Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #104 — 4/24/14

comic42414

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HeadOn Collision

ls1303

Advertising is a field that requires a lot of creativity.  You want to find a way to pitch your product that grabs at the attention of your prospective audience while ensuring that they remember the name of your product and what it will allegedly do for them.  Having Clydesdales and dalmatians star in your commercial might be cute and memorable, but will it make anyone drink more of your beer?

We report a 100% spike in sales of Budweiser among the grade school demographic!

We report a 100% spike in the sales of Budweiser among the grade school demographic!

tuesday tvSubtlety is not always the best ingredient to work into advertising since it’s a given that about one third of your audience has the density of a brick that got stuck in a bucket of Quikrete.  Nature scenes didn’t help Infiniti sell cars when it first started out in 1990, and guys swimming in the pool did not boost the sales of Rogaine before it was allowed to publicly say what it did to your bald spot.

The makers of HeadOn, a topical treatment for the relief of headaches, took this advice completely to head… er, heart when they released this rather bold 15 second ad that appeared constantly on daytime TV about 10 years ago…

Geez, does it get any more direct than that?

Make that commercial STOP!!!

Make that commercial STOP!!!

No bells and whistles…. no cute kids or stupid mascots… not a single luxury.  Just a model showing everyone how to use HeadOn, with the announcer repeating the product name and how to use it three times in rapid fire succession.  Used car salesmen and Billy Mays may be loud and outrageous, but at least they are somewhat goofy and entertaining.  This is just mind-numbingly awful.  HeadOn is the commercial that repeats on an endless loop at the gates of Hell…

HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead!

HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead!  HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead!  HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead!  HeadOn!  Apply directly to the forehead!  HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead!

If you are still able to think after being subjected to this televised torture, you may notice that while HeadOn and how to use HeadOn are now drilled deep into your skull, the ad never does actually mention what exactly you would need to apply HeadOn directly to the forehead for.  The reason for this may or may not surprise you.  It turns out, HeadOn is a homeopathic solution.  Homeopathic medicine is about on a par with astrology and alchemy in the distinguished hall of science.  You may as well try to cure your jock itch by rubbing on a unicorn…

Rainbow Donkey!  Apply directly to the scrotum!  Rainbow Donkey!  Apply directly to the scrotum!  Rainbow Donkey!  Apply directly to the scrotum!

Rainbow Donkey! Apply directly to the scrotum!

And thus, the FDA pretty much told HeadOn they couldn’t legally make any factual claims about what their product supposedly did, lest they open up the late night airwaves to every witch doctor and quack in the alternative medicine community.  This is why the HeadOn advertising committee only mention the product and the method of application.

They are also homeopathic geniuses.

Quantum Physics!  Apply directly to the forehead.

Quantum Physics! Apply directly to the black hole!

From the Wiki page for homeopathy, a definition of the field:

Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.  Homeopathy is a pseudoscience; its remedies have been found to be no more effective than placebo.

If the point of homeopathy is to find what causes the condition in the first place, and subsequently use that source to treat it, then the HeadOn folks have done a wonderful job of using their annoying ad to cause millions of otherwise healthy people to get headaches.  That seems like an awful sadistic way to help a few other out there who are a bit stressed out or got hit by an anvil on the way to work.

Road Runner!  Apply directly to the... (THUD!)

Road Runner! Apply directly to the… (THUD!)

Those that are cured by HeadOn merely make way for the unfortunate masses who had to bear with the commercial so that the suffering could be cured.  Now they have a headache this big, so the nightmarish ad must be rerun to ensure the purity of HeadOn’s homeopathic nature… and the cycle just continues to repeat itself over and over and over again.  Absolutely brilliant.  No matter how much you might want to apply a hammer directly to the forehead of the President of HeadOn, you have to admire their diabolical plan.

The fuckers even have a sense of humor about their sadism!

My fist!!!  Apply directly to the television!!!

My fist!!! Apply directly to the television!!!

So the next time you find yourself with a killer migraine from watching too many annoying commercials about homeopathic topical solutions, you’ll know what to do even if you wish you didn’t.  We here at The Nest would like to give a head slapping salute to the makers of the foremost product in forehead relief, HeadOn.  Now we no longer need to shoot the dog next door and seek out a dark room to hide from our head-pounding symptoms.  Thanks to a little HeadOn applied directly to the forehead, we’ll now be able to return to the quiet, civilized life that is daytime television!

Maury!  Apply directly to the sphincter...

Maury! Apply directly to the sphincter…

Posted in TV Commercials | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Running On Empty

This is as far as I'm going today.  Someone bring me an acorn and a soda please...

