Thursday, April 06, 2006

Toilet Paper: Your Best Friend

There are some truly ridiculous comercials one will experience in Latin America. I despise about 90% of them, particulary the overly-sexist ones. You know, where Dad is working hard all day, Mom is watching the kids, making dinner, doing laundry, all with a smile on her face. Yeah, right! I can't imagine women in the U.S. putting up with these kinds of commercials, and to be honest, I don't know a single Costa Rican homemaker. A short list of professions, just of women I know personally, reads thus: lawyer, doctor, pharmacist, psychologists (3 of those!), customer service rep, online bookie, yoga instructor, pilates instructor, small business owner, waitress, restauranteur, hotel owner.

So exactly who are the companies behind the laundry detergent, ready rice, and floor cleaner selling to, exactly? The only women who come to mind are mi esposo's relatives, who have some 30+ years on the women in the commercials.

Then there are the horrible commercials on channels that I actually let my son watch, such as Discovery Kids. While the shows are all about diversity, girl power/boy sensitivity, healthy lifestyles, the commercials shown during the breaks give kids a completely different message. Boys get action figures and war toys, girls get princess dolls. Bleh! Didn't we get over all that waaaay back in the 1970s? And then there is the crap food marketed to kids. It's all enough to make one sick.

However, my current "favorite" commercial is for Scott toilet paper. It features a cute yellow lab puppy, which one assumes is named Scott, and the tagline goes: "Scott, tu mejor amigo (Scott, your best friend)." Ok, I get the whole "the dog is Scott, the dog is your best friend, thus the toilet paper is your best friend" thing, but seriously, now. My best friend is not toilet paper.

Some years ago, I was at the UCR campus with esposo and had to use the bathroom. Not a single stall in the women's bathrooms had toilet paper. When I asked then-novio what the friggin' deal was, he said that if the university put toilet paper in the bathrooms, people would steal it. Um, okay... Steal toilet paper? Here are our future doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, psychologists, and customer service reps, all out to steal the University of Costa Rica's toilet paper. I wasn't sure what to make of it. Apparently, students carry their own toilet paper to school with them, knowing they won't find it in the stalls. I guess if you really have to go, and I mean go, toilet paper can indeed be your best friend in that moment.

But do I get the puppy, too?

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