Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sixteen Tons

Ken is the kind of consumer that companies hate.
He buys what's on sale - without any brand loyalty.
The last several boxes of diapers he's brought home have featured characters from Sesame Street.
I believe I have complained in the past about how it's practically impossible to find a diaper that doesn't feature some licensed character on it. I also believe I have suggested my excellent idea for no-name diapers which, instead of Dora the Explorer, have the words FRONT and BACK emblazoned on them.
This would be very helpful. Especially when you have to change the baby in the middle of the night. Or in a drunken stupor.
But back to Sesame Street.
Although at our house they do not watch television except for movies, anything goes at Nana and Papa's so S & N are able to recognize the Sesame Street characters.
And what is the next step after recognition? Stating a personal preference naturally.
Both the boys prefer diapers with Ernie on them.
It's not surprising that they both like the same character - they are twins after all.
What happens is that stacks of diapers are disheveled and strewn about the bedroom in the search for  the coveted Ernie diapers. And there are never enough Ernie diapers to go around. Grover is the runner up choice but it's a distant second. N & S will make several passes through the stack in hopes of an Ernie before settling on a Grover.
Then there's the problem of the other characters: Elmo, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster. They are on the rejected diapers that no one wants.
Oddly, Elmo appears two times more often than the other characters. In one version Elmo is waving; the other is a static head-on illustration.
Why, I ask out loud, are there two versions of Elmo? Were there so few other suitable characters that they had to repeat one? What about Oscar? Kermit? Snuffaluffa-whatever his name was? What about them?
Ken does not understand what the big deal is about this. So I explain.
It's like this honey. The box of diapers is like your can of mixed nuts. First you eat all the cashews, and then the almonds. You keep going until you get to the Brazil nuts. The nuts you leave in the can when you open a new can because you don't like Brazil nuts. No one likes Brazil nuts.
Now imagine there are twice as many Brazil nuts as there are cashews.
Elmo is a Brazil nut.
What's even more of a travesty is that there's no Bert diaper. How can there even be an Ernie diaper without a corresponding Bert diaper? What's wrong with Bert?
It's nuts if you ask me.

song: Sixteen Tons • artist: Tennessee Ernie Ford

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