Tahlequah Daily Press

April 7, 2014

A pound of bacon is better than a pig in love

Managing Editor

TAHLEQUAH — Whatever happened to the cavemen in the Geiko insurance commercials? Those were some of the least-offensive TV blurbs I’ve ever seen, and they were original. But like any other good idea, this one fell victim to the kind of corporate tampering that always insists on fixing what ain’t broken.

First the cavemen were supplanted by a lizard that talks with what I suspect is an Australian accent, though some argue he’s British. The lizard was OK until he was depicted in an implausible love affair with a human woman. Other put-off viewers will recall some attractive chick swinging him around by the arms (or rather, forelegs), spinning in a circle, and mouthing, “I love you.” I find it hard to believe I’m the only one offended – especially in the Bible Belt – by this blatant hat-tip to bestiality. You’d think the script-writers could at least come up with an animal more traditionally associated with this sort of thing, like a donkey or a sheep.

Perhaps someone else realized the size variant – if not the crossover into an entirely different animal class – would hamper a relationship. So now, the romantic interest is an animal in the same class of “mammal,” and is physiologically close enough to humans that its organs are often used in transplants: the pig.

I know several people who think this swine – which is a Yorkshire or possibly a Landrace, since it’s sort of pinkish – is cute. I find him annoying, with his nasal voice and meaty haunches. I do not understand why a hot, young blonde would be so enthralled with the porker that she’d invite him to cozy up behind her on a personal watercraft. It would make more sense if they were rooting around in a mudhole, because the implication that a pig could straddle the seat of a Waverunner is ridiculous. And even if he could sit upright, with his stubby hind legs jutting forward, he couldn’t hang onto the chick without the benefit of opposable thumbs.

The worst commercial from the sty series has to be the one where the pig is basking on a lounge chair, sunglasses aperch on his snout, and trying to manage a smartphone with cloven hooves.

In this story line, the pig’s insurance bill has already been paid, so he can go back to enjoying his vacation by the pool. Then, for some obscure reason, he begins to mutter, “Boots-and-pants-and-boots-and-pants-and-boots-and-pants...”

Online dictionaries suggested the porcine pervert is rapping along to a techno dance beat, but I didn’t understand until former co-worker Sarah Hart, who is now on the ESPN payroll somewhere in Pennsylvania, posted a video of the original “boots and pants” mantra, which, as it turns out, is actually “Boots and Cats.” Pants – or lack thereof, in the case of the pig – never enter into the equation. I don’t even really know what type of music the pig is emulating here, although my youngest sister has speculated the vid is making fun of “beat boxing.” Whatever. I’m still stuck back in the Stone Ages with authentic rock ‘n’ roll. But it might augment your comprehension if you see the video, which you can access at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nni0rTLg5B8. Be warned you’ll be treated to other obnoxious advertisements before you get to heart of the matter.

Or maybe you’ll want to forget I ever mentioned it. For some reason, the “boots and pants” recitation got stuck in my head a month or so ago when I first saw the commercial, and since then, I’ve been prone to regular outbursts of either muttering or yelling, depending on my mood, “BOOTS and pants and BOOTS and pants...” There’s no logical explanation for this, and I’m sure it annoys everyone in my presence.

At this juncture, I believe I’ve seen four blurbs produced in hog heaven, and two involve water. I realize all mammals can swim, but I’ve never personally witnessed a pig paddling around in a pool, a pond, or in any other body of water. But then again, I’ve never heard one say anything intelligible; grunts and squeals are about as far as it gets.

I’m not sure whether the idea of a shoat on a boat is worse, or the image of one behind the wheel of a car and being stopped by a cop.

There’s also one where the cob-roller is getting a photo taken for his driver’s license, and like the rest of us, he closes his eyes at the crucial moment. But now that I think about it, a pig probably couldn’t be a much worse driver than the average Okie. If you doubt that assessment, you must not be reading the accident reports in the paper.

I’m hoping that soon, Geiko will move along to another mascot, or spokes- animal, or whatever you want to call it. If they really want to generate interest in their product, they should consider butchering the pig in a public way, and sending out 10 or 15 pounds of bacon to anyone who signs up. That being the case, if we weren’t already with USAA, I’d sign up myself.