Black Friday Madness on the showroom floor — or: What brand of car are “real people, not actors” STILL clueless about?


Today’s nomination comes from longtime badvertising connoisseur Jim Fitzsimons of St. Paul: “Chevy has been running the same basic TV ad campaign for a few years now. The ads show a bearded fellow talking to ‘real people, not actors’ (as though actors aren’t real people, but I know what they mean) about how awesome Chevy cars and trucks are. They’re better built, they’re more reliable, they’ve won all the awards, and so on.


“One ad of this campaign, in particular, makes me grumble every time I see it. I first noticed it last year — and, wouldn’t you know it, because I dislike it so much, Chevy has brought it back again this year. The ad has bearded fellow sitting at a table with several real people, not actors, and he tells them he wants to show them a video. He hits the remote, and the real people, not actors witness the typical department-store, Black Friday shopping-crowd madness as people attempt to get their hands on sale-priced flat-screen TVs. Of course, the real people, not actors are appalled by this.

“Bearded fellow tells them that the shopping experience at their Chevy dealership is nothing like what is seen in that video — much to the relief of the real people, not actors.

“Um, Chevy? Nobody does those kinds of crazy shopping antics at car dealerships. Nobody. There’s no mad rush at the door, no wrestling a car out of another shopper’s hands, and you aren’t selling flat-screen TVs! So, what are you saying here? That buying cars and trucks on Black Friday isn’t as nuts as shopping at a department store? Well, we know that. I suspect even actors would know that.

“What a stupid ad.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: We have a different problem with this real people, not actors campaign. As Mr. Fitzsimons notes, it’s been on the air for what seems like forever … and yet none of these real people, not actors has ever seen one of these commercials? Or, alternatively: Are the commercials so ineffective that the real people, not actors can be genuinely surprised when the answer to bearded fellow’s question is invariably “Chevy”?

Unclear on the concept

Toadman: “This Hummer is parked in front of three signs reading ‘COMPACT CAR PARKING.’


“No comment necessary.”

Funny (?) business

KH of White Bear Lake: “Subject: That’s funny (I think).

“Can something strike you as funny even if you’re not exactly sure what it means? [Bulletin Board says: Undoubtedly! Happens all the time!]

“John Grisham, in ‘Rogue Lawyer,’ describes an appearance in Domestic Relations Court: ‘His Honor today is one Stanley Leef, a cranky old veteran who lost interest years ago. Judith represents herself, as do I. For the occasion, she’s dragged in Ava, who sits as the lone spectator, in a skirt so short you can see her name and address. I catch Judge Leef gazing at her, enjoying the scenery.’

“I’ve never heard a short skirt described that way before.”

The Hot Stove League (responsorial)
Or: Bulletin Board stands corrected

Sunday’s Bulletin Board opened with a note from Sleepless from St. Paul (in Minneapolis), discussing which was the Twins’ most heartbreaking seasons. It included this passage: “Another candidate would be the 1984 choke. The Twins were in first place in mid-September. In the deciding game of the season, the Twins fell behind 10-0, yet managed to come back to tie the game, only to lose it in the 9th with a two-out Cleveland home run. A throwing error by Gary Gaetti was a factor in the Twins’ losing. Gaetti’s famous quotation: ‘It’s hard to throw a ball with both hands around your neck.’ On the other hand, it was electrifying out in the center-field seats. Kirby was pulling in balls that would have dropped with any of our previous center fielders. Also, it was obvious, with all of that young talent, the good times were ahead”

We presently heard from Centerville Scott:Sleepless has it backwards about the 1984 Twins. The Twins had the 10-0 lead.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Right you are, Centerville Scott! See for yourself here:

Fellow travelers (responsorial)

Sugar Babe: “In response to D. Ziner‘s tale of ‘bathroom pod’ woe [BB, 11/19/2016], I would suggest that it is useful to always carry a small flashlight in your travel bag. One employing LEDs is likely to last a long time, although I am partial to the one pictured here, as it has been with me through many years and many trips.


“Also, for trips in the U.S. and Canada, I always bring along a toothbrush holder with a removable top.


“I keep a nightlight nestled inside and use it whenever I encounter a bathroom that does not have a nightlight (this works for hotels or visiting at the home of family and/or friends). Since I always have to pack away my toothbrush at the end of my stay, I am reminded to repack the toothbrush holder and nightlight at the same time.

“Hope this helps.”

Gregory of the North: “I’ve been out of circulation for a time, as I had to deal with some of the indignities that sometimes accompany aging, but I am back from the hospital and on the mend, and ready to jump into the new form of our old forum.

