How could we forget? All those happy singing voices in the car, tiring of enumerating the 99 bottles of beer, moving into "My bologna has a first name …
[pronounced, of course, "baloney", as in "That's baloney!" which has the same meaning as "Banana Oil" to an earlier generation, or to today's fearless callers of truth-Bull Shit!, except for Rachel Maddow, who likes to call it "Bull Pucky", which is interesting, because she also likes to stay "schtupped" as in "this congressman (or CEO or whatever) was schtupping his secretary while he was still married," a usage of hers I find to be in slight bad taste, but it does, of course, get the viewer's attention and makes the item stick in the brain. But I digress.]
…it's O S C A R. My bologna has a second name, it's M A Y E R."
[and here, I will confess, blanking on the next line, while knowing the last line, I did what any savvy writer person does in 2012 - I googled. Of course. And came up with the rest of the insidiously wonderful lyrics to this particular commercial, but also the name of the terrifically creative person-I'm very serious here-who wrote the words that will not leave my head-your head, one's head-for about three days after you hear them, or, in this case, read them here. Here's to Daniel Bedingfield, right up there (I am very serious) with all the whomevers who wrote the Burma Shave signs that kept us alert and amused while driving through the 1940s and 50sw (and would have amused us earlier had we been alive), and Meyer Rappaport (father of my college chum, Doreen, now a noted children's book author), who taught us to "Use Ajax, the foaming cleanser…baba dahdahdah dumdum… floats the dirt right down the drain…baba didi didi dum."]
Because, of course, you know the Oscar Mayer tune. You can't just read the lyrics. You have to sing it. In the car. On the way. Before lunch. " … Oh, I love to eat it every day / and if you ask me why I'll saaaaaaay / Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way / with B O L O G N A.
Now, of course, what captivates the imagination are the images-steely-eyed Mad Men actor John Slattery driving that upscale car; The Geico gecko and the Progressive ditz. When was the last time you heard a "jingle" aside from (in NYC) the Shop-Rite "can can?" And, of course (again), there's more advertising than ever before: three minutes of ads every 15 minutes by my count, and most of them so visually seductive (fast cuts, odd angles) that even with the sound off one feels "attention must be paid." Pretty much drives me to DVD or streaming. And we aren't even in full "selling of the President" mode yet.
We've changed. Is it our taste? Our brains? The zeitgeist? Since we now live in an age when a former US President instructed us to fight terrorism by going shopping, perhaps I just need to have my Good Consumerist Card punched and stop complaining. I mean, choosing among Jif and Skippy and the store's own brand takes time. And I still don't have a plasma TV.