The Second Best Thing

I am aware that an advertisement that makes me notice its utter stupidity is just as useful to a marketing campaign as one that arrests my attention for some other reason. This is of course one of the more inane first world problems with which I deal, and I am a bit ashamed of my need to whine about it. But nevertheless I shall do so. I have been feeling much too serious of late.

My manner of accomplishing this task is to award Kevin Botfeld a prize for the most utterly stupid character in an advertisement of the moment. Botfeld, you might know, is the person who, upon receiving a check for one million dollars – from a very nice but soon-to-be-perplexed gentleperson who rings his front doorbell – announces that this is the second best thing that has ever happened to him.

The best thing that ever happened to him is soon revealed to us through the car-dealership flashback during which Botfeld delivers a laughable martial arts kick upon receiving the new-car deal of a lifetime.

Naturally we are supposed to pause at the idea that a fabulous deal on a twenty thousand dollar car is better than a one million dollar cash prize, ignoring the fact that for a million dollars one could buy approximately fifty such new cars. The fact that this is a ludicrous claim on all levels is the point, of course, and in writing words to protest this bit of stupidity I am simply perpetuating the marketing ploy. But this is not the first time I have been the dupe of the market, and it will not be the last.

In terms of idiocy, this is very much of a piece with the lizard who tries to sell me car insurance or the fairy who tries to convince me that buying the more expensive paper towel will quickly deplete my savings account. While I am grateful to have a savings account, I have no fear of buying the more expensive paper towel, and furthermore I have a loathing of winged fairies, oozing with hopeful cuteness, who try to gull me into degrading my stock of paper products.

Take this complaint for what it is worth, a brief moment in which a person giggles at the stupidity of the world in lieu of tears at its brutality. In all ways we appear to be lost in the dim side of the force.

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