November 10, 2003

Signs That Bother Me

As a Generation X'er, one of my roles--as per the requirements set forth by professionals whose sole purpose in life is to label generations and ascribe personality traits to them--is that of cynical person unimpressed and unswayed by commercials and marketing ploys.

Or, as one Web page put it so eloquently, I'm "media savvy."

Well, as a media savvy Generation X'er, I believe I'm in a strong position to critique some of the more prevalent and pointless marketing attempts I see practically on a daily basis.

For example, I get irritated whenever a restaurant advertises "Fine Food." As opposed to what? Does the restaurant down the street feature "Dry Heave Inducing Garbage?" By what authority can a restaurant claim that its food is "Fine." And, really, don't you think they should have come up with a better adjective than "fine."

After all, whenever my girlfriend asks how she looks, and I say "fine," I think it's safe to say that she's almost insulted. If "fine" isn't good enough for sizing up my girlfriend's ensemble, then I'm just not that impressed when a restaurant touts "Fine Food."

And while I'm on the topic of restaurants, what the hell does it mean when an ethnic restaurant positions its food as "Authentic Chinese" or "Authentic Mexican" or "Authentic Kenyan?" I'm curious what kind of professional inspector is assigned to verify whether a type of food is "authentic." I'm imagining some guy with a monocle and a watch fob, impeccably dressed, with an outrageously exaggerated British accent.

FOOD AUTHENTICITY INSPECTOR: Oh, I say, this Hunan Beef is top of the line Chinese fare. Authentic to a T. Grade A, chaps! Grade A! Here's your certificate of authenticity. Take it with my blessings and post it proud and high. Truly, your Chinese food is a paradigm of excellence. All hail China One!

The other day, I was at a gas station. In addition to purchasing gas, I had to make my bladder gladder. On the way to the john, I noticed a sign overhead that proclaimed "Clean Bathrooms." Oh, well, that's good to know, I guess. I mean, that's better than seeing a sign warning "Shit-Smeared Walls" or "E-Coli Incubation Area."

Still, is it really necessary to tell patrons that your bathrooms are clean? Isn't that generally understood? It makes me wonder if the gas station had problems in the past with filthy commodes, so to reassure people they now advertise clean bathrooms. Whatever the case, it seems like an unnecessary bit of advertising to me.

Posted by Ryan at November 10, 2003 10:36 AM
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