Tuesday, December 2, 2008

She Loves Him to Deaf: Must be Christmas Time!

So I'm watching TV this morning when I should have been looking for clients, invoicing others, or paying the rent..."It is December ALREADY?"

Yes, kids, it is December already. I've seen the Christmas commercials to prove it. (I know, Christmas ads begin running just after Easter. Humor me, I needed a segue.)

Now we know it's an unusual year and retailers need to be increasingly creative with their pitch to the consumer. ("You won't get trampled to death here!" just didn't test that well with focus groups apparently).

So the first commercial I noticed was for Kay jewelers. An attractive couple sits in front of both their Christmas tree and a fireplace. The woman is deaf and the man is struggling to communicate through sign language. My immediate thought was "If he can't sign that well, they obviously haven't been together very long or he is one dumb ass." Then I decided she was just a deaf trolip about to voraciously consume him on the living room carpet of some hard-working woman who, besides having all of her auditary faculties, was hard at work in some office tower to make sure her husband would get his Lexus this Christmas. That's just more fun.

(By the way, doesn't deaf trolip sound like a Christmas cookie -- "Come here kids, Mommy made a plate of deaf trolips to leave out for Santa to eat. Want a taste? Yummy!")

Then my mind wandered. I tried to think of the advantages of dating a deaf woman. If a deaf woman nags a man with sign language and he's not there to read it, is it still really nagging? You could listen to old Stones CDs as loud as you wanted. Marlee Matlin is pretty hot. And then there is silent farting, if you can master the Silent But Deadly variety, or blunt her olfactory senses too.

And I wonder why it's tough to pay the rent, me thinking about farting around deaf mutes, I mean mates. Deaf mates.

About 20 minutes later (when my deaf advantage list had reached "She won't hear strange sounds in the middle of the night and wake me up for nothing..."), Best Buy's Geek Squad joined the Very Special Christmas parade. The commercial is a Geek Squad employee talking about an installation of a big screen television he recently completed for a man who is legally blind.

The man had memorized the room and "felt" a perfect spot for the TV. They set up the TV and taught the man how to operate four different remotes by feel, counting the buttons that control the TV and (I assume) a stereo system which he could enjoy (but not his deaf daughter who was out boning some peace-loving philanderer).

And suddenly I think: a TV for a blind guy? If he can't see the remote in his hand, how will he possibly enjoy the $2,000 flat screen. I hope they didn't con him into buying the HD package. How does this make any sense? For $2,000 he can have a neighbor come over every day and do the hand-puppet thing against the wall. ("Is it me or are there more and more black actresses these days?")

I was waiting for the Geek Squad guy to tell me he had lots of iPods for deaf trollips, scratch and sniff stickers for noseless children, and powerful microwaves for those without taste buds.

I understand retailers wanting to appeal to our softer side by demonstrating that Christmas can be special for all of us. I think it's a little bit of a cheap trick, like bringing your girlfriend's mom flowers they day you meet her. Or servicemen wearing their uniforms in bars, eliminating any hook up chance for mere civilians. We would all do it, but it's still a little bit cheap.

Frankly I would prefer the ads to be a bit edgier, saying things like:
* "Bose sound systems are so kick ass that Blair's cousin Geri from The Facts of Life rocks out too!"
* "Make it a very special Christmas, if you know what we mean..."
* "If your kid likes rocks, wrap up some gravel for the little bugger and spend more money on that sparkling diamond ring at Kay!"

But alas, I write only this blog, not touching Christmas advertisements for leading retail companies. So we will be subject to the heart-warming portrayals of capable Christmas.

Hmm, I wonder if Marlee Matlin likes bloggers....


Chris said...

I'll grant you that this blog is hands down better than that piece of shit about the movies...that thing was awful.

I'd make an argument that permanent physical ailments (deaf, blind, amputee, named Tom)require strong and stringent avoidance. However, I think you might be on to something with the Kay Jewlers commercial.