“The heading for this could be ‘Foreign Lands are Different,’ or whatever else you deem appropriate. This concerns my travels in rural France in the 1970s. Having need of the facilities, I sought out a rest room. I found a door labeled ‘Toilette.’ It didn’t say male or female, but urgency overcame any hesitancy I had, and I went in. There, instead of the familiar ‘throne,’ I found a hole in the floor. Having no place to sit, I didn’t know what to do, so I stood there, trying to figure it out.


“Suddenly, the door opened, and a woman walked in. She said something to me that I didn’t understand and, with no concern for modesty, lifted up her skirt, placed her feet on what looked like footpads, and squatted over the hole. Once she was finished relieving herself, she stood and said something that sounded like she was irritated. I pointed at myself and said: ‘Américain.’ She broke into a hearty laugh and left.

“I then tried to mimic what I’d seen the woman do, but with trousers, it was somewhat more difficult. Eventually, and with some need to brace myself with my hand on the floor, I finally accomplished the task at hand. There was no sink to wash one’s hands (I later found that outside the room), so I left as quickly as I could, meeting a man in the doorway as I was leaving. He said a polite ‘Bonjour,’ which I returned. But promised myself that whatever it took, I would ‘hold it’ until I again found familiar plumbing.

“I am so very glad you are continuing Bulletin Board! It’s even more wonderful with the addition of full-color pictures!”

Life as we know it

Doris Day: “Subject: My mindfulness effort.

“Pink and orange November blooms coexist in harmony.”


Our theater of seasons

Mounds View Swede: “Subject: Two of those November blossoms [BB, 11/19/2016], after the snow.

“When I went to the car in the garage, I glanced at the flower container and noticed this blossom. I immediately thought: ‘That’s the spirit!’


“Of the other blossoms, this was the only one that seemed to have that same valiant spirit.  White on white makes it harder to distinguish, but there were some snow crystals on the petals.


“I admire their tenacity. For me, I spent all of Friday in the house taking a nap, staying warm, and working on my Swedish homework. I was grateful to not have to shovel the drive or get the snowblower running yet, feeling slightly under-the-weather.”

Our theater of seasons
5/7/5 Division

This week’s haiku from WriteWoman of Shoreview:

“wandering snowflakes

“in no hurry to land yet

“touch my face gently”

The kindness of strangers

John Bombardo reports: “On Sunday, November 20th, we had breakfast after church, as is our custom, at Perkins in West St. Paul. We were pleasantly surprised to have had our breakfast paid for by someone.

“We would like to say thank you to whoever was responsible, as I am approaching my 80th birthday, served in the U.S. Army, was very proud to have served, and will definitely pay this forward. Many thanks to all the other vets out there who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

“God Bless the U.S.A.”

You are what you eat
Blood Sausage Division

Fudge Brownie: “My parents were farm people.

“When my mother made blood sausage, she would make it in a large cake pan, and we would cut it into squares to eat it. It looked like a red velvet cake without the frosting and was the texture of a very light, porous cake. I remember the taste of it, and somehow I seemed to like it. Wouldn’t touch the stuff now if it was offered.

“What I really hated was liver, in any shape or form. If it had the name liver in it, it was sure to be icky. When I would enter the house after playing outside and that foul smell was in the air, I knew immediately what we were having for supper. Only a few in our family of 12 liked the nasty stuff, and fortunately our parents didn’t make us eat it.

“My mom would cook us a ring of bologna, and we ate that with gusto. We still had to smell the liver, but were glad we didn’t have to eat it.

“I had a friend at the time who had family of 13. They were not as fortunate as us, though, as all the kids were forced to eat the liver. When my friend and I were much older, she told me that at some point they had taken their table apart … and in the legs had found the dried, shriveled remnants of liver, peas and such. Looking back, I’m not quite sure how they managed to hide the stuff under the vigilant eyes of their parents.

“My husband has always like the icky stuff, but he will never in this life eat it at our house. I always point it out on the menu at restaurants, but he has so far declined to order it. I’m sure I would lose my appetite if he ever did.

“Long live ring bologna!”

The Permanent Sonly Record

The Gram With a Thousand Rules writes: “A random thought while eating a cheese sandwich:

“When my middle son was small, he loved cheese — to eat or carve, I was never sure. Whenever I gave him a slice, he would take two bites and show me a nearly perfect shape of Minnesota. A USELESS talent, to be sure, but it was pretty impressive nevertheless.

“He moved to Wisconsin about 25 years ago. Next time he comes over, I am giving him a slice of cheese to see if he has broadened his talent.”

Band Name of the Day: Real People, Not Actors

Website of the Day, from Double Bogey Mike: One well-trained dog.





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