Friday, October 19, 2007

Frick on a frickin' stick with a brick.

Hasbro has me steamed, bro.
As in:

If I ever catch who ever it was that came up with this abomination, he is going to to get his ears blown right off the sides of his head, because I am going to use words that he will not even know the meaning of, but his gut will tell him he had better run for cover.

And what got me this annoyed you may ask?

The news that in the state of Maine, eleven year old kids in Middle School were routinely being given birth control pill without parental notification?

No...that piece of news has me so ANGRY that if I were to begin to discuss it on my blog, my keyboard would fuse together in one black mass just from the heat of my fury.

Not going there.
At least not today.
Besides, that has nothing to do with Hasbro.
I think.

No, today I am going to talk about the Hasbro commercial that had me spilling my tea and spewing Darjeeling across the room.

In the ad, an adorable scene of a child's playhouse came up, with roses entwining the edges of the screen, and a happy faced cherub of a child skipped into the scene. She was on her way to enter Dream Town's Rose Petal Cottage.

Ecstasy moment for the girl: She was going to get to put a load in a play clothes washer.
(You will have to click on the link to see it. Hasbro has some really terse and threatening language about copying their pictures or text. Dream Town has some pretty wicked lawyers hanging around Rose Petal Cottage it seems.)

The little lass was about to use a pink and yellow front loading washer, decorated with TWO hearts mind you. Not just one, TWO hearts on a front loading washer; how very ecologically astute! Saves imaginary water with every load!

Yes, this little girl was going to have a rollicking good time doing laundry.

"Little girls can pretend to do laundry, just like Mom and Dad!" the advertisement suggested.

"The adorable washer has knobs and an opening door to help spark your child's creativity and enter into a magical world of make believe."

"The pretend washer has knobs that turn and an opening door to help little girls pretend to do laundry, just like Mom and Dad!"

I'll bet you think I am growling because the product proposes only little girls should be able to receive the joys of laundry.

That little girls would want to do laundry just like Mom and (wait for it....) DAD.

OK, I am pretty cranky about that...little boys surely would also enjoy having their creativity sparked by knobs that turned and doors that open. I am even willing to go out on a sexist limb here and suggest that most little boys and ALL MEN get their engines fired up when knobs that turn and doors that open are involved.

I'm thinking cars here, but if you think metaphorically, I'll bet you could come up with other scenarios as well. Ahem. Blush.

No, the part that gets me into such a tizzy is the fact that the advertisement suggest that the girl will learn to PRETEND to do laundry, just like Mom and Dad.

Granted, lots of men have been pretending to do laundry for years now. They drop clothes from their bodies, and POOF, like magic, the clothes come back clean a few days later. If they drop their drawers and manage to kick their knickers up and catch it mid air...well, their particular kind of magic has been performed to perfection.

Women pretend to do laundry too.

Women usually pretend to put their clothes into some kind of hamper or basket or something. Then, later, they pretend to drag the stuff out, sort it, haul it, turn knobs or push buttons, pour detergent (that they have hauled from the grocery stores, often in 20 lb containers on sale with bonus coupon, because they are too weak to haul the 40 lb sacks out of the back of their cars...) then they listen to make sure the load is balanced, and for the cessation of sound signaling that the pretend washer part of the fun is finished.

Then they pulled heavy and damp items from the washer and then they pretend to shove the clothing into the drier, or pretend to pin the items onto a clothesline (a nice activity on a sunny breezy day, I have heard not so much fun when the clothes freeze and sticks to hands, or heat stroke fells the woman, or insects attack, or birds use king sized sheets for defecation target practice.)

Later the dry clothes are harvested, and sorted again, folder, and redeployed to various closets and drawers around the house.

This magical world of pretend is what keeps so many women at the top of their creative game.
It is the reason why so many women don't have time to go places and do things, have friends, read books or take classes.

"I'd love to, but I'm way behind on my laundry."

"First I've got to get my laundry done....then I can (fill in the blank)"

"My husband and kids pretended to do laundry, now it is MY turn, I am so excited, I'm just going to pass on going to the beach/movies/bike ride..."

Umm. That's just wrong.

Here's my say, and I have said it before:

Anyone who can turn a knob, open a door, and drop a pellet into an opening as big as a bucket can do laundry. It just isn't that hard. Even people with significantly low IQs routinely are able to do these tasks successfully.

Anyone who can open a drawer, or closet, and can sense that there is but one pair of panties or one pair of socks or one shirt left where as before there were many panties, socks or shirts can grasp the concept of the need to do laundry.

It is sort of like potty training; learning to recognize the signals of laundry need that is imperative.

No particular chromosomal pattern is needed to accomplish the above mentioned task.

Within the human race there is a dizzying spectrum of pleasure/satisfiers. Some people love opera, others adore Nascar. Some like their coffee black while others like theirs with cream and sugar.

It is reasonable to expect that some people, both women and men, hover around the laundry basket, vibrating with excitement that there might be a chance of doing laundry today.

I suppose somewhere in the universe there is even a Laundry Doer Anonymous chapter meeting even as I type. Addictive behavior always begins with a pleasurable experience you know.

I do want to salute Hasbro for at least suggesting that Moms and (wait for it...) Dads do laundry. I want to salute them for trying to help children realize that front loading washers are more fun, and that doing laundry should be seen as a creative act.

Should be being the key words here in that last phrase.

Not everything we do in life is fun or creative or is like something that someone that we admire does.
Some stuff we just do because they need to be done. Like mopping the floor, or changing the oil in the car. Or getting our teeth cleaned.

Everyone should recognize this, and should shoulder their part of the process. If you need clean clothes, run the washer. If you track in mud, wipe it up. If you like having teeth, make your own dental appointments.

Just do it.

And Hasbro?
If you are listening?
If you want my business, try making a real washer that looks like yours.

I think putting hearts on the washer sides is a nice touch.

If you want my husband's business, try putting Tiger Wood sports broadcasts that play in the washer window only as the clothes go round and round.

I can hear it now:

"Jill, do you have any laundry you want done? I'm out of laundry, and Tiger is on back nine, he's ahead by only one stroke. Here, I'm just going to give the cats a quick rinse...just enough to find out what happens on the next putt...shut up Tiggie, I can't hear what the sportscaster is saying...."

Yeah, that would do the trick.

(I'm hoping Hasbro's lawyers have come to their senses and have run home to do a load of laundry before they reached the end of this post so they won't see this picture. Remember, it's a secret, don't tell!)

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