Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Upset Stomach, Renteria

What do nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and renteria all have in common? Leaving aside the obvious, what these ailments all have in common is that all of them can be remedied quickly and effectively with the same, single miracle drug. And that drug is Pepto Bismol. How do I know that? I know that because of a catchy little song in their ad campaign that tells me so.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic of late. Maybe it was the Sheff thing that got me going. Maybe winning the game last night got me thinking about the days when we used to win a lot of games. Or maybe watching the increasingly irksome Derek Jeter Edge commercial over and over and over again got me thinking about the old Pepto Bismol commercials and how much I miss them. (I realized, by the way, why it is we get to see that Edge commercial so often. It’s because during every commercial break, they show us two different ads—one geared towards white people, one towards minorities. “Derek Jeter?” asks the Latino cab driver. “Esque el tiene un edge.” Right before the African-American guy sitting in front of the barber shop tells us, “He’s got an edge, baby.” In the white commercial, there is a senator, a lady who lunches, and a group of little leaguers. Ay, como ofensiva.)

When I consider how much advertising I’m forced to watch, I wonder why it is that people in the ad business aren’t working harder to make their ads a little more palatable. Ads don’t have to be a nightmare. Case in point, Guiseppe Franco and Gary Busey selling Procede hair product. Amazing. My paradigm, however, for the perfect ad is an old ad that used to run for Pepto Bismol. When I’m watching an ad for the Edge and pining for something better, this is the ad I have in mind.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the premise is this. An enormous Paul Bunyan, something resembling Godzilla, an oversized alien robot, and a giantess wearing a toga are in the middle of terrorizing a small village. You love it already, right? A couple seconds into the commercial, all of the big people simultaneously and suddenly double over with what appears to be a pretty serious stomach problem. Despite their size, we discover that they’re not so different from us after all because they respond to their pain the way most of us would—by singing a catchy little song about their illness with the lyrics, “Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, renteria.” There’s a dance to accompany the song, and my favorite move is when—right at the very moment when the group is saying “renteria”—the giant Athenian woman squeezes herself in the pujols with a look of wide-eyed incredulity. It should go without saying that the person who dreamed up this whole concept is a creative genius.

At a certain point, a regular sized guy comes running out from beneath the rubble, screaming, “Hey! Pepto Max!” with bottle in hand. This is when things start to confuse me. True, I don’t know how this crew of oversized people and creatures came to find each other—came, in fact, to be living in the same era even. But I’m imaginative, and I can kind of wrap my brain around that. I also don’t know why these people are destroying the town in what seems like an act of random and senseless violence. But I live in the 21st Century, so I’m pretty inured to that kind of thing. I don’t ask too many of those questions. What I really can’t understand, however, is why the little guy is going out of his way to do these oversized monsters a solid. Is he trying to help the giant people to feel better so that they can continue destroying the town, or is he trying to give them relief so that they will be less irritable and maybe stop destroying the town? It would make more sense if it was the latter, but the beginning of the commercial sort of suggests that they were already destroying the town when they were suddenly all plagued with nausea, heart burn, indigestion, upset stomach, and renteria. So if that’s the case, why would the little guy want them to stop dancing and go back to effing things up? Doesn't he live there?

I’ve thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it—probably more than a reasonable person should—and this is what I’ve come up with. Maybe the guy realizes that, no matter what, the freakishly large Grecian woman and her crew of mythical, extinct, and extraterrestrial sidekicks are going to destroy his town and everyone in it. Being a self-absorbed opportunist, he figures he might as well do whatever he can to avoid going down with the ship. When all of the giant angry people get simultaneously struck with various stomach ailments (bad Mexican, perhaps?), he sees his chance. Without a thought for his wife, three kids, and pet chinchilla, he pulls out the bottle of Pepto Bismol (that he carries around with him just in case—his wife isn't what you'd call a wonder in the kitchen) and offers it to them in the hope that they will spare his life out of gratitude. What he doesn’t consider is that the giant angries will require a larger dose than normal of the Pepto in order for it to be effective, like a whole bottle's worth. Within moments of whipping out the bottle, the guy gets trampled by the giants, who end up fighting to the death for what they believe to be the only supersized dose of Pepto in the town. (There is, of course, a pharmacy with more than enough to go around, but in the land of mythical, extinct and extraterrestrial giants, they don't know from pharmacies.) The town is left in a state of ruin, at which point FEMA and the Bush administration step in. You know how it goes from there.

