Let’s drop iPhone, and Call It a Royale With Cheese

“Vincent, I already told you, I aint giving you no muthuh-fuckin massage!” (Image from Miramax Films)

iPhone ads are gradually destroying my perceptions of some great actors.

First, Samuel L. Jackson is chatting with Siri about recipes and organic ingredients for his risotto.  I realize that Mr. Jackson is an actor, and it’s not fair to only think of him as Jules Winnfield in “Pulp Fiction”.  I also realize that Samuel is not necessarily interested in people thinking that he is Mr. Winnfield.  He’s been in plenty of movies since then, playing all sorts of characters.  Clearly he is his own man and is not to be defined by one single character.  I’m also fairly confident that the good folks at Apple paid him an enormous sum of money to do that commercial, and as such, he was obligated to follow their script.  Despite all that knowledge, it breaks my heart to see him chatting it up with an automated phone-chick for grocery shopping advice.

I like advertising to take bigger chances.  As Jah as my witness, I swear I would go buy myself an iPhone within the hour if Mr. Jackson as Jules Winnfield was talking to Siri.

Winnfield (speaking into his iPhone with a look of cool annoyance on his face and his Jeri-curled locks looking like a black Medusa) : “Bitch!  Where can I get some organic mushrooms for my muthuh-fuckin risotto?”

Siri: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

Winnfield (kicks over a barstool in the kitchen and picks up a cleaver from the counter) : “What country you from?”

Siri: “I’m sorry what did you say?”

Winnfield (holding the cleaver menacingly) : ” ‘I’msorrywhatdidyousay’ aint no country I ever heard of!  They speak English in I’msorrywhatdidyousay?”

Siri: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

Winnfield (throws the cleaver aside and pulls a large, scary handgun from his jacket and aims it at Siri, despite the fact that the phone is in his own hand) : “Say ‘I’msorrywhatdidyousay?’ one more mothuhfuckin time!”

You see what I mean?  Not only would I go buy an iPhone, but I would record the commercial and watch it over and over again, because I would be proud to own an iPhone.  In fact, I’d probably go out and buy one or two more iPhones.  If the commercial ran long enough for Jackson to actually shoot the phone, I would likely swoon.

Instead, I’m left scratching my head.  Why in the world is Samuel L. Jackson cooking his own risotto?  He should have a bevvy of super models in lacy aprons and heels cooking for him.  If one of them skinny chicks slips up and doesn’t use the organic mushrooms, well.. she gonna wish she did.

As if my disenchantment with Samuel L. Jackson’s ad isn’t enough, iPhone came out with a few more celebrity ads.

An actress named Zoey Deschenelle shows up in one.  I honestly have no idea who she is, but if that’s her birth name, then she really had no choice but to grow up and become either an actress or an international spy.  If that’s not her original moniker, then I think the pretentious name police might have a warrant out for her arrest.  The commercial is entirely forgettable.  She’s dressed in frumpy pajamas, asks the phone annoying questions and wraps up the commercial by dancing badly as she leaves a messy room.

John Malkovich also appears in a couple of iPhone ads.  Over the course of his career, he’s played a range of roles.  While I don’t identify him as directly with one character as I do with Mr. Jackson, I think of Malkovich as being a sophisticated, witty man irrespective of whether he’s on the stage, screen or walking down the sidewalk.  In the commercials he’s sitting in an elegant room with opera on in the background, and asks Siri to tell him a joke.

Siri says “Two iPhones walk into a bar…I forget the rest.”

Mr. Malkovich leans his head back in his tasteful, leather-upholstered wing chair and laughs at the pathetic attempt at humor by Siri.  To look at his amusement, you’d think he was drinking gin rickeys and trading barbs with Dorothy Parker and Burl Ives at the Algonquin Round Table.

I realize that the people at Apple are trying to sell phones, but can anyone actually believe that an intellectual, urbane man of the world like John Malkovich could possibly be amused by a stupid phone telling half a joke?  This man starred in “Death of a Salesman” on Broadway with Dustin Hoffman!  We’re not talking David Hasselhoff here.

Alas, the almighty dollar can convince even the most accomplished actors to sell soap.

Here’s a tip for future stars of iPhone commercials; take less money if you have to , but demand some creative authority over the finished advertisement.  There’s no reason you can’t plug yourselves at the same time you’re hawking that iPhone.  Think you can’t do it?  Ask Clint Eastwood how it’s done.  He did a commercial for Chrysler, probably got a boatload of cash and came out looking liker a bigger, badder version of himself than he already was before the commercial aired!  No one at the Super Bowl party I was at shook their heads and wondered how a mega-star could’ve sunken  to such a low station in celebrity life.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that one or two of the party goers ran out the next day and put down deposits on the latest versions of K-cars.

