A Free Car, a Burrito Tattoo, and Thou...
By Wil Forbis
I was sitting around the office this past week, lost in a fantasy of the Bush daughters recreating the Jennifer Connelly drug orgy scene from "Requiem For A Dream," when a voice to my left shook me out of the lower levels of the netherword. "Say Wil, have you heard about the controversy over the fact that the children's book character, Harry Potter, is endorsing Coke?" said my coworker, Judith. "Perhaps you should talk about that on your little web-site."
"Finally!" I thought. As a long standing opponent to the drug war, I knew that one of the things that must happen for America to end its puritanical military action was for people we admired, people we respected, to come out in the open with their drug use. As Michael Douglas said in "Traffic", "The Drug War is a war on family and I don't know how one fights a war against their own family." (I, for one, have always considered Harry Potter 'family', along with other fictional characters such as Teddy Roosevelt and my giant bunny friend, Harvey.) Some might argue that Potter, the pre-teen wizard whom is an idol to millions of the juvenile set may not be the best celebrity to admit to a cocaine endorsement, but what the hell, I'll take what I can get.
"Uh, no," said Judith when I shared my jubilation with her. "Harry Potter is endorsing Coca-Cola... the soft drink? You're going to have to set aside your sick little ideas for another day."
"Judith" I replied sternly, "Every day is right for my sick little ideas. But I'm appalled by what you're telling me. I have no qualms about using fictional characters to encourage the pursuit of drug addiction, but you're saying that Harry Potter... poor, little, innocent Harry Potter is being used to market a sugary soft drink?! What is the world coming to?"
"Oh get off it, Forbis!" Judith chastised me. "It's not like advertisers aren't everywhere. Do you know there's a place is San Francisco that will give you free Burritos for life if you get their restaurant mascot tattooed on your flesh?"
"Yo quido Taco Bell?" I replied. "No habla espanol. That mouse, he is very fa-hast." I then degenerated into a series of crude Mexican stereotypes that had nothing to do with our conversation.
"It's true, you nimrod," Judith continued. "One forty dollar tat will get you meals for life. Course, if all you eat is Mexican food you'll probably die or heart failure by the time your forty."
"What an innovative advertising concept," I mused. (Course I happened to know that it was first pioneered by K-Records guru Calvin Johnson* who offered to pay for the skinwork of anyone getting a tattoo of his record label's insignia. I briefly considered it despite the fact that I would rather have bats vomit into my mouth than listen to any of K record's "artists." (By the way, for anyone interested in getting an acid logic tattoo...? E-mail me... we'll talk.))
"Say Judith, do you think McDonald's will follow suit? Then I could finally get something for this big 'Golden Arches' that's tattooed on my back."
"Give me a break, Forbis," an exasperated Judith said. (Here she was already exasperated by me and it wasn't even ten o'clock. She still had so much to learn.) "You don't have any tattoos."
"What are you talking about, take a look at this!" I said and began unbuckling my belt to pull down my pants.
"No, you already tried to show me that at the last New Year's Eve party and I told you I couldn't see anything. Besides, it's got nothing to do with tattoos."
"No, you ninny," I said. "I'm talking about my new tattoo." I proudly pointed to a freshly engraved tat on my waist that featured the words "Great Balls of Fire" with an arrow pointing south.
"Hmmmm.... dreadfully charming, dahling," Judith drolly retaliated. "How grunge of you. However, since you seen determined not to contribute anything of substance to this conversation, I like to make one last attempt to educate you to the levels with which advertisers will go to irradiate us with their poison. Do you know that you can now get a free car if it's covered with advertising?"
"What, will the madness never stop?" I bleated. "Do these nefarious advertisers really think we would stoop so low as to turn our noble chariots, our beasts of burden that so magically transport us from place to place into simple fodder for their attempts at societal mind control? Enough, I say. We must stand forth and draw the line against their unseemly intrusions into our lives."
"Right on, Forbis!" Judith commended me. "It looks like you have some morals after all."
"On the other hand," I replied. "I've never liked the clutch on my Suburu. What models are they offering...?"
"Oh forget it," Judith said. "Once again you've disgusted me with your infinite capacity for self absorption. You know, Forbis, I don't think my opinion of you has ever been lower!"
"Really," I replied, up for the challenge. "Say, Judith, if I got your name tattooed on my chest, is there any chance that you'd give me free sex for life?"
No reply came to that one, unless you you'd count a swift kick to the groin as a 'reply.'
Nonetheless, Judith couldn't stay mad at me for long. I warmed my way back into her heart when I showed up in the parking lot with a 2001 Sport Utility Vehicle fully wrapped in advertising for "Stay Free Maxis with Wings." And I knew she couldn't turn down those free burritos.
* Here's a bit of trivia: Did you you know Calvin Johnson was once my landlord? And that I once found a picture of him having sex with a pregnant yak? Kids: One of those statements is not true, and I'll give a nice shiney nickel to the first one who can tell me which.
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Wil Forbis is a well known international playboy who lives a fast paced life attending chic parties, performing feats of derring-do and making love to the world's most beautiful women. Together with his partner, Scrotum-Boy, he is making the world safe for democracy. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.