I Need To Get Dumber

So I lost 50 pounds this year simply by monitoring my caloric intake, exercising and eating healthier. But how does one shed IQ points? Of course that’s operating perhaps under a rash and arrogant assumption that I have a high enough number of them that I can afford to lose some. But for the sake of argument let’s say I’m comfortably ensconced in the triple-digit range. Nothing top-floor genius for goodness sake. Just something about three-fifths to two-thirds up from the lobby, wherein a move a couple stories downward wouldn’t do anything but take the edge off whatever it is intellectually that makes me call bullshit over useless minutae.

What is all this prefacing? My reaction to a car commercial on TV last night — which actually may indicate less of how smart I might be and more of how stupid I am for getting worked up over something so trivial. But I do and I did and I submit it here for my venting pleasure.

The ad’s subject: Ford Focus

The ad’s theme: Bold Moves

The ad’s premise: A young man arrives for a job interview at a swank place only to be halted by a chilly receptionist who pseudo-laments the fact that the person (let’s call him Mr. Honcho) the young man was scheduled to meet is alas not in the office due to his return flight’s delayed arrival.

When the receptionist queries the applicant when he’d like to reschedule the interview with Mr. Honcho he responds by running out of the building at full throttle. What she doesn’t know is that he’d spied the incoming flight information displayed on her computer moniter and is not beating a curious retreat at all. Rather, he’s “making a bold move” by hopping into his spiff and nimble Ford Focus for a race to LAX (the Tom Bradley International Terminal to be uselessly exact because I know this shit) where he parks in the white zone, rushes inside, and with a piece of cardboard upon which is handwritten his prospective employer’s name, enthusiastically awaits his sure-to-be-impressed future boss.

Now here’s where those extra several IQ points of mine kick into overanalyze-this mode and deconstrapolate why the commercial fails miseraby, which is because there’s no way an idiot like this kid is going to get the job.

First and foremost, this is L.A. and Mr. Honcho does not need a ride since his BMW 760i has been washed and detailed and is readily awaiting his delayed arrival just a short shuttle shot away at the QuikPark long-term lot next to the Crown Plaza Hotel on Century Boulevard.

But never mind that irrefutable fact of Los Angeles living if you can and instead make like a Ford and Focus with me. See, everything’s going great and moving boldly right up until the kid parks and leaves his spiff and nimble sedan in the WHITE ZONE, which everybody knows is only for the immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. Maybe in our pre-9/11 world the worst our earnest but ignorant hero would suffer would be an exorbitant parking ticket that might be a small price to pay for landing this gig he craves, but nowadays it would take about five minutes (probably less) for that abandoned Ford to become the immediate focus of law enforcement personnel, and one of two things would happen:

  1. The car would be ticketed and towed.
  2. The airport would be shut down and evacuated in its entirety with incoming flights (including Mr. Honcho’s) diverted to other area airports while the bomb squad meticulously assessed the potential threat posed by the vehicle. Only once its risk was deemed negligible would it be ticketed and towed.

Either way the kid’s screwed.

If the first simple scenario happens, jump cut to the kid meeting and greeting Mr. Honcho coming off the plane. Let’s figure the pleasantly surprised Mr. H. is damn impressed with the youngster’s getupandgo and down at the baggage claim carousel picking up his garment bag he’s thinking there just might be a place for someone like him at the firm — right up to the point when the two of them walk outside and the kid says “Sir, my car is parked right… over… uh…?”

But instead of a spiff and nimble Ford Focus, there’s nothing but empty white zone with Mr. H. incredulously wondering what kind of unemployable numbskull the kid is for parking illegally at an airport instead of in the short-term lot.

Even worse, if the nightmarish second scenario transpires, Mr. H. is going to be landing at Ontario. Or for the sake of argument let’s say his plane was on the ground before the shutdown, the two of them aren’t going anywhere and more than likely the kid’s going to get arrested when he blurts out within earshot of a Homeland Security agent : “Hey! What’s the bombsquad doing to my car?”

Of course, had the commercial’s crafters sense enough to park the kid in a perfectly legal airport parking lot space the kid would live boldly ever after with his new job and I’d be complaining about left complaining about some other worthless item that got caught in the lint trap of my intellect.

Published by


Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."