Off the Edge #2: Annoying Holiday Car Commercials

Off the Edge

Next week I’ll start the first of my legitimate Versus Mode! posts but since it’s just after Christmas I really wanted to get this one out while it was still relevant!

I’m sure we’ve all seen it, I’ll set the stage:

You’re watching TV and this soft music comes up.  Some square-jawed guy walks through his overpriced house, by a Macy’s store-sized Christmas tree, and into a bedroom where he wakes his sleeping wife, who doesn’t have “I’ve been asleep hair or face.”  He then leads her outside where, sitting in the perfectly snowy driveway, sits an Acura, Infinity, Lexus, or Mercedes with a ridiculous big bow on it.  They celebrate, etc and voice over says something about a gift you both can cherish for years to come.

OK.  I HATE these commercials…  Truly.  It’s pure commercialized fantasy and borders on absurdity.  It could be that I don’t brush elbows with people in a high enough tax bracket that secretly buy their spouses cars for Christmas, but I’ve never heard of this happening for anyone.  The logical person in me (who makes up 85% of my personality) has a few problems with this:

  1. Who in the hell buys someone a $40-60,000 Christmas present?
  2. How does one spouse spend that much money on the other without the other knowing about it?
  3. I’d like to have been present for the conversations they have as they tried to figure out what the giftee spouse would like in a car…or did they care?
  4. Where does one get car-sized bows and ribbons, how much do they cost, what do you do with it AFTER the car has been given as a gift?

I know, they’re just trying to sell cars, but the entire concept is so annoying to me, even as commercials go, I thought I’d rant about this one while the season was right!

Photographs below show the closest I’ve come to seeing a car wrapped up for someone.  A friend and I went to Target in October and saw it sitting out there.  I have no idea who the owner was but they have my pity…

It was definitely wrapped and decorated…but the owner was probably less than happy about it…

So here’s the fantasy:

Here’s the closest I’ve seen…

IMG-20121026-00441 IMG-20121026-00442 IMG-20121026-00443

Next post is my Versus Mode Street Fighter II Reminisces!

Off the Edge #1: Theft and Insurance

Off the Edge

It’s the week of my birthday!  I had an interesting weekend with a great group participating in 48-Hour Films (we had a good time shooting our first film in the rain, post about that coming soon), I was ready for a vacation coming up in a couple weeks, I’m wrapping up principle artwork on my first graphic novel, and I’m looking forward to producing my first publication!
Then I woke up Monday morning to find that this happened:

Sadie Minus Tires
What the…  I thought this kind of thing was reserved for cartoons, Evening at the Improv jokes, and movies from the 80s…

Yeah this is in my driveway.  In the suburbs.  With a motion-sensing security light over it.

This begs a few questions.  First directed toward the criminals who stole both my tires and wheel covers:

  1. Who the hell steals three year old 17″ touring tires, one that’s been plugged twice from a nail?
  2. Why would you steal the factory wheels off a VOLVO?  Yeah they’re nice-looking wheel covers, but they’ll only fit another Volvo S80…
  3. Out of all the houses to target why would you choose the one that required you to get out a ladder, shift the motion sensor, and unscrew the bulbs on the security lights?

and…

4. REALLY?  USED Clay bricks?  Not even worth four cinder blocks?

Of course this whole fiasco led to dealing with insurance companies and garages in order to get the car moved and repaired.  Overall I have to say it’s been a decent experience.  The insurance company was relatively responsive and the garage I’ve been working with has been taking extra care to move the car without damaging it further.  But there are some general questions for them as well:

  1. Why do I have an agent I never talk to and never does anything for me?  When you have a problem you report it to claims…who then deals with you directly.  So what’s that guy for?
  2. I’m not sure I understand the deductible concept.  I pay thousands of dollars every year to insure my car.  I, like most people, rarely require their services.  When I do…I have to pay them…again?  To quote Strong Bad…”What the Sense-Make?”
  3. And finally timing.  I’m not self-important enough to think my problem would be first on the list but it took seven hours to hear back from them, then nearly 24 hours for them to transmit the information to the garage.  By then I’d contacted the garage myself and set everything up.

I’ve come to a few realizations here, I already knew them but I thought I’d share them.

  1. Insurance is reverse gambling…you pay into it hoping you NEVER cash in…then when you do you have to pay more so you don’t have to pay as much to repair or replace whatever is being claimed.  Everyone but the insurance companies is in the wrong business.
  2. Apparently when you call someone and tell them your car has no wheels or tires they are astounded and no one has any idea what should be done about this.
  3. Criminals should spend their time, effort, and ingenuity doing something worthwhile.  The jackasses that stole my tires and wheels probably couldn’t have gotten more than 100 dollars for them all.  Unless they found a remarkable amount of financial incentive in decade-old aftermarket Volvo parts.  All the scouting, work to remove them, making sure the lights didn’t come on…was it worth it?  If you have that skill set, you can make more than that actually working in a garage…

It sure wasn’t worth it to me.  20 minutes of their time for a small amount of money has cost me 2.5 days of work, a $500 dollar deductible, and left my rather nice car on bricks for more than 48 hours.  I’m feeling a little Vincent Vega right now, that it would’ve been worth them doing it if I could’ve caught them doing it…but that probably really wouldn’t have been worth it either.

So instead I’m hoping for karma to swing back around on them.  So I send a vindictive sutra into the cosmos targeted at the dumbasses that stole my tires:

“May you put that tire with the plug in it on your suburban-theft mobile and have it burst into rubber and steel belts while you transport your latest brilliant score of dairy products and frozen juice concentrate.”

It probably won’t make the news so I’ll never know if it worked…but I’ll keep an eye out just in case…