This is as far as I’m going today. Someone bring me an acorn and a soda please…

sqturday squirrel logoIt’s been a long day.  I’ve pretty much been up for 24 hours now.  Bowling wore me out last night… and then work… well, it was work.  I’m ready to just collapse right where I am and sleep it off like this Saturday Squirrel is doing .jdJISDJA[djsi0jsaidj[R9J3RJEFJDAPFJRU-A40TIRkfdofkwe-fqka0234ri-0q

Oops!  Sorry, I nodded off on the keyboard.

Have a great weekend… just don’t include my tired ass in your plans…

Posted in Saturday Squirrel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Squnk!

Stay away from my acorns, or I'll spray!

Stay away from my acorns, or I’ll spray!

Christie, one of my friends on the message board, alerted me to this rather odd looking squirrel that has been making the rounds of the internet recently.  Ever seen a black and white squirrel?  Did you even think it was possible?  What has ES been doing behind my back with the skunkettes?

Get a Room!

STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!

Here’s the link to the story on Viralnova, which documents some pictures taken by a squirrelsinnewsReddit user of a squirrel hanging around the grounds of his office in San Jose, California.  While none of the pictures provided is really a good, clean shot of the squirrel in skunk’s clothing (hereby referred to as a “squnk”), it’s still plain to see the animal is one of our arboreal friends…. but it’s hard to wrap your head around that fact due to the strange coloring.  I have seen pictures of both black squirrels and white squirrels before…. but the best of both worlds?

Who is this mangy impostor?

Who is this mangy impostor?

It turns out that this “tuxedo squirrel” is what educated people refer to as a “piebald“.  From what I can make out from a whole five minutes of research on the subject, piebalds are essentially semi-albinos.  We’ve all heard of albinos… animals born without any color pigmentation, bearing snow white fur and pink skin with freaky red eyes.  Piebalds only have blotches of skin without natural pigmentation… those would be the white spots on our squnk.  Black is generally the companion “natural” color for piebalds, which makes up the rest of the critter’s body, and thus why this bushy tailed rodent could be mistakenly wooed by this guy:

Oooh, la la!  Come to Pepe, my pretty piebald!

Oooh, la la! Come to Pepe, my pretty piebald!

Piebaldism is best known for showing up in horses…

Rainbow Donkey, I am not.

Rainbow Donkey, I am not.

But can also be found in deer…

I'm a cow, Mr. Hunter.  Cow... you know, mooooo!!!!

I’m a cow, Mr. Hunter. Cow… you know, mooooo!!!!

Dogs…

I'm cute... I think.

I’m cute… I think.

Foxes!

Who wouldn't want a cutie like him?

Who wouldn’t want a cutie like him?

And yes…. even snakes!!!!

Pet me!

Pet me!

Piebalds can be found in most mammalian species.  Like albinos, due to their lack of ability to camouflage themselves from their predators, piebalds generally do not have long lifespans… often being offed before they can reproduce and make more white-blotched freaks.  Awwww, that’s too bad, the world could use more freaks.

Like adorable pigladillos!

Like adorable pigladillos!

So the next time you see a black and white critter scampering through your yard, take a closer look.  It just might be a beautiful little squnk!

Or.... maybe not.

Or…. maybe not.

Posted in Squirrels In The News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

A Squirrel At The Cattle Call

casting couch

It’s Friday!  YAY for you, and boo for me since I go back to work tonight.  But hey, that means it’s time for the next installment of my Millionaire Journey series!  Did you miss my first post in the saga?  You did?  Lucky for you, it’s in reruns now.  You can find Part 1 here.  Go ahead and read it… don’t worry, the rest of the class will patiently wait for you to catch up…

It's Twitter Time!

It’s Twitter Time!

OK, so when we last left our story, I took the chance and broke through the show’s hotline to get one of the handful of reservations to the morning audition in St. Louis.  I had a mere two weeks to let it sink in that I had essentially just committed myself to attending a game show audition.  An audition that, per the recorded voice on the telephone, was looking for three things in potential contestants….

Poise

Poise

Television presence

Television presence

And a sense of humor.

And a sense of humor.

Now those of you who follow this blog will know that I’ve got the last criterion covered pretty well… at least when I’m in a comfortable environment.  Poise?  Epileptic possums have more poise and control than I do.  Television presence????  From someone who doesn’t even like to have their picture taken???  Ummm, this looks like a lost cause before I even show up at the door!

sully cute

Nice try, Sully, but I don’t think that’s going to work…

And speaking of showing up at the door… what in the hell am I going to wear to this thing?  I don’t do anything fancier than jeans and my collared polo-style shirts, which make up exactly 100% of my wardrobe.  I don’t think it’s going to wow anyone if I show up looking like I had just finished toiling the night away at Mecca…. ummm….