Did they get her through an "impairment" agency? If you're a deaf commercial actor, where do you look for work? Is Christmas your "busy season"? Also, was that girl in the commercial acting deaf or is she really deaf? Kind of like the Brady Bunch episode when the guy was feigning the neck injury until that genius barrister Mr. Brady dropped the briefcase and the liar instinctively turned his head. Remember that? The equivalent would be if she were pretending deaf (you know, going "full deaf") and the director yelled "take 5" and she said, "thank God, I'm starving."

Which then raises the question about the guy...what kind of fool would date, let alone marry, a girl who was a deaf actor, working in commercials, pretending to be deaf?

Either way, thank you for discussing things you know most about (handicaps) as oppose to things you know nothing about (lupus, cystic fibrosis, movies) makes it all much more entertaining.

TommyMac71 said...

Here is the Kay Commercial:


I'll look for the Geek Squad ad as well. It doesn't actually have the blind man in it. Guess he couldn't find the studio

J. said...

I am liking this Chris guy a lot.

Didn't know about the Geek Squad commercial, which sounds unbelievably crass and consumerist, especially considering the economy, but I have seen the Kay commercial and likewise scratched my head (the one that sits on my shoulders) afterward.

The guy barely knows sign language, yet it seems like he's known this deaf chick for a while. So how the heck did they meet -- and what did they "talk" about? Did/Do they speak the "language of love"? Use mental telepathy? Or did he just meet her the week before, was love at first sight, and decided to invite her over for Christmas and give her a really expensive present, even though he hardly knows her?

I just don't get this one either. Too many questions -- and none of them "Hey, where can I get those diamond earrings?"

Hey, for your next or a future blog post, Tommy, how about something sweet that shows your sensitive side, like a diamond from Kay?

MattSuppa said...

I found the geek squad commercial...


Happy Holidays, in HD!

Cee Bee said...

Ok, that's it! That's my new angle. If the deaf chic can get a cutie and a big-ass watch, so can this girl! The next time you see me, it's sign language only! What?? What did you say??

TommyMac71 said...

Remember "deaf girl" from last summer....she ended up dating an underwear model of all things. Then she blew up to approximately the size of Natalie from the Facts of Life and he's outta there. so it's not all diamond rings for the deafsters.....

CV said...

J - I dig you too. I changed my handle, the droves of angry deaf chicks was becomming too much.

So, this discussion reminds me of a story from an old roommate of mine, "Sully".

Sully was a bit wild and may, may!, have killed a chick who had lupus by allowing her to wear his hat...he had a cold at the time and lupus weakens the immune system, right?

Anyways, Sully was dating a sort of deaf chick (you know the kind that wears the hearing aides, but still cant hear shit? - also - why hasn't the technology on hearing aides improved? I mean, I can have actual sexual intercourse with my phone, but if I need a hearing aide the fucking thing has to have a power source and an antenna...dont get it...anyways) and they were getting intimate if you will. Now, if you know Sully, you know that intimate is really more of a gentle way of implying you hope the girl is going to be ok.

So, he's on top, showing his originality in the bed, when her hearing aide battery goes down and the hearing aide sends off this high pitch squeal. Now, the chick is deaf (well, really deaf now that her battery is dead) and cant hear the fucking squeal and Sully is going to town, white ass flying through the air, while the deaf chick is making deaf chick groans and her hearing aide sounds like a dog whistle...

I guess the moral of the story is either make sure they're all the way deaf, or wait until hearing aide technology catches up.

TSpeedo said...

Damn I forgot how hot Blair's cousin was! Mmmmmaaaahhhhhhhh

J. said...

Did we all really need to hear that story, CV? Really? And here I thought "someone not like Tommy." Sigh. Wrong again. You have Sully-ed my image of you.

Anonymous said...

>>>deaf trolip

I think Deaf Trollop would be a perfect name for an edgy rock band.


