Juniors in high school. English class. Project assigned to pairs of students (naturally, my best friend–Rick–and I paired up). What’s the project? To write a commercial that incorporates six things: Humor, symbols, ecologically safe, statistics, happy family appeal and a special offer.
Now before I get into this, you need to know some things about my best friend from high school and myself. We buddied up in 6th grade and almost instantly “clicked”. Jesus was important to both of us, even at that age (that,I’m sure, was a big part of the instant bond we both felt). Besides that, though, we were like Abbott and Costello–one of us the serious one (me) and the other the goofy one (Rick). Put us together and it was quite the mix–me usually making a sarcastic remark with my dry sense of humor to Rick’s hilarious antics. Not to mention his laugh! He was known throughout our whole class for his laugh. And not the weird kind that makes you do a double-take to the question in your mind of “Who just made that sound?” Nope, just a great unique laugh that would always make you start laughing just hearing it. Ever known someone like that? When you do, you never forget it. We lost contact for a few years, but around 13 years ago, my Mom got his contact information and we reconnected. We’ve been in contact ever since–and nothing has changed. We’re still that way, much to our wives’ and kids’…..um…..enjoyment.
So the stage is now set for our commercial for English class. I have always been one to have difficulty coming up with an idea, but once one is given, I can run with it and add to it. Leave it to Rick to come up with this one. So here, from my high school archives and for your reading pleasure, is the actual script, word-for-word, of our commercial for the M65-28 Formula Trash Bag (Rick was the man holding the torn trash bag and I was the Salesman):
(Scene: A man is standing with a torn trash bag in his hands, trash scattered all around his feet.)
Man: (In a dopy voice) “I thought dogs is supposed to be man’s best friend….”
(Salesman walks up to man with trash bag.)
Salesman: (In a 30-second commercial “but-wait-that’s-not-all” announcer’s voice and holding the sign below)
“Don’t blame your dog; the fault is of the bag! You should be using the M65-28 Forumula Trash Bag.” (Man’s face first shows immense interest and then repulsion at the smell in the air; at the same time, salesman puts on a white face mask and continues talking.) “This bag is not an everyday trash bag. It has a unique smell that would not only keep your dog away, but also rats, cats, bats, maggots and other rodents that would make your trash all…..messy.”
Man: (Holding his nose) “But does it work??”
Salesman: “Shut up, you’re interrupting me. Studies have shown that eleven out of ten regular human beings, just like you, have tried the M65-28 Formula Trash Bag and found it successful in keeping trash in and dogs, rats, cats, bats, maggots and other rodents out.”
Man: (Still holding nose and now wiping away tears from his eyes) “Will the M65-28 Formula Trash Bag hinder the environment around me?”
Salesman: (With slight, vacant look on his face) “Uh….no, no, not at all, my dear friend!” (Pats man on back.) “The birds will still be around–but who cares! Our objective is to keep the dogs away. Don’t worry about the environment; it’ll be fine without….it’ll be fine! And with this trash bag, your whole family can take out the trash to the road together without the fear of dogs, rats, cats, bats, maggots and other rodents hindering you.”
“But that’s not all! With the purchase of the handy M65-28 Formula Trash Bag, you can receive a nuclear waste dump in your own back yard!!” (Man has look of utter shock and disbelief, which the Salesman sees as a look of someone getting the “deal of the century”. This just spurs the Salesman on….) “Yes, we’ll give you everything you need to start your nuclear waste dump–which is not harmful to the environment–from your M65-28 Formula Trash Bag to your official M65-28 Formula Trash Bag Gas Mask!” (Hands man his own gas mask. Man can barely see well enough to grab it out of the Salesman’s hand and put it on, taking huge gulps of air once he does.) “And, if you respond within 2 days, we’ll send you ten barrels of nuclear waste free! Just send the M65-28 Formula Trash Bag coupon which is enclosed in the trash bag box, along with $19.95 and $50.00 shipping and handling to:
Visa or MasterCard accepted. Send for your dump today!!