What’s it gonna be punk, the Luxe Sport Package or the Royale with leather trimmed upholstery and nav system? (Image from posters.ws)

On the other hand, if Apple decides to start using unknowns in their commercials, like say blog writers from the South of Jersey with aspirations of becoming novelists from the South of France, I’ll be more than happy to tart it up however their creative team asks me to.  Just sayin…

Life On the Trail – True Tales from the Easter Bunny

Hippity Hoppity my fluffy white ass.  The trail is a bitch.

I’m down at the Pinewood, sipping on a short, dirty glass of cheap Canadian.  My beer back-up is looking a little flat.  This place is a long way from the Ritz, but you’d still think they’d wash the glasses a little more often.

The Round Man is sitting next to me.  Got himself swiveled on the stool while he’s chatting up some bimbo.  He’s jolly alright, but for all the hype about his taste in behaviors, he definitely leans more toward the naughty girls than the nice ones.  Next to him are three of the wee ones – two of Round Man’s best workers plus Irish.  That little dude is a mean SOB when he’s gettin’ his drink on.  I’m glad he’s four seats away from me.  You never know when some drunk college kid will come in and call him Chuckie or Lucky Charms or something and next thing you know, the cops are comin’ in and somebody’s gonna need stitches.  Still, I gotta admit, the three of ’em look cute sitting up there on barstools with their little feet so far off the floor.

The trail can wear a bunny down, make him cold, drive him into questionable locales. (Illustration by the author - That's right, I'm a freakin' Renaissance Man!)

We don’t always hang out like this, but sometimes I like to chill out with a few of my buddies who understand life on the trail.  There used to be better attendance at these get-togethers, but some of the usual crew’s drifted apart.  The T-Fairy prefers a different kind of bar, and that’s fine by me – to each his own right?  Jackie Frost, may he rest in peace, is gone but not forgotten.  Freakin’ global warming pretty much did him in.

Let’s not get it twisted, I aint no retiree in a Bunny suit down at the mall gettin’ my pic snapped with your brat for five bucks a throw.  I’m talking the real deal here – these ears aint clip-ons.

Like I said at the start, life on the trail’s a bitch.  I smell like freakin’ Hershey, Pee-Ay 6 months out of the year from all the crap I’m delivering.  Don’t think it isn’t a little weird to be spending a large part of my life carrying around giant, hollow chocolate replicas of myself.  Then droppin’ em off only to have the parents of these kids eat the ears off a day or two later.  It’s a heavy load knowing I’m guiding the youth of the world down the path toward obesity and diabetes.

I had to get therapy for that crap.  I finally gave up on talking to the shrink.  He blamed my issues on my father.  That was the last straw for me.  My father!?  How much of a presence in your life can your father be when you have 237 brothers and sisters?  Besides, the mental health waiver on my insurance sucked.  I’d rather spend that co-pay money on shots and beers and get my counseling from the Round Man and maybe one of his naughty girls if she has a friend.  You know what I mean?

Don’t get me wrong, the trail isn’t all sore paws and nightmares about waking up with my ears bit off.  I’ve had some good times too.  Some wild crap goes on out there.  This one time, outside of Dubuque, Iowa, this chick walks in on me when I’m hiding eggs and filling baskets.  She’s half in the bag and reeks of Malibu rum.  Anyway, she must be on her way to the head when she sees me standin’ there with a handful of Marshmallow Peeps, and she just goes nuts.  You know the whole “I can’t believe you’re really really real!”  song and dance.  She goes on to tell me how she always hoped I was real, but findin’ out -well that’s somethin’ special.  Then a little light goes on in her drunken head and she realizes that she aint wearing much more than her hubby’s Drake University T-shirt and a pair of fuzzy socks.  Well…one thing leads to another and let’s just say I didn’t do nothin’ to hurt the stereotypes about the bunny nation, if you follow my drift.

Stories like that, they happen, but it aint the usual.  The usual is more like people with hi-tech security systems and Rottweilers.  Bratty kids whose parents have convinced them that Easter aint nothin’ but Christmas in the Spring.  Chocolate and malted milk candy eggs can weigh a rabbit down, but they don’t compare to Nintendo Wii’s and bikes.  I got a couple dentists I play golf with in the off season and they aint too happy with that trend – believe you me.  My chiropractor – he’s happy as crap.

So in a few days we’ll close up shop and I can try to relax and enjoy the off-season.  Me and the Round Man are gonna hit the links and maybe do some fishing.  The trail aint no easy time, but fishin’ for wahoo and throwing back a few frosties can help me forget my tender paws and aching back for a while.

Uh oh.  Looks like a couple of frat boys are startin to bust on Irish a little.  It might be time to hit the bathroom until the smoke clears.  I’ll see you kids next year, okay?