Friday, December 4, 2015

Faking your death to lure Christmas guests: my thoughts on the controversial German commercial

My face bore a grave expression when I approached my daughter, 15, in her room with what I said was sad news.
“It’s grandma,” I said.
“What happened?”
“She got run over by a reindeer.”
She screamed at me to get out.
I did so content in the knowledge the poor kid now had what may be the second worst Christmas song embedded in her consciousness. Now, it’s up to me to next come up with a stupid joke that will insinuate in her noodle the even more appalling “Dominick The Italian Christmas Donkey.”
Fear not. Nana’s fine — well, as fine as anyone can be who when asked to name her favorite Beatle responds, “Susan Boyle.”
She turns 83 on Dec. 19. I’m believe she’ll never die because I’m convinced God adds 18 months to her life every time I respond to one of her sincere questions with brutal sarcasm, which I routinely do.
I thought of her after someone on Facebook urged me to check out a poignant commercial for a German supermarket chain.
I knew right away I wouldn’t like it because, this being the internet, I had to first watch a commercial before I watched the commercial.
You’ve probably seen it by now. 
The kids are too busy to visit the lonely old man. He’s eating by himself. It’s all meant to appear very sad.
Then the desperate calls start.
“Dad’s dead! He’s gone!”
It hints the family feels a primal urge to come together to mourn.
From my understanding of human nature, many of them are feeling a primal urge to come together to rifle through the old man’s drawers for valuables.
But they come together. With tear-filled eyes, they as one enter the apartment and — Holy Lazarus! It’s the old man emerging from the kitchen alive and well!
“How else could I have brought you all together?”
They all laugh and move in for a big group hug.
At least I think that’s what they’re doing. They may be raining blows on the old man’s head, a fitting retribution for his selfish cruelty.
The commercial is dividing public opinion.
Some say it is, indeed, cruel. Others say it teaches the bratty kids a valuable lesson; that we need to appreciate one another before it’s too late.
I’d like to hear reaction if they’d released an alternative version where the old man turns around, drops trou and tells the kids they can all kiss his wrinkled old ass.
I don’t foresee Nana pulling this one off.
She knows a stunt like that would likely necessitate missing Dr. Oz and that would kill her, thus rending the whole point moot.
I wonder if I’ll ever get to a point where faking my own death has more upsides than grimly persevering as I do now.
See, I look at the old man sitting home alone and I see sublime peacefulness. His kids seem well-adjusted. They all have jobs. None of them is caged.
Unlike me, he can watch whatever the hell he wants. He can cook and enjoy spicy food the rest of the family complains is stinky. And he can burp, fart or sneeze without enduring an etiquette scolding from a 9-year-old Miss Manners.
And when did Germany run out of Christmas hookers?
I guess the good thing about the controversy is it will certainly cause some people to rethink their bent priorities.
They’ll understand the importance of love, family and warm togetherness.
And if it brightens the holidays of even one kindly old gent who’d be otherwise alone, well, that’s great.
So, by all means, bring the family. Bring the presents, the kids, the carols and the figgy pudding. Bring the whole happy madness.
I just think he’d happier with the hooker.
But maybe that’s just the romantic in me. 

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