The Next Wave of Sprint PCS Ads
Surely, you've seen the Sprint PCS ads where that weird bug-eyed guy solves people's communication problems by handing them "digital cellular" phones, which purportedly don't have any static. Surely, also, you've noticed that this campaign has been going on long after its writers have run out of ideas.
In the ads, people who talk on the phone confuse words that sound alike. In one ad, for example, a woman gets confused when her husband tells her to bring "soup from the store," and instead brings home a "soap opera star."
Like all such ads, the two things confused don't actually sound alike, and there is no reason why anyone would be dumb enough to carry out the mistaken instructions. I mean, didn't the woman have any qualms about running around town trying to find and hire a bad actor for dinnertime without any explanation? Plus, one phrase would require a modifier, and one wouldn't. If your significant other told you to "bring home soap opera star," wouldn't you inquire as to his grammar?
Finally, when I hear the phrase, "soup from the store," I think of the following dialogue:
Woman: Honey, I got the soup you asked for.
Man: What is this? It's just a bent pie pan with lighter fluid and bolts. Where did you get this?
Woman: I got it out of the Hendersons' trash. Why, what's wrong with it? It's soup, isn't it?
Man: (sighs) Margie, how many times do I have to tell you. I want you to get my soup from the STORE.
Woman: The store? Oh, right, I totally forgot! My Bad.
Man: No, it's my fault. I should have specified. I'm sorry.
As you can see, the campaign is getting old fast, but the ads just keep coming. The following are extrapolations I've made that simulate about what we can expect from the brilliant minds at sprint in the future. (You might also notice that despite having seen the sprint ads many many times, I obviously have no idea exactly what they're selling.)
The hallway of a posh mansion. A upper-class snob stands with a sour expression, hands folded, tapping his feet. A closet nearby with double doors rattles as if someone is trying to escape. The Closet handles are tied together by a tunic which is wrapped around them. The butler lets the Weird Bug-eyed Guy in.
WBG: Sir, you called?
Snob: Yes. I called the agency yesterday to order a eunuch to guard my wife while I was out.
WBG: (understandingly) But what you got was...
Snob: (disgusted) A tunic!
WBG: (nods) It's the static. Here, (hands over digital cellular phone) this phone is made entirely from living cells, and was built from the ground up.
Snob: Thanks so much.
Wife of snob: (bursts through the closet, ripping the tunic) I'm suing you for everything you've got, Harold!
WBG: (walks to the door, then turns back and smiles knowingly) Glad I could help.
A small, cozy house in the suburbs. A regular Joe stands next to a strange orange-skinned man with a javelin. Both men watch as a parakeet flies wildly around the room. They turn when WBG opens the door.
WBG: Sir? What's the problem?
Joe: (distressed) I called my wife to tell her that I needed a birdfeeder. But she got me this...this...
Joe: Right. Which, for those of you at home, is a javelineer from Persia.
WBG: (Nods) It's the static. Here. This phone connects to an all-digital nationwide network which I built from the ground up.
Joe: Thank you so much. (The jereeder then impales the average Joe with his javelin)
WBG: (walks to the door, then turns back and smiles knowingly) My pleasure.
A posh, expansive office in the heart of Manhattan. WBG looks down empathetically on a businessman who is cowering in the corner. From the other side of the office door we hear occasional growls.
WBG: Okay, what happened?
Cowering businessman: I called the main office because I needed an adept typist to help me with my work. But instead THEY heard "escaped rapist."
WBG: I see. That's tough.
Cowering businessman: Tell me about it! I mean, you'd think that if I ordered something like that, they'd at least call to confirm! Where the hell did they find an escaped rapist anyway?!
WBG: It's not like they advertise.
Cowering businessman: Exactly. And here they employed one, which is illegal, immoral and obviously not going to help me in any way!
WBG: It seems like a poor allocation of resources.
Cowering businessman: To say the least!
WBG: Well, I'm sure it's the fault of the static.
Cowering businessman: Oh, yes, certainly. Definitely.
WBG: Here. This is the phone that built this nation from the ground up.
Cowering businessman: Wow. Thanks.
Escaped rapist: (opens the door and points to WBG) You! C'mere! I want you bad!
WBG: (walks to the door, then turns back and smiles knowingly) This is going to hurt.
A smoky room inside a burning, yet still posh, suburban home in Canada. WBG looks on as an old Canadian desperately splashes the flames with a bucket of water.
WBG: What's happening here.
Canadian: I wrote a letter to the American Congress asking it to stop the incarceration of Turkish political prisoner Leyla Zana.
WBG: But instead congress decided to...
WBG and the Canadian together: ...start the incineration of harmless, typical and yet sinister Lakeville, Canada.
WBG: (Nods) It's the static.
Canadian: Huh? Um, I guess...
WBG: Here, blah blah blah, ground up, have a phone.
Canadian: (sarcastically) Thanks a bunch! Meanwhile, my town is burning!
WBG: (walks to the door, then turns back and smiles knowingly) Good luck.
A posh child's room. WBG steps in as a young boy cries on his bed.
WBG: Can I help?
Boy: I don't know. I was praying to God the other day so that he would heal my blocked cardial artery.
WBG: But instead...
Boy: ...he decided to kill my crooked crime family! (sobs)
WBG: (nods) It's because you're gay. Here's a phone.
Boy: Uh...thanks. (sniffs)
WBG: (walks to the door, then turns back and smiles knowingly) See you in hell.