I was just sitting here, going over my list of topics to write on, nothing inspiring me on a Monday morning, listening to the Muser Showgram, when I heard it.
In fact, I heard it for the second time this morning.
I reached for the dial and turned the sound all the way down. As sometimes happens, I forget to turn it back up after the minute or so had passed. And so missed precious minutes of Muser broadcasting greatness.
What was this item that causes me to turn immediately to NPR (if I'm listening on something with easy presets) or turn The Ticket completely off (if I'm not)?
It's the Race Trac ad delivered by someone portraying the fictional "Chris Hooper," the head of the Cupholder Installers Union.
I thought I would never hear an ad more stupid than the AT&T ad about the guy who was going in to buy an aquarium and couldn't figure out which fish to get, the stupidity of which I note here.
I was wrong. This Race Trac ad, which is supposed to get you to want to buy one of those cups that you can fill up all summer for a few bucks, is the worst radio ad I have ever heard. The largeness of the cup is apparently inimical to the function of the cupholders installed by the union. Hell, I don't need to describe it to you. You've heard it dozens, hundreds of times.
-- incompetently conceived;
-- incompetently written;
-- incompetently produced;
-- incompetently directed;
-- incompetently acted; and
-- incompetently edited.
YES, I UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO SOUND AMATEURISH. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HEAR THE PAPER RUSTLING AROUND IN THE BACKGROUND. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HEAR THE BAD EDITS. But it does not even do a good job of conveying casual amateurism. It's so wrapped up in attempting to convey amateurism that it doesn't realize that it's slugging you over the head with it in the slickest possible way. The thing is so overwrought and precious that it insults the listener, who is apparently too stupid to get anything more subtle and witty. And the poor actor who has to read this unfunny copy has to completely come unglued over the possibility that purchasing the Race Trac product could cause you to lose a finger. There's a place for hyperbole in humor -- The Ticket is pretty much based on it -- but this is just moronic.
And why would anyone buy your product when your ad campaign is based on pointing out how it can damage your vehicle? Those gigantic cups are hard to stick in cupholders.
The Ticket can't be blamed for accepting this ad from Race Trac, which has purchased an incredible volume of ad time for this misbegotten bilge. But me, when I hear Chris Hooper stammering onto the air, I just catch up on my biased news reporting on "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered."
And sometimes, I forget to return to The Ticket.