And Now, For a Word About Those Sponsors…

Shhhhhh!  Don’t tell anyone, but we let Tater Tot watch TV.

It’s not like he’s watching HBO or anything like that, but he’s mighty fond of Sesame Street and several shows on PBS.  Can you blame him?  They’re cute.  The characters are sweet to each other, and I’m not ashamed to admit that “Snook” from It’s a Big World is the cutest darn sloth you’ll ever meet…if you’re into meeting cartoon-type television characters, in which case, party on.

At some point we branched out and started letting him watch a couple of shows on Sprout.  Let’s face it.  There is no way to avoid Thomas and Friends when you have a toddler.

Plus, I’m not going to try and tell you that Tater Daddy and I avoid watching television.  Remember, TVs are Tater Daddy’s love language.  I’m no stranger to TV either.  Back in the day before Tater Tot arrived, when shows like Friends, Will & Grace, Frasier, and Sex & the City were in full swing, there was some concern that the remote control might graft itself to my person.

However, it’s not like the TV is on all the time either.  I’m just saying that we’ve become familiar with Sprout, and Sprout is NOT commercial-free.

Wow.  It took roughly 208 words to lead into what I’m actually trying to write about, and all I can say is OH PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR MY WORDINESS!  It is the middle of the night and I have had about four or 23 glasses of diet coke and somewhere around 900 Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs because THEY. ARE. DIVINE.

You know how annoying it is when you get a song in your head and every effort to make the song go away only makes you sing the song faster?  The same thing is happening to me regarding a couple of commercials currently running on Sprout.  

The first one is for Assurant Health.  In one scene, a family walks through the door and the mom tells us, “His job doesn’t offer health insurance,” blah, blah, blah.  In another scene, we see a man tinkering with an old car who tells us that when he retired, “We were years away from medicare,” blah, blah, blah.  Those are all well and good.

The scene that makes me cringe is the one where a young woman stops exercising to tell us that when she opened her own business, she wasn’t sure she could afford health care, and besides, she only wanted to see her “personal doctor once a year,” anyway.  It’s the way she squints and says “personal doctor” that just makes my skin crawl.

We all know which doctor she’s talking about.  It’s the dreaded podiatrist, isn’t it?  

I know I hate it when the nurse leads me into the exam room and instructs me to strip from my knee down to just my bare feet, covered only with that flimsy paper sheet with the opening in the front.  It’s so embarrassing.  And then when the doctor tells me during the exam to “scoot closer,” well, I just nearly die from the humiliation every time.


You think she’s talking about another kind of “personal doctor?”


The other commercial is for a program called “Muzzy.”  Apparently, it’s a fabulous way for young children to learn foreign languages, and the cheese-daddy spokesperson REALLY wants to send the program to you if you will send him a little cash.

Personally, I think Dora and Diego are doing a fantastic job of teaching Spanish to our non-Spanish speaking youngsters.  I know that I have learned more Spanish from those characters than I ever did in high school or college.  Of course, I took French in high school and college.  Same difference.  (I’ll explain later.)

I have to confess that the Muzzy ad doesn’t bother me so much as it makes me giggle.  Why does it make me giggle?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked.

First of all, I always laugh when I hear anyone say that learning any foreign language is “easy” or “simple.”  I know people do it because my brother majored in French (and Math) at Vanderbilt.  Oh, yes, my brother can talk some French smack.  I, on the other hand, only talk smack.  Yo.

Here’s a funny story.  (In all reality, it might not be that funny, but I am going to tell it to you anyway, ‘kay? BECAUSE REMEMBER ALL OF THE DIET COKE AND CHOCOLATE, RIGHT?)  I was studying for my exams one year, and out of desperation I called my brother at school for help.  There were some review pages in the back of my French workbook, so he went over them with me over the phone, y’all. This was way back in the ’80s when long distance plans didn’t exist.  That’s right.  Even my parents were desperate and agreed to pay for what must have been an insanely expensive phone call.  When I got to school for the French exam, our teacher handed us Xeroxed copies of — you’re right — the review pages.  And no, I did not make an A.  Because the foreign languages and I are not friends.

Anyway, back to the Muzzy thing.  Big cheese-daddy says that a European friend of his sent it to him for his daughter, and a few weeks after she started using it, they were in the supermarket and she pointed at something and said, “J’aime les pommes!”  For all I know, she was saying, “The toad drives an orange lampshade,” but her father seemed to be most impressed. 

In fact, the cheese-daddy goes on to say, “I was the proudest father in the world.”

This is the other reason I  giggle every time the commercial comes on.  The first time I heard the ad, I immediately knew what my Daddy would’ve said had he been watching it with me:  “I don’t know why he was so impressed.  Millions of little children all over France speak French every day.”  Now, I realize that it’s not the funniest thing in the world, but it’s the sort of thing he’d say, and it makes me laugh.  

I still think the Muzzy commercial is a big old piece of hoop cheese, but I hope they keep it going for a little while.

But that Assurant Health bit?  

I think it’s time to bid it adieu or adios or whatever.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fiddledeedee
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 06:17:24

    I have GOT to get me some of that Diet Coke in which you speak so fondly of! Oh, and the peanut butter eggs. You are on a roll!!! Very funny.

    And btw, we swore we’d never let our firstborn watch TV until she was 2 (read the studies, blah, blah, blah). But at 10 months we were tossing videos into the shopping cart faster than we could read the titles. 🙂


  2. JLI
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:40:20

    Mmmmm…peanut butter eggs…I’ve almost polished off my first bag. Woke hubby out of a dead sleep the other night rummaging through the cabinet then tearing the wrappers off at 3 in the morning…he looked at me like I had two heads! Believe you me, if I did, I would have eaten twice as many!


  3. Christi
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:47:35

    TV’s are my hubby’s love language too (I don’t know why they forgot that one in the book). Our TV died a couple of weeks ago and after 5 days of mourning we brought home a new one (we have a second tv so the 5 days wasn’t too bad).

    I really, really hate the toy commercials. Because unless it is pink and called a “doll” my son wants one. Most of the other commercials, we pay no attention to.


  4. Kim H.
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 12:31:19

    I can’t get past your description of the “personal doctor” – too stinking funny. I guess some things ARE universal for women because the experience for me is just as you described. If I could become invisible or die right there on the table – I think I would every. single. time.


  5. Kelley
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 13:15:57

    OK…I must admit that I love those Reese’s eggs. LOVE THEM so much!!

    Thank goodness Easter is this Sunday. All that candy needs to go away. Far. Far. Away.


  6. thefarmerfiles
    Apr 08, 2009 @ 17:59:34

    Oooh how about Roary the Race Car??? Have you seen that one on Sprout? 😉 TT will LOVE that one!


  7. Jen
    Apr 09, 2009 @ 22:02:04

    Good grief how I’ve missed you. I haven’t had access to the internet at home with time to sit and read and giggle to all things on your blog. Whooo, girl. I need that laugh after my week in the middle school. I think now I could start that blog of my own….And now maybe you could teach me some of that smack? 😉

    btw…we LOOOOVE World Word. So fun!
    “let’s build it, let’s build a world”


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