It’s really out of control.
Yesterday, I drove into Wenatchee to take care of some errands. I had to do laundry, fill my truck’s transfer tank with 100LL fuel for my helicopter, buy a new set of sheets to replace the flannel sheets for the summer, and treat myself to a good Thai lunch. These days, I’ve been spending just about all of my time in my camper on the golf course, listening to NPR while I work on a book revision. It’s a sheltered life that doesn’t include many glimpses of the outside world.
One of the first things I noticed on my day out was an advertisement on the handle of a window-washing squeegee at a gas station. Throughout the day, advertisements would jump out at me at the most unexpected or annoying places. Here are three of them.
- Gas station squeegee. You know the device. It sits in a container of water at a gas station. You use it to get the bugs off the windscreen while pouring a portion of your life savings into your vehicle’s gas tank. This particular squeegee had a normal round handle, but that was attached to a three sided shaft that connected to the squeegee and its sponge. Each side of the shaft had a graphic on it with or without text. When you rotate the handle to read the three sides, it was an advertisement to go inside the gas station’s convenience store to buy stale weak coffee. Well, it didn’t say stale or weak, but we all know what kind of coffee is in service station’s mini mart. This advertisement was in an unexpected place.
- Office Depot receipt. I went to Office Depot to send a fax. When I paid the $3.51 fee with cash, I got two slips of paper as receipts. It wasn’t until I was going through my pockets this morning that I realized that the second cash-register generated paper was an advertisement for something called LifeLock Identify Protection Service. This advertisement was also in an unexpected place.
- TV screens throughout Wal-Mart. I went to Wal-Mart to buy sheets for my camper bed. (Disclaimer: I hate what Wal-Mart is doing to this country, but it is quickly becoming the cheap and easy choice for buying items. I knew where Wal-Mart was; I didn’t know where any other store that sold bedding was. So I went to Wal-Mart.) The Wal-Mart I went to has television screens hanging from the ceiling throughout the store. Every single one is playing commercials for items you can buy at Wal-Mart. They all have the sound turned on — I guess that eliminates the need to pay licensing fees for something more pleasant, like music. Even at the cash register, while still waiting on line, a flat screen TV pointed at the line played a different stream of commercials, conflicting with the nearby ceiling television. The cashier was painfully slow and the overall experience was extremely unpleasant. I guess I get what I deserve for shopping there. These advertisements were in annoying places. (I did get a measure of revenge, however. While walking past the electronics department, I used my TV-B-Gone to turn off half a bank of televisions on display. It was unfortunate that my TV-B-Gone wouldn’t shut off any of the ceiling TVs.)
These are just three examples or unexpected or annoying places from just one day in my life. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as time goes on. What about you? Have you seen advertisements in an especially unexpected or annoying place? Use the comments link or form for this post to share them.