One of the problems created by the whole “politically correct” movement (other than that whole pesky First Amendment thing) is that by continually crying “three little domesticated porcine agrarian animals’ oppressor” every time someone makes fun of a particular group, we tend to become insensitive to real-life examples of racism, sexism and hack ethnic comedy.
My brush with advertising history occurred on a normal day. I was at home the other evening, lounging on the futon with my extremely liberated, psychology-doctorate toting fiancee when an ad came on for a local carpet store.
Normally, we might have done a fast channel surf. I say “we” since I’m so enlightened and sensitive to gender equality I often share the TV remote – a practice many non-politically correct people refer to as being “pussy-whipped.”
Most of the time the lovely Dr. Fiancee doesn’t listen to commercials because she is an intellectually rigorous, erudite and serious academic.
I, on the other hand, tend to pay close attention to commercials since I am a professional wise-ass and I know a fertile source of material when I see one.
The Doctor and I are in the process of redecorating our house, so we both perked up when the voice-over announcer said, “Does your home look like it was designed in the last century?”
The commercial continued with a montage of clips of people installing carpet and the corresponding ad copy extolling the many benefits and the increase in social status you’d enjoy by updating your floor coverings.
Then came the store’s tag line, delivered by the sonorous professional announcer: “Knucklehead Carpet. Designs she’ll love at a price he can afford.”
Holy Susan B. Anthony, Batman! Did that guy just say what I thought he said?
I wish I could remember the actual name of the carpet store because I think it would be fun to flood the store with angry e-mails, if only to make up for the seven-and-a-half minutes of uncomfortable silence I had to endure while I simultaneously refused to look at my fuming fiancee and bit down hard on my tongue so as not to make some deliberately smart-aleck and provocative remark like, “Hey, I heard that’s the place all the bitches go for carpet.”
To her credit, the good doctor didn’t take out her frustration on the nearest male which happened to be me.
To my credit, I broke the uncomfortable silence by suggesting the ad copy should have read, “Does your home look like it was designed in the last century and do your attitudes match it?”
The only way this commercial could have been more offensive was if they’d gotten O.J. to appear in it.
The good news is that the ad helped us narrow down our decorating choices.
We’ll prolly just go with hardwood floors.