Susan said...

Holy cats, I haven't laughed that hard in weeks. I thought I'd recovered until I read the comments. You beasts have absolutely made my day. Great post!!

Susan said...

AND...I'd love to hear your take on that idiotic deodorant commercial where the groom sticks his face in her armpit. WTF?

TommyMac71 said...

I will be writing a post soon about stupid commercials. It's like ad agencies have abandoned their posts and left it in the hands of their children.

The one I hate is the deodorant commercial where the man is "two things" -- he's half horse and half man??? In the real world his wife would be bulls--t that her horse/husband is clogging the shower drain every day -- duh!

Irene said...

Maybe they were trying to imply that the guys using their deodorants were hung like horses......now that would be an interesting commercial casting call......

Heather said...

Damn that Geek Squad commercial is bad. I made Hubbie pause the Tivo to watch it last night. We were dying. I need to forward this post to him.

LOVE the blog. Edgy is good, unfortunately my daughter reads my mine, so I have to be careful. Then again, she does have an edge of her own.Hmmm, wonder where that came from?

Indigo said...

Here is a real live take on the Kay commercial...The woman hasn't been Deaf for long; the man loving her for her is seriously trying to overcome the communications problem. It's a selfless act in/of itself, if you truly think of it that way. How would I know?

I've only been Deaf 4 years, I read lips rather well, speak eloquently...yet at times it's still hard to understand the man who stood by me through it all. So in earnest he tries with various hand signals to get his point across (I still haven't crossed that bridge to learn sign language). It doesn't matter how badly it's done...he cares enough to try.

I do however get the irony in this post. What I don't get is how hard it is for people to see a deaf/blind individual in the same light. Their handicap isn't disabling you in any way. Your a talented writer, with a slight hand of bad humor. Try an empathy piece, I think you could knock it out of the park if you gave it some thought. And by the way, in light of what I deal with on a daily basis...there will never be any advantages of being Deaf. I would give my right arm just to hear those idiotic commercials that annoy everyone, literally and figuratively.

As always in a public format, this was/is simply humble opinions of a deaf woman. Indigo

TommyMac71 said...

Indigo -- Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts. Much appreciated.

In all seriousness, the humor is crude, but I hope it comes across as making fun our our collective reactions to deaf and otherwise handicapped people.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Lynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne said...

I get that you were attempting to take a creative stab at humor, even though it was at the expense of those less fortunate. And you got a few giggles, judging from the responses to it.

However, what I did not understand was your response to an individual that lives in deafness...I mean, what exactly did you mean by saying, "...collective responses to deaf and otherwise handicapped people..." Are you saying we don't handle it well so it is okay to disguise our awkwardness to their handicap with crude humor?

When I see people making fun of others at the expense of a giggle, they come off as someone with possibly low self-esteem issues, someone that's been hurt and is bitter or worse, someone that has so much ego - and just don't give a flip how their words hurt others. So, where do you fit in?

I'm not begging for a response either way here, because based on your reaction to the lady that provocated my response to your blog, I see you may be the type to just add more blither, or as your blog is appropriately titled - thoughts that don't matter.

Your initial post would have been forgivable based on ignorance, but your response to a person that lives in this situation daily - mean spirited. I hope that is not what you really intended, I truly don't. MHO!

Christina said...

I am just baffled. Are you so caught up in trying to impress others with edgy, yet brash humor you cannot see the pain you may be afflictting on someone else?

Sometimes good writing is first about getting the facts straight. Then adding a bit of humanity in the mix as a bonus.

Just a thought.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

Interesting piece. By the way trollop is spelled trollop, not trolip. I thought the commercial was cute, but didn't really get to deep into it because I hate jewelry commercials in general. I think they make people either feel like if they don't get jewelery for Christmas or Mom's day etc.. then there is something wrong with them. Also makes the one who doesn't buy or can't afford feel like a Scrooge.

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