Friday, June 25, 2010

humming along

I winced and squinted one eye in pain. The high notes of a flute can pierce your eardrum, especially if they are played loudly, and my hand flew to the radio knob. Advertisements seem to be recorded at a higher volume I thought bitterly. I could no longer hear the voice speaking, just an indistinct drone like Charlie Brown's teacher. Something went sadly awry when the two soundtracks were mixed, I mused. I could still hear a distant flute and it made me think of the power of music in advertisements.
I once hummed a bra commercial for an entire summer and didn't realize it until I sat bemused before the television. I'm not sure how effective advertisements are anyway. I often remember the music or the laughter but couldn't name the product if I tried.
The ads of the first half of the century were "jingles." Words set to music seem to be recorded in a more permanent spot in our memory. Advertisements of today though, tell a little story. We may remember the story, but not necessarily the product.
Many years ago, there was an ad for perfume or shampoo that showed a woman oblivious to her own charm, gliding down the street with a serene expression while a handsome stranger, clearly smitten, pursued her with a bouquet snatched from a street vendor.
Life has a way of imitating art in such funny ways.
I had popped into Safeway to pick up a few things and fresh dill was on the list. A young clerk had helped me scour the produce area but to no avail. As I was leaving the store, I heard a voice behind me, some sort of distant commotion, and turned to see him running ( in slow motion) after me with a bouquet of fresh dill clutched (ardently), or triumphantly. "Well," I thought to myself, "that's the closest I'm going to get to having a stranger rush after me with a bouquet."
Too bad it was dill.

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