January 13, 2004

Pondering My toilet Tank

Last week, I was sitting at home at my desk, with the television mindlessly blaring behind me. Suddenly, the television or, more appropriately, a television commercial, asked a question that I had never, until that very moment, taken the time to consider.

"Do you know what's going on in your toilet tank?"

Well, no, not really. I mean, I'll occasionally rest my back up against the toilet tank, or maybe leave an issue of Time magazine or a book resting on it but, by and large, the intricate workings of the toilet tank and the dark secrets it guards typically don't concern me.

But, there was a sense of urgency in that commercial, something that made me think they knew something I didn't. Perhaps all my egregious toilet tank neglect had resulted in some sort of mutation within my toilet tank that could ultimately threaten the existence of mankind.

I rushed to the bathroom immediately to inspect the tank and its inner workings, fully expecting to do battle with a horde of strange new creatures. Okay, I wasn't actually fully expecting to do battle with anything, but the commercial did remind me that it was way past time to refresh my toilet's 2000 Flushes.

As I expected, all was serene within my toilet tank, everything was in near-perfect order; nothing too exciting.

Which made me wonder: why do so many commercials make toilet cleaning seem like such an action-packed and enjoyable endeavor? I mean, come on! It's a toilet! When I look down at a dirty toilet, I don't get at all excited. Truthfully, I get more grossed out than anything else. But, the commercials, they make toilet cleaning seem better than a trip to Disney World.

Take the product, toilet Duck, for example. Now, I'll admit it: I've never used toilet Duck. When it comes to the cleaning of toilets, I prefer the most hands off approach possible. Therefore, I'm a die-hard toilet tank tablet enthusiast, and for my money it's tough to beat the blue cleansing power of 2000 Flushes. You drop a couple of discs in the tank, and things pretty much take care of themselves for the next month or so.

But, toilet Duck still fascinates me. Here you have an actual toilet mascot, an enthusiastic rubber ducky that apparently thinks cleaning toilets is the most fun there is. And, the cartoon duck lets out the most adorable "Quack, Quaaaaaack!" while it works, zooming around the toilet bowl with the biggest grin you've ever seen on a duck and, let me assure you, I've seen plenty of grinning ducks. Okay, no I haven't.

I try to think what it must have been like way back when that fledgling company was trying to establish itself as a powerhouse in the toilet cleaning industry. They held a marketing brainstorming meeting to try and come up with a unique brand identity.

COMPANY CEO: All right, people, we're not leaving this room until we have a marketing strategy to promote our new and super-powerful toilet cleaning agent. Any ideas?

MARKETING VP: I've been working on this, and I think a mascot would really help. I just can't think of what kind of mascot to best associate with a toilet.

CEO'S BRATTY SON: Gee, how about, like, you know, a duck? A toilet duck.

ENTIRE MEETING: *grumble* *murmur* *occasional yawn*

CEO: A toilet duck? I like it! I was thinking about possibly a toilet giraffe, but we could end up in a legal mess with Toys –R- Us, to say nothing of the unlikely nature of a toilet-cleaning giraffe. But a duck, eh? Let's do it!

And so the toilet Duck was born, er, I mean hatched, and from all appearances that toilet duck thinks cleaning toilets is just ducky.

Not me, though. I hate cleaning my toilet, and I don't care what the heck is going on in my toilet tank.

Posted by Ryan at January 13, 2004 03:31 PM
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