Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GEICO Goes to Boot Camp

I was dozing on the couch when this TV commercial woke me up. Actually what woke me was M laughing at it. The next time it came on, I studied it to see what was so funny. (One nice thing about television ads is that if you miss them the first time, you don't have to wait long to get another chance.) But I couldn't see the point. Mostly it was about a really cranky guy in a chair yelling at a younger dude who was lying on a couchy-looking thing. You might guess that as a couch potato myself, I'd take a dim view of that unless it had some redeeming value.

The commercial was for an insurance company, so I figured there must be something clever or catchy about it for M to like it. Well, it turns out that it was also an inside joke about a special kind of camp that M attended when he was a young man. A boot camp.

"Was boot camp a sleepover camp?" I asked him, remembering my recent experience at Noah's Ark.

"You might say that," he replied.

"Did you like it?"

"Did you ever have a throbbing toothache? Was it fun?"

I took that as a no and pressed him a bit. "Did a cranky man scream at you there?"

"Oh, yes," he said. "Several cranky men, in fact."

"Did it make you laugh?"

"Not right away."

I didn't understand. "But it's funny now?"

"Some things are like that," he explained. "Like when you come out of a haunted house and realize the golliwoggle didn't get you. And you laugh out of relief."

I didn't know what a golliwoggle was but didn't want to appear ignorant, so I let it go. But anyway, for your enjoyment here's the commercial. It might scare you at first. But after you see it a few times, it gets sorta funny. Maybe real funny, if you made it through boot camp.

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