Go easy on me, dude!  I need to be poised and have a sense of humor in the morning!

Go easy on me, dude! I need to be poised and have a sense of humor in the morning!

Yeah, since the audition is on a Saturday morning exactly two hours after quitting time at Mecca, it looks like I’m going to look and feel like hell for the audition anyway.  This is starting to really, really seem like a terrible idea.  I don’t know why I’m even going to go through with it…. but I am.

Woohoo!  You go, Evil Squirrel!

Woohoo! You go, Evil Squirrel!

So Saturday November 4th arrived.  The first thing I needed to go my way came to pass… we actually got off work on time that morning.  Back in those days, just because we were scheduled to get off work at 7 AM didn’t mean we were leaving at 7 AM.  Us night shifters were expected to stay until the job was done.  Getting an hour or two of overtime a week was not all that unusual.

But even with that break, time was still not on my side.  It was made crystal clear in the instructions on the phone that nobody would be admitted to the audition any later than 15 minutes before it started.  The audition was at the Sheraton Inn in Clayton, a suburb of St. Louis that was about a 25 minute drive from where I lived.  There was no time to take a relaxing bath… I just had to get the Mecca dirt out of my tail and run.

Oh, shut up!  You're next.

Oh, shut up! You’re next.

Since my Dad is more familiar with the area west of St. Louis, I allowed him to drive me to the audition.  I made it to the registration line with 10 minutes to spare.  I showed them my drivers license and social security card to verify the information I punched in on the phone, and was handed all of the tools I’d need for filling out the contestant profile form they handed me.

What kind of supplies does the most popular show on primetime television have on hand for its auditions, you might ask?  One of those technology gone horribly wrong mechanical lead pencils that are a bitch to use, and a thin piece of cardboard slab about the size of a standard sheet of paper.  I kid you not… a fucking piece of cardboard to write on.

Please be sure to recycle your testing supplies upon leaving the hotel.

Please be sure to recycle your testing supplies upon leaving the hotel.

I was also given a ticket.  No, not a golden ticket like they give out on American Idol… there was absolutely nothing fancy at all about this ticket.  You can buy a whole roll of them at Mecca for a couple bucks, and they’d look better than the flimsy, generic stub that would brand me for the next couple hours as simply “Number 80″.

And yes, I still have that ticket... funny you should ask!

And yes, I still have that ticket… funny you should ask!

The producers who were running this audition spared absolutely no expense when it came to making this tryout as professional and comfortable as possible for its attendees.  Walking into the testing room revealed row after row of tightly spaced metal folding chairs with a narrow aisle separating the room in two halves.  It looked like an assembly in the gym of my old grade school, which was built in 1910 and hadn’t changed much in the 70 years that had passed before I attended there.  So we’re going to be jammed in like sardines trying to fill out a scantron sheet sitting on a piece of cardboard in our laps while using the pencils they supply at the front desk in Hell.

Maybe I shouldn't have bothered washing off that Mecca stink beforehand...

Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered washing off that Mecca stink beforehand…

I found myself a seat in one of the rows that was still fairly unoccupied and steeled myself to fill out the profile form with the archaic writing supplies the crew stole from the dumpster behind the hotel.  Personal information…. sure, no problem.  They already know my name, date of birth, and social security number, so why not give them more details to apply for credit in my name so Regis can buy more shiny ties.  Have I appeared on any game show in the past year… ha!  That’s funny.  I can’t believe I’m even here trying out for this one you’re putting on, thank you very much.  Education and occupation… yeah, I’m a college graduate working my life away as a pawn at Mecca.  How’s that for standing out from the crowd?

Name five interesting things about yourself….. oh shit!  I was afraid of this!

And I didn't even have the squirrel thing to fall back on at that time...

And I didn’t even have the squirrel thing to fall back on at that time…

There was nothing, and I mean absolutely NOTHING about my life, or that happened in my life that was the least bit interesting to anyone but me.  It’s the game show kiss of death to not have an anecdote or two for the host to chat about with you while you sweat out the next spin of the wheel.  I don’t think I filled out even one line, let alone all five.  Yep, this thing was OVAH before it even started…

Hit the road, Jack!

Hit the road, Jack!

But I’m here in this crowded audition room instead of at home sleeping, so I may as well go through with it….

And I’ll get into the blood and guts of that fateful audition next week!  Until next time, boys and squirrels!

Same squirrel time!  Same squirrel channel!

Same squirrel time! Same squirrel channel!

Posted in Millionaire Journey | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments