Monday, August 13, 2007

Punch Lines

#280 Punch Lines

Punch lines used to be for jokes. But they’ve become a tool of the Publicist Mafia.

The other day in Chicago, the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile was parked illegally. The people driving and riding in it wanted breakfast. So they stopped in a no-parking zone on Michigan Avenue. They shut the thing down, turned on the four-way flashers and went off to breakfast.

Along come the traffic enforcement guys and they call for a tow truck. They say this 27 foot Styrofoam or fiberglass hotdog is double parked and let’s get it out of here.

Before the tow truck arrives, the driver and crew return to the hot dog and talk the traffic brownie out of giving them a ticket. Probably bribed them with hotdogs.

The Kraft Company, which owns Oscar Meyer says “Parking the Weinermobile in a no-parking zone is a violation of company policy.

Of course. And we’re supposed to believe Kraft has a written policy on where to park the Weinermobile.

Probably, they never thought of it, but, yeah, parking a company vehicle in a no-parking zone probably is against some policy. Except who believes them?

This is the mildest recorded version of the insult-our-intelligence punch line now widely practiced by corporations and governments alike.

Example: here in Stonewall County, the D-A was about to bring a guy to trial for stealing someone’s identity and credit cards and such. Then, suddenly, the charges were dismissed.

Why? Because a key witness “…became unavailable.” What does that mean? Did the guy die? Did he disappear? Did he change his story? We’ll never know. But what we DO know is that he became unavailable. Pity. Would have been an open and shut case. Not any more. The guy is “unavailable.”

A guy, a local guy, wants to become a judge. He isn’t a lawyer, so he has to take a test. He flunks the test. Before it gets out that he’s flunked the test, he says “..I am a community leader and as a judge, I couldn’t remain one. So I’m withdrawing from the judge election.”

A punch line if there ever was one, except no one’s laughing.

“Things are getting better in Iraq,” says the general in charge. Translation: fewer people (on “our” side) were killed this week than last.”

How about the wheat gluten that killed all those dogs and cats and the peanut butter that or fast food tacos that made so many people sick?

“Trouble with our suppliers.”

And there’s the old saw “your call is very important to us.”

On Wall Street: “We don’t think the subprime loan difficulties are going to affect the market in general.”

“They quoted me out of context.”

These punch lines are lies, plain and simple.

You can play a fun game on your own by finding these things in news item after news item.

But, of course, I meant no harm, didn’t realize this game was addictive, and won’t do it again.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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