But maybe I’m jut cynical. Maybe the guy was just a well-intended jackass who wanted to help.

All I know is that, for the first time in days, I didn’t experience any of the symptoms that would require me to use Pepto Bismol because the Yankees finally decided to win one. That said, I did have the bottle out and ready by the time we moved into the twelfth. I want to do something that I should have done a long time ago and that is acknowledge my undying love for and gratitude towards Xavier Nady, who technically batted in four of our nine runs last night—two with a double, two with a twelfth-inning dinger. I say technically because I would actually credit him with three runs for his double, but apparently someone else thought that the third run scored on an error. While I believe that person to be wrong, his decision is more apt to be recorded as the official one than mine. However, it’s not just last night’s performance. Nady was on an eleven-game hitting streak prior to Monday, and last night’s was his sixth homer as a Yank. He’s also proven his worth with some all-around solid fielding efforts.

While I’m giving accolades, after all of the bullying, I feel it’s only fair for me to give credit where credit is due. I guess once every rare while A-Rod can summon the ability to perform when it matters. And it sure as heck mattered when he hit his twelfth-inning solo shot in last night’s game to secure the victory for the Yanks. You see, A-Rod, do stuff like that more often, THEN you can use “This is Why I’m Hot” as your at-bat song and have it make sense.

Moose had a solid outing but wound up with a no-decision rather than the big one-six. Disappointing, but not as much as the fact that Mo blew his first save of the season last night, allowing a three-run shot in the ninth that tied the game. (In his defense, he came to the mound with two base runners already on.) It’s true, twenty-eight out of twenty-nine ain’t bad. But being able to tell everyone you know who likes another team that your closer is a space alien from a planet where pitchers never blow a save is even better. Oh, well. Can’t win ‘em all. The Yankees know a little something about that.

Captain fouled a ball off his foot last night and is sitting out today’s game. The word on the street is that it’s nothing to be alarmed about and that he will still be available to pinch-hit if necessary. On the subject of injuries, it looks like Mike Lowell strained a muscle in his rib cage while swinging in the seventh and might be bound for the DL. I’m sorry. But if ever there was confirmation that someone was getting into fights in dark alleys, it’s a “strained muscle” in the rib cage. I’m pretty sure that the most common way to injure anything in the rib area is to get kicked there repeatedly by someone—someone like a mobster.

One of the headlines on reads, “Youk’s shot saves Sox from shame.” Please. Now that right there is what you call sensational journalism. As if anything could ever save the Sox from the shame of just being them. The Chowdas did, however, beat the Rangers in a 19-17 slugfest, tying the American League record for most runs scored in a single game with thirty-six. Sounds to me like just a nice way of saying that it’s the record for the most abominable combined performances by two separate pitching staffs in a single game. You know, it’s like when a little kid really fouls something up and you make up a fake honor for him so he can feel better about it. Want to know which Chowda didn’t manage to score a run of his own, despite the fact that every other starting Chowda in the line up rounded the bases at least once? Don’t take it too much to heart, Coco Crisp. It’s just that you suck Coco Crisp. (I know I’m doing that a lot lately. But, like I said, I’m feeling nostalgic.)


koala said...

You know I used to root against the Yankees with nearly as much fervor as I do against the Red Sox, primarily because both team's fans BY FAR out cheer my own hometown A's fans at games in Oakland. But then two things happened: 1. I picked up Xavier Nady on my barely league leading Fantasy team just as he was getting traded to the Yankees and 2. I started reading your blog.

I dislike ARod also, but I think it was important for him not to strike out last night so that Xman could go yards.

Melanie Greenberg said...

you have made my day with number 2. if i can inspire in someone just a little less hate or even a little tiny shred of love for the yanks, i feel i am contributing something to society.

it's true, though, i went to a game once at mcafee, and there were a lot of us. there always are.