee Granite Inc.,

Please accept my application for your active 55+ community. I apologize if this is too forward-thinking for a family business currently in the countertop business, but I assure you that your path is obviously clear. Let me explain.

About 5 years ago, I went to your location which was a fitness equipment store and bought an elliptical machine and weight machine. At the time, it was called Omnee Fitness and I was very active and ready to transfer my workout routine from a plush gym to my cold basement. It mostly worked out well, especially since there wasn't anyone else to see me working out in my ski jacket and boots. Pushing those small keypad buttons with my fat winter glove fingers also made for an interesting workout.

I recently drove by your site and noticed that you have changed your name to Omnee Granite. (I will note that I am not using your actual company name, because I don't want some muscle-bound granite installer to get upset about this blog entry.) I have not yet been inside your faux kitchen showroom, but I would assume that your inventory has also changed with your name.

Your transition from a health and wellness business to a kitchen remodeling operation is in line with how we grow as people. In the same way that years ago you and I were both thinking "exercise", we are now both thinking "food" instead. Hence, our simultaneous shift from ellipticals to cooking surfaces. Both are related to a different type of remodeling, no?

Therefore, it only seems appropriate that together we explore the retirement living business. I have enclosed my deposit check made out to "Omnee Active 55+ Living". I am reserving my place early, because I know that you will be hugely successful. Especially with your fully equipped fitness rooms and beautiful granite kitchens.

Regards, Tyler

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Correction: The World Does Revolve Around Her

Yesterday my pink-obsessed 2-1/2 year old daughter ran around the house with a bottle of amoxicillin yelling enthusiastically, "It's pink like me! It's PINK like ME!!!!"

Her name starts with the letter 'S'. This morning she ran around the house with a large wood-carved 'S' yelling, "S starts with me! S starts with ME!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lazy Gardening: A Transferrable Trend

Dear Neighbor,

Is everything ok? I haven't seen you in awhile and I noticed that a couple planters in your yard have been toppled over. They've been there quite awhile, yet the flowers appear to be well-maintained. I also noticed that a small wheelbarrel full of flowers has been left abandoned near your lamppost. I wouldn't have been concerned, except that it appears that something happened in your life that caused you to only push it so far. You should know that it's missing a wheel and has been painted purple in your absence. It's also quite small which leads me to wonder if something is wrong with your legs that first prevented you from addressing the planters and subsequently made it too difficult to finish the yardwork. Meanwhile, the wheelbarrel's cargo of marigolds also appear to be thriving.

While you are on you are on the mend, I hope that you will have time to consider my apology. Given the state of your yard, this seems like an opportune time to make a confession. At last year's Superbowl party, I accidentally toppled a bowl of chili behind your couch. On my way to find paper towels, I was distracted by a huge bowl of wings. I never did make it back to the chili. Sorry. If you haven't discovered it by now I suspect that like the flowers in your toppled planters, the chili is thriving. You should also have your nose looked at. But while we commiserate about our similar plights, I should also admit that I left a big plate of chicken wing bones on one of your end tables. I hope that you found these soon after the party. If not (or your recent limitations have prevented you from placing them in the garbage), shall I come over and paint them purple?


Thursday, October 15, 2009


A delivery truck was tailgating me on the way into work the other morning. I wasn't driving slowly, yet the truck was right on me. As I peered in my rear view mirror, I swear the driver of the truck was in my back seat. Although my first reaction was to strap him into the carseat, hand him a half eaten PB&J sandwich, and warn him not to kick the back of my chair, I realized that this was just an illusion. The backseat driver that is, not the bag of half-eaten sandwich.

As I do with most tailgaters, I wanted him to eat fender. So, I applied the brakes and slowed down to 75 mph. In most great action stories such as this one, my brakes would promptly fail and we would both go barreling down the highway until one of us jumped off a ramp over the police roadblock and land in a shallow reservoir while the other did victory donuts in a concrete drainage canal . However in this true story, I got off at my exit ("Exit 365. Urban Sprawl / Cubeville") with the rest of the 'muters and stopped at the light. Luke Duke however went whizzing by me towards his own misery.

As the truck passed me, I noticed the large Johnsonville sign on it's side along with a picture of the company's popular sausages. A moment later, I noticed that the back of the truck was displaying the company's current marketing slogan, "Tailgateville". I realize that this is referring to the age old tradition of parking one's car at a sporting event or concert and unloading enough beer, food, and propane tanks to earn the respect of complete strangers.

However, I am also acutely aware that the term "tailgate" also refers to the age old tradition of driving really close to the car in front of you because it might help them get to their destination 30 seconds earlier. If they are really good tailgaters, you can read the print on their "Successful completion of the Offensive Drivers course" certificate proudly hanging on the gun rack.

I always wanted the phrase "of sausage fame" to follow my name, but for now we'll give it to Johnsonville. Their fame has come with their success, which must be the result of very effective marketing campaigns.

I imagined a 30 minute training video in which Mr. Johnsonville IV explains to a classroom full of astute drivers that they play an important role in communicating the "Tailgate" theme. That they must make sure that, as the faithful front line of the company's public image, they get "Tailgate" on America's brains. Other drivers should want to go to "Tailgateville" and eat sausage. How better to transmit this message than to run them off the road into a drainage ditch? In that moment, they might be thinking "BrokenCollarbonesville" or "HopeICanDial911WithMyTonguesville", but subconsciously they will be thinking "Tailgateville". Make sure you don't kick up too much dust, because we want to make sure that the target can see our marketing slogan as you speed away.

As with every training video, the students are reminded that "Sausage is not a style of life. Sausage is a lifestyle." Apparently, so is eating fender.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Putting Your Money Where Your Loveseat Is

"Someone spilled coffee on one of your loveseats," I informed the saleswoman.

Sensing the possible misinterpretation of my seemingly inappropriate comment, I clarified "In the showroom over there. One of the couches has a toppled coffee cup on it. The brown stuff made a big mess."

Saleswoman (smiling): "Oh, no worries. That's fake. It's there for demonstration purposes. It helps make the point that coffee spills and such are no big deal with our fabulous fabrics, spill-proof additive, and protection plan. It's plastic. Completely fake."

"Right. The real coffee spill is on the same couch as the fake one. There's two," I replied.

"WHAT?!?!? Did someone really spill coffee on the couch? Where? Oh my god? Is it a big mess? I'm going to have to remove it from the show room. Show me!" she reacted.

"Just kidding. Test over," I said as I waved on my way out the door.